Friday, June 13, 2014

Plotland Progress (of a sort)

Last week I reached a new Plotland plateau of frustration as the burgeoning novel approached the 70K mark.  I've only completed the first third of the original (very bare) outline and, if I continue at this rate, the result will be rather too long - about 0.5 Sandersons.  This means I must either (a) abandon the outline (b) eliminate one or two subplots (c)write faster or (d) cut, cut, cut, cut.

In a moment of crystalline clarity I put on my editor's cap and chose the latter, cutting nearly eighteen thousand precious, hard wrung words from the latter part of the novel and placing them aside for possible later use.  Nevertheless it was a painful move.  I now understand why it sometimes takes years to complete something in the long form, as this is starting to threaten.

The first nine chapters (about 50k) are in second draft.  The first two have been peer reviewed as acceptable which heartens me, but makes any further changes to the elements introduced there very chancy.

 Chapters Four through Nine continue to be influenced by the new material I'm creating with my back and forth create and edit process.  Still, I am happy with the prose for the most part, somewhat doubtful of the facts, and dead set against introducing yet another character or plot element.  Of course I still have to deal with the rebellious characters who refuse to take my orders and go haring off the script.  Nevertheless, I know my will is the stronger and I will soon have these miscreants yoked to the plot.

Then there's the other novel, somewhat incomplete and waiting for the Big Fucking Idea (BFI) that will let me tie together the threads.  It is the lack of the BFI that confounds me. Each time I attempt to develop a solution the effort drives me back to Plotland and its own challenges.  Back and forth, back and forth, I go, leaving me nearly no time for writing more short fiction.

I find that fighting the nearly irresistible short story idea demons that flutter about my head is difficult. Their cries are like the sireens, tempting, tempting, enticing.  No, I must resis, I cry. I'm too much committed to completing these novels than having them languish on my desktop. I feel that I must continue, slogging ever forward to the point where I will call "Finished!" to the effort and send them forth to find a home or die languishing on some slush reader's desk.


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