It’s Come to This

Blog No. 398

a9843fb1c0d2370a2f20647b8c0268edI’ve tried hard over the last few years to avoid writing posts about not having anything to write about. I relied on that strategy around this time for several years until I started doing more events and got into writing reviews about them. Maybe those event recaps aren’t the most interesting thing to read, but I hope they’re better than constantly commenting that I have no ideas. With no events to rely on and the Invasion Novel still not finished, I don’t think I have much of a choice but to ramble my way through another post without having much to say. Or, maybe I’ll find a good topic right at the end and have something to expand upon next week.

Probably not. I suppose I should mention something about the Invasion Novel since it’s what I’ve been working on while in quarantine. Most of quarantine. I did spend May and the beginning of April getting Broadcast Wasteland printed. It was mid may when I was told to not go back to the Day Job and the beginning of April that I was officially laid off. That’s so long ago. It’s July already. I avoid talking too much about the pandemic because it sends me into a red rage and there is nothing productive about that.

sourceAnyway, the Invasion Novel. I have been inching towards an ending and when I was finally getting close, I realized that the main supporting character really needed a chance to do something in her wheelhouse and a perfect idea came to me. (Not to say I’ll be able to execute it perfectly). It means I’ve added another little delay before I reach the ending. Even then, I think once I reach the climax, with a story this long I’m going to need to have a bit of exposition as to what happens after.

That’s another thing. The length. I’m sitting at about 115 000 words and will go beyond 120 000 by the time I finish the first draft. I expected to get there, but I didn’t know if I could actually make it to that high a word count. It does mean that there is a lot of room to cut, which is good because I think there is going to be a lot of stuff in need of cutting. There are a few big scenes in the book that I was afraid to write, so I spent time world building and dragging my feet before I got up the nerve to actually write them. There is also a bit of meandering at the beginning when I was still trying to force the book to be something I had imagined instead of letting it be what it ultimately is.

giphyI had hoped for a funny, light adventure story that poked fun at all the things in society that makes me frustrated. Any time I tried to do that, it ended up being really heavy handed and boring. I assume. There may be bits that are salvageable, but if I ever try to write a book like that again, I think I’ll have to practice with some short stories first. Fail a few times at the subtle humour and omniscient perspective that I was unable to implement. This is turning into a retrospective of the first draft, but I’m not even finished. It’s a bit premature, but I’ll keep going. Maybe there will be more to say later.

Anyway. The book really turned into more of a longer version of one of the novellas I’ve been writing the last few years. It’s not part of the same Synthetic Albatross Series, but by the halfway mark in the book, it was really written in the same way. That may mean that the characters need some more flushing out. Like I said, I felt like the supporting character hadn’t done much other than tag along and needed a chance to shine. I still think there are some funny things in there. I hope so. My theory of comedy is Subtlety and Commitment. The joke should just be said or shown and the characters have to react to it naturally and not relish in it or point it out. Not sure if that explanation makes sense, but I’m not going to waste more time on it here.

hideousloathsomekoala-smallThere is some humour, is my point. Not as overt as I’d intended, but maybe that’s better. It’s more naturally how I write. With that in mind, the first 50 000 words are going to have to be trimmed and adjusted to better fit the second half of the book. Like many stories, the real beginning may be in the second or third chapter and with a book this long, getting there quicker (and cutting the length down) is likely a good idea. I do have a bunch of stuff to add as well. Things that came to me later, or specifics I didn’t know I needed at the time. I doubt those additions will really impact the overall length, but some sections may get a bit of a boost. That may be enough indulgence for now. I do have to finish the darn thing. I should go do that. Hopefully this was interesting. I didn’t intend to write and update because I didn’t think I had that much to say. But, here we are.

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