Reflections & Whatnot

I was thinking of using that card today.  Sometimes I just don’t have much to say, besides maybe, “Bah!  I’m busy.  Come back later!”

I’m about halfway through my edits now.  The crazy thing was that the first third or so (chapter-wise) of my story had about as many words as the last two-thirds; it’s denser as far as content goes.  So basically it took about 100K words (+/-)  just to introduce the major characters, set-up and develop the major conflicts and bring the protagonist to the point where she’s in a position to deal with the major threat head-on.

I take this hopeless, idealist character then give her hope, only to discover there are some nefarious strings attached to the deal.  She learns she’s been living a lie, and now to survive she has to play by the rules of forces much greater than she is.  She becomes adept at wielding a form of magic (I call it elementalism); meets new people–some of them very influential, some of them dangerous; learns to understand the intricacies of hidden politics which only those in power know anything about; and ultimately gets involved on the world stage in ways she never thought she would.

Really?  All she wanted to do was live a normal life.  But that’s the kind of journey she goes on, and that’s just the half of it.

Now that she’s better equipped to understand WTH is going on around here and has been thrown into the thick of things, she encounters something which can change the entire story up to this point and is in the perfect position to be an agent of change.  The force she’s been taught to perceive as the enemy suddenly seems no different from her, and it becomes difficult to carry out her mission without question.  Things aren’t what they seem, and somewhere along the line she’ll have to decide what’s really worth fighting for.

Anyway, from here on out my chapters tend to be shorter and are generally told at a faster pace.  Where the first half was somewhat more pensive and dedicated to the protagonist’s training and building up to the reveal of various schemes, the second half becomes more action-oriented.  It’s a total shift of mood, really, and I expect it’ll propel me through the rest of my edits.  (I really want to be done by the end of the year, but we’ll see.)

So it’s been slow in the coming, but that’s where I’m at.

What are you folks up to?

Reach any major milestones with your project(s)?  Any successes you want to share, or even pesky roadblocks you’ve come across?


14 thoughts on “Reflections & Whatnot

  1. I know what you mean. I’ve been feeling like that the last few weeks on my blog, and had nothing much new to say about writing LOL I’ve just been busy with it.

    Finished the draft! So now I can relax a little… just a little. There’s that other novel I left halfway done 😉


  2. Midway mood-shift, you say? Any inclincation to break the book in two, then, or do you feel there’s still enough of a cohesiveness to it that breaking it up would detract from the story you’re going for?
    I’ve reached a point in my story (nearing the end) where it feels like the action is gaining momentum. I wouldn’t say that the flavor of the narrative has changed at all; just that the first maybe two-thirds of the book were more like a slowcooker (with a more of a focus on what’s going on emotionally, rather than physically), and now this last bit’s beginning to sizzle and pop as almost every move becomes critical. It’s an exciting/intimidating place to be. I want to get this right!


    • Nope! Pretty sure splitting it would only result in two half stories.

      Sounds like your story is almost at its climax! I certainly understand the pressure of wanting to get that part just right. It’s a pretty important moment.


  3. Sounds like you’ve got a bell-curve of momentum in your novel!

    I stalled out in my sequel, so decided to give that a break. It’s all loose ends and ragged corners right now, but I’m saving edits for when I’m finished. Right now, I’m just revving up for NaNoWriMo (are you joining this year?), for which I’m gathering thoughts about my book. And other than that, I’m working like crazy…and…uuummmmm…ya. Thanks for asking!


    • LoL. At least you have a job that keeps you busy!

      I actually won’t be participating in the NaNo challenge, but it sounds pretty hardcore! A good way to make sure you get something on the page to work with, for sure.

      And hey, sometimes taking a break from a story does wonders for your brain. You come back to it later and your subconscious is like, “So, while you were off not working on that one story, I’ve been thinking…” And before you know it s/he starts listing ingenious ideas, heh.


  4. I usually (well, if there can be a trend from only two novels) have longer chapters in the middle. Short ones at the beginning (to catch the reader’s interest) and at the end (when the story is revving up toward a resolution). To the extent that this was a conscious plan, I think I learned it from being in bands, where we always liked to start a set with three short, fast songs, one right after the other, so the audience wouldn’t wander off. 🙂

    As for me, as we’ve been discussing on my blog, I figured out how to discard 1/4 of my planned book, so I’m feeling pretty good about that. And, as usual, the idea of seeing it printed on paper has focused my attention. I just went through the first story, which has been “finished” for a while, and so far I’ve marked over 30 things to fix. Punctuation, word choice, etc.


    • That’s an interesting way to approach things. I think that would especially work well if the subject matter requires an immediate sense of urgency. I actually broke up a lot of my longer chapters when I started editing and included periodic scene breaks at key moments to help some with pacing, so I hope it was worth it.

      1/4 of a book sounds like a lot! I know I can’t really do line edits (despite my plans) until all the structural and continuity errors are all sorted out first. Changing stuff like that always leaves room for new grammatical errors.


  5. Discarding 1/4 of the book was only possible because it’s a novel but it’s also a series of mystery stories, so they’re more interconnected than story collections usually are, but not as much as chapters in most novels. More modular. 🙂

    Oh, I agree with not doing line edits until the end. I’m just starting that on my new book, and that’s because the writing part is basically done except for a few short scenes.

    I pace as I do, short chapters at the beginning, because I mostly publish online, which is more like live performance in a club (also more like a TV show) in that you have to hook the audience or they’ll wander away. A print novel is more like a movie (or a concert), the audience has already committed themselves to some extent. I talk about serial publication on my blog this week. It does have its particular challenges.


Comments are closed.