Please Excuse My Screaming

Posted on 09/09/2011 by


So this.

Yesterday my head was in the dark place so I was working on book three of Path (codename: RON) which is the dark place, pretty much.

You may remember I was having trouble with the structure of the beginning, but you will (naturally) be happy to know I managed to sort it out in a satisfactory making-most-kinds-of-sense manner and received encouraging feedback (as in: not to much of my reader saying, ‘what the hell is going on?’ and quite a lot of them pointedly asking what happens next).

Which I am very happy about. Because it took me a ridiculously long time to get that early section into decent shape. To the point that I actually gave up on getting that whole section in order before I gave it to my primary reader and just gave her what I already had.

And then I realised I’d just handed her 45 000 words.

It was at that moment that it really occurred to me that the ‘beginning’ of this book was not so much the beginning as the bulk of it. The rest of that ‘beginning’ section, still unfinished and maybe a third unwritten, is already about 20 000 words long. And this is the first draft. Given the way I write, from the bones outwards, it will get longer.

Which means the ‘beginning’ isn’t most of the book. It’s the WHOLE FREAKING BOOK.

And, and… then I start beating my head against the wall. Cause I love this book, I really do. It’s my favourite (don’t tell the others). But one of the things that makes it my favourite is one particular storyline, which is the very first thing I wrote for this book. I’ve only written the front end of it, but I am really looking forward to reaching that point and writing the rest. In a lot of ways this story is the core of the whole series. And while it’s obviously in all the books, this is one of the first chances for it to come to the forefront. Except… it’s after the turning point. So… it’s after… THE THIRD BOOK ENDS BEFORE THE GOOD STUFF! THE WHOLE POINT OF THE THING IS GOING TO BREAK INTO THE NEXT BOOK! I WANT TO WRITE IT LIKE BURNING AND, AND… ARGH!

Don’t get me wrong. I love what is in this book too. I love to death the storyline I wrote without even meaning to. And the thing! With the other thing! (That I totally can’t tell you about but it’s awesome.)

Really, the worrying thing is that it actually makes more sense this way. There’s a building tension/climax sequence in the paralleled stories of the ‘beginning’ thing. And I was a little worried when I put them together that it meant the book would peak too early. But now it’s just… where it’s meant to be.

I’m starting to think my brain is writing this book without reference to my conscious mind.

Probably because if it told me what was going on my conscious mind would panic.

I’m already starting to worry that my brain is providing me with stories that fit in the 200K bracket and just splitting them down to fit smaller books. RON is already shouldering its way into book four, and I know book four is going to break into book five, and who the hell knows about five? And… I AM NOT WRITING AN EIGHT BOOK SEQUENCE.

Besides, part of what makes the weird structure of RON work is that is three of five. It’s the centre, the unusual pivot point to the sequence.

So okay, I could put the rest of what was meant to be book three into four except four is already chock full of stuff and I don’t know how I’m going to do all of that in one book. So fine. Somehow the storylines of four will be split into book five. Which totally has room. I mean, at this point five is just the ending. And two words. (This is like knowing ‘Darth killed the emperor’ and having ‘NEW DEATH STAR’ written on the top of the third movie and nothing else.) So they’re pretty big words. But that’s fine. Fine. What I’ve been thinking of as book four is really four and five. And what I was thinking of as the rest of RON will just be the beginning of book four.

I DID NOT JUST USE THAT PHRASE. When I said ‘beginning’ there I meant… I meant ‘start’ or ‘thing that happens first’. YOU WILL NOT INTERPRET THAT AS ‘THING THAT WILL TAKE OVER THE BOOK’. Okay? Okay. It’s gonna be fine.