Yesterday, I thought I would take time out from writing and blogging, giving my mind and fingers a rest – I decided to look at the skyline and explore thoughts and ideas, and try and finally solve an issue in Book 3 that has been hanging over my head for months, the unsolved nature of which was beginning to threaten the publication of the book itself – Put bluntly, I had to solve it or start prepping You Guys for a delay.
Not an easy decision and not a good way to think. Ever. “Solve it NOW” is pressure and so is preparing you for that delay.
Adding its own weight to the issue, I knew that if I had another six months, I wouldn’t be thinking under pressure, so I would likely not have the problem at all. I’d be in writing mode, not pressure mode. Crazy – the problem was caused by pressure and the pressure was the problem. The solution, then, seemed to be release that pressure. Which was just what I had been looking at – hence the pressure!
I’m down to just over four months. I shouldn’t HAVE major gaps in my work at this time. Other issues and tangles had been solved, but this one seemed immovable.
I had pretty well decided to prepare you all for disappointment and delay publishing because, frankly, if it’s not the very best story I can produce and every bit equal to Books 1 and 2, it’s not going out.
So I took the day off, enabling me to get away from my desk and to think in a fresh way about things. That lead me to think about the manuscript issue in a fresh way, too. What if I was looking at the problem all wrong?
I won’t give anything away, but I can say the situation was loosely set. Sevi and Va’el – yes, those two troublemakers again. I have the where (Zumaridi, a Terran planet), I even have what comes out of it (not telling), it’s the giving shape and meaning and motive to the actual play-out that was dodging me. Chuck in a few good logistics and I could have the whole set.
I had mapped out as many ways that this could work as I could. I listed out the pros and cons of each pathway. But there was nothing substantial to any of them, although mapping out pathways did at least lead me to decide which to chop out.
The problem was, without the How, I couldn’t crawl right into it and bring out the meat.
Yesterday, taking my fresh look at things, I realized I needed to focus on what Sevi could do and how she would go about it. I knew the What, but still not the How.
So, that’s what I focused on for the entire day. How would this happen? How could it be done? Why that way? What’s the purpose of this? Is there another way? Are they overlooking something more direct or something simple?
About 3:00 in the afternoon, the How hit. I worked through several channels of thought, different ways it could go, bumped into logistical barriers, then – strangely – reversed the order of things, and Bingo! I had the breakthrough.
By then it was about 4:00. I got on the computer and typed out a full ten pages of notes, ideas, dialogue and observations. Ten pages! I’m happy if I get four or five done.
The solution is meaty, too. Lots of action and tension, and I’m not talking between Va’el and Sevi, who – the sods – continue to be amiable. Something will have to be done about that… 😛
This solution doesn’t get me out of the woods, but it goes a long way towards it.
I guess the day off was a good idea. I even sort of nearly had one.
Cheers, everyone, I’ll get back to work now.