In Dreams Awake

Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake.

(Henry David Thoreau)

Friday, 11 July 2014

Packed with Good Stuff

  Well, there's been a bit of a change in my life this past fortnight. I'm now in a relationship with a woman named Caroline, who's clever and tough and brooks no nonsense from anyone. I've known Caz for some time, and liked her, but since she was seeing someone else I couldn't speak. However, we're together now, and I couldn't be happier.

  But it's going to cut into my writing time....

  The good news there is that TROY: Heirs of Immortality is finished. The first draft is, anyway, so now I'll leave it for a month and turn to other things, tinker with another story or start a new one, and then return to Troy II to edit. I loathe redrafting, it's just boring and technical most of the time, and has none of the creative spark that actual writing does. But it has to be done, in both online and traditional publishing, so there's no point complaining. I knew the deal when I signed up to it.

  What I'll actually spend this month or so doing is a new version - the fourth - of a story called Starfire. There have been so many because I haven't been able to make the story work. It has masses of good ideas and elements; different magics and cultures, non-human creatures, ancient power struggles and a secretive group of archivists, to name only some. But the story won't let itself be told. The third effort failed because several people told me the opening sounded like an info dump, with too much information thrown at the reader too fast. Trouble is, avoiding that meant restructuring the story from top to bottom, and I didn't really know how to go about that, besides which Troy was under way by then.

  This is a pain.

  But I was thinking about it the other day and I had an idea about an 'in'. Essentially it involves throwing away nearly everything I wrote, and coming at the story from a different angle. It should be more immediate and direct, so what I throw at the reader isn't dry info but a series of events that slowly come together to reveal what's going on. There's a good story somewhere inside Starfire, it's packed with good stuff, and despite all the problems I still believe in it. My job is to find that story and tease it out.

  So... my To Do list now reads: redraft Troy II, write Troy III, redo Starfire, keep sending Black Lord of Eagles to conventional publishers, redraft volume one of Chained Dragon and then do volumes two and three, and proceed with The Playground of Fawns (set in an analogue of ancient China). Including all the sequels it adds up to ten volumes. That's five years work right there, minimum, and I somehow have to do this while also making Caz happy and taking her out now and then.

  My life. Packed with good stuff.