Friday morning, I took one of my current works in progress back to 12,000 words. (From 90,000.) I’ve been fighting this thing since that point. I hated to admit that I took a wrong turn so early on, but the story was going in completely the wrong direction.
Never one to quit as long as one foot remains un-shot, I still tried to force it, until Friday morning when I finally admitted I had written myself into a corner.
However, what I accomplished with the 3 months of work I just trashed is this: I have the world solidly built. I have the characters firmly in my head. Much of what was cut will be recycled back into the new version, but it is simply easier to begin at the place where it went awry.
I now know why the story arc was flatlined, AND I don’t need to murder anyone or add a dragon.
It feels like mayhem when it’s happening but it isn’t the end of the world. It’s just a detour.
This sort of thing happens to me all the time, which is why it takes me so long to write a novel.
For the coming year, I have one novel at the proofreading stage, one novel at the “needs two more chapters and then we’re done but first I have to think them up” stage, and two novels are at the beginning stage.
Short stories will continue to flow from my keyboard, although I haven’t had as much luck with selling them lately as I did last year. Some years are better for sales than others. I always think it’s a matter of the story hitting an editor’s inbox at the moment they are craving that sort of tale, so if your timing is off or you have sent it to the wrong magazine, it won’t sell.
Here on Life in the Realm of Fantasy, 2020 will find us delving into the depths of the Word-Pond again, focusing on specific aspects of storytelling. Exploring all the many nuances of writing craft is my hobby. I love it when I learn something new.
And as always, I will continue looking at Art History with my Fine Art Friday posts. I think Friday is my favorite day of the week—I’m a confirmed Rembrandt fangirl. I find inspiration and knowledge in the archives of Wikimedia Commons.
Since this is the final week of the year and we’re all busy going here and there, you probably aren’t into a long-winded blogpost. I leave you with a quote from L. E. Modesitt Jr., one that, in my mind, can be applied to writing and publishing novels:
“Everything takes longer than you’d think … except disaster and failure.” ~~ L.E. Modesitt Jr. “The Mongrel Mage.”
“A quality muffin is just a cupcake without frosting.” ~~Erin Morgenstern, “The Starless Sea.”
2019 was a year blessed with an abundance of quality muffins, so no complaints there. My disasters were few, and each one resulted in a positive change of some sort, so perhaps they weren’t failures.
Perhaps they were opportunities for growth.
Credits and Attributions:
Blueberry Muffin, National Cancer Institute, Renee Comet (photographer) [Public domain]
NCI Visuals Food Muffins, Unknown photographer/artist [Public domain]