About 5.5K words this week, including losing a day to edits on the last book, and a day to helping some friends move. I remembered how much work the last 20% of packing and cleaning the old place is. I forgot that I’m not 25 anymore. I had to go home and shower and nap afterward, and I still wasn’t fit to human last last night at dinner.
Which is how my friends sprung a surprise on me: Hey! You’re going to be in another anthology! I stared in horror at them, and pointed out that the last anthology proved I neither write short, nor on time. All I got was grins and “This will be another chance for you to learn!”
And then they told me the deadline. And I said, “Oh, (expletive).” And they laughed at me.
Including when I told them that this puts more pressure on me to finish A Perfect Day (With Explosions), so I can have any brain. Do they not realize that the last book, which is still in copyedits (I had to go in and fix some geology in there, so the copyeditor now has to go back and make sure I didn’t input fresh typos), took me 8 months?
“We have faith in you.”
The cover artist has the rough done for the last one, by the way. She is also gleefully telling me she’s planning out the cover for this one, and making noises like “The same retro colour palette for all three, using different primary colours…” even as she and my friends are debating whether to keep the working title or change it…
Everybody expects me to be able to finish this, except for me. I have no idea where it’s going! Why do I now have a deadline, a cover artist muttering about roughs and ‘is it going to be a trilogy or a series’ and prior beta readers checking in and telling me they don’t like snippets, but are willing to beta?
It’s enough to send me screaming into the night, it is, if only I weren’t so tired and the night wasn’t quite so mosquito-filled.
As for the story itself… I am realizing after I’ve written scenes that made perfect logical story sense at the time of writing, that my backbrain is gleefully taking romance tropes and skewering the living daylights out of them.
For instance, I have read a few “the reader-insert character and the stupid-rich fantasy male” romances because I figured I should have a passing familiarity with the subgenre before I started ragging on it. They are about as connected to current reality as most urban fantasy. But they have their own tropes, including the transformation scene. Like Disney movies where the fairy godmother or the breaking curse suddenly transforms the hero or heroine into a beautifully groomed and attired idealization of a person, these allow the female main character to enter in her everyday clothes, and leave clad head to toe in the finest designer clothing.
And I just wrote one. Except, instead of this being a display of how much Stupid-Rich Fantasy Male loves her, it’s because security forces figure out Jenna’s flatmate Christy was in one the terrorist attack, and really was trying to kill Jenna when she ditched her at the mall. So she’s not allowed to go home, and has to buy new deodorant, makeup, toothbrush, and dress… everything.
She’s not nearly as gleeful about this as romance heroines are. More shellshocked and grimly determined to carry on because running screaming into the night isn’t a viable option.
And this is where I look over at my calendar, and realize it’s entirely too full to do anything but grit my teeth and carry on writing this book. At least I’m sympathizing with the main character?