Author’s Journal – 12-03-19

On Writing

In his book On Writing (which I highly recommend), Stephen King talks about a question he’s often asked. I’m going from memory, but the gist of it is this:

Question: How many days a week do you write?

King: Every day, except holidays and my birthday (btw, that’s a lie because I write those days, too – but no one would believe it).

And while I’m nowhere as dedicated as King, yeah, I write on those days, too. Here’s what happened over my Thanksgiving vacation.

1. I finished up some editing and the last of my punch list items. The punch list was a series of questions I had around consistency, timing, and other details I’d lost track of. The editing centered around plot holes or other things I discovered during my complete read-through.

I’m down to one last fix, and then the draft is final. I spent a few hours on that last item and I think I’ve nearly conquered the problem I identified.

2. I put my agent query on hold until after Jan 1. It came down to two things. First, we’re in the middle of the holiday season. From the research I’ve done over the years, agents – like most of us – are busy. Duh. Despite the timing, I had thought it would feel good to get one submission under my belt before the end of the year.

Since I’m extremely busy in my personal and professional lives, I was struggling to find the time (and brainpower) to give my query the proper attention. So, that’s the second thing. As I mentioned in my 11/25 update, it takes considerable time to wrap up four years of work into a few paragraphs that will convey the love, excitement, and blood/sweat/tears that I’ve put into this story. What’s a couple more weeks when I’ve devoted four years, right?

3. I tinkered with manuscript details again. I know! I know.

But unlike the messing about that I mentioned in my 11/25 update, this was to fix an oversight. I’d set up a bit of fun with Tildy’s departure, which is based on a recurring joke in our family: I had her over-pack. And by “over-pack”, I mean she brought waaaay more stuff than she needed, and the size of her backpack made her unbalanced. And then, I rarely mentioned it again. It’s much like the Chekhov quote I previously wrote about. To summarize, if you set up a gag, it has to pay off. Now, I feel it pays off.

I expect another update in a couple days. Possible topics including finishing the final draft (and getting it printed for some trusted readers); the 4-year anniversary of the project start; and the beginning of the next project, which is Book 2, the first of Samor’s stories (Tildy’s brother).

Good luck with your writing!


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© Michael Wallevand, December 2019


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