I’m tired, first of all. Secondly, I’m always tired. And finally, that means that when I’m writing, I’m writing through a fog of fatigue. This is… not always true. Sometimes, briefly, I am not feeling tired and I am usually dictating in my car on the way to work when that happens. I have to make time this weekend to train Dragon Naturally with a persona that has road noise. Because it’s that, or spend precious time and energy cleaning up transcriptions at the end of the day. I’m a bit flinchy about that, as I have a few thousand words of dirty manuscript to clean this weekend and it’s not going to be fun.
So if it’s not the writing, it’s the editing and revising. I am faced with a lot of that. I have not been making good progress on The East Witch, which means I will not get that novel out in early November as planned. And I finished The Case of the Perambulating Hatrack (small pop of confetti! Woo!) which means I have not one, but two, novels in need of editing and revision on my plate. Add to that a pair of shorts in progress, and a pair of novels in progress, and I’m feeling a tad overwhelmed.
It’s a good problem? I have no end of ideas coming out of me. I just can’t possibly write, edit, and market fast enough. I mean, I’m also planning another book (ok, two) of art. I’ve promised a ‘sketchbook’ published after October, with my N’inktober drawings in it. That won’t be a terrible amount of time and effort at the end, as most of the work will be done incrementally through the month while I am doing the daily art. Although I do want to clean up or add detail to some of the day’s prompts. If you’d like to follow along, my instagram feed shows up on my personal blog, or you can join the facebook group (if you FB, and I know not everyone does, which is why I go the other route as well).
At least with art, the steps from concept to completion are fast! Writing takes a much more sustained effort, and then there is editing. I keep tripping over that part. It used to be that I wrote a fairly clean manuscript (ok, editors have given me a hard time over my tendency to mix and match British and American spelling, and I can’t get through my thick head its, it’s or what?) and if I was able to write a novel in a quick burst, I usually didn’t have major plot holes. The East Witch took me three years to write, two of those sitting on the mental shelf untouched. The Case of the Perambulating Hatrack was intended to be a short story prompt response that ballooned into full novel, buoyed by weekly prompts. It is a patchwork quilt of a book.
As a matter of fact, with the current WIP I am deliberately quilting. Tanager’s Flight is the first time I have with purpose and forethought plotted out. I’m using a fairly classic action plot for it, and running it through Plottr. My idea was that I’ve had to put it on hold for so long, this will help me keep the beats on pacing as I pick it up after a week or more of ignoring it. I didn’t do a major outline. Just a thumbnail sketch – a cartoon, if you will – of where the thing was going to go. I still have to figure out how to get the characters, and the ship, into those predicaments. Which makes my muse happy. In the past I’d learned that outlining satisfied the curiosity of the muse sufficiently to cause her to wander off and never return. So I don’t outline. But I may be evolving past full pantser into something else. We shall see how this book comes out! Which it won’t unless I go clean it up and figure out where I’m at.
This has been a year of stitching together writing projects. I’ve been hugely productive, when I look back at my stats. July was the peak, but I had a whole week off and just writing in July, because the day job shut down for maintenance. The beginning of this month with a writing marathon was pretty good – 17K words in three days. And even if I haven’t had a novel out, there’s the anthologies I’ve been in: When Valor Must Hold (my story was sword and sorcery), Cracked! (my contribution was chickens loose on a space station), Hearts’ Enchantment (I retell a Russian fairytale romance), and Supernatural Streets (fans of Amaya Lombard will really want to get this one). Still, I have work to do and releases planned for 2020.
But first, more coffee. Maybe a nap. And there are errands to be run… Sigh. I’m going to be tired when I get back to the writing, aren’t I?