With that behind me, and off to as good a start as I was able to give it, my brain finally seems content to move on. Which direction, though, is another matter entirely. I have this tome of a project, so large as to be daunting. And then there's the sequel to DEoH that needs some plotting. And the sequel to Black, which has admittedly stalled a good bit for the time being. I have been leery of sinking myself into the heavy rewrites of the trunked novel, in fear of getting lost and never surfacing again.
And then, there's nothing quite like churning out 20k on a full-length novel project without any notion as to whether it works. At all.
Enter The Beta, swooping in like Superman to save the day.
Imagine my relief when a quick read of the first three chapter segments results in a positive reaction.
It's not even polished or edited. (I <3 my betas, have I mentioned that recently? I do. A lot. They rock. I could use a few more, so I don't wear them out, but the good ones are so hard to find.)
Incarnation Number Five of the Trunked Novel appears to be the best version thus far. And hopefully the last, because after I get the first in this (what looks to be) series done, I will refuse to overhaul like this again. It's painful, exhausting, and at the same time energizing and exhilarating. These ideas and concepts, this world and culture, have been aging in my head for two decades. It's time I put them to the use they were intended, and tell the damned story already.
Never again, though. Not like this. That this is self-inflicted is borderline hilarious. Apparently I'm an editing masochist. I'm harder on myself, I think, than any editor possibly could be -- which would explain why DEoH's editing process, while protracted, wasn't really that painful for me. Oh hell, I remember thinking, this is nothing compared to the editing I do myself.
Then again, I don't write a screenplay for "Debbie Does Dallas" and expect it to be received as the next "Tale of Two Cities."
The words are coming, now. The images flowing one into the next. I finished up the transcribing early this afternoon, and have churned out just over two thousand new words. And I'm not done for the day, not yet. Stopped to make some dinner because I've two estranged siblings going for each other's throats, and I'm ... trying to tread carefully. Balancing professionalism with personal issues is difficult for anyone when it strikes so close to home, but with these characters, their agendas are so highly divergent and complex...
So because I'm all happy-giddy-author today, here's a snippet from the trunked thing I'm working on.
The land whispered of things, when Renji listened. It wasn’t just in the scents carried on the breeze. There was something more to it than that, an indescribable feeling—or knowledge—far beyond what any of the elder idolon showed him.
There was an insignis, for instance, getting ready to drop a late spring foal on the far edge of the northern woods. Not really something to be concerned with, as she was well attended. It wasn’t the strong scent of them from that direction which heralded what was going on. It was the awe, the sense of culmination, of beginnings, tremors in the soil beneath his feet and a vibrancy in the air. The sun brighter, warmer. The day more alive.
It struck him that if ‘change’ had a particular scent, this was what it would feel like.
He could feel every blade of grass, pine needle, and pebble beneath the pads of his feet. Every fractional shift in temperature as the breeze gusted, then died.
Having that ken and knowing what it meant—what to do with it—were two entirely separate things.