From Unexpected Places (Something Concerning Odd Motivations)

Inspiration and Themes

It’s another ‘You know how it goes’ . You’ve finished your latest work, truly finished. The end was reached the several re-writes, editings, and other associated efforts have been navigated. (Including the occasional episode when the book cover was being put in place, the artist adds a little something and you thought ‘Wow, I have to fit that into the narrative!! ‘ And under the spell of the image you unravel some little part……). All this attended to by one means or another your work is then made available to the public and belongs unto the Ages.

Thus, should follow an interlude of rest and repose. Working at a factory pace does not suit Creativity or Perspective. A writer should not find, one morning their writing has become a chore they feel they must do. Writing should either come from the joy or the restlessness to see ideas taking shape as words. A ‘Because’ not a ‘Have To’.

So time to look at a Fantasy idea. There might be promise there. I would attend. I started.

And stopped. Basically, although there were a couple of amusing bits, it was not working; the word ‘Re-hash’ kept cropping up whenever I read the day’s output. Ah well, something to be left for another day….

Time to revisit the Quantum Space Opera project. On to the opening chapter. There was that word ‘Re-hash’ again. Seems I had invested so much time and effort into my previous project my creativity was still running on the loop. BlogBattle challenges were welcome, making me move elsewhere, but left to my own devices I was running in that loop. The one hope I had was another word… ‘Screwball’ as in 1930s and 1940s Comedy Films, in short when stuck, look for something outside of Serious. There was inspiration here because when scrolling through the Audio Book selection of SF, and seeing the endless lists of Genocidal Aliens, Ancient Long Forgotten Evils, Another Colonial Marines / WH40K Space Marines series one phrase kept popping into my creative mind when relating to the evil protagonists…. ‘Their heads fell off’; it broke the monotony. Thinking there might be a start of a way out, I pondered on this phrase. Now obviously such a gem had to be used sparingly, or if the pace was very fast with mocking frequency. The plot still eluded me though. Even the great Robert Sheckley would not build an entire book around heads falling off, maybe a chapter or paragraph here or there but he was a master of his art / craft. No, the whole structure needed more thought. Still, it was a start.

Buoyed by this slender hope, the musing phase started, as to what would prompt such a statement and where would the exclamation or discovery fit it. Musing on such an aspect does not require a serious frame of mind; irreverently speculative would be a better turn of phrase. Such a state is of course very volatile and unpredictable. In consequence it was with some delight, although not surprise, that bursting into the musing came a small scenario drenched with very inappropriate and excessively farcical humour based on a misunderstanding in verbal translation. There were inane sniggers, for it is a fact of Male Human Nature that no matter their age, life experience, social standing or professional achievements no man ever rids himself of that adolescent streak. However, this ‘situation’ arose, the attendant, events leading up to, social interactions, ramifications, motivations etc were causing the dust of musing to coalesce. The original slender thread of the plot began to take on shape, birthed by an urge to place both comic ideas into some context. They would only be additions of course to a deeper and wider narrative, but in doing so gave some basis and inspiration for getting there. ‘The plot became the thing, wherein the comedy I could bring’ (sorry about that Mr. Shakespeare- no apologies to you Hamlet, to me you always were a royal pain)

Now the words and the possibilities are forming with some ease. Being of the ‘Pantser’ school I have not much of an idea where this particular project is going to go. But if I did, where would the fun in that be?? No, I’m just going enjoy the whole uncertainty happy in the security of the knowledge someone, somewhere, will be involved in a humorously unfortunate incident and some group with suffer from sudden detachment of heads.

Oh, in case anyone was wondering. The Quantum aspect? In comparison with starting a plot for a book, simply no trouble at all to fit in.

Here’s to Inspiration, no matter where or how the dear muse should turn up.

And I do believe I have inadvertently created a template for a book cover.

