Journal, Writing

The Daily News: And now for something completely different.

Today’s Session: 8AM-1oAM – Almost spent the whole time working on getting Chpt. 19 in shape. I’m so annoyed–I was so excited about the chapter yesterday, but then I made the mistake of re-reading it too soon. Talk about depressing. The ideas are there, don’t get me wrong, but the writing is horrible.

I’m working now on the rewrite, retyping each page sentence by sentence, re-evaluating the word choices, the verb choices, the transitions. I really hope this helps. I mean, even if it’s still rather rough, it gets them off Northermeed Island, which I’ve been wanting to do for the last three chapters. So that’s good at least. But ugh. Why do I read things so soon after I’ve written them? I always get disappointed.

And the fact is, even if I get disappointed now, there’s not telling what I’ll think of it a few weeks from now. Take that scene I wrote with Sherry in the dungeon with the Pagan priest. I hated it when I wrote it–it didn’t work, I didn’t plan to use it. But going back to it for the last chapter, I *loved* it. It did everything I wanted it to do, it captured something really special about Sherry as a character, and about the danger of her situation, and it [redacted for spoilerness]. Maybe this rewrite will help. Oh man, I hope so. -_- *depressed*

I’ve been thinking about writing a post on fan fiction, since it seems to be a subject a lot of authors have some fairly strong opinions about. Lately, I’ve been thinking of my work on The Thief Dilemma as “writing a novel, with training wheels.” It’s a safe way to write 100k words without feeling too burdened by the idea of having to DO something with it. It really is just a lot of fun! (Except when it’s depressing, like yesterday. Ha!)

Considering how much difficulty I’ve had with other novel attempts, I’ve found it fascinating to study what it is about TTD that makes it so comparably easy to write. All the characters I use (for the most part) are original, the plot line is original–the only thing that makes it fan fiction, really, is that it’s set in the Thief franchise world. It’s got a cosmology of its own that I can always fall back on when I’m not sure what will happen next. I know the religions, the speaking styles of certain sects, the basic cannon of history, and the setting without even having to think much about it.

I feel like I know the world, which I’m not sure I’ve ever felt quite so comfortable in lengthy works set in my own original worlds. Short stories I can manage, but I think I get intimidated by the world-building required for novel-length projects. I’ll have to think about this some more, because it’d be so nice to have projects write themselves the way this one does. XP

(Just as a side note: I started writing TTD back in tenth grade, so yes, the writing is functional at best, but after nearly eight years, there are still awesome folks who love reading it, and I love writing it. The characters make me laugh, and it’s to date–I believe–one of the most fun pieces I’ve worked on. One of my goals this year is to finish it so that I can move forward without feeling that I left some really cool characters hanging, when they so deserve an ending. So that’s why I’ve been working on this instead of original stuff for the past two weeks. I’m trying to put up a new chapter a month, and so far am only a little behind. :) But I owe it to myself to finish writing a damn fun story, if only to prove I can actually write something that is over 100k words without going insane.)

Chapter 19 should be done by Saturday night, anyway, and then I can get back to the draft of “The First Ghost of Oldshore” and another SF story that needs editing before going out.

Anyway! Off to work! Look for the next THREE QUESTIONS post on Tuesday with The Science of Fiction blog author Andrew Porter. Should be fun!

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