The Moving Target
I’ve been making steady progress the last couple days on editing, but it doesn’t feel like it. That’s probably because I’m actually editing two things at once. I never do that. I hate doing that and it wasn’t supposed to be like that, but one of them needed a bit more work than I expected. Oh well. I’ll make it through and try to remember in future that I only start a second editing piece if it’s someone else’s. The only way editing two manuscripts at once works for me, to be honest.
Of course, the editing isn’t all I’ve been doing, as you know. There’s been progress on the outline of What Lies Beneath as well. I’m taking it slow for now, feeling out what’s going on and where the plot’s going. I know where the story has to end, and some of what happens in between. I’ve decided that I’m going to just see what comes as I outline within the bounds of what I know has to happen. So far, this is having some interesting results. I just found a sub-plot I hadn’t expected, though I’m not sure where it’s going to lead and how it’s going to tie back to the main plot. I’m also discovering twists in the plots I already had that are making things interesting.
I suppose this is the other reason I want to take this outline, the building of this world and story, slowly. I can feel so much potential in it. Spire of Time may not be coming together as quickly or vividly as Necromantic did, but every project has been a bit different so far, and I don’t expect this one to be any different. It will develop in its own way, at its own pace. Nothing good will come of trying to force it anyway. I want to let it mature, to be ready in its own time.
Taking my time with this one is reminding me of something important. I think I’d forgotten how much time I’d spent listening to the whispers from and making notes on Necromantic. Devan introduced himself in January of last year, but I didn’t begin to outline it until late April, and didn’t write the first book until June. That was a lot of thinking and planning time, a lot of listening to the story share its secrets. I had several pages of notes before I started outlining too.
I don’t have that much for notes this time, if I discount what I’ve junked because that version of the story didn’t work. I’ve got maybe a quarter of what I had before, perhaps less. I’m not going to worry about that though. Instead, I’m going to continue on with what’s slowly working for me this time, with this story. That’s really one of the keys for me, to be flexible enough to adapt to what’s needed by each story. Some need a lot of planning, some just come out more or less on their own. What’s important is to not force it into any particular mold.
Of course, I also have to remember not to rush things, which is actually more of a danger with me than trying to shove a story into a shape it doesn’t belong in. I’m still working on that patience thing. I want to take the proper time for WLB. I don’t want to make the mistake of trying to force it to be ready for, oh say, April just because that’s the first Camp NaNo of the year. NaNo is a great thing, especially for people trying to take that amazing, difficult step of finishing a manuscript for the first time. It’s also good for anyone needing a little extra motivation. I’m certainly never going to turn my back on it, but I’ve proven to myself that I can do these things for myself just fine at this point.
I’ll miss NaNo if I’m not ready for it next month, but the cost of pushing this story before it’s ready is too high. Besides, it might be a good lesson in patience for me, to resist the urge to rush ahead for once. I spent all of last year in fast forward. I think it’s time for me to learn to take my time, however much is required to do something right, rather than right now. An interesting idea, don’t you think, me with patience?