I’ve been working for the last few days on The Nine, just working out what the major events are, the threads I need to juggled and keep track of, which has resulted in the title of this post. I’ve got a lot going on here 😮
This is not a new thing for me, I should mention, writing down the major events. I did this when I was figuring out how I needed to rewrite DM, and I did it to some extent with Possession, but I know I have a lot to deal with in wrapping the trilogy, and that’s making me do this part in a more serious fashion. I’ve actually pulled out index cards so I can make notes on each of the threads. Every thread has it’s own card. There are several (I’m not going to count, I’m not going to go count them, I’ll only scare myself). I’m slowly figuring out how to tie it all together, the places where the threads meet, knot with each other and then go back on their separate paths, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little uncertain about pulling this off. It’s going to push me as a writer, but I see that as a good thing. The only way to grow in skill and maturity is to push yourself further, to make yourself try to stretch for that greater achievement. Damn, though, it’s scary.
I’m still letting myself have a bunch of downtime, of course, so I can recharge. Notes and outline stages seem to be like that for me though. I’ll make a few notes, go do something else, come back to it. Outline a couple things, then do something else. It’s just writing draft that I pound myself (and keyboard) into the ground on, and even that’s only on first draft. That’s mostly about that internal editor, the same one who makes me wonder if I can pull this off. Mine’s semi-trained in a professional sense, since I once wanted to do that for a living, which seems to have sharpened her teeth and claws. The only way I can get a book done, I’ve found, is to write at warp speed, which is what leads me to do all of this planning, of course. I can only write that fast if I’ve already spent a lot of time thinking about what needs to go where. It’s when I haven’t done that that I end up slowing down and getting caught by a combination of exhaustion and inner-editor. It’s really a one-two punch, which is part of what happened at the end of Possession. I didn’t spend enough time thinking about how I would handle the ending. I knew what the ending was, the things it had to be, but not how I would approach it or pull it off. With so much at stake in The Nine, I have no intention of doing that again, leaving the state in which I crossed the finish line last time totally aside.
I have no idea when I’ll start writing this one, and I’m not going to speculate, as I don’t want to feel I have to rush to it. It won’t be until I’m ready, until I know where I’m going and how. I need to check something in both books that I’ve already written before I can get too far into outlining, but I can’t do that right now. I’m not pulling Possession out of the drawer yet, as it’s not time, not even close, and I know I’ll get caught up in it if I open the file to check for that one thing. At least I know my own weaknesses, I guess.
What I find most funny, to me anyway, is that in spite of how intimidating I’m finding The Nine at the moment, I’m seriously looking forward to writing it. Or maybe it’s because of that intimidation. I love beating down a challenge, standing on it and saying “Yeah, that’s right, I won.”
And now, before I get back to trying to weave threads without tangling them worse than kittens, tonight’s picture, for your enjoyment.