I am sloooowly feeling better from my bout with the flu. I have some lingering symptoms and I’m still low energy, but I’m starting to have some decent days mixed in with the not-so-great ones, which means (I hope) I’m on the mend at last. It feels like it’s been forever since this crud hit. I’ll be glad to see the end of it.
On the down side, due to being so sick, I managed to get absolutely no writing work done through the holidays. Which isn’t exactly how I’d planned things to go, but here we are.
What I did do a lot of, though, while I was in bed sick, was thinking. Well, okay, I also did a lot of binge watching of The Mandalorian and The Witcher. But I also did a lot of thinking. 😀 Thinking about my writing and publishing goals for 2020. And thinking about Dark Magick Rising–what’s happened thus far, where it’s headed, and how I’m going to get there. As I was picking it apart in my head, I came to a conclusion. It’s something I’ve suspected for a while now; I just didn’t want to admit it…
I’ve taken a wrong turn in this book.
I kind of warned you all about it a while back, when I took a couple weeks off because I said I needed to think about how the book was going to end and I didn’t want to give you chapters that might later get yanked. Well….it turns out I jumped the gun on that. I thought I had a handle on it but clearly I didn’t. The truth is, I have really struggled with the past several chapters (both the ones I’ve posted and the ones you haven’t seen yet) because in my gut I was pretty sure they were off the rails. But I was determined to stick it out anyway and see where things went since I’m a pantser. That’s what pantsers do…we write and see where things go. Usually, it’s kind of like magick, and everything just sort of unfolds and fits together beautifully. This time, however–one of the very few times it’s ever happened to me in my writing career–this book has gone off the rails for real, heading off to a completely different destination from where it’s supposed to go. And while it might be an okay ride, a little scenic, a bit of an adventure…if the passengers paid to go to San Francisco but the train’s heading toward Tucson instead…well, that’s a problem.
This book is massive to start with because there’s a lot going on that’s important to the series as a whole. Because of that, there’s simply no room to ramble off on side trips. I’m already going to have to do some serious tightening up of the actual important parts during the editing phase, so I can’t afford to go off on tangents. I need to get this runaway train back on course. And the only way to do that is to go back to the point where it began this meandering side journey, cut it off from those tracks, and start writing again from there, on the straight line it needs to follow.
What does this mean in plain talk? Well, it means that I’ve got to take some drastic measures. Over the next few days I’m going to be pulling down some of the most recent chapters I posted. I’m not sure yet how many of them will go away–I’ve got to do some reading and see where I want to cut and revise. A few bits and pieces of them may get used in different ways as I move forward, but, as a whole, some of these chapters won’t be part of the finished book.
This also means that, in spite of the fact I hate having to do it, I’m not going to be posting any more new chapters on my blog until the book is done. I’m sorry to disappoint all of you, but writing is sometimes a messy process. Stuff has to get cut or rearranged or rewritten along the way, and this is one of those times. I need to be able to focus on getting the book finished, once and for all, without having to worry whether I’ve posted things that weren’t ready to be posted. Putting up the not-quite-right chapters was a bad decision on my part. And I think that plays a role in why I haven’t finished the book yet. Writing slowed to a crawl as I tried to figure out how to get myself out of my own mess. I should have followed my gut instinct and hit the pause button the moment I suspected something was off.
For those of you thinking, Oh no! How long are we going to have to wait NOW to read the end?
The answer to that is…I don’t know for sure. I don’t want to make any promises I can’t keep. But what I can tell you is that since I am starting to feel better, I plan to dive back into work today or tomorrow. AND, I can tell you that my first goal for 2020 is to be finished with Dark Magick over the next month. I’m committed to doing that. I truly believe that by cutting out the clutter of the last several chapters, things will get back on track. In spite of being a pantser, I do know where in general this book ends–I’ve had the big final climax in my head for YEARS–so writing toward it, without the extra baggage I had created for myself, should go much more smoothly.
I appreciate you all for following me on this journey. ❤️ The writing process isn’t always neat and tidy, as you’ve seen. Especially for a long book. And even more especially for a long book that’s the fifth in a series. I do hope you’ll bear with me. Once the book is completed, I will probably (again, not promising, but it’s what I’m thinking right now) post the remaining chapters for you all at once.
Thank you so much for your patience and I’ll try to keep you updated as the month progresses.