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bear by san

March 2017



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bear by san

Heart like a wheel. Brain like a cedar chest.

I vaguely remember a story from somewhere out here in the Wild Weird West about a town where it used to be illegal to arrest a man after he had his boots on in the morning. It's on my mind this morning because I need to put *my* boots on and go to work now.

I wonder if it's possible to write books or stories without a brain like an attic.

At the very least, all of my best ideas seem to come from these detained tidbits and momentary passions. I spent nine months back in 1991 or so utterly obsessed with the historical Vlad Dracula: Along with a lot of Victor Hugo, it tried to turn into a vampire novel that makes a significant chunk of my million words of juvenilia.

Thank God I'm over the urge to write vampire novels. That's all I have to say.

I still think vampires are sort of neat, but I don't tend much to writing them the way most people seem to. And Vlad III (Really a complicated if somewhat unappealing fellow) (that's Yankee understatement in action) came back as a plot point in my Celtic/Arthurian novel, which I need to start gutting from the ground up as soon as I finish SM and take a little vacation.

I have no idea what it is I'm supposed to do with the Norse novels. They feel very --finished-- I can see their flaws: All the Windwracked Stars is very much a first novel. The pacing's uneven, even with all I can do to fix it, and the characterization is a little melodramatic, and the sentence-level writing is competent at best (if I'm feeling generous.)

And I have given it another pass since anybody's seen it, and cut ten thousand words of fluff, and tried to make Thjierry make more sense from the outside. But I don't know if I'm capable of totally changing the shape of the book at this point. It's so--done. The story has served its emotional purpose for me, and I've moved on to these other things, and I just don't know if I could write that book again, or would want to.

Which may prove to be a serious handicap for me in my career as a novelist. But you know: I've written six novels and a novel's worth of short fiction since I wrote Stars. And it's true what they say about not being able to step in the same river twice.

I'm not sure I need the book enough to be able to fix it anymore: that part of my life is over. Hmm. I don't know that I need to change the shape of the book. It may just have to live with it's flaws, and perhaps I can pretty it some.

And yet I can contemplate rewriting Bridge, and changing it completely, and my only panic is "How the hell can I pull this off in under 200K?" (Well, I had some initial panic, in that --my skills just aren't up to this-- , But Jenn talked me down off the ledge. Which is what friends are for, right?)

Writing is hard. Writers is weird. Film at 11.


I think that's what makes editing Lex so hard for me. I'm over that story, and having to revisit only makes the flaws obvious, but in a way that I don't really want to fix. It is what it is, and I'm not sure there's any benefit to changing that.
Well, that's why we have trunks. 'Cause I figure if it ain't good enough to fix, it ain't good enough to sell.


Well, not so much Celtic/Arthurian (although it is Celtic/Arthurian, it's not what you're thinking when you say Celtic/Arthurian) and not so much backburnered as finished-in-third-draft-but-my-agent-is-looking-for-some-bigtime-changes-and-she's-right-damn-her-to-hell-so-I-have-to-go-add-60-or-80-K, so it goes back to the head of the project list once I finish SM.

Word from the ridge: finishing a novel is only the beginning of the process.