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Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

Can't quite believe it's been a year since I started up this blog - until I look at my calendar and realize I've got about six weeks until this book is due to my editor. Nope, it's not done yet. But we had a lovely holiday, with the entire immediate family here at the house - and my mom, too, and visits from a niece and her kids. Safe travels for all. All good. But December evaporated and here I am trying to marshal my brains and pages for the final assault...

Task 1 - remember what the heck I'm doing here. It feels like time for a complete read of What's Happened So Far. Why? Partly because I want to make sure I'm steeped in the story before I move into the final chapters. Partly because I've got some timing changes to make. And partly because I've some clarifications to weave in and I might as well do it now as later.

Timing: On the last day I got substantial work done before Christmas, I decided I had made my timeframe too short. My heroes were running out of time - which is always a good thing for tension - but in this case the work they have to do just can't be squeezed in before their "drop dead date." [Just a euphemism. Uh-huh.] I don't have a "magical cheat" in place to speed up their traveling. If they are going to visit Michel de Vernase's home, and still return to Merona before the grand finale of this story, I've got to build in travel time. So annoying.

Changes to weave in: a little more precise magic (now that I understand it), some peculiarities of Portier's past (not all of which are alliterative!), and some cultural details like the Cult of the Reborn and the differences between spectres (the energies left behind by a dead person), ghosts (souls that cannot cross the Veil), and engasi (those actually returned from the dead).

This kind of reread and revise takes much long than I'd like. I've done only about three chapters a day, which means I'm about 2/3 of the way so far after five days. (My active writing is currently at Chapter 26.) But I am finding, as always in revision, that the later chapters are smoother and need less attention, so maybe I have a hope of finishing up the reread quickly. Meanwhile I'd really like to get Chapter 26 finished for the critique group tomorrow. Yoiks - I don't like to think how few group meetings are left before MY deadline.

More on this tomorrow!


Anonymous said...

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year... and good luck with your story. Looks like you're nearly there, eh? :-)

I started the year with a new idea (not really a project, I mean, not yet). I'll take this as a good omen :-)


carolwriter said...

It's coming...coming...slowly... I've just written a piece that includes an "event" that I had imagined to be in the climax - which leads me to say, what is the climax now?

It. Will. Come.

Good omen, Sarah - and I wish good omens to all!

Anonymous said...

Of course it will come. The story will tell it to you.

I think this is why sometimes events happen in a different way than we had originally imagined them. The story ALWAYS knows better than the author :-)


Anonymous said...

The more climaxes the better, I always say. [Sorry. Bad Deb!]
Seriously though, the story sounds yummy. I'm getting antsy to read it already. I know, I know, patience is a virtue. [Patience is a virtue. Patience…] Heck, patience is overrated!

BTW, I reread "Son of Avonar" while flying NJ to CA for Thanksgiving and have to say it was just as good the second time around! Thanks. And keep up the great work!

ssas said...

Sorry I'm going to miss you all this weekend! Retreats during snowboarding season just don't work for me. Sigh. Have fun though!

carolwriter said...

Miss you too, Bets!

And thanks for the encouragement, all.

Perrin said...
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