Writing Update 20 November 2016
Every book is different. As much as there are formulas for writing and rules, as much as you can read about writing in three acts or five or seven, every idea that becomes a story is written down in a unique way. It is art and creativity as much as something that is a passion that holds a place in our daily life, something that we, as authors, pick away at, fight with, and embrace.
And boy writing the Gates of Fire and Earth has been a whole new experience for me!
When I started this new trilogy, Games of Fire, I had a pretty clear idea of the layout for the three books. Book 1, Spark of Defiance, virtually wrote itself. The characters were so full of tumultuous emotions that embroiled them in new conflicts that it was pretty hard to keep up, much less tell them to take a break once in awhile.
But book 2 has been like trying to sculpt the statue David out of a mountain the size of Mt. Everest. If that isn’t hard enough, the rock is obsidian and I only have a blurry gif to go by. I’m not sure why this book became such a challenge. If this were my first book, I think I’d have given up. Instead, it is my twelfth, the hardest I’ve written to date, and yet I still love the bugger.
I’d hoped to have my first writing update here on my new book blog an excited announcement that the writing is done. The first draft finished. But … after three days of fighting with the last three chapters, jumping between them to fill in holes, adding bits, tweaking … it still doesn’t feel complete.
I could call it that, since what I’m doing could be rationalized as editing. But I don’t feel like I’ve written the final word yet. If I haven’t found the ending sentence and note, the book isn’t done. So I’m still writing. Not to mention I haven’t moved into my next stage of editing yet. Instead, I’m still trying to get the huge climactic fight choreographed.
And, reading a few sentences, I realized I might need one more chapter yet!
That doesn’t really surprise me. “I need to add another chapter,” has been my mantra in big epic fantasy battle scenes since Rule of Fire. Let’s not talk about how many I added to Spirit of Life! One more chapter isn’t that big of a deal — if it is needed.
Battle can drag out too long. So I find myself wondering do I change one of the chapters already written? Should it have been in Zhao’s point of view rather than Laireag’s? There is a teaser for you! In the Gates of Fire and Earth, Laireag takes on a greater role and we get to peer into his mind and emotions! And we delve more into the strange life of the mysterious Ashanti. The book is quite the wild ride, if I can ever get it to finish up properly.
This week, I’ve promised myself. I’ll finish the last chapter (or is it two?) this week even if it is a bit of a muddled mess. And then I’ll move on to editing.
Sometimes you just need to give yourself a deadline and move forward. There are lots of little pieces I want to fix and when those are done and I’m just fussing over word choice … oh I’ll be a happy girl!