Sunday, May 29, 2016

Lesson Learned

I have always prided myself on being a die-hard pantser when it comes to writing. Outlines are for sissies, they stifle the creative flow. However, before anyone gets up in arms over that statement, I may just be willing to admit to being a wee bit mistaken.

Let me explain.

For the last couple of years I’ve been pretty much focused on the two series I have going on - the Ardraci Elementals and the Moonstone Chronicles. Mostly I’ve been editing them, not writing new words. I did make a half-hearted attempt at a new series, but I kept stalling. I finished a couple of stories last year, but they were ones I’d already started and made notes on - so I knew where they were going. This is why I’m kind of wondering what’s going to happen when I reach the end of what I’ve written on Wandering Wizards - will I know what happens next?

Last Friday I got some editing done and then started working on a new sci fi short story. I got the first couple of pages done and then ... I had no clue what happens next. I needed to think about where the story was going and maybe write out a few notes.

Yesterday the same thing happened. I started a new story, although this time I had a vague idea of where this story was going, got a quasi prologue done and then I had the urge to pull out a pad of paper and pen and work out more of the details - character names, settings, time lines ...

I refuse to believe I’ve sunk so far as to want to use an outline, but I fear the day is coming! ;-)

Wordage Report

Blog Posts (not counting this one)
2,611 words total
Down by about 200 words this week, which surprised me because of the length of my movie review last week. However, when I was adding up the blog post words for last week I did not include the words from my excerpt. I don’t know if I did previously but it kind of feels like cheating to include them because they’re words that were already written.

New Ideas
478 words total
This space is supposed to be for those ideas I need to jot down so they’ll leave me alone. So technically, these words should be added into the New Words total because the idea for these stories came out of one of my ideas files, I didn’t just come up with them off the top of my head, but they’re old enough they could almost be new so here I am.

45 pages total
I did the second pass on the middle grade adventure/mystery but I have not included the pages here because, well, it was the second pass, which is more just double-checking my work.

The 45 pages were from An Elemental Earth. I’m well over the halfway mark now and my big accomplishment was getting past a stumbling block I encountered. However, this also means I’ll be starting into the section that needs some heavy editing now, so we’ll see how I do this week.

New Words
And these were all on Wandering Wizards. Okay, I can hear you now. If I wrote so many new words on this, why did my word count go down? Like I said last week, this was a section that had to be totally re-written. So I started by deleting 3,887 words, then I added in 2,462 words - a difference of 1,425 words.

I don’t have enough of either of the new stories that’s coherent enough to use as an excerpt, so again, here’s one from Wandering Wizards:

Unable to face her, he got to his feet and then began pacing as he talked.
“I made myself a promise that I would never lie to you, and it’s put me in somewhat of an ethical dilemma.”
“I think that’s ad--wait. What kind of ethical dilemma?” The smile that had begun blooming on her face died in the making at his serious expression.
“While I have not lied to you, I am guilty of perpetuating a lie of someone else’s making.”
“Stop that and sit down,” she said when he paced close enough for her to reach out and grab his arm. She pulled him down beside her. “That’s better. Now who’s been lying to me?”
“Pretty much everyone,” he said quietly.
“I guess it started with Howard.”
“To be fair, even he didn’t know what was going on at first, and by the time he did there was no good way to tell you, and then he kept getting himself in deeper and deeper--”
“Holy Saint Christopher!” she exploded. “Will you get to the point?”
“Thackery isn’t just some random wizard, he’s your father. And he and your grandfather are the reason you’re in the world in the first place.”
Dominic waited for the explosion that never came. “That’s it? Just ‘oh’?”
It was Jessica’s turn to look uncomfortable. “I’ve been meaning to tell you ...”
“Tell me what?” he asked with growing irritation. He’d been agonizing over telling her the truth for days, he just hadn’t been able to find the right words.
“Do you remember when I was lost on the Fae Road?”
“Yes.” He would never forget. He’d almost lost her forever.
“I ended up somewhere called the space between worlds where I met my mother.”
“Well, I guess it was more like the spirit of my mother, but she seemed real enough. Anyway, she kind of told me what was going on.”
She slanted a hopeful look in his direction but he could only stare back blankly. All this time and she’d known the truth.
“She’s also the one who gave me the incantation I used on Ewan.”
“Why didn’t you say anything before?”
“Things happened so fast, it just never seemed to be the right time to tell you,” she said in a small voice.
Dominic’s anger ran from him like water. He sighed and pulled her back into his arms. “Well, I’m glad you know, and that neither of us need keep any more secrets.”
“No more secrets,” Jessica said, and leaned up for a kiss.
“No more secrets,” he agreed. “I think that’s enough talking for tonight.”

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