I’m into the 2nd draft. It is starting to look like this bad girl will be 80,000-90,000 words when its done. I’ve relied on feedback from friends so far, but I probably should have gotten a professional plot analysis. So, today, I sent off a 1000 word synopsis to an agency.
I’m approaching a point where I’ll seek an editor, maybe within the next couple months but this last slog has been a dreadful drain on my energy. Each day I write for six hours in the morning. The plot and characters have become very intricate, perhaps subtle though, and each slight change to a setting or technology or character or anything seems to ripple through the story. That’s why I began the second draft after only 40,000 words. I had so many loose ends that just had to be tied up or pulled out.
I enjoy the work. Now that football season is over, life is free on the weekends but the extra time seems to just mean more of a mental drain. By the end of any day of writing my brain in swimming in the story, and not always in a good way. My friend Gecko has suggested I join a local writer’s guild but I’m reluctant. I’ve been to writing classes and even a guild once and while they’ve enriched my perspective, I doubt that anything less than a local guild that specializes in my genres would be helpful.
The novel is now two rather than three parts, 18 chapters. The second part is the descent into historic fact and despite the monumental research I’ve done already, I wish I had a historian friend who could guide me. I’m increasingly particular about details. I’ve used Google’s Earth to study the regions in-depth. This led me to realize that the sites I had chosen are probably far more vulnerable than I had hoped. One site in particular that seemed ideal, on the edge of a wooded coastal range would be perfect except that the wooded parts are relatively short trees and scrubs. I’ve had to add a chapter just to deal with this problem.
More and more as I watch movies or series, I’m disturbed when important facts are minimalized in stories. I mean, if a story hinges on a fact that is over or understated I find my whole commitment to “suspension of disbelief” falls apart. Writers should be more careful and far too many directors take shortcuts that create these buzz kills. In the modern world, with Wikipedia at your fingertips, a writer can create with infinitely greater care than at any time in history. I’d have to admit that this whole research thing is one of my great weaknesses, but I enjoy the learning. For example, I may have known some things about the military but requirements of this novel have made me much more astute.
Anyway, the plot thickens. Hopefully I’ll get some encouraging insights from the agency. I’m increasingly aware that I’ll have to self-publish the first novel though.