On Getting Your Work Noticed (Just an Observation)

The end of an edit / re-write beckons; approximately 11.5% of some 248,000+ words left to ‘listen’ to and ponder over. Word is not happy with the weight I have placed upon it, pretending to lose the Dictionary additions, altering margins and spacing at random intervals, changing the Spellcheck to another language, failure to comprehend any literary constructs apart from business speak; the usual protests against an unprofessional artistic use of its programmes. BUT my trusty memory stick is ever at my side reminiscent of a faithful hound, lest Word pulls its most evil of tricks and crashes the whole work (which it dallied with back in July).

Thus this will conclude a work in three parts which will in total tally up 600,000 + words and has taken somewhere around six years to complete. A time in which edits, proof-reading and re-writes were all done within my own bubble. Thanks to Amazon Kindle and the free-book promotions I guess about 30 folk have Volumes I & II downloaded and a big thanks to those kind folk who also purchased copies (probably about 10 sales). If Volume III bumps the totals up by 33% that might be in line with my expectations (based on the previous performances). Sometimes those figures were disheartening but were unlikely to be the sole cause of the low mood, more symptomatic of a general lassitude, my late father used to refer to this as ‘being at the bottom of the wheel’. Outside of the central character of a mid-twentieth century swashbuckling or ‘happy’ musical film, who does not experience these times?

At this stage a writer facing such results will have reached a crossroads of some sort of another. Their outlook will be dependant on amount of the effort they have previously put into their marketing, networking, assistance, outside editing and beta-reading to name but a few of the preparation and research strategies available to them.

For some despite their very best and diligent efforts in these areas, their work still fails to gain recognition and a despondency sets in. This is very understandable. They may well decide writing is not for them and seek other paths. Whether this was the right choice or another promising writer was lost to the caprice of the market, we will never truly know; this sort of judgement belongs as it were ‘to the ages’.

For others there can be an analytical response, they shrug (after a period of flushing out the disappointment) and ‘go back to the drawing board’. Maybe, they think, the work needs some tweaking, nay complete overhauling. Records of advice: friendly, editorial and beta will be consulted, the work re-read (a painful process at times) and the writer returns to the battle carrying out that very delicate balancing act between others input and how they, the writer, wishes the narrative to go.

Some will decide, they do so love writing, but maybe they chose the wrong genre or wrong style of narrative. They start again, maybe using the very bare bones of the first work. This happened to me, twice. First attempt was grim, bloody (and also unreadable). The second attempt, set in the world of my current books at an earlier time was comedic satire, the volumes are now a source of folklore and history in the current works. This third is a mix, one might say real as can be found in Fantasy. 

I stood at the crossroads and looked back over my shoulder. Had I utilised any of those aforementioned strategies and resources in my journey. Yes, but due to the vagaries of life met with three sources whose advice or commentaries were not to my liking, and hereabouts there are some strong opinions retained on their competencies and ability to use perception, but we shall move on. I was glad of the observations and reviews by Audrey Driscoll https://audreydriscoll.com/  Berthold Gambrel  https://ruinedchapel.com/  and Rachael Ritchey https://rachaelritchey.com/ Each gave support, advice incisive and constructive and was taken on board in future efforts. Those who indulge in throwaway criticism would do well to stay away from me, their comments get analysed, critically…yes one is not supposed to indulge so in kicking back at a bad review…. I have nothing to lose, there would be ramifications for the throwaway reviewer.  

And there came the decision. If my work was currently not surfacing into public attention amongst the many thousands of efforts by unknown writers and my approach to all the strategies and resources was idiosyncratic, nay even shambolic and I was using the massively populated medium of Amazon Kindle, then what was there to lose in going my very own way? The books could be recorded for the public to find, there would be some gratification there, and at the same time all creativity, imagination and experimentation could be utilised just for their own collective sakes. Thus I gave vent to all manner of writing about varied circumstances, maybe some had no business being in a book seriously put together with sales in mind as a benefit; some might send editors and beta-readers into much head-shaking or saying ‘WHAT???’ Let it be so. I have enjoyed this veering off at tangents, exploring issues narrative, and it is all mine.

