It’s Utterly Normal Wednesday!

tumblr_inline_ny6d6eV4D51tyv8ib_1280I am being That Guy and I have commandeered a table at a Panera and spread out with my laptop and various other digital accoutrements.  Annoyingly, I have forgotten headphones.  I should have remembered headphones.  But staying at home all day every day is starting to seriously fuck me up and if Getting the Hell Out of the House means that I need to spend more time staring at my laptop in a coffeeshop and less time in front of my desktop, then fuck it, that’s what I’m going to do.


Super Tuesday baaaaasically worked out like I thought it would.  The only place where I was really surprised was Bernie winning Oklahoma, and Bernie winning a state that’s 93% white shouldn’t be surprising– I just basically forgot it existed and lumped it in with the rest of the south.  Seeing Cruz win Alaska after Palin endorsed Drumpf was weirdly satisfying.  The Republican race will stay the same until at least Florida.  We’ll see if Rubio keeps giving victory speeches after Drumpf beats him in his home state.  You’re not Walter Mondale, dude, and just winning Minnesota and nowhere else doesn’t look good on you either.


I’m getting really worried about Sunlight, guys, and unless there’s a mental breakthrough in the next couple of days I’m going to put the thing on hold and shift my attention to other projects– namely, Tales from the Benevolence Archives, which I can imagine having out by June if I push hard at it.  I wanted Sunlight done in time for C2E2.  C2E2 is in twelve days, I’m not yet at the 2/3 mark, and I’ve written not a single word in the last, I think, three weeks.  The manuscript simply isn’t working in its current form and I’m pretty sure it needs a page one rewrite, because the corner I’ve backed myself into is not going to be salvageable by regular edits.  There are bits of it that can be saved, I think, but right now the whole book is treading water on its way to book 3, and that’s not acceptable to me.  The book’s just not good enough in its current form, and I don’t think I can save it with an action-packed last third, because the way it’s currently structured an action-packed last third doesn’t even really make sense. Right now if I wanted to I could have the book done in 10,000 words, easily. There’s nothing wrong with a 55K novel, especially in the age of the internet where most of my sales are going to be ebooks anyway, but there’s lots wrong with a 55K novel where not much of anything  happens, and that’s about where we’re at right now.

I can even do the damn series as a duology if I need to– there’s nothing sacrosanct about the idea of a trilogy– but if I decide that books 2 and 3 need to be one book, I still need to do some serious rewriting, as I don’t want the book coming out at 100K words.  Skylights came out just over 80,000 words, and that’s about what I’d want the sequel to be.

And cross all of that with the fact that I’ve been too depressed to write well most days lately.  I think I may need to go see my doctor and get my medications adjusted, but that’s a whole other thing.  I need to get this shit under control (where “this shit” refers to basically any aspect of my life you might care to name) and I need to do it soon.  I’m hoping to get at least a teeny bit of good news on the job front next week, but I’ve thought that before and the world hasn’t come through yet.  We’ll see.

Writers out there: how many of you have had to completely bail out and redo a manuscript?  How many of you have actually pulled that move off successfully?

9 thoughts on “It’s Utterly Normal Wednesday!

  1. I have had to bail and start all over…I w let you know whether or not this is successful. Too early to tell yet, but at least I like what is happening in the story more now.

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  2. Are you asking if any of us have ever managed to completely overhaul a manuscript instead of making only minor changes or dropping it entirely? I have no published novels to my name, but I have had a very up-close view of someone else redoing a manuscript.

    Once upon a time, my clone was working on a novel he called Cedeforthy. There were some good things in that manuscript, but overall, it just wasn’t working, and neither of us could figure out precisely WHY… So he set it aside for a while, and then basically started over from scratch, with just the protagonist and the general setting and a very few plot elements kept from the original.

    He’s now getting ready to completely redo what’s technically his first novel: the first one he wrote, rather than the first one he had published. I think it’s been more than a decade since he wrote the original version of THAT story (85K words in 3 weeks, with the “working soundtrack” for the story filling the house for hours on end, because OCD, properly harnessed, is a writer’s friend), but I have no doubt he’ll be able to do a complete overhaul on it the way he did for the other novel.

    (Mind you, he’s 3 books into a series now, and I know a few of his fans — isn’t it great to HAVE fans? — are impatient for book 4, so some people would say the right choice would be to write THAT next, and whatever else it needed to finish the series, before writing anything else. Except they’re all tied together — gonna be fun watching readers try to figure out how Providence is connected to The Remnant, although anyone who reads Brimstone will at least have the necessary information — and we do want to bring the various novels out in chronological sequence no matter which “series” they’re part of, so there’s a chance even Changing Magic — one of mine, originally, and the first version of THAT dates all the way back to 1988 — will get written before Stars End or whatever it’s called… Um., Sorry about the long comment. Bad tendency to give thorough answers when all the questioner really wants is a simple yes-or-no. shakes head)

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  3. My very first novel attempt, I tried to bail out and start fresh. Never happened. I just ended up writing all the fun scenes, resolving the story for myself. Then I put it away in a binder for nostalgia’s sake.

    I tried to tell a sci-fi comedy in a series of short stories. It’s a mess. I still love it, and know I’ll come back to it some day, I’m just not there in my writing yet. I need more practice to do that one right. When I do finally go back to it, I’ll have to scrap most of it. Another reason I haven’t come back to it yet…

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  4. J.R.Barker

    Maybe you should forget what you’ve written and write a little summary for what you want to happen in each chapter. Write the summary for the last chapter first so you know what you’re aiming for.
    It helped me anyway.

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  5. Maybe don’t expect the way you write to stay the same. You had a pattern and expected to write by thinking it all out first and then writing without too much editing. Try another route. An outline, a rough bad draft and rewrite. Start again from the ending. Write the highlights and then link them… anything to break pattern.

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  6. James Corden referred to this as “Panic Wednesday” based on the results…

    My successfully NaNoWriMo run, meanwhile, has always needed a redo. I got done, stopped, reflected, and realized I had a story with basically just three characters. So 50,000 decent words later, I completely beefed up the world and characters – including, most significantly, a new protagonist. All of which is to say, that was 2003 and I’m now hoping I can start seeing this story hitting the world this year… As it’s also gone through a medium change and I’m likely going to webcomic it.

    Meaning the original NaNo story will hopefully see the light of day in a few years…

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