Monday, 20 May 2013

All the Free Days!

Hey all,

I’ve finally uploaded all the dates into Amazon for when I’m going to have my From Ash free days, so no more excuses from me about not knowing when they are. Here is a small screenshot of the UI:

As you can see, the next event will be this Saturday (May 25th). Hopefully I’ll see even more copies given away, more reviews, and more follow up sales than last time. I’ll make a point of shouting about it on twitter and my author page facebook before it happens, just to keep everyone reminded.

Not a super lot has been happening to me in the writing world. I really didn’t want this blog to turn into one of those ‘I wrote some stuff, but it was kind of meh, so I just ended up deleting it, and now I have nothing to talk about,’ blogs. The problem is, there are definitely days where that happens, and it’s frustrating—doubly so because I have nothing super cool to talk about. It was getting bad enough that I actually had to take the second half of Dreamstate II back to the notebook and re-figure everything out. I was having the issue where I knew what I wanted to do in the really long term sense, and in the immediate short term, but not so much in the middle. I knew what people were doing and where they were going, but not so much how they were going to get there. I think it was slowing me down more than I had expected, so, I fixed it.

Also, I learned the important lesson of ‘if it’s broken, delete it.’ There was one scene that I’d been trying to write in for a couple afternoons, because it seemed like a good idea when I’d put it down in my journal. It was going to bring the worlds together and cause character tension and all that sort of thing, but it kept falling flat. It didn’t feel at all like how the characters would act towards one another, especially given where they are right now—so I just deleted it. Once I’d done so, I realized how completely unnecessary it was to the story as a whole. If the information that is to be gleaned in the scene is relevant later on, I can introduce it then, but not now, as it serves no real purpose and just leads me to a dead end. I normally reserve my deleting of entire scenes to the first large scale stages of editing, but, this felt good, and cleaned up a pretty bogged down section.

On that topic, I think I may have discovered something interesting to talk about: not being afraid to delete your work. I for one have a very hard time completely trashing large sections of my writing. There’s something very uncomfortable about heartlessly blasting away at a book that I worked so hard to create. Each word was painstakingly thought out and written down, and now I’m going to crush it without a second thought? Heck no! But seriously, a lot of times it can really make a positive impact on the story. It streamlines plots and concepts, and pulls away at things that’ll never resurface again (even if they’re kind of cool). If you don’t wish to take my word for it, I do believe there’s a section in Stephen King’s On Writing, in which he says that he tries to cut his first draft down by 10% to get to his second. That’s a lot of content to wipe out in one, or more realistically a couple weeks worth of sittings. The man knows what he’s talking about, though, and if you don’t like what happened when you deleted the paragraph, then undo it, and try something else; but do give it a chance, you could be pleasantly surprised.


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