Saturday, August 18, 2012

Writing update

Vacations imposed something of a blogging absence, which was no bad thing. It marked a new chapter in my writing journey.

After two years under the surgeon's knife, Ghosts of Innocence is back out in Queryland. Hoping for more positive responses this time around. We'll see how that goes.

And, ever since my first round of queries, I've been dithering between several projects to take on after Ghosts. See the Words and pictures tab.

I took stock, and decided to revive Electrons' Breath.

I re-read the scenes I'd written two-and-a-half years ago, and I fell in love with them all over again. I know I've been here before, I felt like this after setting it aside for a few months but then ran dry again almost immediately.

The first challenge for me was to get my mind back into the actual plot. I remember now that this was a sticking point before. The plot as a whole is quite simple, but there's a lot of detailed events that have to dovetail together - different threads of "who sees what and when" to be woven together into a coherent whole. I had the first part mapped out, then it all gets rather vague.

I left myself lots of notes on little plot points, and I got lost trying to find concise ways to capture it all so the important elements were clear without getting bogged down in detail. There were lots of "Aha!" moments as I revisited years-old lines of thought.

As a result, I haven't yet added many new words, and I am still struggling to find ways into the many scenes yet to be written. I find that I need to establish a very clear image of the scene in my mind before I can start writing it.

But that's all rationalization. Something was still holding me back from actual writing.

The turning point for me came on vacation. I lay awake one morning, feeling lazy and not quite ready to get up, and ideas started flowing. I could see much better how to tie the plot together, some scenes started to crystallize in my mind, and the characters came into sharper focus.

At last, I discovered that the group of students my MC supervises were far more important to progress than I'd given them credit for. As soon as I started picturing them as individuals, and settling on their unique flaws and characteristics, I was able to picture their part in the flow of events. Scenes that I'd been unable to complete suddenly came to life, and some of the later plot started to emerge from the murk.

Things are moving again, and I've provisionally renamed this WIP to Tiamat's Nest.

Oh, yes, and we now have another hedgehog!


  1. That is awesome that you have found a way to visualize your scenes and begin writing again. Your title is intriguing. Good luck with querying, too. It's always best to launch a new project while querying so that you don't "put all your eggs in one basket" so to speak.

  2. Good luck on the query letters.

  3. It's amazing how an AHA moment can occur while you're lolling in your bed, isn't it? Super! Glad to hear the creative juices are flowing again on that old work, and good luck with the queries. Glad you got a new hedgehog, too. (I thought I'd left a comment on your last post, but it isn't there, so I reckon I thought wrong...)

  4. I am glad vacation was inspirational to you, Ian, are you sure it's not because you found yourself in the vicinity of a muse?

  5. How wonderful that the change of routine that the holiday was has recharged your inspiration and creativity.

  6. Good luck in queryland. And congrats on getting your WIP moving again. It's a great feeling to rediscover the greatness of a story.

  7. Shell, my plan is to draft this novel while querying the first. I feel I've been stuck on Ghosts for far too long now and need to keep moving.

    Delores - thanks.

    Susan, looks like any comment never made it. I checked it hadn't been trapped as "spam" by Blogger, too. Nothing there.

    Unikorna, I always find beaches and mountains inspiring, so maybe that's it?

    Mynx and Fairchild, it was a great feeling. Now I just have to keep things moving through the pressures of normal life :)

  8. Yay for vacations! Best of luck with your adventures in queryland. :)

    And a hearty woohoo! for getting back into an old WIP. It's almost magical with the plot starts flowing again, isn't it?

  9. Write...rewrite...query...rewrite...query again...hope for the best.
    I guess our books are like our kids. They never leave us.
    And I actually think that's good in a way.

  10. Hi Ian,
    Indeed and it seems that your vacation was just the inspirational catalyst you needed. All the very best with your ongoing queries.
    Sorry I haven't been around much lately. Been away a bit myself.
    All the best and happy writing.

  11. Jean...adventures in queryland...sounds like there could be a novel in there somewhere :)

    Al, I think you summed it up admirably.

    Gary, I know you've been on your own travels. It's good to see you around any time, and I hope all is well with you.


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