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Changes and Challenges

Theme music for this blog entry.

Last week many encouraging things happened amidst trying to kick-start the creative process of writing part three of Creed of Kings. I learned a hard lesson. I stopped writing and edited/revised 409 that comprised part one and two. I should’ve started writing part three while editing.  But I’m back in the groove now…for at least a few steps anyway. I do sense that feeling—a state of mind—I had when part two exploded early this year into the awesome part it is now, in my “humble” opinion. I’m just about there with part three, I’m at critical mass. Conditions are ripe for a tornado of creative swirling.

I had three GREAT ideas to weave into the storyline while I fiddled around looking for the groove; ideas that I would not have had I been banging the keys helter skelter. I’ve done that before, the stampede to nowhere. The directionless stampede required me to scrap huge sections of writing when the dust settled. I require forethought. I’ve been meandering, searching too long, which isn’t any better. In the meandering (trying to kick-start), I did stumble upon these insights (again, no revealing of actual story here, this is fundamental stuff):

  1. Expound on an antagonist, that is in part one, and bring her further back into a back flash with a crucial protagonist character. It brings more meaning and emotional depth to the protagonist’s plight in the current timeline. Moreover, a “1b” if you will: Write in another more substantial antagonist for this character in the current timeline.
  2. Write into the story an antagonist for another important character different from the one above. As it stands now for this good guy, I simply have him regretting the past and wishing things were different. With an antagonist, he will have a focal point, and so will the reader, to associate with angst-ridden memories. The protagonist will have a show down with this antagonist from the past at the end of book one.

 Of course, I know those are fundamental things. I have those principles working in the story already with other central protagonists and there is a great evil that all will face. All things work together for those who stick to it.

A crucial theme in the story still needs elucidation/teasing/foreshadowing. It grew into one of the core elements of the story, if not the core. It is “good enough” now but I sense that I’m on the cusp of a deeper, more substantial aspect of this theme that I’ve yet to completely discover that, if found will perhaps nudge this story—at least for me—closer to potential greatness and it has to do with the above point 1.

Tactics of my writing revealed:

About steaming full speed ahead, I’m all for it. It just doesn’t seem to be my style. I wish it were. I’ve come to realize, there is a balance and a rhythm, when it comes to my style. I found it by accident while I was striving for speedier output. Everyone has little quirks. I pour the cereal first, then the milk. My dad pours the milk, then the cereal. I think he is nuts for doing that. There are all kinds of problems with that in my opinion, but I digress. Whatever I think about it, he gets the task accomplished to his liking, and so do I when it comes to writing, even though I don’t do it exactly the way lots of folk think I ought to (I’m willing to adapt in the future). I’ve discovered this rhythm, because I’m perfectionist who as absolutely no right to be a perfectionist. But, here it is:

 I’ll make a leap ahead by one hundred or two hundred words. I know what I want deep inside although I can’t nail it down. So, I read over the words and I will “perfect” it immediately, then leap another hundred or so words, then go all the way back and start over, making edits and revisions as I go until I’m at the end of the last leap. I will take a breath and repeat until I’ve written the chapter. I’ll do the same with the next chapter. Then I’ll do it with several chapters In a row. I’ll print it out, do red ink edits/revisions, return to the computer, and correct my hand written corrections as I type them onto the Word doc. Then I repeat. This is how I do it. Somehow, I think if I blazed to the end of the chapter, in the end I would spend just as much time.

Then I give to an editor (I’ve done this part one. My writing at the time needed lots of improvement). On the next go around, I’ll type in the editor’s corrections and even then still make my own edits and revisions.

I call it progressive revision and editing. That’s my style of production.

When I’m in the midst of this process I submerge/elevate into the muse mode, what Stephen King calls a trance-like state. Interruptions are devastating, as you can imagine. I do all this so that I can attempt to put the readers in the same state, so they will have culture shock when the book is closed. They will truly feel as if they’ve been in another world. That is escape. That’s what I want to give. I hope it is priceless.

It is a supreme challenge. That is what I’m aiming at. Why not?

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