Please don’t think I’m lazy but apologies are due I believe. The unforeseen hiatus in posts was enforced by MS dragging me down. Anyway I am back to the Blogging again. However Time is a tough commodity to manage when living with spasms, stiffness and exhaustion, so no wild promises or resolutions this time.
When I started this Blog at the end of May, the dominant theme became Editing as that was the writing stage I had reached with my first novel. After 12 years plus of working on Spiral of Hooves, I hoped that the end was in sight and only a couple of drafts were required to reach the finishing line.
Was I foolish thinking Editing would be so easy?
Three months on from starting the edit I had reached a quagmire and quit three days ago. Identifying the dire marshes that trapped me is simple – word checking. Was I reading too many posts about finding those ‘weasel words’ that grate and trying to eliminate them? I was spending day after day exterminating adverbs and expunging that/what/had/was or anything that was incorrect. I began to hate the manuscript and believe that it was not good enough. Plus I craved the day when I could move on to a better novel and get out of the Dead Marshes.I abandoned the novel and put it back in the ‘bottom shelf’, deciding to move on and use a better manuscript as my first novel – the one I would use to get an agent. There was a mixture of frustration at my failure to finish Spiral of Hooves and relief at the thought of tackling Wyrm Bait, which already has a sequel hovering in the wings (called Wyrm Blood).
But was I wrong to give up so easily?
In the last few days two things happened that have possibly opened up clearer paths forward in my writing quest. First, my grand-daughter Jessica – step- if I was being pedantic – passed me a link to a US publishing group run by writers: http://www.spectaclepmg.com/. Perhaps they might be another route for a novel that needs a home – after a minor tinker.
Second, I read a repost by a US agent – http://www.rachellegardner.com/2012/08/the-writing-rules/ – that made me realise that I could be following the rules too rigidly and stifling my creation before I had given it a chance. Thanks then to Rachelle Gardner for rekindling my belief in my creative process and putting the Editing in a context – not that I’m throwing out the rules that pulled me away from my worst writing excesses.
I need to learn from this journey through the Pedantry Marshes when I move on to Wyrm Bait and I must choose a more sensible approach. I’ve learnt that writing a first draft isn’t so much of a burden as the Editing and I need to manage Time better. I hope that I can do that and find enough Time to produce the other ideas that are crying out for creation. On the cusp of 59 I wonder how much more writing I can manage before MS steals all the thoughts away.
How much Time does a novel require in your life? Do you juggle or manage?