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Archive for January, 2009

Progress Report, in which the fun begins

Finished the read-through of Petra Released.  I found myself pleasantly surprised by the climax, which featured some pretty cool stuff I had forgotten about.

And now the fun part begins.

I have a fair idea of the novel’s many flaws, and thoughts on fixing at least some of them.  But I need to have everything laid out before I dive into the rewrite proper.  That’s an ironic change of pace from the first draft, perhaps, but hey–this ain’t the first draft anymore, baby.  So that’s what’s on tap for the week ahead.

(That, and I have some Hugo- and Nebula-eligible stuff to read, in my copious spare time.)

I hope to get through this rewrite fairly quickly, but I don’t mind admitting that I’m apprehensive about it.  I fear getting hopelessly bogged down, thereby endangering my next novel project.  Nothing for it, I know, except to get it done.

One update for Write Club:  a tier one reject on a novel query.

Signing off . . .

Raising a glass to W

A group of us from work met at a local Fox & Hound to say goodbye–and good riddance–to W.  Most of us were liberals, natch, but we had one Bush-hating conservative among our number.  We did this little thing where went around the table, and each of us offered up one thing about W that we weren’t going to miss.  Our conservative comrade rattled off a laundry list of the former president’s various tramplings on the Bill of Rights.  Another participant offered up his mangling of the language, and another his appointment of incompetent cronies.  Me, I welcomed the return of science to the White House.  With each item in our bill of particulars, we drank a new toast.

Toward the end of the evening, I mentioned that in my lifetime, I’ve not had a single great president.  So we raised our glasses one more time, in the hopes that we have one now.

snurri summed up my feelings about today’s inauguration.  What he said.

Progress Report, in which I hit the showers

Continued my read-through of Petra Released.  Another five chapters, and I’ll be done–at which point, I’ll need to figure out a game plan for the rewrite.

I’ve been suffering a crisis of confidence.  By the end of last week, I had grown quite despondent about this novel:  a poor showing in the Codex novel contest, a depressing situation in the publishing industry, and worst of all, the realization that I had no idea how to fix the problems I saw plaguing the manuscript.  A couple of rejections (about which more below) did nothing to improve my outlook.  I seriously contemplated setting the project aside for now, and writing a new novel, one completely unrelated to Petra.

Another part of me nagged that if I abandoned it now, it would be much harder for me to pick up the thread later–which was true, but not very helpful.  That little nag also reminded me that I’d considered abandoning other stories in the past, only to persevere, and turn them into works I was happy with–also true, but not what I wanted to hear.

Such was my unsettled and unhappy state of mind when I hit the shower on Saturday.  And that’s when I got an idea for fixing one of my problems with a particularly difficult story line.  See, I had this character who really wasn’t pulling his weight.  I realized I could just get rid of him, remove him from this novel altogether, and maybe introduce him in the next one.

And just like that, I felt better about the project.

That seemed to break a mental logjam.  Another idea occurred to me that would spice up the limp story line.  And then I realized that maybe I don’t have to get rid of Do-nothing Guy, that I might have a place for him, after all.

So now I’m back on board with Petra Released.  Maybe I should shower more often.  (Whaddya mean maybe, pal?)

Write Club updates:

Personalized rejection from Neo-opsis.  Response time, thirteen and a half months.  Karl had a backlog to work through.

Tier one reject from F&SF.  Response time, 4 days.

Outta here.