Archive for June, 2011

The evisceration of a novel

Posted in Uncategorized on June 25, 2011 by Jaym Gates

I drafted this novel almost two years ago. Originally, it was in 3 parts, basically 3 novellas telling the story from different perspectives. Didn’t work out very well, honestly. It wasn’t what the story wanted. The middle one got great feedback, but the other 2…no dice. So the middle one has been reclaimed and is in the rewrite process. Currently at about 53,000 words, it needs a lot of work.

Problem is, it still isn’t good. It needs to be told differently. The main character is now the Lord of Death, rather than his wife. (I want to write something about Sviera later, but writing about the lady of chaos is a nightmare!)

So, today, I’m tearing the draft up. The story will be told from several points of view: The Lord of Death, Ja Corri and someone in the enemy camp. Don’t know who that is yet! There will also be a bit of meta-storytelling, if possible. I’m going to pull bits out that don’t quite fit into the story. Eventually, I will be trying to podcast those. I’ve put years into the world-building, so I’m going to need to refamiliarize myself with it.

Basically: I’m recommitting to a story that I’ve been trying to write for 10 years now. It’s huge, gnarly and burdened by its age. It is also something I worked on with my ex, and so I keep stumbling across stuff that makes me close out of the programs and walk away. It’s going to be a headache, but this story is too fun to let go of!

But, that being said, here’s a bit of my process. Also known as: not losing masses of followers on Twitter.

1.) Ok, I LIKE Scrivener. I really do. But having to re-download every couple of weeks has killed my writing time more than once. Still, it’s only a couple of days until the full release. I’d been on the fence, but looking at this latest beta…not on the fence anymore. GadgetGeek says “GIVE US, PRECIOUS”. I mean, they have COMIC and BBC script formats!

2.) This is why I kept the Encyclopedia: The amount of world-building in this project is immense. I’ve been working on other projects for 2 years. But I’m picking all of it right back up again. Scrivener’s new set-up is making me happy, since I can just pin entries on the corkboard to have handy for reference.

3.) Hold on, have to go squee/dither/RT the crap out of NY’s heavenly news.

4.) “Karkaran PROVIDENCE? It’s a region, not an act of god…Why am I allowed to write? Edit edit edit…Karkaran PROVINCE. ~sigh~

5.) The desert kingdom is transferred into Scrivener. The ruler underwent a rather belated sex-change a few weeks ago, so I’m going to be rooting ‘he’ out of the manuscript for a while. Hmmm…begs the question: when you’re a creature who chooses their own shape and gender, why would you choose one form over the other?

6.) Apropos of nothing: I am the Black Death of Houseplants, and undead monsters are fun to create. I really hope those 2 things are unrelated, actually…

7.) Tried to paste 97 pages of my source language (Basque). I think I broke Scrivener.

8.) Scrivener lives again. Now tearing draft into respective parts: Amarog, Enemy, Diaries and Letters, Myths, Artifacts, Stories.

9.) Oh, right. That’s the Enemy voice. Always fun to add another insane god in there somewhere. Especially this insane god.

10.) I’m really hesitant to use the Old Ones in here. There are quite a few POV characters already. Hmmmm…this calls for Watchers. #cryptic

11.) The manuscript is broken up. I can see the problems a lot better this way.

12.) Gods, I use archaic language. Totally not my fault, I SPEAK archaic. My grandparents raised me on Queen’s English, Shakespeare, the Bible and old religious books. I read War and Peace FOR FUN when I was 15…and I’d already read LOTR and multiple Sir Walter Scott books…multiple times. I dream in Ye Olde English, I think.

13.) I probably could avoid being snarky. Maybe. Probably not. Latest notes on draft: “Sire, we lost the queen…” and “Technology, DAMMIT!”.

14.) Hellboy and the Golden Army makes really good writing background sound. But Balor was one-EYED, not one-ARMED. Le sigh.

15.) White-haired not-mortals are a slightly embarrassing weakness. TOTALLY unrelated: Nuada is really, really cool, and totally should have won.

16.) Because I’m here, my favorite background movies: Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy II, Mirrormask, Hero, The Warrior, Dragon Hunters, Sin City. All visually amazing, great scores, mythological, largely sad.