Funny to Think

Next month will mark the end of the second year of working on the Incomplete States quadrilogy. I hope to finish writing the fourth book in the series soon. At least, I sense the end feels near. Then I’ll have a beta version of all four books in the series.

Then the work begins, yeah, the real work. The creative writing part, hell, that’s fun and easy. Just turn your mind lose, and then tidy it up so it resembles correct written English and aligns with everything else written until then – to the best of my memory. I know from previous novels that I’ve finished that, in two years of writing these four books, I’ve forgotten a lot of what I’ve written. In fact, novel writing often feels like I’m a channel, a conduit through which the words and ideas flow. I write without remembering large swaths. That’s why the work begins after the beta versions are completed. Hidden in these four books are dead-ends and roundabouts, wandering paths and cliffs. Motivations have been established, shifted, and challenged. Facts must be checked and confirmed.

So on completing four books and about a million words in two years, it’s staggering and funny to realize, the work is just beginning to take the books from beta to first drafts to final drafts to publication. 

Once I finish the fourth book’s beta version – I call them beta because they tie in so completely with one another, they’re not truly a draft until the ties are cleaned up, so they have all the major features, but they’re not complete — I’ll probably take a break and write something simpler. Fans have been asking, where is the next book in Life Lessons with Savanna mystery series. Those books are usually less than one hundred thousand words, and a lot easier to write and finish.

Another day of writing like crazy has to be stopped to attend to real life. I love the tension of this moment, stopping while writing, when so much remains to be written. Makes me eager to jump back into it.

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4 thoughts on “Funny to Think

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    1. Yes. A hard thing for me to understand in my writing process was how to sustain it. Part of that was the realization that stopping while things were going well was helpful. It seemed counter-intuitive, because it’s output, right? And output is progress. But the long view needed to be taken, that novel writing is a long journey.

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