John asked me the other day how I write. My first reaction was to respond, “Badly?” I refrained since even I know it is just challenging, not bad. I hope.
Being a working woman, I have other obligations even though I would dearly love to do nothing but write. So, here is a normal day. When I’m not looking for a deadly handsome man, I try to focus on Paladin. (Sorry, this video just tickles me so much I do start my day out with it just to get in a good mood.)
Right now, I’m in a rewrite and new material mode. Since I’m taking Barbara Rogan’s workshop, I’m working on scenes we use in the lesson. The latest one was on pivotal scenes. This is where the Bladesinger is resurrected and goes on his rampage. At the end, Gen receives his sword, Siren Song. This is pivotal because the sword is one of the major support characters throughout the story.
You all might recognize I’ve made some changes in this scene. I’m still trying to whip it into submission, but it’s cleaning up a bit.
Sarian Arragas, necromancer and apprentice to the order of Wendt, flitted between the headstones in the church cemetery. He licked his lips nervously as he read the names on the stones until he came to one that made him pause. “General Simon Lgarth.” He shuddered at the sword and flame carved into the stone below the name even though he already knew every grave in this yard was consecrated. The symbol was a deadly warning of what waited for anyone who disturbed the grave. A golden guardian from the Hall of Champions was bound to protect the general. He felt for the book in the bag slung around his shoulder and then scratched at his head, ruffling the wispy brown hair. He could feel it waving in the slight breeze and slapped it into submission over his balding head. If his research was right, the guardian would never be disturbed, though; and only the long dead warrior would awaken. It had to be right.
“The Skullsplitter. Champion of the Sylvans. Hero of the Marsh Wars. What would you give to live again, General? Would you serve just to draw breath once more?”
He sat down beside the grave, afraid to touch it. His thin arms wrapped around his knees and he rocked like an addled child. The masters would surely let him resurrect Rosalie if he brought back the Skullsplitter to serve them. They might be upset at first because he didn’t burn her body with the rest of them. Body. What body? All he left was a brown, leathery husk of his beautiful Rosalie.
He whimpered and rubbed the tears from his eyes.
I just wanted to watch.
I usually eat when I get home and get that over with so I can just get to work.
I’ll zoom through my list of blogs and post a comment if I absolutely can’t help myself. Then I go to the workshop and see if I need to do anything there. After that, I actually do work on some assignment from the workshop. Currently, I am reworking my Bladesinger chapter as noted above.
I’ll go back to where I left off reading and work on that chapter for a couple of hours. At this point I’m not so much polishing as looking for things I need to change to keep the action in proper order. Since I’m tossing some of he later chapters to the front of the book to bring the mystery aspect more into focus, I have to make sure I don’t have my characters referring to things that haven’t happened yet.
When I reach that stopping point, I go back to the new stuff and try to get 1,000 words down.
This is not how I normally write, but Paladin is turning into something far different than what it started out as. I hesitate to say it’s a fantasy mystery, but I am doing a lot of sleuthing elements in it. Once I decided to stray from strictly epic fantasy to fantasy with a strong mystery thread running through it, I had to go back and make sure there are reminders and clues strategically placed.
So, to answer John, I am rewriting and writing at the same time. Usually, I zoom through and get the story down and then go back and do a series of rewrites. Right now, I’m probably writing an average of three hours a day. It will go faster once I get things in order in the front so it’s a linear progression again instead of the chunk writing.