Stepping back a bit

Just a quick post by way of apology. If I’m not reading and commenting on other blogs as much as I’d like, it’s because I’m writing. Serious writing. I’ll be coming up for air to respond to some of the prompts, before diving back in again, so my blog rhythm has completely changed.

The ‘big’ series I’m working on (adult fantasy with Norsemen, Gaels and sea monsters etc) is into the final volume. I finished the second and wanted to get straight into the last one while I still have a (kind of) hold on the thread of the story. It’s a big canvas with a couple of layers to it, and I want to plough ahead while I still control the plot.

When I started this volume a week ago, I’d hoped to be diving straight in with the chapters that I cut out of the original draft almost four years ago. The book was already long, so I ended the first volume of the projected series before the story got to that point. As it turned out, the second volume didn’t catch up with that part of the story either, so I thought I’d be starting volume three with about 20,000 words head start.

Wrong. After many revisions and rearrangements, character development and different twists to the plot, I find that the characters in these head start chapters bear no relationship with the characters of as they have become. Even the story isn’t the same, and I don’t recognise my voice in the writing. Consequence, I’m starting from scratch, feeling my way and hoping it’s all going to come together in the end.

I’m setting myself word count goals and working hours. While the weather was Bibilical, it wasn’t too difficult. Now that the apocalypse is over, the sun is out and a thousand birds are singing again, it’s going to be harder to keep bum on t’seat, as they say oop north.

Wish me luck. We’ll see how long I stick to the regime.





Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

39 thoughts on “Stepping back a bit”

  1. Oooooo! This sounds exciting and daunting and wonderful–all in one. You keep up an amazing pace with prompts and such, so I’m sure you’ll be able to do this. Finbar and Trixie will still make sure you get out a couple times a day to enjoy the weather. 🙂

    1. I’m terrified of signing a three book contract and not being able to finish them by the deadline, so I’m getting ahead, not even waiting to be offered a contract! Just the walkies takes up so much time. Trixie is sooooo slow.

    1. I know this story but I need to get it down before I forget how it all hangs together. It might seem like putting the cart before the horse—I don’t actually have a contract so nobody is going to hold me to a deadline—but I don’t want to be in the position where I’m being pressured to write a book and I’ve forgotten the story!

  2. I hear you about having to start over from scratch; that’s what my “revision” is looking like these days too. And I’m having the same lure of the nice weather, although for me it’s compounded by the series of parties and other events that always happen at the end of the school year / beginning of summer. Good luck sticking with your writing regime! It will feel so good when you finish this revised draft! You’re already doing loads better than me, as I haven’t gotten diddly squat written in three weeks, I’ve been so busy at work and with various social and personal things.

    Here’s to a productive summer, cheers!

    1. This is all new stuff, that’s what’s making it slow going. I love revision. It’s like adding the twiddly bits to a painting. But this is the raw material being shoved into shape. I’m proceeding with caution!

  3. You can have all the luck in the world, at least the ones I can give! I’m so happy to see you making progress with the story, even though it sounds so intimidating. I hope I’ll reach that point sooner in my life.

    1. Thank you, Jay 🙂 A blank page is intimidating, but I have this story in my head. It’s the slow job of typing 100000 words that is daunting. I hope you have much success before you get responsibilities. They slow you down no end.

      1. 100000 words! Wow, it sounds amazing and also yes, super daunting. I hope I can, Jane. How many books are there in your series?

      2. Haha! I know you won’t. God, it must be intense. Working on your third book, I get my head turned inside out even for a short story!

      3. Can I ask how much do you write in a single stretch? Everytime I stop after a thousand or so words, I feel guilty for being a bad writer, but where do you stop the single stopping? Are we supposed to write all the time? If you don’t mind, I would like to know your writing schedule? It might help m!

      4. I stop every few hundred words. I’d never manage a thousand words in one go. I’ve set myself a goal of 2000 words a day and have stuck to it for ten days now. I don’t usually do that, I write a bit, look at the prompts, write a poem, a piece of short fiction or read other responses to the prompts. I also used to spend a lot of time trawling the net for agents and publishers, and also magazines where I could send short stories. To write 2k words I have to work for an hour or so, have a break, go for a walk, cook, eat, do something else, then go back to it for another hour, but I’m easily distracted.

      5. Thank you for sharing this, Jane! Hearing this make me somehow feel better, than even writers who write books don’t write all the time!

      1. The doubts are just part of your personal psyche. She would not have taken you on if she didn’t think she could sell your work.

  4. You can’t possibly do all of that, have a life and blog – everyone understands that. I’m the same at the moment – extra paid work and ongoing family illness mean I have much less writing time and what I do have, I won’t just spend blogging. So an apology from me too as I’ve hardly been around to read your work. Hope the write is still going well and you’re on track to finish at the end of the month. You’re very productive – that’s a lot of words in very little time! All the best, Jane

    1. Thanks Lynn, sorry about the illness, but congrats on the paid work. That’s not to be sneezed at either. I’m on track to finish the first draft in the next few days. It’s steaming along now, 96k words and I probably need another ten or so to get the roughing out done. I know the story, it’s just a question of getting it down. But blogging has gone out the window more or less. Can’t keep hopping in and out of the tenth century just like that 🙂

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