The problem with writing novels... by MLR

...is that they take so long to write.

So, after traveling to Flagstaff, Arizona, then to the Grand Canyon, Death Valley, then Sydney Australia and Cairns Australia, and then back and forth from Tucson and Cleveland three times this year on some of the most soul-draining, bad-weather observing runs ever, the last of which ended with the plane ride from hell where I got stuck in the Dallas airport for 9 hours (through the night and into the next morning, due to bad weather and technical problems with the gate when we finally arrived), during which time I stared in a daze at footage of the earthquake that happened in Nepal, I'm finally feeling energetic enough to do some more creative work. However, what I decided when I started working again was, I'm going to put aside most other projects and finish the novel I've been working on for what seems like forever.

I'm currently in the process of going through the draft I have page by page and making thousands of minor changes and hundreds of major ones, to get the tone consistent, to keep the logic consistent, to improve the sentence structure and language, and to work into it an actual common running theme (since right now it's more or less a disaster in that regard). It's painstaking, sometimes excruciating, and extremely time-consuming, but I want the damned thing to be, if not perfect (which will not happen), at least perfectly solid. But what that means is, again, I doubt I'll be posting much to Weasyl during this time.

So if you're wondering why I haven't been particularly active on Weasyl for... I don't know, 9 months? A year? Something like that. (Excepting admin duties; I still do those.) These are basically the reasons. Expect more of the same for the foreseeable future. I'll try to get some artwork done, at least, since I'm much more lazy and half-assed about that. But hopefully what that means is, at some distant time and place, I'll have published a pretty good novel. And even if it gets buried in the sands of time, unread and unloved, big deal, one more life goal achieved.

PS: I have been working on the rewrite of Vagabond off and on (I need to change the title, though). About 100 pages into the rough draft. But that's also going on hold until this other project of mine is complete.

The problem with writing novels...

MLR

17 May 2015 at 20:47:31 MDT

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  • Link

    They can take a very long time. I'm currently slogging my way through the first draft of what will probably be a 65k-word story when all's done. I'm doing well if I can get 3k words in a week, with all the responsibilities I have.

    And then comes the editing, the rewriting, the tearing apart only to put it back together again. It's a lot of work for something most people will finish in a couple days, if they even look at it.

    But it's worth it in the end, and that's why we do it.

    • Link

      Yep. I'm averaging maybe a few hundreds words a day in editing now. This work, in its current iteration, is actually hovering somewhere around 130k words. I spent a few days before I started editing just sitting down and thinking, and writing down ideas on how to fix certain things, global issues, and then an after-the-fact outline to keep the edits in line. A few weeks later, I'm up to word number 6500 out of 130,000...

      But honestly, I try not to think about these numbers while I'm doing it, because that's just distressing. Maybe you're in the same boat.

      • Link

        I don't find it helpful to dwell on word count. The story will keep going until it's done, and there's no telling how many words it'll take.

        My stories tend to get longer in the second draft or editing phase. My initial drafts tend to be light on potentially-useful detail because I'm more focused on getting the plot written out. Later, I go back and expand where needed (and cut those portions that do nothing for the story).