Follow up: I remembered what I was going to say.

on Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Today, Steelgods crossed into 22k words (not bad for 8 days of work with school and work starting back up). But why this number is significant is thus: It's officially passed the total length of Effulgent Corruption thus far. And I was working on Effulgent Corruption for (in theory) two months.

Needless to say, there is a point to this.

I have to be properly motivated to function. As a child I was very into piano playing (I was pretty good, too, if I am allowed a moment to abandon humility). By the age of 12, I could probably play any song you presented to me. The problem was, I could only learn songs I liked. If my teacher picked a song, no matter how hard or easy, and I despised it, I couldn't do it. It would take months. But often I'd request extremely difficult pieces of music and learn them really fast. I still remember wanting to learn Rondo Alla Turka by Mozart when I was about 11 or 12. At that time, my hand wasn't even long enough to reach the full octave without straining. My piano teacher said I wasn't allowed to learn it, and assigned me something instead. I practiced like a crazy person, and learned the entire song in under a week. He came back the next week and I sat down, didn't even open the book, and started playing. Yeah, I was kind of an arrogant turd, but that isn't the point of the story (or maybe it is. You decide).

My point is that I do my best work when I want to do it. This is why writing as a career is something I really want to shoot for: it's something I love, and something I want to do. Within that, I need to really want to accomplish something in order for me to get a lot done.

I really wanted to finish my fifth full novel. I did want it to be Effulgent Corruption, but I also knew full well that Effulgent Corruption probably won't be my breakthrough novel. It's going to be much too long. I have a much better chance with WGMD, Paradise Seekers, or Steelgods. So, the motivation was lost. If I'm going to devote an undisclosed amount of my life and (essentially) career towards something, I'd like it to be worthwhile. Effulgent Corruption wasn't doing it for me, at this point in time.

Steelgods has, however. I know I have to keep it fast, fresh, and I'm not worry about it being rough. Since it isn't my "darling" like Effulgent Corruption has become, I'm not scared of breaking it. I am just rolling with the punches, taking mistakes and moving on rather than analyzing them to death. Plus, I have a deadline (I'm going to finish this book in September), so I have both a goal and a point when I know I'll be done with it. It makes for excellent motivation.

So, all in all, while I'm a bit disgusted with myself for wasting two good months I could have been writing (though I did edit Paradise Seekers and submit it to everybody and their mother, so it wasn't a complete waste), I'm glad I could learn this about myself. I don't plan on abandoning Effulgent Corruption, I just know to not dwell too long on something when I'm not going anywhere. I'm not saying I'm giving up on pushing through rough parts, far from it, but if I can only churn out 21k in two months, something is wrong. I just need to be able to recognize it early, so less time is wasted.

Along that note, I've decided my plans for my next few months of writing. Behold!

September: Write Might of the Steelgods. I'm well into that, and I'm going to finish it and not worry about anything else.
October: Revise WGMD completely. As in, have an Alpha reader manuscript ready. This is going to be a monumental amount of work, but I think by then I'll have let it sit enough to make these changes, and also I'll still be fresh with writing. I might take the first week in October off, though.
November: Depending on how long WGMD revisions take, it could take all of November too. Probably not, but it's possible. If it doesn't, I'm going to spend the rest of the month planning for Steelgods book 2, because...
December: "Devent December" (lame, I know, but that's the only thing in the book that also starts with a "d"). Write Steelgods Book 2 in a month. Good exercise, good warm up, getting me ready for....
January (I'll be done with school!): Brandon's class. I'm going to write Effulgent Corruption for that. If anything, it'll force me to write it. I'm not going back and editing the 21k I've written already; I'm just going to start where I left off. The goal is to do with it what I did with WGMD: get far enough along that I can either finish it during the semester, or slightly after. I'll also be job hunting. Joy.

After that, I'm not certain. Steelgods 3 needs to be written. The WGMD sequel, The Truth Behind His Voice is also sitting in limbo. Lacrymosa could be rewritten. Or I could have a new idea by then (I probably will), so maybe I'll run with that. We'll see.

This was a lot longer than I anticipated. I'm going to bed.

2 comments:

Ben Godby said...

I completely sympathize with the sentiment that a work cannot be completed without enthusiasm on the part of the writer. If you can't believe in the ups and downs of your story, how will the reader?

-bn

Charlie said...

Wow! That says something--22k in 8 days, surpassing EC. As always, I'm amazed and envious of your insane word count. How do you DO it?

Sanderson's class! I could do a new book for that, too! I didn't even think of it... but the time line fits perfectly. Sweet!

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