The high of getting a good review on my story lasted all of three days, before I went back to doubting myself. This, I discovered, is not a bad thing. Blogger and writer Stuart Danker recently wrote: “If you think your writing sucks, then writing’s the right vocation for you.” That’s encouraged me to keep going.
For a month of “taking it easy,” I accomplished quite a bit on my novella. I completed two drafts with a third nearly done. I hope to send it off to my editor in January. It’s not as spick and span as I would like, but I’ve hit a brick wall. Hopefully, my editor will help me tear it down.
After interminable struggles with the climax and ending of the novel, I’ve finally concluded it in a way I like. Is it perfect? No, but it’s a lot better than the half dozen endings I’ve already tried. I really love this project and I feel it deserves the best ending I can give it.
As I said in my list of resolutions, I’m hoping to submit it to Eraserhead Press this summer. Of anything I’ve submitted to them, I feel this has the most promise. All I can do is make it the best damn book it can possibly be.
I wrote this synopsis of Generica a couple years back when I was first working on it. But I thought I’d share it again:
It is a story of a thousand iterations. Everyone who’s read a fantasy novel knows it. Rather than break free of the mold, I embrace the genre in all its clichés, celebrate its tropes. It is a parody, my first attempt at humor, and my most “bizarro” book yet.
Set in the stock fantasy world of Generica, we follow a cadre of stereotypes as they set off to retrieve a mystical MacGuffin and vanquish the Dark Demon Doom Lord. They must brave Scientologist goblins, emu-like Plot Wraiths, and their own doubts on the meaning of any of this.
But it’s more than that.
The main character is, in fact, me—Zé Burns—and my odyssey to find out why high fantasy novels are so similar. I obliterate the fourth wall as I fight with my characters for control of the book. All the while, in the real world, I’m pursued by a clandestine organization that seeks to hide the terrible secret of the high fantasy novel.
I won’t be doing a “What I Read” this month, as I’m reading a combination of last-minute research for Generica and a couple yuletide “beach reads” to help me unwind over the holidays. In fact, I plan to dedicate the rest of December to reading and pick my writing back up in January—the reason I’ve posted this so early.
Since my last post, I’ve devised two more resolutions for the coming year:
- Try to write 500+ words a day. Many authors can get away with not writing every day, but I need to practice something constantly to be proficient at it. This isn’t that many words, but I thought I’d keep things doable. I won’t beat myself up if I don’t write every day, hence the word “try.”
- Apply to college. Health issues prevented me from completing my tertiary education—difficult for me, considering my love of school. Now that I’m doing much better, it’s become a reality once more.
I’ve learned my lesson not to get too excited about the future. Still, I foresee this as my most productive year yet (*knocks on wood*). If I accomplish half of what I plan, it certainly will be.
See you next year,