Marching Ever Forward

Well, I woke up at 1:30am and decided to start doing some novel writing for a blessed change. What I discovered in today’s revelation was, I hated the original forewords. There were three of them, tacked together and blathering senselessly. Amusing, but pointless.

To be honest, I’m not sure this is the one, either, but it felt good to actually make a significant change to the book. Now, if only I could get the characters together on stage again, so I can get the ‘novel’ playing in my head properly. I feel like I’ve been rehearsing and auditioning and building the set all at once, and the lack of direction is killing me.

I’m aiming to write something so cool that it gets to be the next hit made-for-TV series adaptation. If I don’t live to see it adapted, I at least want to know it had a fair shake from the outset. I mean, look at those Act headings in Scrivener! I have ten stories going on, and they all tie together. I’ve figured I can get each Act told in six chapters of about 6K words per chapter, but that will almost certainly change a lot from story to story once I get going. I like to play with structures at the beginning, and then refine and modify them as I go.

Or at least, that’s the usual MO. This novel is trying to kill me. No, really, it’s been teasing me for about two and a half years now. If I break Frank Herbert’s six year record* for writing Dune, I shall be very put out.

So, what’s the deal with writing forewords before the book is finished? It’s something I do to make myself think about where I am and where the book is heading, particularly if the writing isn’t going fast enough.

Also, I enjoy blogging when I’m feeling too much pressure to perform. It helps ease me into bashing the keys for a while. I actually can touch type, which is something a lot of authors apparently can’t do. Might explain my word count averages. Once I get going, I really get going. It’s like a roller coaster, really.

Anyway, I’m not getting work done. Blogging is part of the job, but it’s the part that pretends to be work when it’s really the rabbit hole you fall down that prevents you from writing what you’re hoping to get paid for. Procrastination, in other words.

I quit playing flash games on Facebook a handful of years ago. I also never visit TV Tropes anymore. And I spend as little time spelunking in Wikipedia as I can stand. These sacrifices I made in the name of getting back valuable writing time.

But what do I do about turning ON the TV in my head when my telly’s gone bung?

Back to work. Thanks for reading.



  • When Herbert started, he had a much more mundane day job, like most classic grandmaster sci-fi novelists; He wrote speeches and stuff. I imagine it made writing after hours a less than completely enjoyable experience. Six years seems reasonable. I don’t know of any other writers who took that long to plan and write the first of the original trilogy of epic sci-fi novels. They probably exist, but I doubt that the few that come anywhere near Dune’s architecture and scale did. If I’m wrong, so be it. But still, six frelling years? I bloody hope not!

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