Once upon a time I wrote a novel. I had never written an entire novel before so I wasn’t sure how to do it. I just opened up my subconscious and let it all tumble out. The plot line was scant, but it was discernable to the naked eye.
A while after I wrote the initial draft, I broke it down and reformed it into a book with a more visible plot. It was an improvement, but friends said it was still missing something. So, I tore it down completely and started over. All those words I had worked so hard to record – useless. I probably threw out half of the original. But, the good news was, I finally produced a book I was proud of.
Since publishing has been in chaos for at least a decade, I decided to indie publish. I sold some copies and got some wonderful reviews (yay). But, as generally positive as the reviews were, people kept saying “I want to know what happened to the characters later. It ended too abruptly.”
I had a reason for ending it the way I did, but I also wanted to give my fans what they were asking for. So, I decided to write a sequel. And this time I decided to do things differently. Instead of just vomiting up the contents of my subconscious I wrote an outline. As I wrote the novel, I deviated from some of the plot points, but the structure was mostly as I planned it.
I finally finished the first draft and … it was bloodless. That had not been a problem with the first book. There were other problems, to be sure, but there was no lack of passion.
This is a long way of saying that I have a bit more work to do on the book. Right now I’m cleaning up the writing, then I’ll implement some developmental changes that should punch things up a bit.
Regular readers have probably noticed that my planned break of a few weeks has stretched into about six months. I feel I owe you an explanation. There are several, actually.
The first is that this past summer was the first in a while where I have been free to do what I want. I wasn’t in A&P school, I didn’t have my nose to the grindstone of a corporate job. I wasn’t anxiously preparing for my FAA exams. I also had a spiffy new mountain bike. So, I decided to prioritize outdoor activity for the summer.
Then suddenly fall arrived, bringing with it the spectre of the 2016 Presidential election. I have a feeling my blog is going to get a lot more political soon, so I’ll just put it out there – I didn’t want Rump to be president – not by a long shot. So, I commenced a frantic surge of activity to try to ward off what turned out to be the inevitable. I had hoped to be able to work on the book and my blog in between my day job and volunteering, but I had little mental energy left at the end of each day.
Then, November 8th happened, and like many dislikers of Rump, I needed a week or so (OK, maybe a month, really) to get my bearings again.
Now I’m back on track. I will start blogging weekly again. And I am working my way through the first round of line edits of my second novel; once those are done I’ll start writing the new material that will fill out the story.
If you were a regular reader, I hope you’re’ reading this, and I hope you’ll stick around. Thank you for being here. And, Happy New Year.