Novel Dare weeks 4 and 5

Well, I am happy to report that my brain has finally settled on a single project to work to completion this month. Unfortunately, it’s the rewrite on the old novel rather than either of the new novels, which technically goes against the spirit of the Dare. But I’m pretty sure I don’t care anymore, since getting stuff done is always a win in my mind.

So, the two new novels (A Seedling’s Game and the untitled Theme Park Romance book) are being put on the back burner for a short while, though I do intend to come back to them both once I finish the rewrites. Because as of right now, I’m confident that I can finish the rewrites here in the next week or two, which leaves the final two weeks of April for me to play with.

The rewrites. Man, this book has been searching for a final form for a long time now. I originally wrote it as a short story, and while I got good reactions on it, the general consensus was “this needs to be a novel.” So, I wrote it as a novel. But everyone knows standalone novels aren’t where it’s at, so obviously I needed to write a trilogy around this thing! Hence, the ending of the short-story-turned-novel was left open, with more adventures to come. Then I spent the next five years not writing the sequel, because I couldn’t think of what should happen next. Finally, this year, I decided that the book must truly be a standalone, and set about doing some rewrites to make that work. But even then, I stalled on it.

Then, a couple weekends ago, my dad and I had a skype chat, and after I complained about my plight for a while, he just casually gave me the solution: make the one book three novellas.

I’m still a little mad at him.

But it’s working. The novel had two very obvious break points, and when I went to review them after receiving this epiphany, they were spaced evenly enough to make three novellas work. Dammit.

So I’ve spent the last couple weeks focused entirely on this one project, making the first two novellas work, cleaning up the writing, layering in a couple through-lines that were missing. Now I’ve got only two chapters left to write from whole cloth on the third novella before the whole thing is “done,” and I’m pretty confident I can finish one of them today.

The first quarter of the year is pretty notoriously a bad time for me to get writing done. I can force it, and often do, but it always feels bad and like I’m just flailing around. It’s the time of year when I feel most like I’m actually terrible at this writing thing, like I’ll never have another good idea again. But I’ve been working long enough now that I know it’s just a seasonal thing. The ideas will come back, the flailing will stop, and things will get done.

Still, it’s nice when the moment comes.

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