Closer to Figuring out the Talyn Issues

The days off are helping. I’m reading a couple of Anne Perry novels, and a Nora Roberts/J.D. Robb “collaboration”, and sleeping more than a bit, and the brain is coming back online a bit, a little at a time.

I’ve managed to identify some of the problems I’m having in this last third of the book. First, I’m going to have to retrofit more relationship stuff between Gair and Talyn. I had this well in place the first two thirds of the book, but fell into old fantasy novel habits in this last third. And thirds being as long as they are, there’s been a fair amount of room to drift.

Second, I now have significantly more story than I have remaining pages to write. I’ve been grumping about this ever since I realized it, but I just recalled about an hour ago that I had the same issues with THE SECRET TEXTS trilogy. That was a story I’d planned out for 600,000 words that I ended up having to do at 375,000 words, which made writing the trilogy feel perpetually like doing haiku. I may be the only person ever to write a 375,000-word haiku, but what the hell. Everyone should be first at something. So now I’ll break out the same techniques I used in TST, and compress what I estimate is 160,000 words of remaining novel into 60,000 words, which should really accelerate the pace in this last section. It’s already been moving at a tight clip, so it ought to start feeling like being strapped into the front car of a roller coaster.

I’m getting to where I’m okay with this. Relaxing helps. Still taking off tomorrow — I’m not yet eager enough to get back to work. But I may cancel the fourth day of my mini-vacation in favor of digging back into the story.

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About the author: Novelist, writing teacher, on a mission to reprint my out-of-print books and self-publish my new ones.

5 comments… add one
  • Rick Oct 16, 2003 @ 9:40

    Oh, thanks! I think I tend to do that as well. 🙂

  • Holly Lisle Oct 16, 2003 @ 6:02

    What are old fantasy habits and how can fantasy writers avoid them?

    The old fantasy habit I fell into was downplaying the romantic relationship between the two main characters because in straight fantasy, that’s what you do. In a fantasy romance, however, this is … um … counterproductive.

    Don’t know how much this little revelation of mine will help anyone else, though.

  • Rick Oct 14, 2003 @ 19:14

    What are old fantasy habits and how can fantasy writers avoid them?

    Good luck with continuing to break through the Great Wall of Writer’s Block. I hear they can see it from space sometimes.

  • Dean McMillin Oct 14, 2003 @ 11:16

    If you would ever be willing to share your techniques for compressing plot so thoroughly, I would be very intrigued (as I am sure others would be). Maybe a Vision article in the future?

  • Alex Oct 14, 2003 @ 4:39

    It’s good that things are picking up for you. As for your problem with too much story still left to go, I had that problem fairly recently. I figured that instead of 95,000 words, it would have ended up at something like 160,000, so I completely remodelled the last third of the book. Strangely enough, it’s probably turned out better than it would have done with the first plot outline.
    I finished Darkness in the Forest yesterday, and wow is it an amazing feeling. Now I can take a month’s rest before starting the revisions–and then the fun will really start.

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