Chronicles of Ghadid Trilogy, The Impossible Contract (Book 2), Work In Progress, Writing

WIP Check-in: One Day to Go

Is the final draft done yet?: NO

Current page count: 200/209

Shots of whiskey: 2.5

Current problems with the manuscript: I AM A LITTLE TIPSY AND OVERWHELMED WITH TODAY’S REVELATIONS

Almost there! I think most of the worst of the editing is done! It’s just line edits and tweaks from here on out!!

Chronicles of Ghadid Trilogy, The Impossible Contract (Book 2), Work In Progress, Writing

WIP Check-In: The Final Draft and Final Countdown, Day 1

I have a week left until my wholly self-imposed deadline of April 1st to finish this final draft of my WIP. I’m a month late already and April Fool’s Day just seems to be an appropriate time to send this beast to my beta readers.

There is an awful lot of restructuring and rewriting to do in these final days and pages, so to keep myself motivated and accountable, I’m going to check in here and update my progress.

Is the final draft done yet?: NO

Current page count: 177/206

Shots of whiskey: 1

Current problems with the manuscript: too much suspicion, not enough relief and surprise.

 

Other things unrelated to said final draft:

I’m officially doing a second “season” of the Cactopodes tumblr, rather conveniently starting April 2nd. What started as a place to deposit photos of local cacti, namely saguaros, which are all quite individual in nature, quickly devolved into a lovecraftian nightmare about four wayward scientists who got lost in the stygian wasteland of the Sonoran desert.

It’s really quite silly and more of an excuse to be ridiculous – and it is a perfect project to work on once I get this final draft done and out the door. I want to keep writing – it’s never good to take a long break, at least not for me – but I also don’t want to start a new story when I’m trying to query this one. I’ve learned I can’t query and write something entirely new at the same time – it just doesn’t work.

So instead, I’m going to go with nameless, octopoid horrors.

Chronicles of Ghadid Trilogy, The Impossible Contract (Book 2), Work In Progress, Writing

First Draft = Done!

I wrote the last word of the first draft this morning. It felt… oddly anticlimactic. But it’s done. Every scene is in there, from the very beginning to the very end. Unlike draft zero, which was basically a 130 page outline. This is cleaner, more polished. Almost – but not quite – there.

I have a few scenes in mind that I know I’ll need to tweak/rewrite completely, but I’m going to let this baby rest for a day or two. And even then, I will only work on the outline, synopsis, and query for the next two weeks / until March. That kind of work forces me to take a biiiig step back from the novel and really see the whole picture, which will be indispensable when I dig into the nitty gritty.

My plan is to have polished draft one into a presentable draft two by Mid-March, but it may be closer to April at this point. I both hate it and am wickedly curious what my betas will think – I simply have no idea. I’m just too close to it right now.

I guess it’s time to start brainstorming a better title than In the Sand Wastes

Chronicles of Ghadid Trilogy, The Impossible Contract (Book 2), Work In Progress, Writing

This is the WIP That Never Ends

It keeps on going on, my friend.

One person started writing it not knowing when she’d stop.

And she will keep on writing it forever just because –

At least, that’s what it feels like! I had a December deadline to reach 100k words, thinking that would be close enough to finished. That passed by due to holidays and sickness and a death in the family. Then I thought, oh I can get 100k by the end of January – but 100k didn’t look like where my end would be anymore. Maybe closer to 120k.

But I could get 120k by mid-February!

…except now the end looks closer to 130k, maybe even 140k to be perfectly honest (which I am frequently not with myself). I can do that by March! So somehow, 100k in December is now 135k (split the diff) in March. This is why I am not an event planner, everyone.

It’s getting to feel like Zeno’s paradox up in here – but thankfully there are not an infinite number of words in this WIP, no matter how much it feels like that. Plus, I know I’m getting very close to the end now because I am starting to dislike this WIP, starting to wonder why I would chose such a path, why I’m even bothering to write when no one will read it – and those thoughts only come when I’m almost there. It’s like the last half mile of a 5k, when you’ve put all your effort in and you’ve come a long way but everything hurts and damn if half a mile isn’t still a long way and wouldn’t it be nice to stop running and have a cup of tea under that tree over there?

Only that’s the time to ignore that tree and the pain and what’s left of the race and just focus on putting one foot in front of the other until you can see the finish line and hear the cheering and you realize you’ve got a little left in the proverbial tank.

Neil Gaiman wrote a bit a while back that really struck me – and stuck with me. I come back to this little revelation every time I get to this point in a story – be it draft zero, the first draft, the first rewrite, or the 100th rewrite:

The last novel I wrote (it was ANANSI BOYS, in case you were wondering) when I got three-quarters of the way through I called my agent. I told her how stupid I felt writing something no-one would ever want to read, how thin the characters were, how pointless the plot. I strongly suggested that I was ready to abandon this book and write something else instead, or perhaps I could abandon the book and take up a new life as a landscape gardener, bank-robber, short-order cook or marine biologist. And instead of sympathising or agreeing with me, or blasting me forward with a wave of enthusiasm—or even arguing with me—she simply said, suspiciously cheerfully, “Oh, you’re at that part of the book, are you?”

I was shocked. “You mean I’ve done this before?”

“You don’t remember?”

“Not really.”

“Oh yes,” she said. “You do this every time you write a novel. But so do all my other clients.”

So here’s to a mid-February or March 1st deadline, be it 120k words or 140k. It will get done. I am almost there. One foot in front of the other. One word after the next.