Monday, July 15, 2013

Time machining

One weekend and two chapters. I also finished the edits on the first book of the fantasy trilogy. One of the goals for getting back into the writing was shopping that manuscript around. I had it on my mind ever since I found a book on the coffee table of a writer friend. I liked everything about the book, and thought to myself maybe I would stop trying to get in with Tor so fiercely. It's a huge publishing house, but it isn't the only one putting out books people are reading. That was almost two years ago, when I made that promise to myself.

Next week I'm going to be making my first sojourn down that road. The website for submissions says they don't consider anything less than 95,000 words. When I started smoothing things out in the fantasy ms, unpacking convoluted sentences and giving crisper meaning to important details, it was hovering around 90. By the time I got to the end, it was up about 96. I was happy to have gotten over the mark, but I also felt really good that I was able to more fully focus the intervening years of learning on something I wanted so much to succeed.

I also got halfway through updating Silver Age. I have to admit that I expected it to be much worse off than how I found it. I came back around to my initial idea that the criticism I received was off base. However, even though I thought that, I did take certain steps to be "less fancy with the spices." I spelled things out more, and repeatedly. Not a lot, but maybe just enough that when people read it again, there will be more sounds of understanding than of confusion. Working on it as if it would be read out loud was also an interesting exercise. I normally try to read things to myself that way, and to also write them for audible pleasure and smoothness, but this time I was really self conscious. I thought about what the natural way to say a certain sentence would be, how an actor might change up the words as they were reading along.

I didn't finish it though. Much like deciding not to write on the novel for a third day was, and thinking about trying to get words down on a page somewhere everyday, it's about the steady, diligent work, not the surges. It's all building towards something, but that thing is so far away, and so high up, that rushing doesn't seem like the smart plan. Also, going through Silver Age made me go back, way back, into my files. I didn't know I had so many stories I had started, taken notes for, and never looked back at again.  I saw titles I didn't recognize, names I knew were important but triggered nothing in my memory. I think maybe I'll blow some dust off some things once I get done with my current restoration project. 

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