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Archive for January, 2011

Slaving Away in Obscurity

January 15, 2011 5 comments

This is not a ‘woe is me entry’. I’m very pleased with where I am now regarding the book. Yes, of course I wish I was done. I want to see what happens. When I send it off to an agent, which I’ve not even seriously looked for yet, it will probably be rejected. That’s normal. I know at that point I will feel the urge to insist that the agent know how much I’ve put into this, like my blood and soul, that I’ve rearranged my life, made sacrifices, taken huge chances, endured self doubt and intense ridicule from my own mind. The agent will say, “So what. Everyone says that. The story doesn’t move me. Go back to your sales job.” I’m braced for that. It’s like taking that first downward plunge on the roller coaster. You just have to get it over with and enjoy the ride. Meanwhile, I’ve need to shave, and shower, my hair is a mess, the coffee is getting cold, and I slave away in obscurity.

This is my unsophisticated writing desk where I've written the bulk of Parts II and III of the epic saga CREED of KINGS. On the wall is a sketch of the temple in which the main female character lives. Below that are character and scene notes.

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Resting on top of the Mountain

January 7, 2011 Leave a comment

It’s not very far from the Pharaoh to the Promise Land, but the children of Israel wondered in the desert for forty years before they got there. After all I’ve been through it feels like I’m halfway there but I’m on a mountain top looking further up the trail. The ‘mountain’ is a completed first rough draft of my book, which I finished on my holiday break. Three years ago I finally got out of Egypt, sat down and started writing this book, seriously, and then I allowed an interruption for a year to take a professional position again, I went back into ‘bondage’-it sucked up my intelli-juice for writing. But I got back on track due to some wild wonderful circumstances, some might say the hand of Providence. Friends have asked me repeatedly, when will you be done? If getting to the land of milk and honey was just a walk through the desert I’d have been there years ago. If writing a book was only typing, I’d have been done in a couple of months. I’m still not done-done, of course, but the target is in the cross hairs as never before.

In “the story of the story” of writing the book, I’ve come to Act III so to speak. The final battle and the view from the Mountain I’ve wanted for so long. I’m sitting on a a spiral bound stack of the whole thing with edits and revsions in red/blue/black and highlighted ink. I drained a red ink pen doing edits and scribbling revisions in the margins. Now all that work needs to be blended into the book. It’s a lot. And, stuff needs to be removed.

I tried to dive right into it but the weight of what I’m about to do overwhelms and intimidates me. It’s going to take much more heavy mental lifting to finally get there. I wondered if I have what it takes to do it. I’m going to need to be better than I’ve ever been. I have to bring my very best game to this. I stared at the blank page for an hour and had to admit to myself that I need a break.

I kept thinking of all the revisions and thematic emphasis, they are huge and must be handled subtly and with nuance….and something else: arrangement. I think I need to arrange events a little differently to increase the emotional impact of the big moments. Also, I’ve adapted my styling toward the end. Having been impressed with George R. R. Martin’s work, I wanted to write in third person limited, each chapter restricted to one character’s point of view. However, as I got deeper into story I started feeling/seeing peripheral characters’ points of view more clearly, so I started writing those in as well. When I edit and revise I’ll include more POVs per chapter. I also developed a better background mythology.

I’ve been off the internet a lot working. Thus my writer’s platform (presence on the web) has suffered, as it will from time to time.. Writing is a writer’s number one priority, not his platform. There is a time for everything I need to do under the sun but now is the time to write!

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