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Rambling On

I didn’t know, or maybe I knew and just didn’t realize, the amount of work that goes into creating a novel of some quality. Sure, I can churn out Kindle Krell. But that’s not my style. When I set out to finish Darkness of the Northern Sky, I already had the 50,000 words I wrote during NanoWriMo 2004. It seemed easy then. 1,500 words per day, flying by the seat of my pants. I was in full creation mode, even typing out the words as they came to me in the dark with my eyes closed. Soundtrack provided by Scandinavian black metallers Immortal, and a few Scandinavian metal bands. Nightwish, After Forever, Therion, Children of Bodom. They all provided the ambient background for the story.

What I actually had was a 50,000 word disorganized, non-cohesive, anti-chronological nightmare. I wrote. And wrote. Until I “won”.

Then I did it again in the following 3 years. By 2007, I had 4 disorganized, non-cohesive stories, from some perspective, of some character, doing some thing.

And I had a blast doing it.

In late 2020, I realized I kept saying “unpublished writer” when asked what I like to do for fun. I decided now was the time to change that. I read several non-fiction books on how to get off my ass and get published. What I pulled from it al a deadline.

I also gleaned what I needed to self-publish.

Fast forward to my due date. I added another 56,000 words and now had an even larger non-cohesive disorganized—you get the idea. I tried to wrap my brain around the timeline. Killed a few darlings. Drew a map of the world I created. Drew timelines. Enlisted the help of Aeon Timeline, which overcomplicated things. Finally, I typed out that one last chapter and the two words: The End.

Then the Editor

I struggled with hiring an editor. Most of that was financial. It was a big decision. I found an editor I jived with (ex-military, story grid) and emailed him. Then sent the first chapter.

The good news is, I can write. Now it was time to put up or shut up. I sent the completed manuscript.

Meanwhile, I’m 3 months past my self-imposed deadline.

I paid the bucks. I also had a professional cover done.

Then I got the word: your writing is fantastic, but you have a non-cohesive, disorganized mess. Your story structure is all off.


The Outline

Since the discussion with my editors, I have now resigned to create  what I really needed all along. An outline. Yes, this pantser has seen the light. When it comes to writing a full-fledge novel, outline. No genius can pull together something as daunting as novel length work without it.

Short story… maybe. Unlikely.

Since the beginning of this year I have been outlining. I’ve been working to find one that works for me. I got a kindle for Christmas, and so naturally, I’ve checked out or bought all the books on outlining. I may have found one that I jive with.

Since reading the books on outlining, I have developed my characters more. My plotlines are a little thicker. And as part of it, I have a near 10,000 word summary I’m still working on. The summary is then broken into scenes, the scenes grouped into chapters. I will use it to write the missing scenes, flesh out the current one, and ditch anything that doesn’t fit.

Rambling On

The point is that my deadline has long since passed. But something happened along the way that was a bit unexpected. I developed a writing habit. Even without a deadline, I have been trucking along daily (most weekdays anyway) working on finishing the novel. And I can share the summary with beta readers/editor/whomever and get feedback on the structure. And the story. Win-win.

Look for Darkness of the Northern Sky on Kindle/Apple this year (if I self publish). If not published by me, accepted by a publishing company.

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POST ID: 22031

Published inOn Writing

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