At this juncture let me say this is not an attempt to mask vanity with an air of assumed artistic superiority or the self-indulgent woeful stance of someone ‘suffering’ for their art. No this is just me, writing as I write, for a particular  purpose, and because the whole project will not let me be until it is concluded this way. To put it another way for those starting out or those having doubts:

Writing about my approach as one you should follow is not the reason. It would, quite frankly be irresponsible for me to contend this is worthwhile way of ‘doing things’. Not so, the above words are tailored to illustrate my position and current view of my own work. For advice on the matter of publishing, please, please seek out others. Going Complete Rogue is generally a bad idea. 

As long as the writing does not mask an agenda promoting Hate, Intolerance or questionable politics I wish everyone well with their writing. Published conventional or self-published, the writer’s efforts are to be celebrated, another record in the great endeavour writing, another statement ‘I was here’.

That you strive at your work with the conviction you have as much right as any to do is enough for me.

Meanwhile, nearly a year after the original narrative of Daughters of Circumstance. Arbiters of Consequences was completed, still working on the final ‘publicationable’ document? But of course.  

And Thus Is Completed The Narrative

Another Launch (Persistence Doesn’t Always Pay, But It’s Satisfying)

Musings on Writing (Another series). Important Reactions to Use on Suitable Occasions

You, The Writer. They, The Characters. And The Blurring Lines

Blog posts, articles and entire books have been written about how a writer should approach the creation and maintenance of characters. Then there is the other industry where folk examine famous works of literature and the characters therein from all sorts of angles; along with the motivation(s) of the author.

So then.

When you have passed the toe-twiddling stage at the water’s edge of the sea that is your project and are now wading out, determined to swim to the other side…

Opinions please:

At some stage is there part of you in one or maybe a few of the characters, reflecting various personal moods, views and the rest of the complexity of the average person?

Or.

Is there a little secret part in which you indulge in living through the character’s life. A place you can go to to shake off the usual frustrations of the daily life? Be someone else

Or.

Are you The Supreme Being of the world, moving everyone around as you see fit on a Four-Dimensional chessboard?

Or.

Having introduced these folk  to a narration are you now running after them waving a document and crying after them ‘Plot! Don’t forget my plot!!’, only to have at least one of them turn around and smiling benignly say ‘But dear writer. Have you not read the sub-text? Do keep up,’  

Or.

Is it a case of a combination of all or some of the above?

Some Thoughts on Revisions and Re-Writes

So as I work through an updated and improved version of

Skirmishers

And the Nagging Demon of Doubt says ‘What’s The Point?’

 

I take heart from the fact that Samuel Taylor Coleridge author of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

 

Ancient Mariner

Returned to this work over and over during 40 years and that there are at least 18 different versions.

 

Pondering one Are you suggesting that you’re…….

 

Whimsical one No! Just saying. That’s all. 

worried-man Please close this post now.

And Thus Is Completed The Narrative

One novel. Daughters of Circumstances. Arbiters of Consequences. (Being Vol III of the Precipice Dominions ) 234,927 words.

(And so follows a discourse with someone who might mean well. They are actually possessed of existence only in my head, because I suspect my answers and the way I would deliver them would drive a normal person to exasperation and the temptation to throw objects at me.)

Person:234,927 Really? Were so many words necessary?

Me: Yes. It’s the last part of a Fantasy Epic Heroic Trilogy. And those sorts of books have to have lotsa words in them. Complain to George R R Martin, not me…By the way there’ll be more if I put titles at the start of each chapter…all 84 of them…there’s a foreword, a prologue and an epilogue too.

Person: Yes, even so should you not have thought it wise to employ a strict editorial regime?

Me: Nope. There are the induvial stories of the three main characters, their interactions as a trio, the love story between two of them, the geo-political world-building you always get in a fantasy/SF work, sly digs at some parts of the genre and the less flexible of the readership, war, romance, rom-com, comedy, satire, politics and more world-building. Ya don’t fit that into 100,000 words without leaving a reader scratching their head at some stage. (And you’ve gotta give the supporting characters their space too, so folk realise they are people)

Person: Be that as it may, dear writer, if you were insisting on embarking on a work of such length should you not have sought out someone to help you with that? Proof reading, alpha-, beta- and editorial reading folk.

