Sunday, November 20, 2005

So Many Ideas, So Little Time

Yes, I've got still more ideas. Things are
interconnecting and interesting backstory from one
character's earlier life is starting to look like
parts of another character's novel. It would be
interesting to see the first character from the
perspective of the second, and especially when he was
so much younger.

But I quite honestly don't know when I'm ever going to
get them written. I've got article assignments
stacking up one after another, and I somehow need to
do still more cleaning if I'm going to have any hope
of getting this house to sell. You simply can't write
a novel on the basis of a sentence here and a sentence
there, scribbled during the bits and slivers of time
found standing in line waiting for things to happen.
And as long as I'm having to write fiction on-spec, I
pretty much have to let everything else cut in front
of fiction writing time, no matter how many ideas are
burning in my head.

And with my luck, once time does finally loosen up,
the stories have gone cold in my mind and are no
longer so eager to be written, so I'm stuck sitting at
the keyboard remembering the white fire that's now

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Of Holding Back and Letting Out

One of the great frustrations of writing is that, once you finally get time to write, you may discover that the words simply won't come. All those wonderful stories that had to be held back while other
obligations were discharged now seem jammed up there, unwilling or unable to come forth. So you sit and struggle while precious minutes and hours go by, all too aware that the writing time will end all too soon and that you'll have yet another Obligation come plopping down to take away all the time that might otherwise go to writing.

Or worse, you have so many stories and novels lined up that you literally can't settle on any one of them. Your mind is pulled a dozen ways at once by all the different stories crying out, "Write me!" "No, write me!" "Don't forget about MEEEE!" And nothing gets accomplished, and before you know
what's happened, the precious respite is over and it's time to buckle down to Duty once again. But the mind that was so briefly released doesn't want to go back to drudgerous work, and refuses to concentrate. So of course work becomes an even more painful and soul-draining process, and you know that next time around it will be even more difficult to let go and start writing.

Friday, November 04, 2005

On Beginnings

As I'm working on the various novels of Jan-Pawel
Trzetrzelewski and Eigun Eiderveyen, I'm wondering if
some of them are starting in the right place. For
some, it's obvious where to begin. For instance, the
story of the rescue of the prelate whose name I still
haven't settled on should begin with the torturer
telling him that either he will break and deny his
faith, or they will grind his bones into powder. With
that threat established, I can move to his superiors
setting up the necessary circumstances for Eigun to
effect his rescue. And the first Jan-Pawel story,
working title In the Presence of Mine Enemies, starts
with a priest being set upon and beaten by thugs.
Jan-Pawel is then called upon to fill in for the
priest, which puts him in contact with other key
players and gets the storyline moving.

But with others, I'm not so confident. For instance, I
started Plausible Deniability with a scene of
Jan-Pawel reporting to receive his new assignment. I
also have a similar scene at the beginning of Cloak
and Shadow
. Now, looking back at them, I find that
both of them seem rather weak, not to mention
repetitive. On the other hand, I can't yet think of
any good action bit to put at the front, that doesn't
give a false impression of just what the story is

On the other hand, sometimes it's best to just forge
ahead and write the whole novel, and hope that
completing it will give the necessary perspective on
the overall shape of the novel to perform the
necessary front-end alignment. That was certainly the
case with The Steel Breeds True. The scene with
General Semyonov in the Lubyanka was one of the last
that I wrote, as I finally saw how to present the
story so that it would be immediately clear what was
at stake.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

The Name Game

I've got a character giving me fits. His name is
either Silan or Silor, and I can't figure out which
sounds right.

And he's a major figure in that new novel that just
cropped up, so I have to figure out what his name is.
I really don't want to get a huge way into it and then
have to laboriously go back through and change every
single instance of his name.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Breeding Like Rabbits

What is it with story ideas? Right while I really
don't have enough time to write the stories I already
have, along come two more.

One's another story of the adventures of Eigun
Eiderveyen, and came from a minor character who was to
appear briefly in a couple of scenes in the novel
right before Plausible Deniability. Suddenly I started
seeing a bunch more of this character's background,
why he is so crippled when we meet him there, and who
did it to him. And that raised the question of just
how he got out from those people's clutches, and I
knew Eigun was involved in it, since Jan-Pawel had his
own fish to fry at that time.

The other is set further back in the timeline, and
could be left as purely backstory at the present. But
it does have a lot of interesting potential in it, and
I'd really like to write it someday.

I've got a series as big as David Weber's Honor
Harrington universe here, and I don't have the first
novel written, let alone sold. And to top it all off,
I hardly have time to do any writing on any of them,
between the demands of my non-fiction contracts and
shipping books for our online bookselling business.
Which makes the constant proliferation of ideas all
the more frustrating.