Every Direction At Once

I can, with gratitude and delight, report that one of my chief sources of stress and angst this week has been relieved.  This is good because I think it was getting in the way of writing.  Stupid day job. :p That said, good news is a heck of a way to start your weekend.

I should say that, despite all that, I haven’t done too badly, especially as I’m near the end of Possession and trying very hard to sculpt a good ending that sets up the beginning of The Nine. It’s been a wild ride, and I wish I was on vacation to write the end as I was for the end of the first one, but sadly, I don’t have another vacation planned until May.  Oh well. It means I’m having to take this one in manageable chunks, instead of the 6 and 7k days I did to finish DM’s second draft.  I’m still making pace every night, but not much more. That said, I’m fairly happy with the progress, happier with the quality and watching the word count add up. Possession is up to 79,628 words right now, before I start writing for the night.  I think I have 10k or less to go, but we all know I’m a terrible judge of that.  It does mean that, from what I see in my outline and the weather for the weekend (dismal), I may actually finish the first draft of Possession this weekend, way ahead of schedule.

Of course this means that I need to turn to The Nine, which has remained a bit of a mystery.  I know where it begins, I have a vague idea of some of the things that have to happen in it, but I’m not sure if I’m ready to start outlining, and leaning toward I’m not ready for that yet.  I haven’t been thinking about it as much so far, as I’ve been wrapped up in the first two.  I will say that I’m feeling a bit of pressure about it because it’s the close of the trilogy, and I know the kind of expectation that rides on that sort of thing.  But I think I’m up to it, and besides, I’ve already told myself that I’m just going to write the story that comes and worry about the rest later.  I’ll have Possession edited fairly thoroughly I suspect before I set down to write The Nine, perhaps even before I fully outline The Nine.  That was pretty much how the process worked when I was turning to Possession, and it seems to have worked, so I’ll just go with it.

I’m finding that, in thinking about The Nine, I’m experiencing an incredible ambivalence.  On one hand, it’ll be a major accomplishment for me, a person who had never even finished a single draft of a novel until last December, to have written an entire trilogy.  To me, that’s major.  But then I feel like I don’t want to say goodbye to any of the characters. If it was anyone else’s book, I’d say that I’ll come back and read it again, that the end of even the series is never really goodbye, but I have this feeling I’ll be too busy writing another book, reading some of my own favourite authors on the side, to come back and reread my own books.  Also, as I progress as a writer, I suspect I may look back and feel guilty about just how much better I’d be able to write this by then.  So I fear that the end of the trilogy, and certainly after the stand alone, will be a true goodbye for me with these characters, and it makes me a little sad.  I’m going to miss them so much.

On a less sappy and melodramatic note, I do find it funny that, just when I was getting ready to tap on the idea fountain and see if it still functioned (it had been few days), out pops a couple more ideas, plus some detritus that goes with stuff I already had notes on.  I’m still a little up in the air about what I want to work on when I finish the trilogy.  Part of me says that I should do the stand alone that goes with the short story, but that’s not remotely ready (and not likely to become so until I at least have the outline of The Nine done, since it’s chronologically after that book), and the rest of me looks at Devan, Helix and Sketh, all looking like they want to pounce on me given half a chance.  It’s still too early to decide though.  I imagine it will become clear before I reach that point. It often seems to work that way for me.

Oh, I should add that the test readers have now finished with DM and the initial feedback has been quite encouraging.  I’m waiting for full feedback (rather than initial reactions) though before I start breathing again.  Wow, I think I’m starting to see spots… Is that a bad sign? In any case, depending on what that feedback comes in as, I know that I’m getting close to that point at which I have to decide, epub it myself or go with traditional publishing.  And I’m still not sure. It’s like trying to think inside of a windstorm, really.  Every time I think I have it sorted out and decided, I read something else that makes me start thinking about it again and it all gusts up on me.  I swear, whatever I decide, it will likely be more thoroughly thought out than the book itself!

