Wind Sprints

I wrote the first draft of THE TRIAD SOCIETY. I didn't like it. It wasn't bad necessarily. It just wasn't the story I set out to write. The story I had planned was this huge intricate intrigue that spanned the politics of the university, the city, the kingdom! And in the end, a meeting made at the beginning of the book would afford the hero an opportunity to make his case and win the day.

In the first draft, he fills out the paperwork for the meeting and then it's never mentioned again. The story took a MASSIVE left turn and finished in half the word count I originally expected. After what I felt was the success of WANTED: CHOSEN ONE, NOW HIRING (in terms of story even though I never landed an agent), finishing THE TRIAD SOCIETY with such a mediocre offering really brought me down.

So, I broke my routine. Normally, when I finish a manuscript first draft, I will take a few weeks off and read a book or three. Then I'll go back and revise. This time, I read a couple books, but then I started work on JEHOVAH'S HITLIST. I usually start a new manuscript while the previous ms is with beta readers. I'll then stop and revise for the third draft. This means I'm only about 12,000 words into a manuscript.

Instead, I wrote 32,000 words before even starting on the second draft. What happened, though, was THE TRIAD SOCIETY went from mediocre to solid. I still like WANTED's story more, but Liz tells me that she likes TTS better. After struggling to find my rhythm and pacing, I wrote another 25,000 words on JH before revising TTS again.

So now we're done with TTS and it's ready to go to agents in its awesome state. The longer break, I think, saved an average manuscript from remaining average. HOWEVER, it's also affected the newer manuscript in a negative fashion. It's hard to bounce between voices, especially when one is a bureaucratic fantasy and the other is an anarchic sci-fi. It's even harder to do it twice!

If writing is sunshine, revising is sunshine bent through a magnifying glass that burns the ant in the driveway. It's a complete immersion in a manuscript where you question every word choice, sentence structure, and plot point. You can't just revise an entire manuscript and then go back to another manuscript that's 2/3 finished. At least, I can't.

So once again, I find myself without momentum on JH. Maybe I really should stop and try something else for awhile. In addition to breaking the rules, it feels shitting to stop working on a manuscript that is 30,000 words from the end. What I really need is a jumpstart. I'm not having trouble writing JH. I know what comes next. But the motivation is gone. I feel like I should still be working on TTS or even (in total violation of the rules), it's sequel THE RED SOCK SOCIETY.

That is when I thought of a new exercise. Wind sprints. Run, stop, run, stop. Get your heartbeat up before basketball practice where you'll have to run up and down the court and Joe is a chubby little kid and sucks at running, so he needs all the warmup he can get.

I have a number of stories on deck: THE SEVENTH SACRIFICE, WHAT'S BEHIND THE CROOKED DOOR?, THE RED SOCK SOCIETY, and THE HOUSE ON SANDWICH NOTCH LANE. Plenty of things to dabble in. And dabbling is exactly what we're going to do. I'm going to write the first chapter on all or some of these but not commit to writing any of them. Basically, I'm doing writing wind sprints. I need to get my writing heart rate up so finishing JH doesn't seem so laborious. And, it lets me create some new things with new voices and just revel in creativity for creativity's sake.

Two posts following this one will have chapter 1 of 7Sac and CROOKED. I may post more later if the need arises or I may hop back into JH and finish that thing off.