Friday, September 11, 2015

I Found Them!!! :-)

 Well, here we are in September already, and life has just been barreling past at a zoom-zoom rate!

 But, I did get my 20k in for August, and am well on my way to get my Sept. goal as well. (currently at 9k out of the 20k.)
 I had a languishing bout in August, which is always a bit scary, a word-dearth/inspiration sapped/hopelessness feeling episode is always potential for a minor panic attack in a writer!!!
 BUT!!! Never fear... rescue was on its way!! Friends lent me The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge, and all writerly gloom was banished in the glowing aftermath of that darling story!!!
  (See my review of it here)

It restored my hope in all things literary, and reminded me what caliber of enchanting tales I'd love to create... and thereby kick started my ambitions and inspirations in one fell swoop!

 From thence, I clattered the keyboard as scenes and plot points fell dazzlingly into place on the page.

    I always love a good spurt of "writer's fire" like that!!!

 Anyway, but on to other news!!!

 While writing Jeweler's Apprentice and Traitor's Knife I had gotten little snippets of scenes that happen in the 3rd book in that series, and had tucked all those delicious little tidbits away as fire-starter for when the time came to write that book.

 But, then, early this year, when I'd thought there was a good chance I could get to work on King's Ward (#3) I discovered that all those notes were lost.

  I could not find them ANYWHERE!!!

  I looked and looked and it all was impossible, and so, so.... disheartening, I couldn't even begin to contemplate starting King's Ward in the face of such devastating loss.

 (So, I did other things, and wrote on other stories... mainly Beaded Slipper, Runzella, and Twelve Dark Knights, as well as a few others, and also thrashed around in the behemoth that Reindeer King is fast becoming -over 100k at the moment, and it's story arc is not complete- Ack!!)

 Anyway, I'd bottomed out on RK, (needing some feedback on the opening chapters, to get some of the tangle straightened out in my head) and also had exhausted most pressing scene ideas for the other tales.

 (The way I manage my creativity to best production is to let it write whatsoever scene -from whatsoever book- it has a fancy to, thereby pinning down whatever fleeting images are in the cerebral cortex before they vanish. My creativity is a fickle thing, and not at all interested in performing on demand, so pouncing on scenes "wild caught" so to speak, from their natural, persnickety habitat is the best way to ensure that each scene has punch of it's own accord.
  I can summon a grim-reaper sort of creativity for those final, hard to nail down scenes, which is required to actually finish a book, since "natural crystal" scenes arrive willy-nilly and hither and yon, and never, ever comprise a complete, finished, start to finish storyline. So there inevitably comes a time when the jewel-scenes stop showing up for this story, in fact become exclusively arriving for other stories altogether, and that is the point where I must unsheathe my sword, gird up my loins, and wade into the fray all stern-faced: pinpoint what exact information still needs imparted, coldly deduce how best to inject it, and hammer out a scene that serves the purpose.
 I need not tell you these are not my favorite scenes, and they rarely contain any lyrical prose at all. They are carpenter scenes, constructed for purpose alone, and if I had to write the whole book this way I think I would not bother to do it. Too much work, and not any fun at'all.
 Many times I heartily dislike these framed scenes, but if they are cleverly surrounded by the shiny "wild caught" ones, a reader's eye glosses straight over them without noticing how brutally uninspired they are. Even my own eye does this, after time has forgotten precisely which ones were which, and the hand-hewn pieces blend with the landscape and escape notice.
 And that, my dears, is how I write books, and actually finish books.

 I write books for the moments of glittering, inspired words that pour forth.
  I finish books by teeth-gnashing, determined plodding. -Which, thankfully, doesn't last too long, possibly the last 6th. of the process.)

Anyway, in a temporary dearth of glittering scenes cavorting in the ferns, and not enough courage to go frame up ugly, spiritless scenes, I sat down at my desk. I had writing time, but no writing that was promising to do itself.

 So, all empty headed of words, I took the session and quietly explored the nooks and crannies of my laptop...
 (keeping a calm heart-rate and languid manner, for lost things can smell fear and it makes them turn invisible)
  ...vaguely convinced that the missing scenes must be somewhere on it.
    How could I have ever deleted them? Impossible to think!

 I've been down that agonizing road too grievously in my early, hastier years, for me to even entertain the idea of permanently deleting anything I might remotely like in future... and I am so crippled by this terror that I have a great deal too many copies of copies of my manuscripts laying around in my folders. (Too many, that is, for my hard drive's complete comfort, and also, for my own ability to correctly identify the precise differences in nature between various versions of any given ms.)

 Therefore, I had a hard time believing, truly accepting, in my deepest heart of hearts; that I could ever have conceivably deleted those scenes.

 Even by accident... because I'm practically phobic about that!

 So, there I was, clicking cautiously around and delving further and further into the darkened recesses of the laptop's folder-in-a-folder keeping system, when I opened a creaky old door and stood boggle-eyed and breathless, staring at the objects of my long despaired search.

 I'd found the "lost notes" on King's Ward!!!
   *Cue triumphant laughter, echoing in dim and dundgeon-y halls*

 So, they're back.

 You can bet I quickly transferred all bits and snippets into a proper project, and promptly labeled it King's Ward, and now I have solidified their claim on an actual story. A story that will be written, and hopefully between now and springtime, first draft complete at the very least.

  Altogether they added up to well over 10k, which is a very jolly start to a book. I always hate the "blank page" of a book I know I must write... it invariably sends my mind into a fit of "I don't know where to start it!" (somewhat true)  and "I don't even know one single thing that happens!" (which is of course a most blatant fallacy, but the mind is capable of the meanest kinds of tricks,) and also, "This book is sure to be no good at all! I'd be saving the world a great deal if I simply didn't write this one at all."
  Which my readers assure me is also a grave piece of swindling, and that in fact, there are people out there very glad that I persisted past this stage of mental self-intimidation and actually got the books completed,
  (For which, of course, I am most heartily grateful to those darling readers, and I cannot possibly express how much they mean to me!!!!)

 Anyway, having a nice, cushion-y ten thousand word start on a project is always so much more pleasant; you reach the mile posts that much faster, and therefore more heartening. The "it's 20k, nicely started now!" and then the "40k, well, well, almost halfway there!" then "50k. Well done! This is officially novel length, -though of course we all know this story isn't nearly 50% actually complete-..." and so on.

 Generally speaking, at 80k I begin to feel as if I've accomplished a great deal, and possibly might even finish this book. Then each increment up from that I start feeling a little light headed, and as we near 100k mild panic sets in that "this monster will never be finished! Ever!"
 After this I have heretofore been so fortunate as be allowed to send it out to beta readers, who take the beastie off my hands and let me breath and regain composure. (While working on a different book, with different word count levels.)
 After returning from betas, the ms always seems so incredibly much more like a book, and it ceases to be "a project" and becomes "a story", which is always tremendously heartening, and we go forward finishing from there.

So this is why I try to never refuse an "early arrival" wild caught scene for a book I still have far in my future. I take a moment and capture that little glittering thing, and set it nicely in a quiet house with a soft nest to sleep sweetly, slowing joined by anything else that wants to volunteer, until such date as I have time to actually start on their book.

 It can get confusing, having so many books flitting in and out of your head, but it's the best way to "wild catch" scenes and have them waiting, fresh once more, by the time you need them. (Up to years and years later!)

 It's so much more encouraging to start a book and have it already partially written "for free" so to speak.

 Do you ever "wild catch" scenes?

 Anyway!!! So now I'm inspired to start concocting King's Ward!!!