Monday, September 23, 2013

Success And Stress

So last week, I set one goal for myself:

Work out the problems with Chapter Nineteen

because Chapter Nineteen had become the undisputed bane of my existence. Something was wrong with it, something was off, and I just could not figure out what that something was.

And I know that if you happened to read last Friday's post, or follow me on Twitter or Facebook (and if you did or do any or all of these things, Thank You!) you already know where this story is headed and are probably wishing I'd just shut up about it, so that's what I'm going to do—Well, right after I say this:

Last Wednesday, I worked out the problems with Chapter Nineteen.

And the even better part is that after all these days later, the solution still holds up.

Of course I had that moment early Thursday when I was looking at the storyboard on my dining room wall, still glowing from the sanity (well, what's left of it) saving revelation, and realized that it was truly the only solution to be had. And that it was (now) so blatantly obvious that I really should have thought of it sooner.

But whatever. I still accomplished my goal (finally) and I still get to feel like this:



And I get to set new goals for this week.

Which leads me into the second part of today's post. The stressed part. See, I was looking at the storyboard on the dining room wall (I've been doing that a lot since I put it up) the other day (Friday, I think) and it occurred to me just how much more story there is to tell in this particular WIP because there is just so much more story to tell.

And it overwhelmed me a bit. And by 'a bit', I mean 'a lot.'

I mean, the manuscript's already over 135,000 words. It's over 350 pages long and I still have so much more that needs to come out. Back in May, I guesstimated that it would end up being around 220k when finished. I have no idea if that's lowballing it, but that's what I feel like. Second Nature is a monster of a book, and it's because I'm juggling a lot of characters and a lot of storylines (they don't call it epic fantasy for nothing, I guess), and it needs to end in a very specific spot and the story is taking its sweet old time getting to that very specific spot.

Then, because I am an idiot bold, I announced to the public (well, the 75 people who 'like' my Facebook page anyway) my intention to have this draft of this WIP finished in December. Of this year.

Which led to a very small freak out. Which led to this week's goals:

1. Don't get ahead of yourself.

I think that's pretty self-explanatory. And, considering the fact that I'm me, potentially impossible. But, I'm going to do my very best. The story needs to be told how it needs to be told (how's that for deep?) and if it takes another 100,000 words, then so be it. Gack.

2. Chapters 18-20

As a result of the Chapter Nineteen Solution, there are now seven scenes under construction between these three chapters. My mission this week—should I choose to accept it—is to finish those seven scenes.

And if I do all that, you'll never have to hear about Chapter Nineteen ever again.

Cue the dance of joy...


What are your goals for the week? Have a great Monday, everyone, and thanks for stopping by.

41 comments:

  1. You can totally do it! But before you give yourself a heart attack, instead of one big book, you can have two or three books instead. Less stress for you, considering you might have enough content for book one and only have to stress about book two or three. Best of luck.

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    1. The overall story for the series is already broken down into three books (well, more, but that's another post altogether). And I did once break those three books into three smaller books, but the truth was that I just didn't like it. It messed with my vision for the series in a way that was uncool.

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  2. What Murees said. The Lord of the Rings trilogy was one huge book until the publisher decided to save everyone's wrists and put it out in three books - which has been the fantasy norm ever since.

    And thanks for the "Perfect Strangers" flashback! :-)

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    1. I direct you to my response above...

      I also wonder how many people out there actually remember "Perfect Strangers." Maybe I should have gone with a different happy dance...I'm really showing my age with this one.

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    2. Then do it as you said - as it needs to be written.

      In that same regard, this bit of an interview with Patrick Rothfuss has always helped.

      The Wise Man’s Fear was nearly 400,000 words long. Almost 60% longer than my first book. How long is that? Well… to put it in perspective, The Wise Man’s Fear is more than twice as long as the final Harry Potter book.

      Or how about this: the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy, including the appendices, is about 450,000 words long. Yeah. My second book by itself is almost longer than the Lord of the Rings. I was a little shocked when I found that out.

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  3. Just take one chapter and issue at a time. Don't let the big picture freak you out. You can do it.

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    1. One chapter at a time is my plan. But now Chapter 21 is a big black hole and I can't stop thinking about that.

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  4. I get overwhelmed when I look at the big picture and all the intricacies of a novel-in-progress, too. I'm not sure there's any other way I can feel. Calm? Peaceful? In control? I wish. Just hang in there, put your head down and do what you need to do, however you need to do it. It WILL work out. :)

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    1. In control? What's that?

