Wednesday, May 23, 2012

he’d have to go easy on the drugs

Last Thursday I finished drafting chapter twelve of the work-in-progress, and yesterday I managed to type it all up into the Word(tm) document. The novel is sitting at a bit under 61,000 words now. I have four chapters/20,000 words left to go in this first draft and then, Allah be praised, I can rest. As I told Mighty Reader yesterday, I believe that the story is now properly pointed in the direction of the ending, that all of the architecture is in place to support the climactic scenes, that all of the foreshadows have been cast and I can now just get on with it and hammer out the final quarter of the story. Hopefully it won't take four months. (That's a little joke I have with myself; of course it will take four months.)

I repeat that I have no idea if this book will be worth reading, will have been worth the time spent on it, won't be absolutely inane. All kinds of themes have pushed their way past my good intentions, tangling themselves up with the ideas I originally had. The author has no idea at all what he's really doing, but he continues to do it. Today at lunch, he hopes to craft an outline for Chapter 13. We'll see if that happens. I have no idea why I just referred to myself in the third person. Possibly my mind is coming apart at the seams. I don't discount the possibility.

Go Home, Miss America is my Ulysses novel, I think. There are long swaths of stream-of-consciousness writing, and the voice and narrative techniques change as the book progresses. Hopefully a reader won't find that irritating and I swear that I didn't do it just to be clever. It happened despite me, honest. I will say that all of my novels seem to become more complex, both in terms of form and voice, as they go along. The last third is where I find myself losing all considerations of reading ease and the narratives thicken, or something, and I'm never sure if that's a particularly good idea. But it's what I seem to do. Which is interesting in a way and possibly irritating in other ways. I am rambling now.

My next project is the long-anticipated (by some) historical novel, The Builder's Wife (better title hopefully to come). It will be straightforward, comic, and much easier to write, I hope. A lot of research will be required. I will find that calming.


  1. Maybe The Cyberbuilder's Wife? Or The Builder's Cyberwife? I find that "Cyber" really helps to improve any title.

    Congrats on getting through the chapter, and good luck with the next! I'm also finding that the last third of my stories are more forward driving, and I'm also wondering if that's good or bad. The scenes in The Pagani Project are better in the beginning, but the momentum is great near the end, and whenever I look for places to slow down and build the stage, another part of me resists.

  2. Please don't put "wife" in your title... :/

    I'm excited about Go Home, Miss America! The next four months will go quickly for you, I hope. I'm up to 28k on Curse, and I'm happy with it so far. I'm so impatient. I want to crank out drafts in a few months. I wonder if it's possible, and if it is, if it'll just mean I'm writing crap.

  3. I hit 70k on Earth's End, then realized I was going to have to re-write it eventually so I fired up V2 and went at it. After about 10k words I realized I don't like the MC as written and switched gears, and now Smart Alec is flowing nice and steady. It's good to have a WIP I am really enthusiastic about again.

    I like the premise for Earth's End (God is going to destroy the earth but can't decide how so he comes to earth and hires a consultant). Some day I will finish it.

    I was hesitant to switch because I don't like having multiple unfinished works, but I think I'm on a better track now. At least I hope so

  4. Davin: The Cyberhouse of Seven Gables. Anna Cybernina. Cyberooster. Yes, I see what you mean.

    I think forward momentum is good. I have a habit of interrupting the drive toward the climax with short flashbacky things, but I'm trying to break myself of that habit.

    Michelle: The Builder's Spouse. The Builder's Femme. The Builder's Significant Other. The Builder's Better Half. The Builder's Babe. Yes, lots of possibilities there! Escape from Esterhaza is another contender. Though there's an orchestra at the center of the story, so I think a musical title is called for. Hmmm, maybe Scales?

    I hope Go Home, Miss America is a good book. Keep going on Curse! Even if you crank out a crappy MS in a few months, you can revise. You cannot revise blank pages, you know. We all know that the real writing is in the revisions anyway, right?

    Rick: I'd hate to have multiple first drafts in progress. But all of my completed drafts are works in progress, I realize. Every time I look at one of them I see how I'd like to change it, so I think of everything as provisional. Even the book that'll come out next March is unfinished in my eyes. I'm doing a last round of self-edits before it goes to the publishers for their editorial process, and I keep looking at the MS and thinking, "Why didn't I write this better the first time around? Why didn't I just write a better book? This book is stupid. I should start all over again." Too late for that, but I'm betting that's how I'll feel about every book I ever write. I'm lucky that someone is finally taking it out of my hands.

    "really enthusiastic" is good. At 70k you could be almost done! There's no need to write an epic, you know. 80k is a nice, reasonable length. That's all I ever shoot for. Though my Antarctica book, if I choose to accept that assignment, will likely be closer to 100K. We'll see. Anyway, write write write.

  5. I vote for "Escape from Esterhaza." I see it involving rabbits. -m.

  6. Yes, with a Michael Sowa cover. Rabbits are cool.