Working on the next book of the Rubicon Saga has been great fun. I’m about a third of the way through my first real draft and finding the story developing some interesting twists and turns. As a creative person, I always marvel at how my creative works tend to take on a life of their own. Storm At Dawn is no different.
You can plan something out to the nth degree, but sometimes ONE sentence can be the seed of divergence. I sometimes make my way back to the original plan, but often, I love where the process takes the story. I think the fluidity and dynamism of the fresh, un-plotted route is far more interesting and beguiling as a story line. I know there are many writers out there that would disagree with this method, but I can assure you, the editing and thought that goes into the final stages of the book development process make sure to close up the holes, tie off the loose ends and generally neaten up the diverging paths. It’s like tending a garden – when you first plant the grass, you have no idea where its going to come up well and where it will struggle. Its uneven and looks untidy because you can’t cut that tender, new grass until it is strong enough to withstand a little trampling.
I don’t idle away over paragraphs that sound rough or inconsistencies I know will crop up. It’s first draft. I’m doing a great job of getting story to screen/paper. I’ve now reached the point where I need the printed version to refer back to to keep the story on screen moving in roughly the right direction, and so that I don’t neglect some of my many characters. If something doesn’t feel right, I’m okay with that. It’s out there, and not still in my head, where I risk losing it to a deluge of other mental pressures. Daily grind can and does interfere. For instance, I’m doing work sprints, so to speak, every other week currently because of the enormous and nonsensical nine week span of summer holidays. Yes – it does interfere with my work process, thanks for asking. I have a child at home most of the time, but I booked him on camps to try and divide up the time he’s at home. It means getting up early and getting him off to his science camp, but it’s worth it. Every minute he’s not here, is a minute more that I get to work. That may sound selfish, but I spend the other weeks playing, hanging out and adventuring with my thirteen-year-old. He’s still young enough to want to spend time with me, so I will take my opportunities to do so, which means sacrificing some work time to the summer holiday. The rest of the time is MY time. My work time. Storm At Dawn’s time. It won’t get written, otherwise.
These interruptions mean I have to work fast and be lean on the self-correcting at this stage of the story. I’m very familiar with what I want to achieve with the book and, ultimately, where I want the story to end up, so I’m comfortable with overlooking the errors and moving the story forward. I can produce about five to ten thousand words a day. I anticipate a complete first draft by the end of August. This is exciting to contemplate and daunting too. I’ll have a draft to begin editing in under two months from now, and I won’t lie, I’m a little intimidated. Editing We Are Mars took months! I don’t expect its sister edition will be any less time consuming.
I look forward to bringing the story of Rubicon to a close – or not! Remember what I said about divergent story lines earlier? Who knows if Storm At Dawn will be the end of Dana, Jax, Lenny, Chuck, Darius, Ridley and all the others in this saga?! We will just have to wait and see.