      Thanks for the vote of confidence. =)

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  5. Whoa, That is some serious epicness! So glad you figured it out :)

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  6. That is a monster of a book! But I echo what Alex said. Take it a step at a time and it won't feel so enormous!

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  7. I hope you make your deadline. I know I won't make mine. Ha!

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    1. I doubt I'll make mine either. But it's always good to have something to work toward, I suppose.

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  8. Great goals, just don't overload. The process takes its time, and the results will show it. That's a huge book, but I look at some of Diana Gabaldon's books and they can be huge too. Follow your vision, it's your story.

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    1. Diana Gabaldon's books are huge. I can only imagine what her storyboards look like.

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  9. Don't worry about the length until the story's finished.
    And just to go off of what was said earlier: I think we have proven, culturally, that the publisher was wrong in his idea that people wouldn't read a book of that length and, thus, wrong to break LotR into three books, something that Tolkien hated.
    I mean, heck, if we (culturally, not me personally) are willing to read 1000 pages of Martin wherein nothing happens... well...

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    1. There was a guy in my writers group a while back who told me no one would ever buy my book because people didn't want to read books over 200 pages.

      He and I didn't get along.

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    2. That guy evidently has been brainwashed -and- doesn't pay attention to the kinds of people that read epic fantasy. And War and Peace.

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    3. He definitely does not pay attention to the kinds of people that read epic fantasy. I'm pretty sure he believes it to be a waste of a genre.

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  10. I loved your celebratory dance of joy. We need to celebrate more things with interpretive dance. Life would be that much more enjoyable.

    Congrats on fixing the problem!

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    1. People should celebrate more things with interpretive dance. The world would be a much happier place for it.

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  11. Yay for the dance of joy! I hope to finish off all my blog tour posts for next month. I also want to send out a few short stories too. I've not submitted anything for a while.

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    1. I have no idea how you get so much done every week, but I applaud it. =)

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  12. Thanks for the flashback, it's been *ages* since I thought of the Myposian Dance of Joy! :-) And congrats on the Chapter Nineteen Solution (which sounds like a great band name, to me). I'm a "big picture" kinda gal, but when it comes to battling the beast of one's WIP, you need to develop a myopic view and chew it down one bite at a time. Or take lots of Xanax, but that can make you sleepy and then you never finish your MS, so maybe not that.

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    1. I'm so thrilled that so many people know the Dance of Joy!

      Maybe if the whole writing thing doesn't work out, I'll start a band instead. =)

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  13. Balki!!!!! And yay for figuring out chapter 19! I get freaked out, too. If it makes you feel any better, I usually won't buy a book unless it's at least 350-400 pages minimum. I'm off to look for your facebook page. Me? I'm hoping to knock out a short this week :)

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    1. That does make me feel better. Thanks. =)

      Good luck with your short.

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  14. Ah well. That's why I never announce when I think something is going to be finished. I figure I can announce the finish when it is, in fact, actually finished. But that's just me.

    And I'm doing my own dance of joy. I'm done with the math class. Hooray!

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    1. Yes, that is a smart thing to do, but I always worry that if I don't announce my goals in a public forum, I won't hold myself accountable.

      I'm so glad to hear you have survived the math class! I never would've been able to do it.

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  15. That's so great about chapter 19! Glad to hear your solution for it is still holding up, too. I always hate it when I've fixed a problem with one of my projects, only to look back on it and go, "Um...wait..."

    Anyway, good luck with your latest goals! An extra 100K sounds like so much, but you have already written 135K, so I have no doubt you can pull it off, no matter how long it takes! Hope those seven scenes you need to tackle don't give you too much trouble...

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    1. I know I can write all the words...it's just how long it might take that worries me. But, one word at a time is all I can do.

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  16. It's good news! I will listen to any amount of bragging about your hard work. Good luck with this week's. I hope none of the scenes turn out to be as uncontrollable as chapter 19.

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    1. There are two scenes in Chapter Nineteen that need finishing. Not too much more work, a few connecting paragraphs, I think. I hope.

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  17. Good luck with your goals. You can do it!

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  18. Don't stress yourself out too much! Just take it easy and you'll be done in no time.

    www.modernworld4.blogspot.com

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  19. I think my goal this week is just to write something. ANYTHING. Good luck with your goals!!

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