Switching Gears

(Nope, not a steampunk pun. Promise!)

As has probably been evident by my latest blog posts, I’ve been especially inspired to catalog the swarm of ideas for other books in my series that have been coming to me lately. To be honest, that meant putting editing the first book on the back burner for a bit. However, I really think I needed the distraction at the time. I had a lot of words left to sift through (over 100K). New ideas give me a solid reason to push through the rest of my manuscript.

It’s not that I’m not enthused about the words I’ve written; I’ve just been looking at them for a really, really long time. I want to move on.  Though, to do this, I realized I needed to make some big decisions about the future of my series. Now that a lot of those decisions have been made, I feel less vague about where the series is going. (Book V is still something of a blank slate in my mind, despite knowing what key events I’d like to have in it. I’m just not sure how I want to swing the blurb yet. Need to explore more details from the prior books first.)

Lately, I’ve seriously gotten back into the editing of Book I, The Elementalist: Rise of Hara. Each time I read back through my story, I find myself double-checking some assumptions I’ve made about my understanding of certain things it shares with our world. For example, a knife versus a dagger. One of my characters carries one, another the opposite weapon. It’s always been this way in my mind—probably an aesthetic choice, when I first created their characters—but I never really stopped to ask myself “why?” for practical reasons. Naturally, that required some research and deliberation on my part. (In the end, it turned out not to be a big deal. Still, it’s just one of those things you take for granted, I think, without actively realizing it.)

Anyway, I’m looking to get through a few more scenes this morning before I chill with the parents for Easter—which I don’t actually celebrate, but they do, so… In any case, it’s nice to be making progress again.

Challenging, but nice.

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Life Aboard an Airship

zrs-4_landing_h42156
“USS Akron (ZRS-4) approaches the mooring mast, while landing at Sunnyvale, California (USA), 13 May 1932.” Source: By USN [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.
I was researching a technical point in my novel (for verisimilitude’s sake), realizing I was making some assumptions about technology during the 1930s and ’40s that I actually hadn’t researched–like whether or not airships had any hydraulic systems in place (a minor plot point in my WIP).  Anyhow, I came across a comment by a man named “Stu” on an article at airships.net about the Hindenburg, and I thought it was very interesting.  He was responding to another reader’s questions about airship rudders and elevators.

Here’s what he said:Read More »

Back On The Saddle…Sorta

…So to speak.

But First–Some Wicked-Cool Inspiration

‘K, am I the only one wiggin’ out about how completely awesome the new Avatar show has been so far?  The battles are epic, the foes are worthy, and the (element) bending…

In-credible!

The music is also gooooooorgeous.  And epic.  And as much as I love it, I also secretly envy it because it has most of the traits I want my WIP to have.

[Insert Witty Title Here]

When I’m watching & listening to the soundtrack for “The Legend of Korra” (LoK) TV series, I can’t help but think of Element 7.  It shares similar themes with LoK and, now that the show is mostly set in a 1920s/30s Shanghai-kinda city, also a few similar aesthetics here and there.  Seeing this show done so well actually makes me feel bad about neglecting my own work–because ultimately I want to see it also at its absolute best and for others to see it, too.

I want it to be epic, I want it to be lovely and, most of all, I want it to be darn good.

Not that it means it’ll sell to traditional publishers even if it were all of these things…but it’s what I’ve always aspired to.  And sometimes that can be overwhelming.

Back On The Saddle…Sorta

After the Accident, I wasn’t doing any editing for about two weeks.  Though, over the past few days I have been able to get something done, so I guess it’s a start.  I need to do it every day, though, to get it done this summer (before my birthday in mid-August would be nice).  Recently I came up against another tricky scene in which I was unsure how to describe certain technology being used, so I had to go back and do some research–which slows things down.

You see, sometimes I seriously wonder how I’ll pull off certain scenes, lol.  I get like, “AH! OMG, too hard!” *runs-n-hides* I hadn’t run into a scene like that for a while…  Anyway, I think I’ve smoothed over that hitch now, so hopefully it’ll be easier to find a regular rhythm (and some confidence in what I’m doing) again.

Though actually, when I look back at what I have spiffed up, I’m really happy with about 90-ish percent of it–like giddily happy.  It’s just getting the rest of the manuscript to that point that’s so gosh-darn difficult.

Grrrrr…

A Thought

One good thing I can say about working on a story for this long, though, is that it allows you to think about it over time in many different ways…in layers.  All the dead time in between is an opportunity to see something you wouldn’t have otherwise, to make connections you previously overlooked and weave a tighter, more resonant and cohesive narrative… In other words, it allows you to really flesh things out and explore things deeply.

I’m a pretty meditative, analytical kind of person, so I like being able to do this.  Though, I’m also a bit of a perfectionist–which could end up being my Achilles’ heel if I don’t finish this thing at all.

Anyways…hopefully–if I get my act together, lol–I’ll be able to share this beast-of-a story with my first readers in a couple of months and they’ll understand exactly what I’ve been up to all this time.

*sighs* Yeah…that would be nice.

In the meantime, I’ll stop talking about it, heh.

So What Do You All Think?

Go ahead, be brutal.  After all, I probably don’t know where you live. 😉