Me: No.

Person: That is a rather arrogant response, even foolhardy.

Me: What would be foolhardy would be trying to convince me to change even a sentence. I am fearfully territorial and a self-publishing indie-writer. I would only make the poor soul(s) who took up the task miserable. Reading my books is not compulsory, so I’ll take the hit.

Person: I am afraid I don’t understand.

Me: That’s OK. You shouldn’t be expected to, until you’ve tried writing for years. And then you’ll get it….although you still will reserve the right to say behind my back…… Weirdo…..

Person: But you spent….like how long on this work?

Me: That’s a bit of a toughie…..I guess two, it tends to get tangled up with the two previous volumes. I think the whole effort has taken five years, or so.

Person: Won’t you be…well…disappointed…if they do not sell in substantial numbers?

Me: They’re wrote an’t they? Two are Kindled and the last one will be. They will be out there. I’ll do another editorial stint on the first two and maybe make a bit of a fuss on some media corner about their existence. I can do no more.

Person: If you don’t mind me saying so, you have approached the subject like one of ‘follys’ rich English folk had constructed back in the 18th & 19th centuries.

Me: I repeat. They’re wrote an’t they? People can come and read them if they want to.

Person:……………………………………………………………

Me: I guess they must have gone. Oh well. Back to putting numbers on the chapters and experimenting with titles for said chapters while I await a cover.

Oh my! But I do love writing!!

A Journey into the Exultation (In a modest sort of way, of course)

I will be spending some time going around various blogs and apologising for not visiting the entertaining, thoughtful or provocative sites. The story is long and mostly one a lot of folk can relate to.

The Computer: Well my usual one finally died and I dug out my back up which approached all the requests with the ill-humour you would associate with a bear being poked out of hibernation with a stick (a very, very long stick). Thus I embarked on purchasing a new one. Now being in the Covid-19 era and also wishing to purchase one for a reputable supplier ANNNNNND trying to find one which everyone agreed on was dependable (Don’t you hate those Reviews Sites which are peppered with 5 & 1 stars in equal measure?) this was a journey. One replete with delays, confusions, mixed up e-mails and an incident at a store which was like Kafa had written a Marx Bros script- that has to be a separate post! Anyway I got a new laptop, a cute lil’ 14″ light-weight ASUS which some ‘superior’ sorts may sneer at…to which I reply ‘Like I cared about your HD or your download speed for films and all that stuff you write which I swear is half-made up in an attempt to make us feel like lesser mortals’

So, thus to the other important cause.

NB: Those who might not have read my previous posts should bear in mind none of the following is advice in any form. This is about how I write- you can shake your heads and say ‘Oh dear’ and I will not be offended in the least. 

Yes firstly I apologise for mentioning the word Re-Write yet again however this evolved into more than a simply hunting out of mis-spellings, eradications of odd-syntaxes, ironing out those continuity fractures.

I finished the narrative, too a very deep breath and went back to the very, very beginning set ‘Review’ and ‘Read’ and began Microsoft Word Actually Being Useful in Self-Editing

This is quite a long process and there had to be several returns to the beginning due to a whole lot of issues not just creative ones but such problems as convincing WORD I was not actually planning on writing portions of the book in Italian (Warning, be careful writers in English should you use another language’s word or phrase…..WORD might decide you are writing the whole book in that language, it will even start narrating in that accent….Yeah I know….Go Figure).

Anyways as I progressed the journey became one of discovery and dare I say affirmation, the proof-reading/editorialising turning into an experience of witnessing the various characters trying to cope with situations which were beyond their complete control; the more successful ones adapting as they went along. Slowly the narrative was definitely slipping away from my influence changing me to the reporter. There was no problem there, if this was going to work for me anyway the tale had to have its own life, the situation described in the narrative snowballing beyond anyone’s authority. Read any histories (good ones that is, no Conspiracies!) and you will see no one is ever in control, the winners are the ones who make the least mistakes or learn by them. If there were any outside influences in my writing then they were all based on military and political history. The comedy and romance interludes were probably me co-operating with the characters.

