Stepping Back to See the BIG Picture

After a month of NaNoWriMo, I’m finally getting back to my pre-existing revision. I don’t want to say I was getting bogged down, or anything, but the novel in question is one of the longest things (word-wise) I’ve ever written. Going from thriller-length thrillers to sci-fi length sci-fis is a culture shock. And I’ve been staring at the leaning tower of manuscript for much too long.

I’ve been working my way through an outline. Something like an outline, anyway. Whatever you call an outline that’s written to organize after you’ve already written.

And I’ve been working on a scene-to-scene level.

Not too bad, and I’ve been making progress, but I’ve been overwhelmed. The sheer number of scenes was dragging on me.

I have this thing–you know–and I’m not sure how many books it actually is. I was posting some of it here, for a while. I can tell you it’s a big thing, and that there’s at least one semi-well-thought-out companion thing.

So, today, instead of looking at scenes, I decided to sit down and look at parts. You know. Part One, Part Two, Part Three… Part 126.   I wasn’t really sure if I was looking for Part One or Book One, but I was taking a step back to think about what I actually have, and what I want it to be.

So, the part I’ve already pounded into shape is in the neighborhood of 37k. I’ll probably trim that down, some, but that’s the number I have, so we’ll work with that.

That leaves me 80–yes, I’m going to cut down–thousand words to play with. And due to some chunky outlining, I’m aware that my novel has three parts total. (No, I have no idea why I thought there would be more.) That would mean roughly thirty to forty thousand words per section. (I’ll be aiming in the neighborhood of 110k, but I did math with 120k.)

So, with some revision and a little bit of word-parsimony… drumroll… I have ONE book, and a companion-thing.

**faints from pure relief and exhaustion**

 

And Approaching That Last Minute

Today, I finally got a serious start on the short story I’m working on for the blog hop. I hate to say I’m pushing the last minute here, but it’s been one of those weeks/months/years. I’ll probably finish the story during my early-morning writing session tomorrow, and throw a little spit-polish on before I post it.

Actually, this is the second story I’ve gotten out of the current blog hop, so I’m not doing too badly. If you want to read a different Halloween story, Mrs. Willoughby’s Heart is up, right now.

Oh, yeah… and in case I haven’t mentioned it, lately. Story Time Blog Hop on the 27th of October with the amazing and ingenious Juneta Key hosting. We have a great lineup of writers, this time around, so be sure you drop by to read the stories for the Halloween edition. They’re free… for now, anyway.

I think you’ll find mine is particularly terrifying. I was working on it at a new coffee house, where the barista scammed me into drinking a cup of something with “Earthy undertones.”

As it turns out, “Earthy Undertones” is posh for “Tastes Like Dirt.”

My characters suffered for that one.

Gathering Courage to Write

Story Time Blog Hop Logo

I have a few good friends–mostly scattered over the internet–who are writers. I’ve been part of some great communities. Gotten to know people. Had fun with people. Shared ideas with them. And I’m incredibly grateful for the internet. It’s the thing that makes it possible to find people who share my interests and goals.

And one group of friends has put together a Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Spec-Fic Blog Hop. (I’m hosting it for the Month of July. You’re invited to join us, if you want. As a writer or as a reader.)

We kick around ideas for promotion. I know we’re all in it for fun, but hey… fame and fortune wouldn’t be bad, either.

Some of our ideas aren’t too bad. Some of them are pretty good, if you could just see the tightrope from inside that chicken costume.

Well, we do what we can to keep the readers coming.

So, our blog hop has Juneta Key, from  over at the Writer’s Gambit. And for those of you who don’t know her, Juneta’s one of these incredibly talented, incredibly outgoing, shirt-off-her back types. She’s been promoting tirelessly, and getting the kind of results I could only dream of.

She invited some friends.

And today, one of them–Alex J. Cavanaugh from the Insecure Writers’ Support Group promised that if he couldn’t make it to our Blog Hop, he’d at least help us out with some promotion. Thank you, Alex!

IWSG is a really big, long standing, blog hop that posts on the first Wednesday of every month. I’ve only been involved for three or four months, but it’s done great things for me. It’s an incredibly supportive group, and I’m in awe of it. And I’m so grateful for Alex’s help.

But wait a minute. If other people have faith in me, that means I’ve gotta come up with something brilliant, and really, really good for the blog hop.

**Slinks off to write stories.**

K is for Kissing… and stuff.

Click the image to visit other A-to-Z Challenge Participants

Click the image to visit other A-to-Z Challenge Participants

There were a lot of great words today. Kindness and Knowledge and all sorts of things with maturity and depth. There’s wisdom and life lessons out there on other people’s blogs.

Unfortunately for you, I just got off the phone with my sister, and that pretty much took us both back to junior high, and I’m still sugared-up from an impulse trip to Baker’s Candies. So, today’s blog post is about Kissing… and stuff.  **hee hee**

So, the book I’m working on–the one I’m posting here on my blog–is somewhere in the soft-science fiction to fantasy range. It’s the story of two cultures reconciling after a long–and sometimes vicious–war. My main characters are the queen who inherited the winning side, and an ex-soldier turned resistance fighter from the losing side. In a bid to foment rebellion, and expecting his own execution, he has married her. (Lepterians practice unilateral marriage. He married her. She didn’t marry him. It’s a thing.)

And then, she also didn’t execute him, so he’s pretty much stuck.

In a lot of ways, they’re vehicles for the cultures around them. And their romance, such as it is, is a parallel to the cultures coming together. Awkward as hell.

And I’m not exactly a romance writer. The romantic high point of my last novel was my main character’s husband helping her block a hostile takeover. **sigh**

And at some point… I can’t escape this–she’s going to have to kiss him.

**shudder.** Maybe if I just throw in a few more executions. You know, like at the very beginning? “She executed him, and then he died. The end.”

Honestly, I’m not sure where the problem is, but I’m a little squeamish. Or nervous. Or… something. I’m not sure whether that’s just that I haven’t written a lot of romantic scenes before, or if there’s some deep seated prejudice against romance (based old-school bodice-rippers and cigarette smoke, which I cannot separate in my mind) or if my muse is just telling me that I’m doing something wrong with this.

So, any thoughts or advice? Some of you are really good at this. What do you think?