• First off, a quote from author C. C. Finlay: “The third law of writing: For every fiction there is an equal and opposite re-fiction. For example, if there is The Hobbit, eventually someone will inevitably write Goblin Quest.” I am much amused.
• The SF/F Humor Roundup is up to 22 short stories and 12 novels. So far, so good! I’m working on guidelines to try to cut down on blatant self-promotion. I don’t mind authors recommending their own work, but I don’t want a list of 30 stories from every online nook and cranny. I’m thinking of limiting self-promotional recommendations to one short story and/or one novel. What do you think?
• I’ll be heading to Windycon tomorrow. I’ve got the Manly Baen vs. Womanly DAW panel Saturday at 10, an autographing session Saturday at 2, What are Kids Reading on Sunday at 10, and I’ll be reading my muppet werewolf tale on Sunday at Noon. Hope to see some of you there!
I realized I haven’t done an actual writing update in a while. After finishing the revisions for Red Hood’s Revenge, I started back in on Snow Queen. I struggled through the current chapter, but it was painful. The whole thing felt like it was stuck, and I had no idea where to go from here.
Some of the more experienced writers probably know exactly where I’m at in this manuscript. That’s right, it’s the dreaded 30,000 word slog. Every book I’ve done for the past five years has hit this same point, where my outline falls apart and the story crashes and burns.
Fortunately, I’ve done this enough times to recognize it. The solution for me? Step back and rewrite the outline. When I’m first planning a book, my brain can’t hold the whole thing. So I outline and do the best I can, but by the time I’ve typed 25K-30K words, I’ve changed enough that the outline no longer works.
I’ve spent the past week outlining, and I’m just about ready to dive back in. I’m not going to start over from the beginning, because I’ve found that just wastes time for me. But I’ve made notes about what to change in the rewrite, and more importantly, I’m excited about some of the new ideas and directions I’m taking in the rest of the story. I’m also surprised to realize I don’t know how this book is going to end. I honestly don’t know whether or not certain characters will survive. That’s kind of fun 🙂
So there’s where I’m at with the writing. Book three is done, book four is underway, and the back of my brain is quietly percolating ideas for the next series.
November 12, 2009 @ 1:41 pm
I’m headed to Windycon as well. I’m looking forward to that publishing panel!
November 13, 2009 @ 9:01 am
Hmm, that feeling didn’t completely stop after the 30,000 words. And my even minimal outline went out the window at about he same time. We’re hitting similar plot points, but not in the order or from the same angle I thought we would.
And then after the Plot Lecture from Jim McDonnald, my plot is getting all twisty. Damn him for his influence.