Day 169

Spoiler Alert! May contain planning-stage plot/character details or other spoilers!

25 Feb 2017

So yesterday actually went really well. Despite losing 3.5 hours on plot, I think it was worth it; I’m tightening things up, and really was able to get a better handle on the climax and how that ties things up. Unfortunately, I really need to backtrack and refine everything else now to support that ending, but at least now I have a clear(er) target to aim for. I seem to be bad at endings.

I also think I’ve still got too much of an ‘internal development’ thing going on with the plot and character arc. Character development is great, but without the external action, it gets too slow and literary-fiction-y, and as much as I kind of love doing things that way, its not what I love reading (at least, probably maybe not…? I like well plotted stuff as well as the weird…) and I’m pretty sure it’s not what people want to read. I’m having a terrible time seeing where to make those changes, though, without just losing what I’ve created/the value of what’s been done/the uniqueness etc. I’d hoped that hiring an editor would really give me that insight and perspective to shape it appropriately, but I’m frustrated with the process. Obviously I don’t have recent experience of what it’s like with a major publisher, but the arrangement I have just doesn’t seem close or allow for a great deal of back and forth. There’s no ‘getting-to-know-you’ process, and I’m not clear on my editor’s reading/familiarity in YA besides that she says she does it… I have a feeling we’re talking about different things a lot, but maybe I’m just being defensive about my work and not wanting to see what she tries to point out…

In any case, good things were done and I kept at it for 8+ hours between one thing and the other, which I think is record breaking for me, if we exclude research and marketing efforts. That also includes my serial chapter for Things Got Out of Hand, which I hammered out at the end of the night in no time flat, as if I were flying (or drunk, which I wasn’t). I basically hopped up and down in place for a while after it was done, so jazzed and energized. The tone, the plot, the banter, it just flowed. So in the zone. And no, I don’t want to think about how it took me like 7 hours to get there… but anyways, TGOoH is looking kinda supernatural rom-com at the moment, with bitchy antisocial sarcasm, so a bit like Sherlock (tv), now that I think of it, but less brilliant. Anyways, I’m feeling good about it, even though it’s kinda directionless and steering super far away, yet again, from where I wanted to take it. I may need to just face up to the fact that I can’t recapture, or more to the point, rewrite the story and feelings that I put into it as a teen. I’m just not in a place to do heartrendingly sweet romance. Plus, it was never a proper story, just a bit of a set-up. No tension. No issues. So I’d have to start from a different place, or use it as backstory or something to make that work (see, I’m learning! I may not be putting it into practice properly yet, but I’m learning!)

Which led into today’s marketing efforts. WAY too much time spent on IG again, and on browsing Etsy for bookish giveaway products. Thankfully or problematically, with everyone else out of the house, I could have Buffy the Vampire Slayer on in the background. Which contributed to me not actually doing any writing until 6 pm, but anyways… the good news is, I signed up my first person to my mailing list! Let’s all stop and admire that triumph for a moment… and then shake our heads at how long its taking me to actually get the rest of my book marketing rolling. Baby steps. It’s partly graphics; they take me forever, aren’t shameful, but aren’t stellar either, and hold me back from just getting stuff rolling. Maybe tomorrow… but! Posting my daily updates continues to connect with a trickle of fans impressed with the innovative form and the content itself, and TGOoH made an impression today as well as BtE, so if I can keep it together and find the time while financially keeping my head above water, I may be able to publish 3 books in the next 12-15 months! Which could get me to the place in my publishing career that I need to be to pull this off! Although, I probably don’t have a prayer of having enough funds to keep up that pace and will have to take a time-out to earn cash… Still, it’s a surprisingly hopeful place to be! Keep doing what I’m doing, and do it a little better, a little longer, and a little faster all the time, and I may make it! Assuming people don’t hate my books once they’re out. Or ignore them. Or…

Right, better get on with the writing before I talk myself into a slump, lol. Anyways, I’ve been treating Sundays as a ‘day of rest’ b/c commandments and gifts of God and creative renewal and general laziness and all that, but I also know a lot of writing advice really pushes the whole write every day thing, plus I am feeling that disconnect where I get my head into it, and then stop almost immediately, so marathon writing sessions might actually be good if I could pull them off. Anyways, I’m not going to try to write/rewrite BtE on Sundays, but I’m considering using them as marketing day (although that seems a little off - maybe more like creative (graphic) design day?) and also starting short story or micro fiction challenges, something short and different… I’m not sure if I can/should schedule myself every day with expectations, but I could really use some experience crafting complete story arcs, and I can’t do 2-3 a year, so I need to get into shorter fiction for practice. I can’t believe I just wrote that, but there it is. I think that’s the only way to really get a handle on the way I can’t plot endings, or, you know, plots. So there’s that. One more thing to work into the rotation. I’ve been impressed at how motivating targets are; I stress about them, which leads to procrastinating, but I also meet them; I haven’t missed a weekly serial release yet (there are 2), and that consistent 2-chapter thing in my daily updates on IG keeps me pushing longer than I otherwise would. What I’m not clear on is, do the additional targets take away from what I put into BtE, or do they exist in a separate place in my head and creative energy and stuff? It’s not like I work on BtE for ten hours a day or anything (not even close…) So yeah, thoughts and stuff to do…


Start Time: 7:30 pm

Location: Abbotsford; home; couch

Drinking: Hermannator Ice Bock

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