And for today’s picture, here we are.  I had actually pulled two out last time and this is the other one I grabbed.

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About Julie

I'm a writer and photographer. I always have something with me to take notes for ideas or writing projects I'm thinking about or have on the go. I also like to go around with my camera and take pictures of anything that strikes me as beautiful or evocative. I'm perpetually working on one story or another, while waiting for enough distance to judge the last one (or more). I'm always working on several projects at once, developing the next book, even as I'm editing the last. Beyond that, there's always plenty of scraps and twists of ideas rolling around in my head, eventually turning themselves into full blown stories.
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8 Responses to Every Direction At Once

  1. 4amWriter says:

    Hey Julie,

    Good job in your progress. I know what you mean about dreading the final book in your series. I have a sequel in the works for my novel that I’m querying. I haven’t started it because I want to see about the marketability of my first one. The other reason I haven’t begun writing it is that it makes me sad to think that this will be the end of my journey with these characters. And these are the characters that revived my writing in the first place.

    It’s hard when we get so attached to the worlds we create, because leaving them is like a quiet death. My one solace in this is that I have other story ideas, so I don’t fear that I’m a one-hit wonder, haha.

    I guess for writers like us we will be able to write those final books when the time comes, and figure out the emotional stuff somehow.

    Good luck!

    • Julie says:

      You know, you made me realize I don’t even care if the trilogy isn’t marketable? I know I have to write it because I have to finish the story, even if it’s only for myself. Perhaps that will help me get through the emotional part, concentrating on the need to tell the whole story, though I’m still figuring out what the last part is.

      I totally understand about the characters being ones that revived your writing. That’s what these characters are to me, and they feel deeper than any of my past characters (definitely a point of growth for me).

  2. Pete Denton says:

    I think a lot of writers share your dilemma about traditional publishing v epub route. The traditional route seems a lot more work, but probably more kudos attached to achieving it. Ultimately if people enjoy your book others will read it. Best of luck deciding and we’ll enjoy the journey with you. 🙂

    • Julie says:

      To be honest, from my own research, I think it’s just different work. Remember, self-publishing doesn’t come with a marketing department. You’re it. Also, no art department for covers, no editing department, and no one to point out to you before the book goes out if it’s not as good or as ready as you think. You’re probably right about more kudos, but I think that has to do with people still figuring out how to view this new arena. I have some hopes that it will change with time.

      • Pete Denton says:

        True, I think I meant more fruitless work. Sending your query letter and three chapters to loads of agents and indie publishers without getting anywhere for all your troubles. The work involved in designing the cover, publicity and formatting, editing, paying for someone else to edit whilst hard work it’s part of the process so (hopefully) more enjoyable.

        In the long run I think either route you have to do more work than a published author would have done previously. It seems that even the big publishers want the author to do more of their own work in arranging radio interviews, readings, signings than they used to.

        Either way, it’s exciting to get closer to that stage. 🙂

        • Julie says:

          I think that trend is part of what’s making me seriously consider self-publishing, to be honest. Why should I do more work for what ends up being less money, and they get to keep a percentage forever? Hard for me to justify that, really.

  3. quix689 says:

    The more I read online, the more I’m starting to think that self-publishing might be the better route. However, I still think that I’m going to try traditional publishing first. If no one wants to publish it, I’ll publish it myself. Besides, it’s not like you have to accept the deal if you get one, so it can’t hurt to see if you can get a publishing deal.

    That’s just my opinion, of course. You have to do what you feel is best for your work.

    On a related note, if you need a copy editor, I’m here. 😀

    • Julie says:

      I have mixed feelings about the idea of self-publishing as a fall-back option. I mean, it requires a fair bit of honest self-judgment to decide for yourself if your work is ready to publish, but on the other hand, I really don’t like the way the industry treats writers, and I don’t know that I want to let anyone treat me that way.

      But you’re right, everyone has to make their own decision on the subject, because they’re the one living with the consequences of that decision.

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