Happy September, everyone!
Things are COVID-normal in Atlanta. School is back in person (I’m wearing a gasmask), I physically entered our local bakery yesterday for thirty seconds (with the gasmask) to order the best biscuits in the world, and after six months of grinding, Book 1 of 7 (with the working title “Violincident” and no gasmasks) is in a sharable state.
“Violincident” is the first in an urban fantasy series featuring Cora Williams, a graduate student at Boston’s Hawthorne Conservatory of Music who can control others’ emotions with her music. When she discovers that her mentor was murdered and no one is investigating, she takes matters into her own hands.
If you’re interested in reading a draft (now or later), and/or have an idea for a title, please shoot me an email or text.
I know there have been a lot of changes for everyone in the past year, and many of us want to fast forward to a better future in 2021. I sympathize, but there’s lots still to do this year, especially VOTING. Early/absentee voting has already started in some places, and Election Day is in only 43 days. It might not be easy — there might be lots of forms, or long waits on lines six feet apart from each other, but please get out there and make your voice count!
Be well, everybody.
I’ve been measuring time spent writing my current novel manuscript in imaginary unborn babies. Lately, they both seem about the same amount of effort and energy.
I’m now up to about a baby and a half.
In past years, I’ve gotten excited for NaNoWriMo, though I’ve never completed writing the Herculean 50K words in one month. This November, my goals are not a word count, nor anything so definite as a deadline (that makes that lovely whooshing sound as it passes by). I’m just going to keep my head down and stick to my mantra BIC-HOK (thanks, “Writing Excuses” team). Butt in chair, hands on keyboard, at least a little bit every day.
When I first started working on this manuscript a baby and a half ago, I thought I would be done in a few months. As each month passes, I get better at taking the long view.
Also all of my cells are vibrating for the release of Brent Weeks’ Blood Mirror. If you’re reading this, you should read it (and those in the series before it).
In my earlier drafts, I thought I could just skip the middle. Who needs a middle? Isn’t that the boring part that no one reads, anyway?
But I do need a middle, for all kinds of things – the dreaded “character development” and plot complications, and lots of unintended consequences.
It turns out that I’m asking a lot of this tough little middle.
So instead of working on my middle, I’m writing this post and I’m thinking maybe in my next novel I won’t have a middle at all!
Michael Crichton was a pretty cool dude. He said this, which has been my mantra for the past few months:
“Books aren’t written – they’re rewritten. Including your own. It is one of the hardest things to accept, especially after the seventh rewrite hasn’t quite done it.”
I’m not on the seventh rewrite (yet). I think this is only the fourth, but I’m getting there. I sent my third draft to my first reader about a month ago and she told me, “It’s great, but it doesn’t have a middle.” I said, “I know, but I was hoping I could skip that part.” She said, “No. Middles are important.”
So I’ve been rewriting a middle. And once I rewrite a middle, I’ll rewrite the rest of it (again).
Murphy. The best rewriting companion.