Thursday, April 19, 2012

Working on That Novel, Hm?

Yesterday was Wednesday, which, as you know, is the day I set aside the blog and work on the novel instead. I've really been plugging away at it lately, so I wanted to share some of my progress with you.

Ideally, I'd share the most recent myth I wrote for it. But the novel is reaching a certain point where I don't really want to post much of this stuff on the Internets, because I don't want it to be stolen. I am also hoping to publish the myth I just wrote, and many places have strict rules against previous publishing in any format.

So instead of sharing what I've written, I'll tell you about what I've been doing to get the book ready for human consumption.

  • Adding myths. So far I have one about the world's creation, one about the end of the world, and one about a trickster/shapeshifter.
  • Adding segments from another character's perspective. This is to help add depth to the story, and to give it more than two main characters.
  • Edits. I'm only on the first round of edits, but they're really improving the story so far. I edited twelve difficult pages yesterday - difficult because they were high emotion, which is easy to write poorly and hard to write in a way that won't make people gag. I've reached page 120 of 197 in the first round of edits, and the book will likely be another ten to twenty pages long by the time I finish with it.
  • Character development. On the initial draft, the main character was really more of a non-character, to whom things happen. To give him more substance, I've been writing character sketches, and I changed his age from 12 to 15. That age allows him to still be a bit naive about his world, but gives him the presence of mind to ask appropriate questions. I've never done a piece from a male perspective before, either, and that alone is difficult enough for me, let alone making him a kid. Not to mention...
  • World building. Adding history, nature, mythology, and cultural bits that are specific to this world, to make it real and believable. I'm having a blast with this part, but creating an entire world from scratch takes a lot of time and pondering.
  • Plotting the sequel. Still not sure if this will be a two-book series or just one long book, but I need to know what happens next before I can finish this book.

There's a lot more going on beneath the surface here, too. This is part of why it took me so long to get around to actually editing this thing: it's less a face lift and more of a deep tissue, full body reconstruction.

Today, I hope to perfect the myth I mentioned to you and start hunting for publishers. Wiley creatures, those publishers. And despite how long I've been working on it, I still feel weird telling people I'm writing a novel. In part, it's because I feel like they internally react like this:

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