And The Rounds Continue
Every time I turn around, there’s something else going on for me in my writing. Some days it reminds me of the way we used to sing in rounds when we were kids, when one person would start and, after a few bars, someone else would start the same song from the beginning, so they would overlap. Often, there were four or more people involved, creating a true tapestry of music and words. That’s my writing, except it’s never the same song. It’s each project spinning, doing it’s thing and I just go around between them, while they create this weaving of words and ideas in my head. And of course, every day there seems to be more of everything, but that’s not a complaint. I’m enjoying the more, the way that things keep coming, while other things progress.
Round the first, as far as this post is concerned, is that I’ve entered another short story in the Writers of the Future contest for the current quarter, Q3. The reaction from my test readers to The Way Out Is Through was so amazing, and after editing I’m moderately happy with it, that I had to throw it in. I mean, what have I got to lose, right? Well, some sleep probably because I’m like that, but otherwise, nothing. It’s electronic submission, so I don’t even have postage to invest, or paper and toner. No, I haven’t heard from them about the previous quarter, as they had an unfortunate and unexpected delay, but they’re working on it and I have some hope of hearing by sometime in the July-August period. But as you can enter each quarter before you know the results of the last, I decided to go for it. It’s a different story from a different world anyway, so really, no overlap. Now to try to keep busy and not have another meltdown at midnight tonight when I get the same email I got at the close of the last quarter. Now that I know it’s coming, I think I can contain myself, and somehow, even knowing the kind of people who will be judging it this time (likely the same people from Q2), I’m not as scared. I’m not sure whether that’s growth as a writer or me sticking my fingers in my ears and screaming “I can’t hear you.” It amounts to the same, so I’m not going to investigate too closely. I might not like the answer anyway.
Also on the More Of Everything front (aka Round the second), I have another plot bunny gnawing on my brain. For those of you not familiar with the term, here is a good definition of this one, particularly as it relates to where I learned it. You may have noticed, I have a rather, um, LARGE farm of these creatures. I can’t keep a good count as they seem to multiply far too quickly for that. Think Tribbles, for the geeks among us. I won’t say that my plot bunnies have nasty sharp pointy teeth, but they can be quite insistent. This one is, in same ways, a slightly special one. Not because the idea is better/worse/special compared to others, but because it’s what I might call a coalescence. You see, sometimes I get a fragment of an idea. It’s nothing on its own, not a story, not even a world, just a little piece of something greater and I don’t have the rest. Yet. This particular plot bunny coalesced out of a couple of those and a three line verse (yes, like poetry, I do that sometimes.) into something that looks rather fascinating. I’d really wondered what those pieces belonged to, and now I know. I’m looking forward to getting to it one day. In the meantime, this plot bunny, who we’ll call Wings in the Mist for lack of a better name at the moment, has been corralled into my Notes application with all her appropriate information. I need more time for my bunnies. I’m worried that they’re plotting to overthrow me and write themselves. Trust me, the result wouldn’t be good. Bunnies can’t write worth beans, but they think they can.
And, of course, as I said before, I’ve been working on editing Ether Flows. Round the Third. I’d done the mark up for the first four chapters but was feeling discouraged. You see, it’s a first draft, and worse, it’s the first draft of the first book in a series. So far, I’m noticing that with those, I tend to focus on what happens and miss a lot of feelings, reactions, etc. I also get some parts that become just wrong by the time I get to the end of the book and everything is developed out. So I’m having to make a lot of notes that are very general in the mark up, which led to the above-mentioned discouraged feeling. I decided to switch gears a bit on Thursday and take those notes from the first four chapters and actually start entering those changes, to give myself a feeling of progress and also remind myself that I can and will shape this into what it wants and needs to be. I did it with Bound and at least this time, I don’t have to throw out the whole draft and start over to do it. And it worked. I’ve gotten the first two chapters done and feel a lot better, more positive this morning. I have to remember not to drive myself so crazy (right, because I’m ever going to back off on how hard I push myself).
Oh, the one almost amusing thing I’ve noticed in the editing I’ve done is that this thing is growing at a somewhat alarming rate. I’m not going for length, and I’m still only putting in stuff that needs to be there, but in editing the first two chapters, I added about 2,200 words. I doubt every chapter will be that bad, but… um, well, wow. I’m starting to think I’ll be around 90k when I finish the edit. Keep in mind that the finished first draft clocked in at almost 78k. No cutting 10% for this writer. I grow them by like 15%. Different styles for different writers, right? Whatever works for me, that’s what I keep telling myself and others.