…and people are still on the ledge. Y’all need to calm the fuck down, and get off social media.
Or just jump already.
…and people are still on the ledge. Y’all need to calm the fuck down, and get off social media.
Or just jump already.
And still writing. Though we wound up in Canada somehow, and it looks like we’re here to stay.
First order of business, though: I put Thorn back up. I gave it a re-read over the winter holidays, and while there’s some serious schlock, there’s also some seriously good writing there, and based on feedback/awards that came while it was still in the writing, and the simple fact that it got me started writing seriously, I suppose it deserves its place back in the light of day, so to speak.
A couple months ago I printed out everything written since Thorn as a sort of, “What the hell have I been doing with my time?” exercise, and it was a lot more than I’d imagined. One full manuscript (longer than Thorn), another partial about half the length, along with a couple more false starts that ran on too long before I wisely shitcanned ’em.
That said, it’s been a rough few years for a whole host of reasons, but I’m pleased to say I have a very solid outline for the book, whose working title is The Warden, and for the first time in at least a couple years, I’m genuinely excited to get cracking–once this spinal injury works itself out and I can type comfortably for more than ten minutes at a time.
People always ask what it’s about when they discover I’m a writer, and my fumbling reply is usually something along the lines of, “Well, it’s a literary novel set in a post-fantasy setting,” or, “It’s a literary fantasy-western set in a low-magic time period roughly reminiscent of the late 1800s or early 1900s.” Mainly, however, it’s the story of a woman who’s seen too much conflict.
Cover art teaser by the wonderfully talented VijVij.
That’s all I’ve got to report right now, unless anyone wanted some Formula 1 discussion.
The short version is this: I was most of the way through what was meant to be the “final draft,” but then I took a bit of a break and had a long, hard look at what I’d written, and proceeded to chuck it all into the metaphorical trash.
Afterwards, I took a much longer break. I’ve been at this more than three years now, and nearing some million words with all the versions and drafts and edits. I was frustrated, recently moved to a different country, and a carrying a load of untreated depression and anxiety, and I’d reached a point of burnout.
Still, I spent the time off working, as my wife likes to remind me whenever it comes up. Honing the characterization, the plot, the setting, making a damned outline–basically doing what I should’ve done at the start, and not this writing by the seat of my pants I’ve instead been doing all along. But I suppose it’s all been a learning process, and shouldn’t really consider the time spent time wasted. Or so I tell myself. As does she.
But I’m back at it now. I’m refreshed and excited to be writing again (most of the time), and, right about some 50K words in, thrilled with how it’s coming along.
More news as news happens. Otherwise, I’m going to keep plugging away, and hopefully have a finished book to show you all at the end of it. I’ve never forgotten all the kind words and the support I received back when this was an overblown GW2 fanfic, and I wish you guys and gals all the best.
Just a quick update for any of you still pointlessly dropping in here from time to time.
Yes, work on the book continues. First draft was a huge hit with beta readers, final draft (what they saw of it) even a bigger one. However, I got about halfway through–some 80-90k words–sat back, and realized I wasn’t happy with it for a number of reasons.
So I took a break for a couple of weeks, which is the longest break from writing I’ve had in almost two years since this all started. Then my mother took ill, nearly died, spent over a month in the hospital, came home for two weeks, cancer discovered by her doctor, in for surgery. It took a fair toll on me, especially being some 3,500 miles from home, and that two week break turned into a much longer one for other reasons.
There hasn’t been much writing going on in the sense of actually putting words down on paper, virtual or otherwise, but a ton of reworking and reimagining, and what’s coming from all that is going to be the book that’s much closer to what I want to be writing, and hopefully more stripped-down in terms of pacing, and even simplifying the plot a bit. Or a lot, in a few cases. (And hopefully not 500-600 pages like the first draft was.)
We’re freshly returned from Mass, saw that my mother is still alive, on the mend, and still very crazy–now it’s time to get back to the actual writing and get this thing done and off and hopefully make some money from all this work I’ve put into it.
In the meantime, I’d be remiss if I didn’t, as usual, comment on a few unrelated things.
1. TWD Season 2 is a far cry from Season 1, but I’m still enjoying the heck out of it, as bad a person and gamer as that might make me.
2. Logitech G27 + Assetto Corsa = bliss. My rekindled love affair with cars and motorsports keeps me driving, and doing very little other gaming. Looks like we’re starting a little crew for Project CARS, too, which is pretty exciting.
3. Nico Prostberg a shit, Bo77as 4 lyfe.
4. Is GW2 a literal joke at this point? My impression of the past year or more has been, “What’s the absolute minimum amount of effort we can put in while getting fools to log in and spend money in the gem shop? Also, since Hepler isn’t available, hire the second worst writer you can find. Oh, and the Chinese love a good P2W system, so since the game is dying here, let’s bring it over there and cash in now.”
Bah. Goodnight, everybody.
Still working. Always working.
