Time To Get Series-ous

(Don’t you just love when I make up words for my titles?) Ah, the trials and tribulations of writing a series! Who knew?

Well, likely everyone who’s ever attempted the feat. And now me.

First of Her Kind took a long time to write. Long. Okay, only… six years? Which is longer than some, not as long as others. Mainly because of my recurring rewriteritess which wouldn’t allow me to move beyond the first handful of chapters. I would write. Rewrite. Write. Rewrite. Rehash. Reword. You get the idea. Until I finally convinced myself that I either just needed to quit, or to muscle through to the end, get the story out of my head, and THEN and ONLY THEN go back and fix everything that would need fixing. That was hard. But, quitting wasn’t an option.

Emergence went better and quicker. Done in about a year. From the comments I’ve gotten from readers it’s even better than FOHK. That was my goal. I knew the story. Knew how it had to play out. It flowed onto the virtual paper like spilled milk. Or maybe more like spilled molasses. Point is, it went well.

Edge of Darkness…is fighting me. In a big way. I have this internal pressure thing going on. No, not gas. Who said that? *glares around room* My monkeys are bored. They would love to get out and wreak havoc again.

Anyhow, the need to make EoD even better than the first two books is causing my rewriteritess to flare up in a major way. Along with a healthy dose of self-doubt and questioning. I’ve written three chapters and stalled because I’m wondering if that’s where I should start the story. If what I’m telling in those chapters is self-indulgent, or critical to the tale. Then I have nearly 30k of miscellaneous scenes written that may or may not ever wind up in the finished manuscript. Don’t even get me started on which characters from Emergence should play a part in EoD and what that part should be. I second-guess EV-ER-EE-THING because I don’t want to succumb to what I term the Star Wars Thing–the reason I’ve only watched the original three Star Wars movies is because after the first prequel, I felt like George Lucas had just rehashed the previous plots. Then, some of the new characters…*shudders* and the bad acting…I don’t want to do that.

And all the while, the voice in my head (that little man sitting on his stool keeping things organized as best he can amidst the chaos) is pulling out his hair and screaming at me, “It’s just the first draft, moron! Get the words down. Get the story out. Carve the deadwood off later. Be self-indulgent. Be silly. WRITE CRAP. That’s what the first draft is all about. THAT is what the first draft is for.”

*head, desk, repeat*

Because, ultimately, I know how EoD ends. I know some of what needs to happen in the middle. I think part of the problem is that it’s doing a Darth Vader on me. (I know, heavy on the Star Wars references today. Deal with it.) If you pay attention to Darth Vader you’ll notice that in the first, original Star Wars he was *shrug* meh. I mean, yeah, evil and all…but a bit like milk toast gone bad. Over the course of the next two movies, he gets physically broader, his voice gets deeper, he leans more into his role–at least, I always felt so. EoD wants to get darker; wants to lean into it and put one character in particular through major amounts of hell, and I admit, I’m feeling a bit timid because…well…*makes face*

What I need to do is scrub my brain, crack my knuckles, and just write the damn story how it wants to be written because ultimately, you can’t edit what ain’t on the page. Right?

So now that the diatribe is over, it’s WIPpet time! I’m doing a little crazy WIPpet math today. From what is currently page 5 (for the month of May) of Edge of Darkness I give you 4 sentences (um…the date without the 1). So, herein follows a conversation between Ciara and Andrakaos. He has just informed her of something in a roundabout way, as if it was no big deal, but it is, and Ciara is not pleased.

“From now on, if you’re worried about someone or something, I’d appreciate it if you tell me.”

I should not have to tell you anything. We are one.

“In that case, I shouldn’t have to tell you what I’m thinking right now.”

And, because I’ve been a bit remiss in explaining what WIPpet Wednesday is all about, and because there is occasional curiosity, here’s a blurb: The rules (more like guidelines, really) are simple: Every Wednesday (or on whatever Wednesday(s) during the month you chose to do so) post something from a current WIP, and share the link. The only stipulation is that your post coincides with the date in some fashion. For instance, today is the 14th of May. If you were posting today, you could post 14 words/lines/paragraphs, something from page 14, the 14th chapter. . . or you could go to page 5 for May, and give us 14 something. Go to page 14 and give us 5 something. Or do crazy and creative WIPpet date math to give us whatever fits. You get the idea, right? Feel free to play along. It’s all about sharing our WIPs, blog-hopping, and building up a great community of writers and readers. Grab the InLinkz thingy from the sidebar and add your link. Easy-peasy.

 

chapflourish

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26 responses

  1. I know exactly where you’re coming from Kathi. Ok so I’m not writing a series, but I’m cutting whole scenes and inserting others in my current WIP, as well as rearranging stuff. It’s complicated but actually fun and I’m getting there slowly but surely. As you will too. So just hang in there! 🙂

    May 14, 2014 at 5:10 am

    • I’m hanging. After writing this post I had a sudden surge and made a bit of progress. Then started the doubting game but I just turned up the music and forged ahead!

      May 14, 2014 at 4:22 pm

  2. Aah, Andrakaos… ❤

    It's adorable that you're like, "this really hasn't been dark enough so far." I look forward to seeing what you come up with! And I agree with the little man in your head. JUST DOOOO IIIIIT.

    May 14, 2014 at 7:09 am

    • But wouldn’t you think there would be some lightness somewhere in a series called Darkness & Light. Geez. Okay, I’m just doing it. Then I’ll bring out the chainsaw.

