Monday, May 23, 2011

Rescue from free-time island

Monday is back again, and so is the summer heat. Last week this time it was pleasantly cool, albeit strangely. Personally, I wasn't complaining.Likewise, I was happy for the time off from work as well, though it hit me equally oddly.Two years ago in the month of June, following totaling my car in mid-May, I wrote a whole book in a month. I am not sure from where the energy came. All I know is that it is no longer with me.

I called for writing doubling the pace for these two weeks. Normally I do three chapters a week, so roughly six to seven thousand words, leaving the rest for mental recuperation and work, so doubling that would be mean six chapters, and roughly thirteen thousand words. I realized later that this was basically the same pace I had going when my mind was in better shape. Before that though, I realized that I would be more than happy to have the excuse to slow down when I returned to the job for the summer semester.

Just recently I finished edits on the three chapters written most recently, and right on the heels of that is staring at the outlines and thinking about what to do next in what order, when normally I would have a different kind of labor at hand. Educating is no less involved, but it is different. What I'm looking ahead to now and is more writing, and the pressure associated with wanting to do it well. Likely, I'll take tomorrow off and begin Wednesday with a mind to finish up by Friday, which will lead to one, last desperate push before I go back to work on Tuesday, like shoving at the wet sand of a beach, fighting to keep my head above the lapping waves before passing out.

This added pressure I mentioned comes from the reviews of my book I'm finally getting, I think. I'm writing sequels now which will likely not be published for several years, but even more than that I'm seeing where the story is going and how it is benefiting from my constantly improving skill. The book that people are reading now was drafted years ago when I didn't exercise my talent as well. The fear creeping up within me is that the first book isn't good enough to make people want to stay to read the next, and the next, and so forth. A friend of mine pointed out, very sensibly, that this is counterintuitive. It only makes sense that a series would get better as time goes on as the author gets more practice. I believed his words, but remembered several series I've read that decrease substantially in quality as the volumes trudge on.

Another thing I've come face to face with recently is how differently readers read. Of my principle characters, there have been readers  that like some of them, and hate some of them.What is confusing to one person is clear to another. I've yet to get much feedback that sounds similar from two different people. Somehow, I feel like if I crammed all my readers together, I'd have one giant mutant that got more or less everything I wrote down. However, I'm happy to report that they all gave the book varying degrees of passing grades, though (a D is still passing, right?). Sometimes, I guess when they say you can't please everyone, they literally mean it.

In other news, I've moved forward with a couple reviewers in regards to getting them to look at the book, and I've also moved backwards with a few agents in that they've rejected me. Which is to say, things otherwise are continuing as per normal. A few advancements, a few setbacks, but at the end of the day I feel confident that I'm still facing the right way. 

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