Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Thinking things through....



I've been spending the last few days working up a little post about the problems I sometimes have with first person and third person stories. Nothing too drastic, and I wasn't in a hurry to get it done. Just as well. Holly's post about her problems with Hawkspar made me sit down and admit something to myself -- the real reason I'm not getting a lot of fiction writing done for almost the entire year. It is an annoying and, in the end, stupid reason.

Yes, I've been busy with a lot of things that, while writing related, are not exactly writing. Vision, DTF, Forward Motion -- they do take a lot of time. I've had some serious nonfiction work to get done for a couple projects, and that takes a great deal of concentration that doesn't allow for little imaginary fluff. But still....

The problem I'm having is because of the trouble over Ada Nish Pura. I know it. I had very high hopes for that book, and I thought it was the best that I've ever written. I was willing to do the edits -- but I could not make myself into a literary science fiction writer. I couldn't make those changes, and I had to drop out of the contract. (First chapter of Ada Nish Pura can be found here. I still think it's a damned good chapter, and the rest of the book will be the same....) It's a good story. It's better for the editing we did -- but I could not make that final change that they wanted. I couldn't write lines intended just to draw attention to the words.

I have barely finished anything since that trouble. I have not put a single novel out in submission this year. Even material that is virtually done has been sitting on my hard drive while I make myself too busy to do anything about it.

The sale of Mirrors, and the request for a book a year with those characters, has started to change my attitude again. I'm going to try to finish Serendipity Blues over the challenge at Forward Motion this coming weekend. Chances are that I won't get that far, but I should get a good chunk of it done -- if I can keep myself focused on the story and forget both other work and the feeling that it just won't be good enough, so why bother?

That is not a usual attitude for me. It's the measure of how much depressing news has come at me this year, from Ada to my mother's death -- and even the growing problems with my camera. Even stupid little things start to add up.

I haven't stopped writing. I don't think I can. I have written quite a bit of fluff these last few months. Fluff is alright. I even made a quick 'give away' sale of $5 for a little cat Christmas story. Those can be fun and there's nothing wrong with the occasional fun. But there are still a number of novels sitting here, waiting to go somewhere, or waiting for the final edit.

I still have several months left in which to pull my act together and get some novel material back out there. If I have to, I'll start looking for help with some of the other work around FM. I'm going to start doing less intensive rejections for DTF, at least until I get caught up there. The 2YN classes are still going, but I have the new ones roughly decided and worked out, and there are only about 20 left.

Maybe next year will be less trouble.

So, obviously, I have to get focused on the real material. And I'll do that... right after I finish up the edits and formatting for Vision, work my way through some of the DTF submissions, and maybe get the rest of these pictures scanned in. (Okay, to be honest, the pictures are really wonderful and have put me in a great mood. And that's important too.)

4 comments:

Margaret said...

Hugs and I'm glad to hear you're moving beyond it. I've also found that we take on other things to keep us from doing what's bugging us. In my case, it's that shadowing edit pile. It doesn't matter that DOING the edit would make it go away. I want to throw the two-year-old temper tantrum and kick and scream. Instead, I do other things.

Good luck with Mirrors and Ada will find its market. So what if that wasn't the right one. It's not a reflection on you that the editor didn't realize it from the start. I know you know that, but sometimes it helps to hear it again.

Good luck with the 4-day challenge. It'll be good to have that break whether or not you finish the book.

Carter said...

Hang in there. The business with Ada was the hard way to lose a sale and was certainly not your fault. It's a good book, it will find a home.

The "not good enough" fear is universal with writers. We each have to work through it in our own ways and in our own good times.

I love the pics, too. Those eyes...

Valerie Comer said...

Hugs, Zette. And thanks for sharing that. May you find time to write books that you love, and they will surely find a home.

Holly said...

You'll do it. You just need a breather. It's been a hell of a year.