“I am waiting for you, Vizzini. You told me to go back to the beginning. So I have. This is where I am, and this is where I’ll stay. I will not be moved.” ~Inigo Mantoya, Princess Bride
I cracked open my moleskine, read some notes from Big Sur, and read the first chapter of Fire and Blood. If those events were crammed into a button, it’d be labeled “reset”.
It seemed like a good idea to revisit some of the things I learned back in March, sort of like painting the primer coat before I smear on the color. As those little air bubbles pop, wheeze out nuggets of wisdom. Maintain consistency in chapter length. Introduce the scene goal at the start, don’t info dump, stay with the main character. Don’t get distracted. Use all the senses. Evoke place and character.
There’s another ripple beneath these tips for fiction writing. I don’t think it’s something that can be taught. You have to experience, to do to lure it to the surface. Persistence. Courage. Perseverance. Tenacity. Effort. My mind goes to fitness analogies at this point. Trite, yet not-so-trite invocations of “just do it” and give it everything you have are free-styling like mad, fighting for the surface, pushing the finish line back just to be able to struggle more. To do more and in the process of doing, to be more.
On the screen for one more makeover is Book I. Plan: Edit based on what I learned at Big Sur, submit the query letter and the first 10 pages of Book I. Edit Book II while enjoying form rejections (and a couple of intrigued replies). Finishing writing Book III in November while negotiating a contract and farming out Book II to my readers (who have waited four years for the follow-up). (Long shot, I know. But seriously, being negative all the time bites.)