It’s been another triumphant week, dreamers. Once again, I find myself living each day to escape by night into a world of my creation, and it gets easier every time. And even for this novel, tonight was special. It’s been quite a ride already, and I’m not even close to being done.
With that in mind, here’s what I accomplished this week:
While every page of this novel tends to feel like a miniature triumph, tonight marked an especially important milestone: tonight, the first colonists landed on their new world.
Right now the chapter is only a rough draft, and I’m sure a lot will change when I revise tomorrow. But this one felt special. It turned out exactly as I had hoped. It introduced the last of my three central characters, set the tone for what lies ahead, and began the process of forming an unbreakable bond between the three of them. This wasn’t just satisfying. This was cathartic.
Tonight, I felt something I hadn’t felt since writing Wide Horizon: the deep sense of fulfillment that comes from writing something I’ve had in mind for years. Something I desperately wanted to write, yet never believed I truly could. And after so many years of planning, of worrying, of wishing and hoping, that moment has been put to paper. It is complete.
There’s still so much to do. I have the better part of three fourths of a novel to write. But now, more than ever, I feel I am equal to the task. I can do this.
Tomorrow, of course, work will continue apace. While part of me would like to take a day or so to revel in my latest triumph, deep down I know that no matter how hard I try, I won’t be able to resist the urge to write on. Some time ago, this story ceased to be one I needed to tell. Now, it feels more as if it’s a story that’s telling itself. I’m just along for the ride, and loving every second of it.
On an even brighter note, tomorrow Randall Holmes and his party will begin to explore this strange, alien world I’ve created. At last I will have the opportunity to introduce the reader to the rich, vibrant world I’ve created through countless hours of eclectic research. Ahead lies a foreign and primordial world, filled with strange creatures never before seen my man. I cannot wait.
Now for the one that’s already finished. While I’d intended to make experimental changes to Wide Horizon this week, in the end I spent far more time figuring out exactly how I will do so, assuming I do at all.
There’s something about the flow of Wide Horizon that has always made editing difficult. Perhaps it’s just how long I’ve spent with the story, how it’s come to feel like second nature to me, but whenever I’ve made significant changes, I’ve always had better luck completely rewriting a scene, then working it back into the story afterward. Thus, I plan to do precisely that.
I did, at least, manage to insert “break points” in the manuscript this week. If and when I make the changes I’ve planned, I need to know where to place them; where existing writing cuts out, and the new section will be shoehorned in. I’m not sure whether that’s the hard part or the easy part, to be honest, but it’s a start if nothing else.
This week at some point I plan to pry myself away from The Pioneer long enough to take a pass at the two new passages. If all goes well, I can revise later in the week, then add the new sections if I so choose. That will give me another week or so to jot out my synopsis and a query letter, all in preparation for everything to be submitted to Pitch Wars.
Here goes nothing.
Last but not least, tomorrow I plan to take a break from The Pioneer, at least long enough to look over Going Dark one last time before submitting the story to Asimov. I had been cleaning up the story for submission to Escape Pod, but given all the good things I’ve heard about this piece, I figure I might as well aim high. Besides, Asimov generally takes about five weeks to respond to submissions. That should give me plenty of time to worry about all of the other pressing matters I have to attend to.
It’s been quite a week, but the work of an aspiring writer is never done. Keep reading, dreamers. – MK