      May 14, 2014 at 4:24 pm

  3. Amy

    Darth Vader analogies FTW.

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who takes a long time to write. It was a total of 10 months until I sent the manuscript to a publisher on my first one and that was after 3 years of multiple tries on different storylines! The second one may take just as long, given that I’m in the throes of editing the first.

    I know what you mean about leaning into it—I feel like I need to do that a bit to get to some deeper emotional stuff, even though I tend to write romantic humor. I think there’s a way to do both, if I can find it.

    May 14, 2014 at 8:04 am

    • You can’t put the muscles on until you have the skeleton built, right? Or something like that. I have to stop looking at my first draft as THE draft and realize it’s just a skeleton…for now.

      May 14, 2014 at 4:26 pm

  4. I agree with Kate. Just do it. The story wants to go a certain way. Go there. I began my novel with a lighter tone in mind. But as I wrote the story and the antagonist began to do horrible things, well the story evolved.

    May 14, 2014 at 8:30 am

    • But…but…but…*sigh* Yeah, yeah, I know, DOOOIIIIITTTTT!!!!!!!!!

      May 14, 2014 at 4:28 pm

  5. I write series, and I’ve done that. The last book (the one in editing right now with the cray cray teen) is so much darker than the other two, but it fits for the story. My advice? Just keep on typing….typing typing typing (hum it to the old walmart jingle).

    May 14, 2014 at 8:57 am

    • I went straight to Dori…keep on swimming, keep on swimming. 😀

      May 14, 2014 at 4:29 pm

      • That one works too but the Walmart jingle has more pep

        May 14, 2014 at 4:35 pm

  6. LOL. That last line. 🙂

    Shall I purchase some pom-poms and mini skirts for the monkeys and teach them how to cheer? Mind you, I only know party of one cheer and I never, ever participated in cheer team, but surely I could give the monkeys the basic idea. Then, when you start up with rewriteritis, the monkeys could start up a perseverance cheer for you. 🙂

    May 14, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    • Oh my, the monkeys in mini skirts waving pom-poms around. Um…I’m not going to let them know you suggested that.

      May 14, 2014 at 4:30 pm

      • Oh, come now. It’ll be fun! (she said, with a wicked gleam in her eye.)

        May 14, 2014 at 4:38 pm

  7. I think first books always take longer. You’re working out the world, finding your way.

    But I agree with the impatient voice in your head — the main thing is to get the first draft done. But “done” can be a very relative thing. My “first drafts” tend to be full of huge, gaping emptinesses. 🙂 And then I go back and analyze all the notes I made in place of the scenes I intended to write and I realize they weren’t necessary at all! Much time saved. *g*

    May 14, 2014 at 5:12 pm

    • Ah yes, I have areas of emptiness — not just between my ears either. But I’ve been on somewhat of a roll since that post. I’m actually writing consecutive chapters now. 😉

      May 19, 2014 at 5:06 am

  8. I believe in writing sprints to cure myself of doubt…and, since I don’t like telling people what to do – well, my characters run rampant and do what they want, leaving me to be the recorder….

    Of course, my doubled series has how many completed novels? Uh, none, yet.

    But it’ll come. Little by little, maybe, but it will come.

    Monkeys in miniskirts and pom-poms – oh, I DO so hope they were reading over your shoulder!

    May 15, 2014 at 2:49 am

    • Yes, just when I think I have a handle on a character, he/she does something unexpected and I’m left picking up the pieces and trying to put them into some sort of order.

      Monkeys in miniskirts–sounds like a Muppets segment.

      May 19, 2014 at 5:08 am

  9. Well, before the monkeys get into those mini-skirts, let me say… Return of the Jedi was (in my not so humble opinion) nowhere near the story that The Empire Strikes Back was. Of course, it could just be the ewoks. :-/

    I tend to be of the “I love the second book/book and to see the third just for closure’s sake, but.. but SECOND book/movie MUST be REwatched/read” camp.

    And dark gone too far is just a “day at the office”. If you don’t intersperse some light, the dark loses its depth. Just my opinion, of course… and gallows humor can go a long way to give both light and darkness.

    May 15, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    • Definitely, Empire was the most awesome of the three.

      I do try to keep a bit of humor in spots. It can’t be all doom and gloom and bad attitudes.

      May 19, 2014 at 5:12 am

  10. I suffered from rewriteritess myself after I took a year off writing. I finally did the same thing as you (made myself finish drafts). I still fight the itess, but luckily haven’t had a full on relapse. Rewriteritess is like the herpes of writing.

    That snippet definitely was a fun way at displaying displeasure. Made me smile. 🙂

    May 16, 2014 at 1:16 pm

    • Haha – just saw your “rewriting is the herpes of writing” quote and had to smile!

      May 16, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    • That needs to be a slogan on a shirt, “Fight the Itess!” 😀

      May 19, 2014 at 5:13 am

  11. Hang in there with the rewriting! You’re definitely in a community of people who know what it’s like to wrestle that particular beast.

    I’ve been missing in action for a few weeks but I’ll be back as soon as I can. So much going on and trying to overcome various health issues as well isn’t making it any easier.

    Great excerpt! Very intriguing with the internal dialogue there.

    May 16, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    • Hi Xina! Where ya been? Hopefully you’ll be able to resolve things quickly. We miss you. 🙂

      May 19, 2014 at 5:14 am

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