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Where have all the words gone? October 5, 2012

Posted by thejinx in enduring chaos, writing.
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For years, I more or less focused on my art. I wrote as well, it was something I enjoyed and wanted and indeed made time to do, but I defined myself first as an artist. My true goal was to become a good artist and I was more emotionally invested in it. Sometime in the past few years, my focus shifted primarily to writing, until the art became more or less a hobby in the shadow of my true passion of storycrafting.

Sharing writing is a far more interesting issue, however. While it takes only seconds for a viewer to look at a piece of art, asking one to read a novel is an investment of hours, even weeks of time. Also, it poses different challenges for the creator. It’s easy for an artist to put out many works and perhaps even get paid by admirers for them, because they enjoy spending a few seconds frequently looking at that creation outside of a computer screen, on their wall. For a novelist, however, a huge amount of time and effort goes into a single project, and sharing the entirety of that project for free, while a great way to get word out about it, vastly reduces the income that author is looking to get from selling it.

I posted all my writing online for years. I never really entertained the notion that I would one day be published and I much preferred the direct feedback I got from sharing my work online. It was only when I wrote my novel Aurius during NaNoWriMo 2007 that I first wrote something I did not share with the public, largely for logistics purposes than any predetermined intent for it. With the thought that I could publish that novel because it had never been published elsewhere, however, my attitude changed fairly rapidly, and I have not posted any complete novels online since.

A few complete and attempted novels later, I am still dealing with this transition. I would like to share something about my writing with those interested in reading it, though I’m not going to share the writing itself. I still have not quite learned how to write about writing, which is mostly what one who does not share one’s writing for free can do with a blog like this.

Suffice to say, with a one-year-old still consuming much of my time and my creative pursuits dwindling almost entirely to writing and nothing else, I continue to be a poor blogger.

The fact that I am focusing exclusively on writing, however, does mean that I have made some notable progress with it. After the release of my second novel Halcyon earlier this year, focus has shifted to my next book Enduring Chaos. This is an interesting project on its own as it is one of my oldest, originally started in 1999 and now in its third complete draft, arguably fourth, each being completely rewritten from scratch. It has evolved a lot over the years, now having been expanded into the first book of a trilogy in a shared world my husband and I created.

This current draft began as my NaNoWriMo novel for 2010. After reaching 50,000 words, the amount of editing it needed outweighed the push to continue writing, and I soon began working on v3-edit, a new .doc file again and the current incarnation of the story. Edits on this draft – the significance of which I’m no longer certain and think is largely rewritten from v3 – along with continuing the story kept me busy while I could still sit comfortably during the later part of my pregnancy.

After I gave birth, Chaos went on the back burner as my daughter consumed almost 100% of my attention for a couple months, after which I decided to turn my focus to editing Halcyon for publication this summer. At last, a few months ago, I finally returned to the book, of course to find that it needed more editing again before I could finish the story, despite being at least 3/4 along by the time the wee one came along.

Two weeks ago, I completed my re-edits – or is that pre-edits? – and was able to pick up where I left off. Now, almost two years after starting this current draft, I am in the midst of writing the climax of the story. I should have it finished before I travel to visit my family in a week and a half.

My intention, since there is still at least a little more editing I would like to do, was to reread it before handing it off to my husband for a first beta read before sending it out to other friends and interested readers. However, it’s rapidly coming time for me to shift gears again, as after taking a hiatus last year due to the baby, I am returning to NaNoWriMo this year.

Given that I don’t want there to be a gap between the release of the three books of this trilogy and thus should focus all my serious effort on this world until the third book is complete, I had originally planned to write a new, unrelated scifi novel for NaNoWriMo just to give myself a little break. However, development for the second book has progressed rapidly in the past few months and I decided instead to write that in November. It’s an exciting prospect on its own, as I’ve never made it to a book 2 before – nor, aside from one other story, was I ever really interested in writing more than a one-shot novel. The way the story has unfolded has really grabbed me, though, and I’m looking forward to the novel I’m going to write.

Once I get the outline completed, that is.

I can’t promise that I will be consistent with writing more here when I still have less of my actual work to share, but I would like to start updating this blog more regularly. Reaching the climax of a novel for only the fifth time in my life alone is pretty interesting, as I’m sure will be writing the ending. And, of course, there are always excerpts to share.

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