If I was writing generic genre fantasy, I’d be long done by now, but this is something much more literary and should stand out from a lot of what’s there on the shelves right now. It’s god damned exhausting, though, and frustrating when I realize that the combined 330,000 words (not including edits and rewrites, so about double that) of the GW2 version and the original-work first draft were really just long exercises in figuring out how one writes a book in the first place.
That said, it’s pretty amazing to sit back after struggling with a chapter for an entire month (even though I have the outline there in the first version), finally put the finishing touches on it, read it over a couple days later and think it’s objectively as good as anything I’ve read. It’s hard to see where I started from where I am now on some days, and that’s an incredible feeling. I will, however, be very happy to be done with it, whenever that’ll be.
(‘Course, then it’s on to the sequel. And the sequel to that, and–well, you get the idea.)
So. GW2. I’ve been mostly quiet on the subject, and with good reason. The old adage, “If you don’t have something nice to say–” holds very true. Still, when have I ever been one to hold my tongue?
I thought I’d ride out the Living Story assuming they had something big planned all along–something that would actually change the game and shake up the meta completely. Then as we limped along in our two-week cycle of achievement chases and horrid, horrid fucking writing, I slowly gave up.
Since beta I’d worked very hard to like this game. Or to want to like this game. I’ll admit, I had fun along the way, but that was mostly due to hooking up with some old friends again, and meeting some new ones.
What I’ve seen is a game that has no idea what it wants to be full of half-baked ideas and mechanics that someone somewhere decided were “good enough.” And they are “good enough” apparently to get people logging in to throw money at the cash shop every time ANet comes out with the next idiotic thing that’s Only Available for a Limited Time! But not good enough for me. With a very few exceptions what I’ve logged into every two weeks was disappointment.
I won’t go full-on tinfoil hat here, but it feels to me over the past however long I’ve been playing that they care far more about the bottom line and “good enough” instead of making a truly enjoyable game. Like things got lost along the way somewhere between the Manifesto and NCSoft/Nexon and replaced by oodles of PR-speak and empty promises.
I’m basically done with it at this point barring some massive content patch, so let me say this. Thanks, GW2, for getting me to write again, and forcing me away from the game’s lore as quickly as possible, and helping me connect with some friends, old and new. And, of course, all of you guys who found your way here because of it. Here’s to hoping we end up in some new adventures together elsewhere.
So, this is way overdue, and my editor will probably kill me for putting up a (not entirely) arbitrarily chosen section that hasn’t been edited, copy- or otherwise, at all. And still I’m glad to do it.
Things are starting to pick up again after a lull following an amazing start to the final draft. Moving to a new country will do that, I suppose, though it’s still frustrating to have lost roughly a month in here somewhere due to packing, moving, figuring out the whole immigration thing, and the general anxiety surrounding it all. But we’re here in the Republic of Canadia settling in nicely, and the cats love their new home.
It may be a while before my next update, but hopefully that update will be, “Done! Final edits, then off to agents!” Until then, I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season.
Without further ado: Teaser the second.
(Insert generic copywrite/usage disclaimer here.)
Yeah, so, I’m way late with that new teaser, huh? Seeing as it’s technically a GW2 blog (for now), you should be used to seeing something When It’s Ready!
In all seriousness, apologies to everyone out there–my editor was crazy busy for a while, and I’ve been writing like mad to the exclusion of a number of other things.
Hopefully I’ll have a finished first draft of this manuscript by early-to-mid September at this point, then it’s on to rewrites and editing…then I start sending this out to literary agents. I’m certainly at the final batch of 3-4 chapters now, anyway, so at least there’s an end of sorts in sight.
To give you an idea of what’s been going on, Thorn (GW2 ver.) was 158,000+ words and took roughly ten or so months to complete. Thorn Book I: Wanderer and Misericorde is pretty close to that length right now, has taken just over four months to get there, and encompasses only about half the story of the GW2 version (although it differs quite considerably from that original storyline, so let’s say half of this particular story instead).
As you might guess, after 300,000+ words in a year and a couple of months, I’m fucking TIRED–even approaching burnout, you might say. When I go back and flip through what’s been written so far, however, seeing these characters really come to life on the page along with the new world continually fleshed out around them makes every long day of work and every frustrating bout of writer’s block and every moment of self-doubt so worth it to slog through, and keeps me moving ever forward with this project.
I wish I could approach these posts with even a fraction of the eloquence I go for in prose, but…meh. The tl;dr is, “Yes, I will still get another teaser up. I’ll send the section out to my editor this week. When you see the final product on a bookshelf in the future, I think you’ll love it.”
In other (sports) news, if you had told me before and/or during Spring Training that the Sox would have the best record in the AL and 2nd overall in the majors I would’ve asked you when you’d last been kicked in the head by a barnyard animal. I was ready to settle for a crap year, but no Bobby Valentine.
And here’s to hoping A-Fraud fucks right off sooner rather than later.
See you guys again shortly.