Tag Archive: Necromantic


My Version of a Vacation

So, after getting up and having coffee, I sat down at my computer and did it again.  Yup, the first draft of Possession is now done, in the books, archived, backed up and set for editing.  Not that I’m going to dive into that today, or even tomorrow.  I’m going to try to leave this for a week, maybe two, depending on what I have to do that might keep me occupied and how long my supply of LifeintheFarceLane’s patience as well as my own self-control hold out.  I don’t think I’ll make it that far, from past experience, but I’m going to try.

The manuscript weighs in at 82,682 words, 338 pages of manuscript format.  It’s close to the size of the first book, but this is only the first draft. If the last one is any indication, I tend to underwrite and add about 10% in editing, so this may end up in the 90k+ range when I’m done tuning it.  I am not entirely happy with the ending (thus the struggles of the last couple days), so I know that will be rewritten eventually, and almost certainly end up longer. That is exactly what happened with the ending of DM in the second draft, so it doesn’t surprise me.  I’m still new at endings, and apparently it takes me a couple tries to get them right.  I wonder how long I can get away with that excuse.  How many does it take to become experienced at them? 5? 6? Gulp, 20? I’ll have to let you know when I get there. 😀  I will say that my overall level of satisfaction with this draft is good, at least, and I don’t foresee the need to toss the draft and rewrite it all like I did with DM.  But then, I made an error in something completely fundamental to the world in the first draft of that book, which is why it had to be entirely rewritten, and those kinds of things are supposed to be worked out before you get to book 2 ideally.

I am going to give myself the rest of the day off from writing, except in the case of spontaneous surprise attacks by ideas.  I always brake for those, because they’re worse than hitting full-grown deer.  They always total the writer’s brain when you ignore them.  One way or another, they get their own back on you, even if it’s that perpetual feeling of having had something great only to find it slipped through your fingers. I’m actually going to try to take a few days off, given how hard I’ve been pushing myself for about four months now, but we all know my ability to walk away from writing even temporarily is nearly non-existent.  I think some reading, maybe some gaming (which I haven’t done in a couple of weeks), is in order.  I’d go out and get myself something special for dinner tonight to celebrate, but the wind outside is making an attempt to blow my apartment building over, and the buzzer for my apartment doesn’t work, so delivery is out as an option.  Damn. Maybe tomorrow I’ll treat myself to lunch out at my favourite fancy burger joint.

Devan’s been back around last night and this morning, whispering. A lot.  I swear, he knows when The End is coming on whatever project I’m working on and pounces.  I wonder if that’s a necromancer thing.  But in any case, he’s making noise again, whispering more secrets, surprising me even further, even though I pointed out to him that I still have to write The Nine at least before it’s his turn. He needs his own supply of patience.  That said, I’m looking forward to it being his turn.  I was rereading my notes for Necromantic and I forgot how much I like (love) him, and the story shaping up around him.

I think that’s all there is to report. I hadn’t actually expected to be making this post until tomorrow, but somehow I thought I had more ending to write than it turned out.  Maybe that’s part of why I’m not happy with the ending, the feeling that it’s missing something.  Oh well, that’s something I can mull while I’m NOT editing that beast, and then work out when it’s time to tackle the task.  In the meantime, I’m off to give my brain a much needed, deserved break.  I will say, though, the thrill of writing The End still hasn’t gotten old, even though I’ve done it 3 times now in fairly rapid succession. I doubt it ever will, though.

I’ll probably take the opportunity tomorrow to catch up on a couple of other posts that I need to take care of, but have been too busy writing to get to. I have 2 awards and a tag to deal with.  It all piles up when you’re busy banging away at the keyboard for other things.

Before I forget, let me leave you with another picture. I think I may do up a page for these, collect them into a gallery of past ones, maybe.  It’s getting harder to remember which ones I’ve posted already. I’m going to need to figure out a system of some kind.

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Down The Rabbit Hole

Okay, I know, I should be posting more often. But most of you will probably realize what my lack of posting indicates. Things are going well.  Very well.  Insanely well. As in I’m having trouble crawling out of the book for anything other than work.  I think I dream Possession, even.  It’s getting out of hand, really.

I think my writing muscles (the parts of the brain I use for it at least) are getting stronger as I go.  I remember when I’d feel fried after writing 2.5k in a night, and 3k+ resulted in Facebook status updates like “Click, click. Ow brain. Click clack. Ow brain.” (Yes, I really did that one day).  I now seem to write about 4k a night with little or no pain.  Part of it is that I’m grooving in on Possession, part of it is that it’s a good story, but I think a lot of it is practice and my process working out well for me, and that’s a nice feeling.  I remember a time when I thought I’d never find a process that worked and was destined to be stuck with ideas I couldn’t turn into stories despite a burning need to do so.  I feel fairly hopeful that the rest of the equation of me becoming a published author might actually fall into place.  Who knows, something crazy might happen, like people actually wanting to buy my books and read them!

