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Hammerhead

After the longest dry spell I’ve ever had, I have been writing.  A LOT. Over the past week and a half or so I’ve hammered out better than half the rewrites for my book, including the parts I’ve put off for eons because they had to be completely reconstructed. I dumped a slew of characters who really didn’t contribute to the story, and rewrote their small contributions into major characters. I cleaned up grammar, gaping chasms in the plot, and continuity errors.  (Some of the continuity errors were because it took me so long to write the thing that I’d forgotten; others were simply because I changed directions in the rewrite.)

My friend Lisagh is a Godsend.  Truly.  She’s been bugging me just enough. I couldn’t write yesterday because I had my grandson, but today I pounded out the rewrites on three or four chapters, and they were among the most challenging ones to date. Huzzah!

It’s back to the grindstone tomorrow, naturally, so my writing will have to be more limited; but in addition to simply tearing through rewrites, I’ve taken the time to finish up a lot of the story’s structure. I hadn’t delineated my chapters; now I’ve gotten up to chapter 14 bookmarked from the document’s TOC so I can click the link and go straight to the next chapter. That means doing my rewrites is substantially easier, because I can jump directly from Point A in the main manuscript to point B. Or for that matter, to L, M, N or P. It should also simplify converting it to ebook format.  (Fortunately I have the instructions to do that, though I’m not looking forward to it.)

Since we’re going chapter by chapter on the edits, I’m splitting off copies of each chapter AND keeping two full copies in running format. That gives me two advantages; if my computer crashed and burned I could still save the thing from another location; and if my computer ate a chapter (or more) beyond recovery, I have the original to pull it back up.  It’s happened before, and this laptop is just iffy enough to make me take all possible precautions.

I’m far enough along now that G’s getting genuinely excited, and he hasn’t even read it yet. He knows I can write – he’s read my writing. By the same token, he hasn’t read any of this story. I’ve charged him with building me a website. It’ll keep him out of trouble, hopefully for long enough for me to finish the rewrite.

Truth be told, this is the first time in a while that I have been genuinely excited about the never-ending story, myself. I’m not talking about the actual book and movie by that title – I’m talking about the fact that I started writing this book in 1985.

Yes, seriously.

I started out writing in notebooks, when I was married to hubby #1. Even he hounded me to get it to a publisher, one of the few times he tried to support me in something I wanted to do.  I let it drop when my kids were little and my life went to shit; then picked it up again shortly after I came online, then added to it piecemeal until I finally had the rough story completed. It’s been exciting and a major pain in my ass, and I’m determined to see it through.

I’ve written other works that flowed much more easily than this one did. This stupid story isn’t even my normal genre. But it’s one that refuses to let me rest until it’s done.  Once it’s published I will be free to go on to things I really want to write.  I don’t know if my other stuff will be this long.  (They certainly can’t take this long to write!)  I do know that in order to make a real go of it on Amazon (which is where I am planning to take it) you need to have several things published, not just a single book. I’m hoping it won’t hurt me to mix genres.

This book also begs a sequel.

Wait.  Did I type that out loud?

If you hear me screaming in frustration it probably means I decided to go there.  For the moment, I won’t touch that thought with a twenty-foot-pole with a mitten on the end. The prospect gives me the hives.

In the meantime I’ve also got to create a book cover. You know the old saying that you can’t judge a book by its cover?  That’s horseshit. If you want to attract readers, you’d better have a decent cover design and an engaging synopsis. I designed a cover back when.  I still like it but think I need to rebuild it because the resolution is too low for print format and I don’t have the original pdf format saved anywhere.  I remember it well enough to do a decent job of reconstructing it.

Ack – it’s well past 11pm now and I’ve got to get up for work in less than four hours.  Think it’s time I called it a night!

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