I have not finished this process yet, hopefully half-way through this month, then it will be numbering chapters and toying with the idea of giving them titles, and of course the glossary. Following from this I will be waiting for a cover from Matthew who produced a stunning one for Volume II ‘Our Skirmishers of Lace, Fire and Steel’

I really am looking forward to his next interpretation.

There we are then 233,000+ words and maybe little chance of it being a successful.

Why do you do it then, some might ask. Others will of course know the answer.

‘Because I wanted to write this’

Some Thoughts on Writing A Novel

Warning Foreword:

This post WILL contain some themes of a convolutedly, introspectively, esoteric nature concerning the relationship between a writer and their work. 

So sue me ….

I have this ‘thing’ about liking, nay enjoying re-writes and even more so since I discovered a rare useful device of Word’s ie ‘Review’ & ‘Read Aloud’

Microsoft Word Actually Being Useful in Self-Editing

The cause, may or may not be a combination of the following:

(1) Triumph in picking up all those niggling typos placed by Word’s evil cyber-pixies who wish to discourage all creative writing and would have a World Literature based on Business Projections and Internal Management Documents thus spoiling their plans. 

(2) Not wishing to be the cause of disharmony between me, some innocent beta-reader or helpful editor who inadvertently committed the unforgiveable crime of suggesting I change some part of the narrative or tweak a character. (It’s not that I am inflexible you understand, it’s just that……errr….. I’ll get back to you on that one in another post)

(3) Saving money on the aforementioned in ‘2’.

(4) Some latent vanity in the joy of reading/ listening to my own work. (Well someone has to admit to it!)

Those are the nuts and bolts ones. The actual fun comes in:

(A) The dismantling wholesale and replacing chunks of say 20,000 words with something better.

(B) Catching out the devious Continuity Fae who entrap a writer with whispers of enthusiasm to churn out the words and rush off to the next exciting bit and thus overlooking some leap of logic or several quite contradictory statements/actions undertaken by a major character. (This takes on cosmological proportions when you are writing a series of books).

(C) Actually listening to one or more of the characters who steps out of the narrative, stands in front of you waving an allegorical piece of paper and saying ‘Seriously?’

(D) And above all, the interactions of (A)- (C) which start some unexpected runaway process, dragging you off down a route you never even realised existed and effectively rattling loose most of the story into something else. The thrill of being part of such a situation overwhelms any concerns about having finishing a book by ‘such and such’ a date.

I don’t think my trilogy will ever sell many copies (so far most have been acquired ‘free’ through Amazon). Yet I do not care. The main characters are alive, and vibrantly taking control of the narrative, thus I owe it to them to make sure this is recorded.

The whole process is wonderfully chaotic and unpredictable. Everything else I intended to write or think about writing is on hold while this little universe settles down.

And I wouldn’t have it anyone other way.

Seriously folks… The Joys of Writing

 

 

Probably not the most interesting blog post on WP…but what the heck!

Warning:

Just about a book I’m writing

So the first draft…..well you know how that goes…..Blaah!

Second draft, it’s the working one!

cartoon-boy-doing-a-happy-dance-by-toonaday-6279

I am ridiculously cool with it!!

Working title: ‘Daughters of the Hard Road’….. not really what I was looking for.

Revised to ‘Daughters of Circumstances. Arbiters of Consequences’

Happy

(Volume 3 -or III- and conclusion of  ‘The Precipice Dominions’ )

The Precipice Dominions

Of Patchwork Warriors

Our Skirmishers of Lace, Steel and Fire

Now to check for spulling, syntax and other stuff.

Just had to post this up….. writers will understand.

Ah well…. off to the self-editing…..

 

Wives and lover husband coming home

Virus Post. Walls down. Emotions on Display.

