Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Wednesday Wanderings

So this past weekend, I finally finished the first draft of Surgeburnt, my post-apocalyptic science fantasy novel.  The setting was out of my wheelhouse, a stretch for my skills, and the plot required some delicate handling, because it involved two threads:  one, the present storyline, and the second, an out-of-order retelling of the events and people who got my narrator to that point.  They both came to a climax at the same moment.  However, the main plotline had threads that needed additional resolution, so I wrote a final action sequence to cap off the novel.

Because I hadn't planned on the continuation - and because of the chaos in my non-fantasy life - the end of the novel felt like wandering to a halt, rather than a resolute jaunt across the finish line.  But it is done, and I'm satisfied with the conclusion ... and oh my stars, there's a lot of editing to be done.  The book is enormous, coming in over the 150k mark ... which is at least shorter than the first draft of Scylla and Charybdis, and I'd like to think I have more tricks in my bag now.

So for now, Surgeburnt goes onto the shelf, for an editing eye after I polish off (or give up on) Undertaking Chances, my quirky little for-fun zombie project that turned out to have more potential than I expected.

To end, here's two songs I associate with Surgeburnt narrator, Maren - the first song I chose for, and the most recent:

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Wednesday Wanderings

I know it's been radio silence on this blog for a while.  It's been a crazy few months.  I've been studying for the CSW (Certified Specialist of Wine) which exam I just passed - a huge feather in my cap.  Work has taken a lot of my emotional energy, so I've spent most of my non-studying time zoning out in front of the television.  I've come up for air enough that I really miss writing, and when I have the focus for it, the blog hasn't been the center of my attention.

But enough of that.  I wanted to talk a bit about sequel-itis, the impulse authors have to continue one book (or sometimes, one short story) with another.  It's not a disease I suffer much from.  (And yes, I use the term "disease" tongue in cheek.)  This might surprise you.  I've talked before about how I like to write stories with, "Yes, but ..." endings, which naturally lend themselves to the next chapter.

But for me, I'm content with leaving things open-ended, with a tale tied off in frayed knots.  When it comes to short fiction, I'm hyperactive:  I'd rather be on to something brand new and shiny.  When it comes to novels, on the other hand, whenever I reach the end, I already have possibilities and potential for a sequel, but I'm also a pragmatist.  As a professional writer, I'm not willing to put the time and energy into a second book until I know there's a chance it will see the light of day, which means selling the first ... and I'm not there yet.  Plus, by the time a book gets through the process of editing, submission, and potential acceptance ... you guessed it.  My hyperactive mind has moved on.

Does that mean there might be a sequel to Scylla and Charybdis?  I don't know yet.  I had two distinct possibilities for the direction, but there's a lot of water under the bridge between then and now.  There's also so much new on the horizon, different worlds for me to explore just as Anaea did.