Of writerly things

by Doc Coleman on May 8, 2013 · 2 comments

in Novels, WIP

They say that brevity is the soul of wit. Well, after last week’s post, perhaps I should try to be witty. Who knows, it might work.

Last week I also promised that I would speak of more writerly things, and that is a promise that I can keep. I have kept with the habit of writing every day and have leveled up to writing 300 words a day. This past week I’ve actually been more likely to write over 500 words a day, which is a little surprising…

My dayjob has been brutally busy of late, and at night I have either had to take Thunder to the vet for another laser treatment (which seem to be working quite well, thank you) or I’ve had to drive my wife to her physical therapy appointments. These things have taken up time that I would usually use for writing.

Now, I should be editing Perils and moving it inexorably towards a state where I can recruit Beta readers and get it into shape for publication. Unfortunately, when I am strapped for time, it is a lot easier to write new fiction that deal with the complexities of editing. And a lot quicker to pound out a new 300 words than it is to edit a few thousand words until you’ve made enough adds to bump the word count up by 300. This brought me back to working on Bright Lands for a while, but that story just isn’t ringing with me right now. I still feel like there are behind the scenes kinks I haven’t worked out. I’m just not feeling it.

So I started a new novel.

YES, stupid me, instead of finishing the two novels I’ve got on the boards, I just had to go and start a new one. ARRRRGH!

This story doesn’t really have a working title yet. It is the tale of “Happy” Harrison, ship’s counselor aboard the starship Seeker, and their desperate mission to bring peace to mankind by finding a new home. After decades of bloody wars, the three major powers of humanity, the Sovereign Union, the League of Humanity, and the Alliance of Nations have embarked upon a joint mission to find new worlds so they no longer have to deal with the pressures of sharing Earth. If this mission is to succeed, Hap must manage to keep the joint crew from going at each other’s throats, for the League is full of bigots who believe that humanity must be kept pure and abominations like the Sovereigns must be destroyed. The Sovereigns are men and women possessed of super-powers that defy the laws of physics, and who believe that the lot of “normal” men is to serve or be crushed. Racial tensions run high aboard ship, even among the crew from the Alliance, where Norms and Metas work together to build a better society. And just when it looks like they might have found a suitable world for colonization, someone, or something, starts killing off crewmen.

Yes, a really cool story. And one that I had planned on saving for NaNoWriMo this year. Instead I’ve started early. It is a different setting, and a very enticing story, so it is very easy to feel drawn to it. It is also a bit of writing unlike anything I’ve ever dealt with before. For one, it involves a much bigger cast of characters, and each one has a very specific part to play in keeping the Seeker going, and in the success of the mission. I’m also aiming a bit bigger at this story, trying to hit 100,000 words for the first draft. And to complicate matters, in addition to the racial tension, the crew has all served in military forces, and they bear the scars of being a part of one of the most horrific wars humanity has ever known.

Now that my wife has started driving again, hopefully that will give me a little more time to dedicate to writing and editing and I can balance the work out across the three stories instead of just pursuing the new shiny. I guess we’ll see.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Melissa (My World...in words and pages) May 8, 2013 at 9:08 am

LOL! A new story. haha, you can not deny when it calls. You have to go with it. Does sound like a great story, and one you will still be able to work on for NaNoWriMo with the word count.

Congrats on your numbers! With all that you have going on, you are doing wonderful. Wow! Glad the treatments are working and wife is doing well.

I seem to be in a hole…or something. I was starting to feel run down and exhausted last week (allergies are terrible), so haven’t done much in writing, and not blogging this week. This month is a big month of happenings and I want to be well rested. And I definitely DO NOT want to be sick for Balticon, so I’m taking the rest now to be ready to tackle the rest of the month. 🙂

Keep up the great work!

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2 Doc Coleman May 9, 2013 at 6:46 am

Well, I will still be able to work on it if I haven’t ended up finishing it before November.

Compared to the NaNoWriMo writing push, my numbers aren’t all that thrilling, but the push here is building the regular writing habit vs. cranking out word count to meet a deadline. Still, those numbers add up surprisingly fast. It makes me wish the editing/publishing portions would move as quickly as the writing of the first draft.

Balance is a very important part of sustaining any effort over time. In addition to budgeting your work time, you need to budget in fun time to keep you from burning out. If you’ve got a good balance, everything should move along swimmingly. When you start feeling burned out, that is typically a sign that you’re not doing enough fun stuff, or you’ve taken on too much work and you need to shift the balance the other way.

See you at Balticon!

Doc

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