Anbar August - The End is Actually in Sight, EC blurb

on Sunday, August 28, 2011
I have a sort of "tradition" (meaning I do it every time without planning it) of when I come to the end of a book (or, in case of longer ones, end of a part/section) I have a tendency to write down very brief chapter outlines. I then use these as a basic guide for my writing.

Why do I do this?

Well, I'm a very hardcore discovery writer. I still make outlines and plans, but I keep the framework in my head. I've never benefitted from writing down an plan, because when I write I'm wired into the story. Switching from what I'm writing and glancing over at an outline or guide draws me out. I like to think it helps make the flow of the story more natural (especially in dialogue) but that's up for the readers to decide not me. In any case, it makes it easier for me to write, so it's a plus.

However, since I discovery write, that means I have to take care with the endings. Dan Wells from Writing Excuses (and other things) has often commented the ends are killer for discovery writers, and I'd agree (though I sort of have a way around it, as I will explain). In many instances, I plan the ends of my books first to prevent myself from messing up. If I have a goal, a final twist, or a supposed resolution, then that's enough to keep my characters, who are sort of doing their own then and I'm just watching, someone in line as they reach for that final goal. It keeps stuff on track, which means at least the whole thing had a point when I started it.

The issue arises when we actually get near the ending, and I realize I've added a bunch of extra crap that also needs to tie off, and it needs to do so semi-coherently. So that's when I start outlining.

In truth, I usually only glance over a chapter, sit down and write it, and never look at the outline again or during the process. However, writing it helps organize everything and give a definite timeframe. It also means I can estimate how much longer until the book is over, which is also a boon.

Paradise Seekers was extensively plotted, mostly because I was terrified of somehow messing it up (since the idea had stemmed completely from the twist). Effulgent Corruption, surprisingly, was not. I made detailed notes for the ends of parts 1 and 2, but the rest just sort of happened. I refused to write notes for the final couple of chapters, mostly because I wanted them to be completely natural and I felt outlining might ruin that (I probably ran the final scenes through my head a hundred times, each one a little different than the previous ones).

The point is this: Gears is on chapter 19 (as of tonight, since I wrote a full chapter today). The book will have 24 chapters and an epilogue. Which means I'm around 75% done, all things considered. But more importantly, I can count down. Six chapters and an epilogue left.

And four days to do it in.


Well, it'll probably actually be done in a week from today, which is close enough. I went to a freaking convention in Reno during this chunk of time, so I suppose I can cut myself a little slack.

Oh, there is one more thing. It may make me look like an arrogant prick, but I don't care because I want to say it.

So I have a friend (Eric, I suppose he doesn't mind if I name names. He co-plotted Lacrymosa the video game which eventually devolved into Lacrymosa the novelization of the video game) who is actually going through Effulgent Corruption TWICE because he is both insane and insanely dedicated. Anyway I sent him an email asking a question about something that's been bothering me about the novel and he responded with something I didn't expect.

Something fantastic.

I don't know how to describe it except as a very detailed look at the juxtaposition of the viewpoint characters, their roles in the novel (considering both the plot and the world they are in), and themes shown in the book. Needless to say, it was an incredible read to say the very least, seeing an outside perspective go into so much depth about something I created.

And here I didn't even think of half the crap he dug up while writing it. At least not... consciously. Maybe it was subconscious, I don't know, because it all makes sense when he says it.

Anyway, I'd love to post a bit of it but it's basically a spoiler explosion, so you'll just have to survive. It was just a cool thing that happened (he apparently also has a massive document of critique/review that he'll be sending me one of these days, which I am awaiting with more than baited breath at this point).


Though that isn't to downplay all the others who have read or are currently sifting through it. I greatly appreciate it, and will appreciate it even more when I decide to start tackling these edits in October or November. Everything is taken into consideration, even if I seem resistant towards it, because I feel every opinion is valid. Whether or not it gets applied directly or in the way you anticipated is up to me since I'm the boss. Yep.

Anyway, that's it from me tonight. I'm tired and have a lot of writing to do to meet my goal.

Here's a quote that makes no sense out of context! Ha!

I gave a snort. “I dunno, after seeing that Steam Spider, I don’t know why those things [the Demigod Apparatuses] get such an impressive title.”
Again, Stewart was so offended he couldn’t talk. Pitronus moved to voice an answer, but Ashe cut him off with a wave of her hand.
“Hold on. If we do everything for him, he’ll never learn.”
I paused, blinking. “What? Never learn? What are you talking about?”
Ashe gave me a mischievous smile. 


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