I was up at six, (when you’re fasting, it’s weirdly easy to roll out of bed at the crack of dawn and be through the shower, done with the first cup of coffee, before seven AM… and at my desk and finished with necessary work emails and the one help desk ticket only I could do not long after that.
So now I’m on to Ohio Two… The TYPE IN.
I open the manuscript, I drag the big-ass pile of paper over to my right, look at my three big URGENT!!! sticky notes tacked to the right side of my computer screen (the one about Derovi, the one about the absolutely necessary weapons change, and the one about the Hosho) and I get ready to write.
By writing the five novels back-to-back-to-back without going back to re-read the previous books, I’ve done some interesting things.
- I changed both world and story physics as I got a better feel for how to set hard limitations on the magic
- I had better ideas that I leapt into the middle of that now must have some antecedents built up front
- I created some characters at the end who now need to be worked into the beginning (or at least into books two and three)
- And, working my way through from the beginning now, I did one thing at the end of Book Five that I’m probably going to have to smash with a hammer. Or at least give a MUCH better reason for its existence.
All of this is standard shit for any revision. It’s just that I’ve never revised five novels back to back before with none yet in print (meaning I have the FREEDOM to change stuff at the beginning, and am not stuck with worldbuilding that I regret locking me into story physics that was too unlimited and too open).
The best thing any novelist can do to get good, tight stories is to build good, tight limitations into the worldbuilding.
If anything can happen, nothing matters.
If just about everything is impossible, you can get your character embedded deeply in the swamp with the quicksand, the alligators, the poisonous snakes, and the half-starved, injured panther with a taste for human flesh, and have helluva lot of fun making your character work for his escape.
THAT’s what I’m doing today. (None of the stuff includes South Florida swamps or wildlife, though. This is all Pure Ohio™.)