hate it when they use my words back at me

Scenes from Julnawrimo:


Jay Smith: Sorry, I already quit tonight. You gotta cover my shift.

I reiterated this pouty statement after completely failing to make more than 600 words in three frigging hours last night.

COLE: Hey, that's 600 words you wouldn't have if you didn't try.
DIANE: *laughs her head off*
ME: Gaaaah! Stop using my own words back at me!

The Muse, I must admit, has mostly been absent as I slog through BLACKFIRE v. 1. The Muse is a fickle bitch, and when she shows up the writing goes smooth and exciting and fun like the rollercoaster it's supposed to be. The rest of the Chorus does the best it can in her absence, but that's when the writing is more like a slog up a snow-covered hill. I'll get there, but it's hard going, man.

The first draft is always like this. Pockets of awesome in the middle of a sea of dreck. It's the second draft when the Muse shows up and things really start to rock. In the second draft - which, for me, is always a complete rewrite and re-type of the entire manuscript from scratch - the book takes on its own life, characters become people, the story is streamlined and the words become awesome.

But not until I'm done pulling all the teeth from that first draft. One of my favorite quotes was used earlier this month for Julnawrimo: "A blank page is God's way of showing you how hard it is to be God." Amen, brother.

I'm at the two-thirds point with BLACKFIRE. Sara is still fucked in the head, the other characters are becoming a team (and then I do awful things to them, because that's how I roll), and I figure this book is going to end up in the 75K range by the time I'm done killing and burning. That's a fair length. I'm still roughly on track to have it done by deadline, though it means the second draft gets written while I'm on the Fall Deathmarch and won't THAT be fun.

Is it going to be better than my previous books? I don't know. I'm a better writer now, but I think I had a better sense of the story in ABADDON than I do in BLACKFIRE - the themes I started with don't seem to be jelling as much now. That may shake out in the second draft. Nothing I have yet written will touch YELLOW ROSES, but explain that to the publishing world, wouldja?

Tonight I'm taking the night off. Not because there's no writing to be done - after yesterday's pathetic word count, I scoff at the thought. But because this apartment has turned into a hazmat site during Julnawrimo. Somewhere there was a kitchen table and a living room floor under all that, and it's time to find it. It might be faster to just set fire to the place, but the landlord might object.

Then we'll see what I can do to Sara and her cronies. Things always get darker toward the end. Moo ha ha.


  1. I informed my editor I was giving up writing and going to go do something that suited my talents better, like rag picker or carnival sideshow. She simply chuckled and said "Oh. At THAT stage of the book, are we?"

    (Shamelessly stolen from Neil Gaiman)


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