So, specifics, as I’m sure you’re all dying to know them. Chapters 6, 7 and 8 are now complete. After my last post, I sat down and wrote 4,052 words, which was good. Last night, it got even better with 4,664 words (I’d been looking forward to writing one of those scenes ever since I stuck it in the outline) and tonight I’ve put up 4,549 words.  This leads to a grand total of 33,242 words.  Wow, already? Trust me, even though I’ve been watching both my daily totals and the overall climb, I’m still a little shocked to see how fast this is going up. That said, there’s still a ways to go.  I’ve got a couple of really challenging, important sections coming up. At least I’m writing them on the weekend, when I have all day to work with them, and no, that wasn’t planned.

And I want to say that, despite the speed, it’s in good shape.  I’m sure I’ll need to do some tweaking, but I don’t anticipate needing to rewrite this in a significant way (unlike the first draft of DM). I know one scene that I will want to focus and tighten, but otherwise, I’ve been quite pleased with the bits and pieces I’ve read while searching for a specific detail here and there (or just indulging myself and rereading because I liked it). I spend some time hanging around the NaNoWriMo forums, and I often read people talking about how they have this problem or that problem with their novel and directly relating their specific problem(s) to only taking a month to write it, but I think that with preparation, a month is plenty of time for a first draft that is reasonably tight for that stage of writing. But you have to go in having spent some serious time thinking about what you want to do with it and how it needs to go.  I’m not saying you have to outline (though I now have plenty of proof that I don’t function well as a writer without one), but you need to know your characters and have a general idea at least before you start that month-long writing-fest.  That preparation really can be as simple as time spent thinking about it, maybe making notes. You don’t have to read this blog for very long to figure out that I am a big believer in the idea that every writer is different, that we all need to find the process, stories, techniques and voice that works for us specifically. But if you don’t spend any time thinking about what’s going to go on in your novel and who it’ll go on with, why would you be surprised that your characters lack depth, or that your scenes feel flat?  I’ve said before that lack of sufficient planning and preparation was a big part of why the first draft of Dark Mirror didn’t get edited at all, simply went into archive while I started over again with a fresh outline.  I had some of those same problems. The key is to learn what causes your problems (and this point goes well beyond writing, into the arena of general rules for life) and figure out how to avoid making the same mistakes in future works.

Okay, I’m done preaching about how to write, really.  I generally hate doing it, but sometimes I see people say the same things over and over again and it irks me when they don’t learn from it.  Irkage usually causes me to say something. I once started a thread on my favourite writing forum that got bumped for months afterward just because someone did something I’d seen several times before, but they did it big enough to irk me a lot.  It was quite amusing to me, actually.  Come to think of it, it still is. I should go find that thread sometime.

In other news, Sketh showed up today and explained something to me.  Great, another character/story idea screaming for my attention. Because Devan isn’t trying hard enough to distract me from Possession and The Nine, I guess. So I’m still making notes on those and generally letting them stew in the back of my mind while I spend several hours a day with Fay and Tavis.  Why is all of this work not tiring me out at all? I don’t understand it, but I will say that I’m loving it.  The daily feeling of accomplishment I get from all of these things is wonderful, and seems to fuel continuing to do all of these things.  Maybe it’s some version of perpetual motion for this writer?  I don’t know, but I am going to savour every moment of it I get.

And, of course, last but not least, tonight’s picture. This is one of my more recent ones, taken on a trail near a town called Deep Cove here in BC.  I love the way the shapes and shadows play together in this one.

No, I’m not dead yet.  I didn’t forget to eat one too many times, really.  I promise.  Heck, I’ve been trying to be good that way. I should have posted yesterday, and I meant to, but I was busy writing, and was doing so until very late the last two nights.  How late? The eyes were closed most of the last couple of pages.  What do you call that, sleep-writing?  I wonder if that’s good for you…

All of that said, of course it must be obvious that the first draft of Possession continues to go well, both in quantity and quality.  I feel about it so far as I did the second draft of Dark Mirror, in that I don’t feel so far that major changes will be required when I’m done, though of course there will be editing and it’s too early to really be sure of this.  In some ways, I think this one is better, somewhat more complex and the characters are more real in their relationships with others.  I’m also getting to explore a few things I couldn’t in DM because they weren’t there yet for the characters, though they were part of the world. Again, like doing the second draft of DM, I can feel some of the growth I’ve undergone as a writer working its way into the book.  I also feel like I have a better handle on this story and on my world now, and I don’t think it’s just because this is now the second book I’ve written in this world, or that it’s in some ways a continuation of the previous story.  Possession is definitely a story unto itself, though one that is easier to understand I suspect if you’ve read DM.  I think both things are more a result of spending most of a month thinking about and outlining it, in and around dealing with DM and the short story.  I’m also very happy to have Tavis back as a POV character.  I missed him. 🙂

