So, about finishing the outline for Still They Watch by the end of the weekend… I finished last night, for a total of 10,500 words. For the outline. I wrote almost 4k words of outline yesterday. My brain was like a wrung-out sponge by the end, but it was wonderful. I’m not sure if it’s all there, or if it may need some tweaks, but that’s all right. I have plenty of time, over a month, and even then, the story often finds its own way, deviating a bit from parts of the outline. I don’t view outlines as strict “thou shalt” type of things. It’s there to help me, not handcuff me.
This, of course, means I’m sinking my eyeballs into All Stitched Up now. I did take the last few hours of yesterday off from my own work, for the break among other reasons, but today I’ve been back at it. The mark up on the first chapter is done, and I’ll get into entering those changes when I’m done this post. The changes will probably take me the rest of the day. It’s definitely going to need some work, but I expected that, partly because of how fast I write, and partly because it’s the first round of edits. It’s automatic really. I’ve already slapped it with one of my biting, sarcastic remarks to myself, the kind I’d never ever put on anyone else’s work. Why do I do it to myself? To learn to take it, partly, and also because it’s usually deserved. Trust me on that. There’s a reason no one EVER sees my first draft. In fact, on average, it’s 3 rounds of edits before anyone other than me gets a peek at it.
What else am I up to? Editing my friend’s manuscript, for one thing. And it’s good. I’ve been going at it a chapter a day, partly so I’ll be able to get to my stuff, and partly so I don’t go racing ahead and just read, instead of giving comments and feedback. It’s a struggle though. I’ve caught myself a few times just carrying on into the next chapter and have to force myself to stop. My eyes just keep going down the screen, devouring it. That reminds me, I should leave some more brownies and wine by the couch she’s hiding under. 🙂
In addition, Reah clearly knows it’s almost her turn, because she’s doing what Devan did when I was about to write The Nine. Things are starting to unlock, big time. I wrote what I think is the start of the first chapter last night. Honest, I wasn’t trying to, but apparently that really needed out of my brain. It’s now safely recorded in my notes. I haven’t read back over it (yet), but it felt really good last night. She and Viz and Kyrosh are coming into focus now and I’m eager to get down to serious work on it, even though I won’t be doing too much of that until about December. It’s shocking how close that is though.
And, while that’s happening, Jacari and Saul apparently don’t want to be forgotten, as both won’t stop whispering to me. Several more notes have been made for each of those stories, some of which are a little mind-blowing. I may have to rein Saul in a bit though, with some of the places he’s trying to lead me. I’m not sure I want to go there. I try to be careful when I’m playing with an existing religion, while he apparently doesn’t care if something he demands is more than a little, um, blasphemous. I’m not going there, no matter HOW insistent he gets. Maybe I’ll find a way to entirely fictionalize it. That one’s trying to be urban fantasy, and I prefer to make up my worlds from scratch. We’ll have to see. He’s going to have to wait for a while anyway, as there are about 4 other projects on the books before he gets a crack at this author. Seriously, I need more time. And the ability to do without sleep. That would also be helpful. If you have the secret of doing either or both of those without losing your mind, please leave it in the comments section and I swear, you will have my eternal gratitude.