OK. It has arrived THE PANDEMIC, the one The Medical Community knew would happen-Fact.

Sour observations: The one survivalists have been just praying to happen.The one you read about in SF/Dystopian Fiction but never thought would happen in your lifetimes and now those books don’t seem quite so ‘entertaining’ do they?

Personal Commentary (No self-pity. No ‘Oh that this too, too solid flesh would melt’ soliloquy). Just facts, brief. Like about 50% of the population in affluent West, our Lives have their buckets of problems. For many reasons we can’t get to see our three children and five grandchildren- no personal rifts just those ‘Circumstances’ that dog many a life. We were planning to visit our son, daughter-in-law and two grandsons- Pandemic arrives. How many other folk have seen plans pulled down I would not like to say.

We have health issues of one sort or another which limit our getting out as a couple to ‘go places’, ‘do things’. Pandemic puts the lid on the few opportunities. Life wasn’t much fun before, now? Do the allegorical maths. So us and a few tens of millions around the world. Didn’t need this, but we got it. It happens folks, it happens. Compare this to what is happening in Syria, Yemen or too a host of minority communities around the world and what’s happening to you, me, us in The West…..Just a scratch…At present almost a walk in the park. Of course it could get worse.

My Own strategy

So what do I do? Try and adapt, obviously.

But what else?

Write, of course.

In this we are fortunate. My wife writes poetry, is in contact with other poets, gets work published, gets good feedback and has a collection she sells privately. I am so proud of her and every time she gets a poem published I am so damn happy. Gives me the fuel to carry on.

Me?

Well, to summarise….. there’s R J Llewellyn on Kindle. Of late I’ve been working away on a fantasy series, self-published (still with those typos)

Precipice Dominion series

Y’know what, folks? Here I am stepping out of my normal British character here, but overall, typos and syntax aside I-am-so-very-pleased with these…There I said it! The characters are alive (so much so they nag me all the time) and the plot is chaotic as it was meant to be. (If you read some military history you will get to appreciate wars are won on the basis of the other side making more mistakes than yours- there are no perfect plans, no villain is always ahead of the game until the last few improbable chapters)

Vol III was having a re-write for typos, continuity etc, when I thought

‘Heck (or words to that effect) we can do better than this’

Learning to Live with ‘The First Draft’ and its Consequences.

And now it’s undergoing a whole re-work. This will be finished, virus or not. I will have my Three Volume Series (was supposed to be four but reflection suggested the narrative and plot would be getting thin in Vol IV and a lot of repetition would take place–too slow). I have an upbeat ending, because I like positive endings, it is a quirkly good one….There I said it (again). Three Volumes completed, I will be content, pleased, at rest.

Now this is how I personally tackle a Life-Threatening, Life-Changing  Pandemic. This is my way of minimising the effects.

I-WILL-WRITE.

I WILL BELIEVE IN MY WRITING

Let this be your pledge to yourself in these uncertain times

Seriously folks… The Joys of Writing

 

 

PS. Explanation. Some regular readers might by wondering about the amount of unusual and aggressive affirmation regrading my personal opinion on my own writing. This is due to a severe case of Full Metal Jacket haranguing at me by one of my characters Arketre Beritt, a solider, of an elite unit. If you are new to writing be prepared when the characters take over, it happens)

A Volume Completed. A Re-Write Commences.

Many folk do not like re-writes. For those of you who do not and for those of you on your first work and have heard nightmare stories about re-writes, please read on.

And for some a chance to say ‘Hah! Not Just Me Then’ 

Well I did it by Jove! On the 31st December 2019 at 6.37pm UK GMT I completed Volume 3 of the Precipice Dominions  Working Title ‘Daughters of the Hard Road‘. The work comprises some 200,000+ words.

And did I feel a sense of fulfillment? One of joy and completion?