So, exactly how well are things going, quantity-wise? Chapters 4 and 5 are in the bag now, Chapter 6 to be worked on tonight. Monday I wrote a personal best for this round of writing (early days, I know), 4,667 words, and another 3,899 were written last night.  Tonight? We shall see. This of course, brings me close enough to a fairly major milestone that I’m going to round 19,977 words up and say I’ve hit that mystical 20k mark.  In 5 days.  That’s awesome, and the brain doesn’t hurt (yet) which is even better. I’ve still got a long way to go, and some major, painful scenes to write though.  How long will this be in the end?  You’re guess is as good as mine (possibly better, given how wrong I was last time), so I’ve decided to only say that it will be as long as it takes to tell the story.  That’s still my favourite yardstick for how long the story is/should be.

And, of course, through all this, Devan still won’t leave me alone.  I’d be irritated with his attempts to distract me from Possession, but I’m too busy being startled and delighted by some of the places he takes me.  I’m deeply looking forward to writing that one in its time, and refusing to let myself even think about whether I’m good enough to write it well.  I think I might be, but I’m going to try to learn not to worry about that and just write anyway.  Besides, I still have The Nine to write before I can work on Necromantic.  Speaking of The Nine, I’m feeling a bit of flow in the ideas for that, which is good.  I know a lot of ideas for Possession got kicked loose as I was working on the second draft of DM, so this is probably a good sign that I’ll be in a good place to get down to work on The Nine once I’m done the draft of Possession.

What, me slow down? I might stall if I did that. Certainly I’d be utterly lost with all that time on my hands.

And, of course, before I go for the next couple of days and the night’s explosion of words, the picture of the day.  This one is one of my favourites of all my shots, which might explain why it’s one of those printed and framed on the wall.

Getting My Groove On

I know I just posted yesterday, but we all know (or are about to learn) that I like to do a weekend recap when I’m doing a NaNo, so here it is for this weekend.

I’m off to a good start so far on Possession.  No really mind-blowing days, but that’s okay, because it’s only day 3 and I’d like to still have a functional mind over the next however long to write the rest of the novel with.  So far this is shaping up to be a better first draft than the actual first draft of Dark Mirror, and that’s an encouraging sign.  I’ve learned a lot since then and I can feel that, with the questions I’m asking myself while I write and the way it’s unfolding.  Yesterday, after writing the post for here, I did 3,323 words, which was all of Chapter 2, and today I’ve managed to get Chapter 3 written, all 4,567 words of it (it’s a long one).  This gives me a total so far of 11,411 words for the book, which is entirely respectable for 3 days of writing.

I’ve had to refer back to my most recent draft of Dark Mirror a couple of times in the last two days, to make certain of specific detail (i.e. did Fay tell Tavis something explicitly or not) but that’s okay, because it doesn’t seem to be slowing me down.  I think part of the reason I’m not doing more of that is that I’ve spent a lot of time in January editing DM, with two separate passes, and I did plenty of checking or notes while I was doing the outline for Possession, and that helps too.  It hasn’t disrupted the rhythm I’m starting to get back into from my last NaNo, when I was doing the second draft of DM. It’s actually quite nice to find myself falling back into that groove so easily.  I’d kind of wondered how hard it would be to get back into the daily writing routine after a month away, and am glad it hasn’t been hard at all.  This coming week will be more of an acid test, with the whole routine of work, come home, write starting again, but I think I’m up to it.  It’s not as if I haven’t been doing some version of it through January.  It was just more of an edit or outline version of it, rather than actual writing (except for the day of the short story, of course), that’s all. I’d like to mention that I’m not the only one getting back into the groove.  Jay, one of my two cats, is already helping me write more by sleeping on my legs, just like last time.  He’s too cute to move when he does that, so I figure I might as well just keep writing since I’m pinned in front of the netbook. *shrugs*

In addition to all of this (No, I don’t ever slow down.  It’s so  I don’t have time to realize how much I’m doing), I’ve been continuing to make notes on Necromantic.  It’s unfolding beautifully, and I think my subconscious may totally be on Devan’s side when it comes to being impatient for me to start writing this one.  That said, I’ve paid the price of starting too early a number of times (dead, unfinished novels that started out as good but under-developed ideas) to want to risk it with this one.  It’ll be a bit demanding on me when I do go to write it, but I think I’ll be experienced enough by then that I can do it, if I make sure I do enough prep work. I’m not sure how much longer it will be before I open an Outliner file for this one, but I doubt it will be that long.  I give it another week, maybe, at the rate it’s been going.

