This is awkward.
You have plans when you’re writing a novel, you know what you’re writing toward, you’re moving along at your planned pace, doing your planned scenes, and you start writing a scene you know was coming and have been looking forward to writing…
And your MUSE shows you a character you have been writing about in emails, and writing toward in this book…
And the face you see is not the face you expected.
Oh, boy… not even a little bit.
You read what you just wrote, and you think… “What the hell? Where did that come from?”
And you can’t even delete it, because it’s RIGHT.
It isn’t what you planned, but just as in life, fiction happens while you’re making other plans.
When your plans weren’t as good as reality, you just shut up and keep writing.
As for how this happens…?
The good, solid, gripping surprise that blindsides you, the writer, comes from your right brain asking questions you don’t hear, playing around with edges and corners of your story and your story world that your conscious mind isn’t considering, knowing things your Inner Editor doesn’t…
And when your Right-Brain Muse commits this startling change, your Inner Editor reads it, and instead of slapping the Muse with well-deserved admonishment for wrecking a perfectly good plan, it just mutters, “Damn, I wish I’d thought of that.”
And you end the first draft of your novel ten thousand words and about a week and a half early.
For me, ending short of my planned word count is not actually a problem.
I always run long in revision — always end up adding in scenes to create some foreshadowing for important bits (and today’s little revelation is going to need some of that) and tying things together, because I want to make sure my characters don’t drop, “Suddenly, TRAIN” on anyone’s head.
I am, in other words, not the jerk my MUSE is — the one who just dropped “Suddenly, TRAIN” on mine.
So for at least one week, I’ll let The Wishbone Conspiracy sit. Since I’m not on a hard deadline, I’ll probably be better off it I let it sit for a month.
And then, when I’ve recovered from the shock of actually being done with the first draft, and have had a chance to let all the words get cold, I’ll print it off and revise it.
As Fridays go? So far, this one is… remarkable.
You have NO idea how much I’ve been wishing and waiting for Wishbone to be done!
I still have to revise it, and in the hopes of paying the bills and reviving that entire series with new covers, a new (but open) pseudonym, I’m writing five books under a secret pseudonym to launch over five months.
If it works, I’ll have a way to relaunch the entire Cady series, and have the chance of seeing it pay me for the time I’ll need to revise the book.
If it doesn’t work…
Then Wishbone becomes a “someday, free-time only” project.
Way to go Holly! I’m really looking forward to reading this.
Thanks, Vanessa. Way late… Wishbone Conspiracy is on hold, but I hope not forever.
Congrats! Looking forward to the Wishbone Conspiracy 🙂
Belated thanks. Wishbone Conspiracy is on hold, but I hope not forever.
Just wanted to say I LOVED The Longview Chronicles. Wow!! I saw the high recommendations from Glenn Reynolds and Sarah Hoyt at Instapundit and the ad at DayByDay, and am very impatiently awaiting your next forays into Settled Space. As I understand it, you will be republishing the Cadence Drake books (?), so I’ll buy those as soon as the new editions are available, and in the meantime have ordered Fire in the Mist.
I was struck, and surprised, and delighted, by the many and subtle Heinlein references in the Chronicles ; ) Please know how very warmly appreciated that is!
from a fan in Stockholm (ex-pat from NC, composer/pianist)
Belatedly, thank you, Steve.
I love those books. At the moment, they’re making me nothing, and I can’t afford to pursue the series in the hopes that a new book will pay for itself. If I can successfully test the five-book launch with a new series and a new pseudonym, I can then afford to revise Wishbone and relaunch the entire series under my new SF H.D. Lisle pseudonym with a legitimate hope that my SF readers will become a growing audience.