Tuesday, August 23, 2011


One of the themes that always pokes its way into my stories is integrity. Not being who you think you should be, or who you think others want you to be, but rather, finding who you truly are.

Facing facts is a tangent of that. And yet, self-delusion can be helpful. It gets us through times of hardship. "This, too, shall pass." "It's always darkest just before dawn," "Light at the end of the tunnel." Myriad proverbs to choose from, all telling us that we needn't give up hope, needn't face facts. Instead, we can adapt reality to make us comfortable.

So, we have to find a balance between accepting reality clearly enough that we can deal with life as it is, but not so bluntly that we become despairing or incapable of action.

My re-interpretation of reality was that I could write a novel in a month, including at least one thorough round of editing and revision, and then publish it as an ebook. I cheerfully announced that I would let it go, knowing it wouldn't be a good as it could be, because I need the satisfaction of having something 'finished' and out-there. Also, I need to learn how to get ebooks formatted for the various distribution sites.

My learning novel, I called it.

And now I find I cannot do it. Oh, I can have it written. I can revise it, too; I already am. I find I cannot write the outline that will facilitate said revisions without stopping to implement them. No self-restraint, alas. So I will meet those goals.

But -- I cannot put a book out into the world unless I make it something I'm proud of. So now I see myself with not just two novels in editing, but three.

I have to get back to Adjacent Possibilities. I've learned so much from the Sooty Experiment, and the editing will go more easily because of that. But I did so want to believe I could relax and accept an adequate novel, just for the sense of accomplishment in saying: I have a story available.

I'll keep to my month. I'll get Sooty  written. I've already spoken to an editor, too, to provide that so-necessary extra pair of eyes. I'll get Sooty  shaped up to where I can let it try its proverbial wings. I cannot say when, but I'm now hoping by mid-October. Still very fast, I know. But I'm trying to find that precarious balance between the sense of completion I need and the sense of pride I have to have in my work.

( Update:  I should clarify. I normally do not write so swiftly. For the other two novels-in-editing, one is going on for almost 2 years, the other, Adjacent Possibilities, for just over a year. Both are still being researched as well as edited and revised, and for both I sometimes wonder how one ever knows when something is finished. All I know is that neither of them is finished, nor will be for many months, perhaps years to come. )

Word counts are not totally abandoned, but I'm letting them slide until I get the outline done. Then I'll get the middle written, and have a completed first draft to announce.

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