I don’t know about you guys, but I’m definitely in agreement with Katniss and crew.
This week has seemed like at least three weeks, all sort of glued together in a tangle of multi-jointed megadays. I’m guessing this is because I was sick for most of it, and when you’re sick everything seems boring and slow. It’s like being a teenager again, in a lot of ways – including the crankiness.
But, in any case, today is Friday and the week is finally over. This is a good thing. I’m starting to feel a little better, which is another good thing. But the best thing of all is that yesterday, I managed to finish Draft 2 of ‘Eldritch’, a little ahead of schedule. This means that today I’ll be off printing it, and then finding a nice quiet corner somewhere to sit and scribble all over it with a red pen. I can’t quite believe I’m at this stage already with this book; I’ve said before how easy it was to write in comparison to ‘Tider’, and that observation still stands. It was easy to write, and easy to edit, and easy to read. I reckon this means that all I’ve done is shove all the problems off into the sequels, instead of dealing with them at the outset.
Actually, that’s a pretty terrifying thing to say. I wrote it in jest, but now that I think about it, I really hope it’s not the truth.
I’ve had the story for ‘Eldritch’ in my head for many years, and I’ve gone over it and over it repeatedly during that time; so, it was easy to write. It went down pretty much exactly as I wanted it to first time, which made it easy to edit. I still really like the story, and the characters, and I’d taken a hefty break from it before going back to begin Draft 2; so, it was easy to read. But I’m still terrified that I’ve done something ‘wrong’, that the book is too simple or I’ve missed something vital, and any one of a whole list of terrors. I don’t think there’s a way of knowing, really, whether or not any of these fears have a basis in reality, or whether they only exist inside my frantic wee skull, without taking a chance on the story and sending it away to be read elsewhere.
I have a pretty clear plan for the story overall, and where I want it to end up by the conclusion of book three. I don’t have as clear a plan, i.e. what’s going to happen chapter by chapter, for the sequels as I did for ‘Eldritch’ (more an overall idea of ‘this is what I want to say in this book’), so perhaps they’ll be more challenging to write. Certainly, the first third of ‘Omphalos’, the sequel to ‘Eldritch’, which is at first draft stage, has been more difficult so far than ‘Eldritch’ was. I don’t foresee any major structural or plot problems that I’m setting myself up for down the line, but as I’ve seen time after time, when it comes to writing you’re never able to predict everything. Stories have a tendency to wriggle around and decide things for themselves, and you can’t anticipate every single problem or issue.
It feels weird to be scared by the fact that something is going well. Is it possible, when you’re writing a book, that things going smoothly means you’ve done something right instead of vastly wrong? I hope so.
I guess I’ll know more on Monday, when I’ll be finished my read-through, and hopefully I’ll have a manuscript full of handwritten edits. After that, I won’t have any excuses any more.
I’ll be starting the Query Train, and the real fun can begin.
Happy Friday, and happy weekend. Wish me well with editing!