And, before I toddle off for the night to rest my weary brain, today’s picture:

Everything Is Cyclical

I had planned to post about this last night, but I didn’t for a couple of reasons.  I had an award post I needed to make.  I hate letting those wait for more than a few days (that’s a personal thing), but it was the first night I had a chance to get to it that I wasn’t tired or busy with the million writer things that always seem to come up in my life, not to mention everything non-writing.  In fact, I probably would have done it Thursday night, but I was otherwise distracted, which I will get to later in this post.  I’ve alluded to it in a couple of comments, but now I get to state it right out.

First, though, an announcement.  It has begun, again.  That’s right, 30 days of writing, my own unofficial NaNo in February.  I was originally planning on waiting until February 15th to start Possession because, well, it’s a nice round date and I’d already missed February 1st, but then we all know I’m not patient enough to wait almost two weeks, not with the outline done.  Besides, it just kind of felt right.  That was the major reason really.  The honest truth is that I’ve been feeling a little trepidatious about starting Possession, in spite of my enthusiasm and how happy I was with the outline on rereading it.  I think some of it is that it’s the second book.  There’s a lot more pressure in many ways.  Dark Mirror was easy, in that everything was possible, it was all free.  With Possession, I am no longer writing in a void.  I have a previous work to reference, existing characters that I cannot reshape on a whim.  I also have another book coming along after it that I am very conscious of needing to set up as I write this one.  Yes, there was some of that part at least while writing the second draft of DM, but that was in isolation from the rest of these issues.  Finally, I feel like I need to raise the stakes a bit in this book, and also to up my game as a writer.  So much going on regarding the book in the back of my mind that it’s been hard to push myself past all of that and sit down to start banging away at the keyboard.

Last night, I went with it though, putting all that aside.  I set my goal, which is the same 75,000 words in 30 days as I set when I was doing the second draft of DM, to be finished by March 3rd this time, and got on it with good results.  It took me until almost 8:30 pm to get my butt down in front of the netbook, and at first I had some trouble slipping in, for all of the above reasons and just a general feeling of expectation of quality I remember from before doing my first NaNo.  I had a long talk with myself, mostly reminding myself how leaving that expectation behind has worked out for me so well lately, and finally got myself grooved in.  For those of you who might not remember, weren’t here last time or have forgotten, 75k in 30 days works out to a daily pace of 2500 words per day.  I did my usual, checking every few hundred words (Am I there yet?) until I hit 2500, and then I kept going.  Longer time readers will recognize this pattern and are probably having a good giggle, knowing generally what happened.  I did 3521 last night, which was awesome, and a fabulous note to start this NaNo on.  Only took me about 3 hours too, which is good, because my eyes were trying to close by that point, so I had to type the last several paragraphs with them closed.  Thankfully, that allowed me to really visualize what I was trying to write, and also, I’m a relatively skilled touch-typist so it didn’t even slow me down.  So, the first chapter is in the bag, and what I remember of it makes me happy so far.  Early, I know, long road ahead, but at least I’ve started on the right foot.  My tracking spreadsheet is open on my iMac to taunt me into sitting down and staying there, and I’m starting to mull what the playlist for this book is going to be, based on themes and feelings I’m trying to achieve.  Yes, there was one for DM and I still have it as I was using during editing.  There will, of course, be regular posting on the progress of this NaNo, as in the past, probably every 2-3 days, or as often as I have something to say about it, whichever comes first.

Now that that’s taken care of, on to the hinted at and alluded to item for this post.  Another story idea pretty much exploded my brain Thursday night.  Devan decided to introduce himself with a truly intoxicating image.  Him, sitting in a tree, staring up at the moon, surrounded by spirits, a little bit melancholy.  I won’t tell you too much about him, partly because I’m still getting to know him and partly because it’s WAY too early for that, but I will tell you that he’s a necromancer, and before you say “Ick, he plays with dead people,” he mostly talks to spirits these days, for reasons I can’t get into because they’re related to the story.  The project, which shall be known as Necromantic and has already been added to the Project Status page, has had my brain frantic since that image showed up, and I’m thoroughly enamoured of both the story that’s unfolding in my head and, well, Devan.  It will be some time before I can write this one, but at this rate, it’s going to be hard to keep focused on the Mirrors Trilogy and finish that first, especially since I was so inspired by the idea on Thursday that I’ve already written the first two pages of the book.  I don’t think Devan’s the patient type… I am also getting the feeling that this is a big story, so we probably aren’t talking a single book here, but that will become clearer as I work my way up to and through the process of outlining this one.  That may happen sooner rather than later, as you’d be amazed the quantity of notes I already have and the way this story is exploding.  I’m amazed, that’s for sure.

The funny thing is that Thursday was a good night all around.  We had the most spectacular sunset that day, and so I couldn’t decide whether to grab my camera or my iPad.  Fortunately I did some of each, and today’s picture one of about a dozen I took.

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