Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Step-mother to success

At about six o'clock this morning I realized I made a glaring error in the plot-logic of one of my novels. It's not the first time, I'm sure, but this is certainly the most pronounced one that I can think of. It's also proof that even reading a previous book before writing its sequel is not a fail safe against such mistakes. I'm at a loss though for how to document it. The writing continues, but things are turning back around on themselves. Like the first whiff of decay from a spoiling bottle of milk, for the first time in a long time I can sense the expiration date of something I'm writing.

I think the pace is to blame. One chapter a week has been the slowest I've written in years, and slow progress can be as deadly as no progress for a creative project. It stretches things out uncomfortably, and the more time is spent on it, the more other things "come up" and the more unrelated ideas begin to develop "on the back burner," the more "opportunities" to do other things arise. A lot of authors struggle with this same concept, writing along happily and then they hit a speed bump generated by life: holidays, vacation, other work, family. And with each one it makes it harder and harder to get back up to pace. I have several friends that come back seasonally to things they've been writing, and still other friends that never go back. I've got to figure out how to avoid that. Even after I finish this book, and I will, I still have to go back through all three and sort out problems caused by the initial drafting, as well as the kinds of things I discovered in a dream this morning.

So, downs and ups, ups and downs. In other news, the blog I wrote up for that guest appearance finally went live. I told people how bad the pictures were that I took, but that at least they were my bad pictures. Honestly, they came out better than I imagined, surrounded by a legitimate looking website and words. Also, so far as I'm aware, the April release is still a go. A friend gave me some good advice after asking me a good question. What's your strategy, she said. I didn't even know what she was talking about, because she was talking about marketing. The advice she gave me was to contact everyone who had reviewed the book previously. So far as I'm aware, reviewers have mountains of books they have to churn through on a regular basis, so it would be unlikely that they'd remember my work from last year, however if anyone's going to have that much more incentive to read the second book of a series, it would be the people who read the first (most of them, anyway). It wasn't the first time I had felt stupid that day, nor would it be the last.

Related to that, I cannot for the life of me figure out how to change my picture on my facebook author page. Falling behind the technology curve is a lot like falling behind a heavy dresser in an unused, upstairs room. But I'm determined to claw myself up and out. I think I'd also like to come up with some artwork (read: hire someone to make) to represent the entire series of books, so I can use that as my page photo (until the next series is published, at least). That should be a fun project, sort of like coming up with one word to describe many books (or a thousand, since it will be visual).

So the through line is that I've fallen behind a bit, however I haven't stopped running. Far from the finish line, far from it.

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