Is There Wheat Amongst The Chaff Then Or What?

{{Re-reading over this before posting, I’ve realised it is basically just a bit ol’ whine post.  Which I’m getting pretty good at now. Hence the name.  Enjoy.}}

So we are approximately 1/12 into 2010 already. Something about time flying…fun…and so on should go in here.

I had a weekend off doing nothing but writing with my dearly beloved muse in the middle of the month, which we have since worked out would be more frequent if we used the technology already available to us and talk online for a few hours a week.  Writer’s weekends are always vastly entertaining.  This was no different.  One of the highlights of this particular weekend was when I had read to me some of the original drafts of The Genesis.  Some parts had me laughing enough to make me cry a bit.  To say that it was dire doesn’t really do justice to the epic failure that was the original drafts.  Try and imagine a really bad episode of Buffy mixed with an even worse episode of Friends, and you’re still nowhere near as bad as it is.  One day, in the very distant future, I may release tiiiiiiny snippets of this for pubic consumption.  But no time soon.  I would like to at least gain some accolade for being a half-decent if not occasionally cliche’d writer before I letting that monstrosity out of its lockbox. Perhaps one day, when I’m old, grey and wrinkly, I can re-read over some of those paragraphs and maybe, if I’m lucky, laugh myself to death.

Also so far this month, I’ve “celebrated” a birthday (I use the term loosely, I’m getting old now, there’s not much to celebrate about getting older anymore, I’ve had all my exciting ones [in the form of 16, 18, 21, 25]).  After I reached the age that I could legally hire and drive a car in the US (that’s the 25 mark, FYI), it’s all downhill, and this was my first step down the slope.  It’s only going to get more slippery.

Writing wise, I’m not actually doing that bad.  Doing better than I anticipated I would, at any rate.  Considering I wanted to do around about 2 chapters a month, so far I’ve dragged together about 4 or 5 new chapters, in addition to the dug up zombie of an earlier draft, which was around 7,000 words (salvageable, at least) already.  I am, in fact, talking about book 3, Divided They Fall, and not the book I was talking about in earlier blog posts, The Vampire’s Son.  Why?  I’ll tell you:

I have had it up to here (hand levelled to forehead) with The Vampire’s Son.  I hate it.  Hate it with a passion.  Hate every last one of the aggressive, bitchy, back-handed characters.  Even Scout is starting to annoy me.  This has happened to me before.  When I was writing the newer version(s) of The Genesis (there were at least 13 drafts, according to the weekend’s count), I did get to a point where I just wanted to punch Catrina in the face and tell all the rest of them to bugger off and sort out their own lives.  I didn’t care about them anymore.  So I took a break.  I think back then it was about 2 months.

Now, I have had a busy couple of writing months.  With NaNoWriMo (Winner, Baby! Ahem…), I spent 30 days doing nothing except The Vampire’s Son.  Every morning, one of the first things I’d do is sit down and write about these people, deal with their conflicts and ease them through their obstacles that stood in the way of reaching their own personal resolutions.  Then came Christmas, with all the joys (again, loose term, I really mean stress) that came with it, and I still forced on with writing a few bits here and there, as well.  Steadily, not to beat around the bush, it started to piss me off.

Basically, I’ve tried to do too much too fast, and now I think I have burnt myself out on this story, in the short term, at least.  It’s not like I’m ready to throw it on the bonfire, don’t get me wrong.  Whenever I read the plans I still have in place for the missing scenes, I could envision them in my head and get all excited about them, but then when it actually came to writing them down, my hands would lock up, fingers tensed over the keys, and about five minutes later I’d be watching a film, a TV show, or World of Warcraft-ing it up.  Whatever wasn’t writing.

There’s still a lot I don’t like about The Vampire’s Son, from a personal point of view.  First and foremost, my top two favourite characters (Catrina and Aisen) aren’t in it.  That’s obviously a huge issue to overcome.  Around the same subject, another issue is that as this is set in the past (as prequels tend to be, surprisingly), I can’t even relieve myself from the current situation by cutting to a “let’s see what Catrina’s up to at this point”.

So yes, I’ve decided to take a short 1 – 2 month break from The Vampire’s Son.  Michael, Amy, Vincent and the rest of the gang will just have to wait til around March time to have their problems sorted.  The remaining written parts of this story in the meantime are being worked on by aforementioned muse.

And what will I be doing in the 1 – 2 month break?  I’ll be writing, of course!  I have already started the 2010 draft of Divided They Fall (I believe the first draft was started in 2005).  Of course, before I’d already written a word, I knew there would also be big issues with this story.  Why?  Well, I’ll tell you this, too:

So we have our basic threesome (oo err!) of the Clan that readers of The Genesis will know and..well, maybe love is too strong a word, but like and/or tolerate, let’s say; namely, Catrina, Fox and Attilla.  Yeah, that group dynamic is totally destroyed before the story even starts  (Because divided, they’re not as strong, or divided…they fall.  See how I did that?  Symbolism! Get it? Anyway…).  I really know how to shoot myself in the proverbial foot, right?  After that relationship breaks down (again, before the story has started, I have to “fill it in” somehow), we’re then introduced to a completely new set of characters, except Catrina.

While I haven’t got all the details level in my head yet (and of course I don’t want to ruin it for people who haven’t read [and intend to; the ones who don’t intend to read it, I hope it all gets ruined for you anyway] The Genesis), the basic concept is: large parts of what happened in The Genesis are forgotten by the characters that were there (still excepting Catrina), which – for those who haven’t read it – is kind of a big deal.  For her own sake and at least in some way for the sake of others, Catrina leaves the Clan.  In doing so, I’ve dumped Catrina in the middle of the city by herself and questioning her own mental stability (although, by now, aren’t we all questioning her stability?), before an almost entirely new set of characters are introduced, with history and everything else already in place.

I get to go through bringing all those in, yeay!  That yeay is sarcastic, by the way, I know it doesn’t carry to text that well.  I’m not overly happy about having stripped Catrina of everything she has grown accustomed to, leaving her to re-establish entirely new relationships with these rather odd people.  But that’s just the way the story has developed.

So that is now the point I am up to.  I am still enjoying it so far.  My ideal situation is to continue scribbling for Divided They Fall for a month or so before tiring of it and getting to the Catrina face punch situation.  Then I will be able to dive back into The Vampire’s Son with a fresh mind.

Hands up how many people think this is going to go well.

Finally, I will mention my method of motivation.  I have tidied my newly assigned study area to clean out my aura or whatever.  Probably the best move I have done as far as motivation is put this picture of Re-l Mayer (the girl from Ergo Proxy) on all my computer wallpapers.

Ergo Proxy Wallpaper

I now see into the business end of that gun every time I log in.  Her face to me says: “Write, Bitch”