Since I rededicated this space as my primary home online and the center of my blogging universe, I haven’t discussed my writing progress much!
But first, a diversion. Someone shared this painting on Twitter the other day, and I found it captivating. It’s called “Dickens’s Dream”, by Robert William Buss, and the conceit is simple: Charles Dickens is dozing in his chair, and the air around him is full of his dreams of all his characters. Note that the ones nearest him, the ones most present in his mind, are the ones in color, while others are uncolored, hazy, and more and more dreamlike. That really is how it feels: the characters in what you’re working on are sharpest in your mind, even when you’re away from your desk or your table or wherever it is that you usually write.
At least that’s how it is with me.
As for how it’s been going? Well, it’s been a mixed bag. This year’s focus has been Forgotten Stars V, and after charging nicely out of the gate the first few months, everything bogged down a couple of months back as the story elements I put in place in the first act stubbornly refused to go anywhere in the second, and that’s where I am right now. I had wanted to get this draft finished by the end of October, and that hopeful deadline has long since come and gone. So now, maybe by spring? Sigh. These books are not getting easier as I go.
But I at least have started to unravel the threads, which is a hopeful sign!
This took my usual approach, inspired by Bugs Bunny: figuring out that I should have taken that “left toin in Albuquerque”, I backtracked to the last point where I felt like I was heading in the right direction, and rewrote everything from that point. Some things became clear as I did so, and now I definitely have the sense that I’m on the right track. I really hope these books don’t keep getting harder and slower to write…I have four more of these to do after this one!
You may not take comfort in this. But in the Vlogbrothers, both John and Hank would love to know how to be authors, even though they’ve both written more than one. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=58nKkouII4g – start at 3:20