Monday, August 16, 2010


By Pat Cunningham

It took a while, but I’ve finally finished typing up the second draft of my vampire story from the handwritten first draft. In the course of the typing I added scenes and rewrote some and discovered at least 3-4 chapters could do with a minor overhaul. Yeah, I said chapters; what I thought would be a novella at best bloated up into a medium-length book. After the rewrites are done I’ll need to do a polish, then type the whole thing over again for a third draft, this time into the laptop for emailing purposes, so I’ve still got a fair way to go.

I tell you what, I’m pretty sick of the thing.

It hasn’t all been one continuous stretch. There have been interruptions for a part-time job, story writing for the blog, and the personal hell that was the month of June. Still, I’ve been working on this thing since around January or so, when I first blogged about it. It’s taken me this long to get it into readable shape and I’m still not done. It didn’t die on me and so saved itself from the closet, and I’ve still got enough enthusiasm for the story that I’m not about to abandon it. But boy, could I use a break.

I wish I was one of those writers who can work on two or even three different projects at once, so I could switch off if one story started to bore me. However, I don’t appear to be wired that way. I have to do one at a time. I was working on a Western when the vampires seduced me away. Now they’ve grown familiar and somewhat annoying, but I still like them enough not to shoo them out of the house. I suppose I’m looking to have a brief fling with another plot, but nothing’s really piqued my interest yet, and probably won’t until I finally get this one into polished, publishable shape and send it off to market. Which, at the heel-dragging rate I write, could be another six months.

Thank God I didn’t plan a trilogy. However, that could hit tomorrow.

Soooo … how do you folks handle it? Are you lucky enough to be the type who can multitask on manuscripts so the variety keeps you engaged? Do you write fast enough that you can finish a book while enthusiasm’s still high? If you do need to take a break, how do you get yourself back into the story? Or have stories dried up on you while you were away?

I’m going to try long-handing a short in a different genre just for a change of pace, but I already know that’s not going to be 100% successful. Tired as I am of it, the other one keeps calling me back, begging me to shine it up. Or maybe I should just go ahead and start on the sequel idea that occurred to me while I was writing this one. Yeah, that’s exactly what I need, yet another year with these characters. What did I just say about a trilogy … ?


Savanna Kougar said...

Oh, Pat, the joys and agonies of writing. When I wasn't published, it was so much more free-wheeling. It seems I write too slow for the e-market. But, whatever...
Yeah, I can switch back and forth unless one story is burning a hole through my brain and is demanding to be written.
I got a hot story idea over the weekend. I want to get the basics down before I lose the inspiration.
Of course, I didn't have promo interrupting me, either. Before pubbing. That definitely helped with writing.
Oh, and I love revisiting my heroines and heroes and their worlds. However, then I have to switch mind tracks... sort of like vacationing to another country with an entirely different culture.
I so want to get back to Kandy. But the story, where it is now, takes a certain kind of focus I can't give it at the moment. Though, when I can get back to it, I'll read the latest chapter which needs some revision and editing. That will put me back into that world.
However, I really want to get this 5,000 short word story done that I started, first.
I find that once I get a story completed, if I begin another story, and work on it for awhile, I can go back with fresh eyes to make revisions and do edits easier. I know this works for some authors. They'll get a first draft done, work on another story, then go back and polish.
I rarely get worn out over the characters and my world. I do get worn out when I'm doing the fine-tune editing stuff, because it gets so darn tedious, at times.

Rebecca Murray said...

I multi-task. I got 4 or more stories running around in my head at any given time, which means I don't finish any of them overly fast, but I never get so board with any given manuscript to completely abandon it, either.

Pat C. said...

FOUR? Or more? At once? I'm so green with envy right now I look like the Hulk.

Rebecca Murray said...

Let's see. Faolchu's story, Etienne's story, one about Jen, the momma bear, Dak the demon (thanks for getting me stuck on demons, btw) and that highlander story... That's five? I'm not going to count the 2 drafts I set aside to percolate before submitting.