Of course not! It’s the first draft. A collection of words redolent with plot-holes, inconsistencies and swerves in direction. Something which had started as escapade of rescuing someone from somewhere  then escorting them to somewhere else while battling all sort of assailants and treacheries against a backdrop of a fragmenting empire, ’round about word 75,000 lurched. Or maybe gently slid. I am not sure. Anyway suddenly one major character Karlyn is kidnapped by her own family, her now spouse Arketre is thrown into a military setting which became based on the Battle of Stalingrad with a smattering of betrayals and Trelli is pivoted into something which might have been based on a Greek or Nordic or Celtic adventure saga with attendant message. By word 125,000 (or so) all the attendant supporting cast are engaged in a Game of Thrones; Apocalypse Now; Tinker, Tailor, Solider, Spy mash-up.

Throughout this Karlyn has to deal with a dual identity, Trelli seems to spend most of her time trying to patch up everyone else’s mistakes while Arketre gathers her own devoted following and is complicit in a lot of deaths. Eventually a conclusion is reached with some measures of justice being dispensed here and there and our trio although safe and reasonably sound definitely not being hailed by a grateful empire, as it’s falling apart. And the whole thing is far too messy.

Yes, I know. 200, 000 words to say that???? Small wonder you say it is messy. Of course the re-write beckons. The re-write was positively screaming to be let lose, even with 30,000 words to go. That was not the time to undo things though. I would assert a writer can re-start a work too many times, eventually they will become discouraged and give up. Far better I reckon to forge ahead to a sort of conclusion, trying out ideas along the way and then….Yes! The re-write!! The blessed, long awaited re-write!!

I like re-writes. Aside from giving me a chance to repair the damage caused by a frenetic churning out of ideas which have nothing to do with the supposed continuity and also do something about the mischievous cyber-pixies who insert typos when you know for certain you typed it correctly…..’cause Microsoft Word is never wrong and always alert to help you out….yeah….write (sic). Then are also these important reasons:

  1. The Plot: Yes, it’s in there somewhere, I can definitely remember seeing somewhere around word 90,000, and it did surface again, briefly around 140,000. Once I find it, straighten it out check for plausibility (even in a fantasy novel some measure is required) then nuance everything around, it should not be too difficult to keep The Plot above water
  2. The Saga Continuity: As anyone writing vast sweeping fantasy series will tell you there is  nothing so embarrassing as finding a great big grating, grinding screech as when something from one book clashes with an interlude from a previous book. And I found one when innocently looking for the name of a very minor character. It is horrendous, like not just a whole princedom but affects an entire region. A veritable seismic event, but noted before publication….ah the blessed re-write.
  3. Opportunities knocks: When repairing other damage or ironing out kinks allows the introduction of little bits I forgot to put in when forging through from one event to another.
  4.  Writing When Not Concentrating:  Those ‘What was I thinking of when  wrote… thatinterludes. I find a great deal of satisfaction in removing those. Mind you, some of the larger ‘chunks’ might have a passage or two worth using later one. Thus before deleting I Copy & Paste them into a folder for future plundering.
  5.  Over use of one word/phrase:. You’ve met it haven’t you? In a book one author I admire had habit of having a principal character ‘chuckle’…..every chapter; since the character was a grim and hard-nosed type his ‘chuckle’ became irritating and I wondered whether it was a nervous thing. In my own work I am aware too many of my folk ‘know’ something or are wont to smile in various ways. There will be a need to Ctrl & F  then type in either ‘know’ or ‘smile’ and see how many entries can be removed and replaced.
  6.  Yessssss!: My wife has become used to me suddenly clutching my left fist and hissing out the word; signifying something worked really well. It has a cousin which is ‘Wow! Did I write that?’. Discovering these interludes are good for the writer’s soul. You all have them, they are sweet to encounter and serve to keep a writer going through those ‘other’ patches.

So, there is much to be done. I started on the 1st January and have been deleting, amended, copying and pasting, shifting chunks of dialogue about and all associated notions. It’s a Necessary, and it’s rather cool. Of course there is a problem, treating those important but very dull bits with the care and attention of all the exciting stuff.

Ahh, writing. Would we have it any other way?