If it looks like I’ve been AWOL from this blog (except for weekends), I have. And I have excuses! Lots of ’em, as usual.
First of all, I finished my book! At least, I did a thorough copyedit and shipped it off to six beta readers, where it will now reside while they wade through its four hundred plus pages. I was a tiny bit behind schedule, since I wanted to be done by the end of February, but I had planned on finishing by March 10th or so. I ended up having it done early on the fifth, after a marathon twelve-hour editing session.
Why such insanity? Well, a few days prior to that, I learned that the amazing Mark Lawrence (seriously, I”m reading Prince of Thorns and I’m like woah.) thought up a really cool contest involving book bloggers and indie writers. Problem was, it required a completed manuscript in ebook format and was on a super-tight deadline. But, I like deadlines! So I got to work and got it done. Oh, and I had to have a title to submit it, so I went with Prophet of Ruin. I’m not completely sold on it, but unless I win, I can change it.
And now we wait. I’ve been assigned to Fantasy Book Review, but they have until September 1 to read 25 books and decide which one they like best. Seems reasonable. Now I just have to resist leaving kissing-up-style comments on their blog and stalking the competition.
And honestly? At the risk of sounding over-confident and downright arrogant- I really love what I’ve come up with. It’s not perfect and pretty far from what I originally imagined over the past decade or so, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I think it’s a fun read (except for all the tragedy) and is pretty unique. That’s really all I ask. Well, I’d like a lot of people to read it someday, but I’m willing to wait for that.
After taking a couple days off to recuperate from the marathon, while cursing Florida heat (2 out of 3 A/C units in the truck aren’t working), I’m ready to dive back into Valley of the Shadow. I read through the 60K words I have so far, and liked it better than I expected. I thought I’d have to re-outline and figure out a bunch of stuff, but I don’t think I do. There are a number of things I haven’t worked out- like the whole ending, and how many and which secondary characters are going to die- but I have faith that I’ll figure it out by the time I get there.
Right before I stopped working on it in January- I couldn’t write one book and edit another, as it turns out- I had figured out some complicated stuff (see pic) using my handy little whiteboard, and now I have to get that into prose that makes sense. It gives me something juicy to dive into.
So, my tentative plan is to have draft one of Valley of the Shadow complete around April 15, then put it aside while I draft Hammer of the Gods. I have NO CLUE where that one is going yet, but I’m immersed in biographies of Gustavus Adolphus, Albrecht von Wallenstein and Alexander Leslie, so ideas are flying into my head faster than I can process them. I’ll probably use Camp NaNoWriMo in April to do all of this.
Since it seems that writing mode is less draining than editing, I’ll try to update here more regularly as well.by