I was on the way back to Vancouver from Seattle this weekend and our car was gently nuzzled by the car behind us at a stoplight. It wasn’t their fault, the car behind them failed miserably to stop at the red light and decided, rather, to use them as a bumper. I’m fine, outside of a slightly stiff shoulder (nothing that 24 hours and an advil won’t cure); but, as you might imagine, it rather delayed my return home, and I didn’t get back into the writing today.
The rest of my week, however, has been spent in a pretty solid work environment. I’ve been putting in the long hours, and things have slowly, but surely, been scooting along. This book might be a good bit longer than the first Dreamstate. I’m never 100% sure how long things will end up until I finish writing (and editing) them, of course, but it’s looking to probably be closer to the 100k word mark, rather than the 80k mark, as was Dreamstate I. I’m not sure why it’s stretching out so much, I’ve been chopping bits off as I go, but the story just seems to keep on getting longer. The world that they’re exploring is a bit bigger than last time, and everyone, Daniel especially, has a bit more of a grasp on what’s going on across the Dreamstates. I think this will probably be a reoccurring trend, where the world keeps on getting a little bit bigger in each book.
The ever expanding nature of the book has also pushed me back to the drawing board a number of times. I have a lot of ideas, and some of them seem to be rather good. The problem, though, is that they don’t always fit into what I’d planned for the book to do, and so I need to figure out how to fit them in. I’d much rather overwrite and cut things out later on than have to worry about something missing, or having left a world a bit more lackluster than I like. I am really quite happy with the new stuff that I’ve been working through in my journals, though. If I put enough time in, I can generally fit things together so the central arc of the series is just as strong, if not stronger, with all of the new, cool, super flashy people and places. A lot of the time, it turns out that problems I was worried about having to deal with (in other books) get solved by the inclusion of characters now. They obviously will carry on and fix whatever bothered me in the later books.
I’ve only written a couple books, and this is really the first time that I keep having to go back to the drawing board and figure stuff out—it’s always been smooth sailing in the past. I suppose this is just another one of those new author experiences that other people talk about. I feel, at times, like the other books were far more concrete in their design from the get go (even though they did shift a bit as I went). Nothing like this, though, where it’s just a big pile of ideas that is slowly getting mooshed into shape as I write. Things escape from the mound on occasion, and then I have to go track them down and put them back into place. Everything is coming along nicely, but it’s all definitely getting there in a much more chaotic manner than it did in the past.
Also, if anyone is wondering, the trunk full of jam and pasta sauce survived the car snuggling entirely unscathed. It too was the first thing that I was worried about as soon as we were hit—“O god… is the jam alright?”