Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Conflicts of Meaning

So, took me a couple of days but I finally finished Chapter Four and titled it Conflicts of Meaning.

I decided (when I began with the re-write of Betrayal’s Shadow) that I would give the chapters their own titles because I figured that it would help me to –at a glance- remember the themes of the chapters so that I could remain aware of the themes in the novel as I write it, and so far it’s been a good decision. I think I spent about five minutes wondering about Chapter Four’s title, instead of the almost three years I worried about the title for the novel. :-)

And why Conflicts of Meaning? Well, this turned out to be quite a profound chapter for me and for one of my main protagonists - I was writing a piece of dialogue when it hit me, and as it hit me, it hit him. Left me a bit stunned afterward, I can tell you. But it served to practically crystalize what the chapter –and, indeed, the entire novel- is also about. I’m rather pleased with myself at the moment but only time will tell if it survives further drafts and edits. ;-)

Now, though, my writing-pace should pick up – the next chapter kicks off the build-up to one of the all-out-action scenes in the novel, and is also a turning point for one of my other protagonists, so that’ll be fun. J
As always, I’ll keep the updates coming. As it stands now, Betrayal’s Shadow is just over the 25k mark and I’ll give myself a couple of days’ break and move onto my second editing-pass on the short story I submitted for the AfroSF anthology (edited by Ivor Hartmann); I’m just about done with it but there are some things I need to finalize and change, which I want to be done with before Friday – then I’ll send it off, and hopefully get a favourable reaction. :-)

Until then,

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Back From the Dead

So, it’s been a helluva long time since my last post, and a shitload had happened since then, some good, some bad, some unhappy stuff. With everything that’s happened, though, I’m just about beginning to get things organized and back on track again. Betrayal’s Shadow’s re-write was going very well at a stage; I was hitting 1- to 2K a day and I was pleased with what was happening in the novel, character- and plot-wise. Then I hit a chapter where I was trying to write a very political scene involving characters that I, truth-admittance time here, hardly knew at all. You see, in the novel’s previous draft they were there for a scene to set other things in motion and then they left the stage. Now when I got to their part of the re-write I struggled my ass off to get them fleshed out and properly motivated. Being the dumbass all us newbies are it took me a while to realize that if characters are just filling a space / scene once and then moving off-stage for the rest of the novel, then they shouldn’t be in the novel. So I cut the 2.7K I’d written and began re-writing the scene. And then there were some things, family-things, which began happening, leaving me in a complete and utter flat spin. Right in the middle of it all, my biological father passed away. When things started becoming intense I was already unable to focus – not only wasn’t I writing, but I was also busy reading something like 8 or 9 different books because I just couldn’t focus. I realized I really needed a serious time-out, so I took that time out to try and get my thoughts in order with my therapist and with the help of friends. And things are much, much better. Through the help of family and friends I’ve been able to gain some much needed perspective and I’m feeling more myself. :-) So, this coming week I’ll be diving back into Betrayal’s Shadow and finishing the chapter that I’ve been stuck on for so long. Also, I hope to hear from an editor regarding edits for a short story that has been provisionally accepted for a ground-breaking and, I’m sure, path-forging anthology - I hope to make an official announcement and have more details soon. :-) I’ve also prepared one of my other short stories –The Orphan- for submission, and I’m re-writing Birthday to get it ready, too. (Oh, finished an absolutely sick short-story titled ‘The Sick-Note’ and working on a new one tentatively titled Lollypop-Girl) So things are much better than they’ve been for a while, and I’m beginning to hit my stride again. I’ll try and keep my updates more regularly, :-) Though I won’t promise. ;-)