The what-to-do-now of the waiting game

My brain is still processing that the first complete draft of Joshua’s Nightmares is finished. That the little red notebook of world-building has grown into a two-hundred-and-ninety-three page behemoth. I’m still really geeking out over all that, actually. In terms of page count, it’s four times as long as the story I wrote for my Thesis Seminar at Edinboro University.

And now what? I’ve sent off copies to friends I know will really dig for anything that could use fixing, and I find myself floating in a sort of limbo. I would go so far as to say this feels like I just sent my only child off to college, and I’m being that awful parent who started sobbing before I’d even gotten off the campus after saying goodbye.

My question to you, fellow writerly-folks, is how do you cope with that sudden absence of something where there was once a big project?

I could, theoretically, get started on Book 2 while the characters are fresh in my mind, but is that the best possible way to go?

All things considered, I am very happy with how the first draft turned out. It grew from a couple paragraphs that got stuck back last year, before I moved, to what it is now. There was something very energizing about getting back to writing regularly, and feeling good about what I was creating, so now I’m just wondering where I’ll channel some of that wild and crazy energy until the time for the bulk of the editing starts.

A short post with tremendous news

Or “I really need to get to bed, and I’m sorry for posting such a tiny post on something so big, but here’s some good news to follow the Oscars.”

Tonight, after about two months of very serious, dedicated sessions of writing, I have completed the first draft of book one of Joshua’s Nightmares. That’s not to say there isn’t a ton of editing ahead of it, and I’m sure it will be incredibly taxing to get things just the way I want them, but this has been such a thrilling, fantastic process for me, and I had to share the news. What happens next? We’ll have to wait and see.

I’m sure I’ll be very busy with the editing, once I pick it back up to look at the story with fresh eyes. Mine are currently bloodshot from the hours of staring at MS Word, so that’ll be a few days at least. I’m trying to not even think about the horrors of looking into publishing just yet, because that is all very foreign and scary to me still. I wish I were kidding.

The final stats for the first draft are as follows:

  • 293 pages in standard manuscript format
  • 79,575 words
  • 316KB in MS Word 2010 docx format
  • a total editing time of 57,781 minutes

I’d apologize for all the rambling I’ve done about this story (I feel so odd calling it a novel, because that just seems smug somehow? I don’t know), but I’m not actually sorry. This has been so much fun, and it really revived the joy I find in sitting down and just writing like crazy for hours on end.

And now for bedtime, because I have to be at work at my new job tomorrow. At the ungodly (read as perfectly reasonable) hour of 8a.m.


Updates, excitement, and justifying laziness

Or “I finally fixed my description for Joshua’s Nightmares, I have big writing news, and figured out a way to explain some of the laziness in my writing that makes sense.”

Over the course of the past month or so, I’ve written over fifty-thousand new words in my first draft of Joshua’s Nightmares. That’s a NaNoWriMo’s worth of words. Almost a metric shit-ton, or perhaps more than a metric- shit-ton (I honestly don’t know how to properly quantify that much, but I know it’s a lot). It’s been an extraordinary adventure, and I still have a fair bit to go before it’s over. Again, I want to apologize to, as well as thank, all of the people who have to endure me talking at great lengths about this project. I almost apologized to my journal a couple nights ago because I keep writing about writing this, and that’s when I realized I need to calm down and just enjoy every little bit of the writing process as this idea gradually grows into its end stages. It’s the longest piece of writing I’ve ever worked on, and it’s the most excited I’ve been to work on anything in quite some time (since before Thesis Seminar at Edinboro, which was certainly a thing that happened). It’s fifteen pages shy of hitting the 200 page mark, and that seems pretty amazing to me. Continue reading

Reimagining the Bogeyman

Or “How I unintentionally transformed a villain whose sole purpose was to act as a plot device to something I think turned out pretty cool.”

Sometimes, and by sometimes I mean more often than I probably should, I create characters out of need to move the plot forward. Don’t give me that side-eyes look, now, because I’m sure it’s not an even remotely uncommon practice. I’m also, after a bit of fun personal experience, certain it can result in some pretty fun ideas. Continue reading

Progress report on Joshua’s Nightmares

Or “I’m pretty damn excited because I’ve been writing all weekend, and this is the most I’ve enjoyed working on a project in a long, long time.”

Tonight, mere moments ago, Joshua’s Nightmares broke the 30,000 words mark. It’s on it’s forty-sixth page, and still has a ways to go before it’s completed. Most importantly, I’m loving every second of it.

I’d also like to extend my thanks to all of my followers. WordPress tells me I hit one hundred followers, and that’s also pretty amazing news. Thank you to everyone who has stuck around and kept reading. You’re all fantastic.

This post feels a bit naked without my standard, rambling prose, and so I’ll end it with this beautiful piece of music from the game Puppeteer (a game truly worth purchasing for its compelling narrative, beautiful art style, and amazing music).

The Monsters of Joshua’s Nightmares

Or “I totally just posted about villains not even a day ago, but have some more stuff about villains.  I’m not even a little sorry.”

I wrote what amounted to a love letter to all things villain-related just hours ago, and it spawned another idea that has been bouncing around my brain inconveniently (and preventing me from sleeping, which is awful as I have to be awake in less than four hours from now).  I’ve done a lot of talking about Joshua’s Nightmares here, which makes sense because this blog was born as part of my efforts related to working on it.  I have a page about the novel-to-be (that needs revising, I fear) that gives a solid enough synopsis of its plot.  Beyond that, I’ve not really posted anything from the actual story, whether it’s for fear of it being swiped and used elsewhere (gasp!) or just because I’m overly-picky over who gets to see works-in-progress.

However, it only seems appropriate to share a little, and so I present the villains and monsters (a sampling, so as to not bring out any major spoilers) of Joshua’s Nightmares.  Obligatory “the following characters and locations are my intellectual property, and are not to be used in any way without my express permission” comment goes here. Continue reading

How early is too early to plan a sequel?

Or “How to handle being too attached to your own characters without killing them all at the end of the book.”

I skipped out on writing and reading yesterday (ignoring my journal entry last night, which doesn’t really count since it’s not creative writing and the goal was some creative writing each day).  I’d like to say I took a day off for a good reason, but it was mostly just a mix of laziness and being tired from work.  Excuses, excuses.

Naturally, I felt a bit guilty about that today, and so I focused on getting some new bits added to “Joshua’s Nightmares”.  I had errands to run today in preparation of an important interview of the job variety, which meant I had to get a shower at some point.  In the process of getting ready to shower (yes, I know, there is a lot of process to me not being lazy on my weekends off), I found myself thinking about certain prominent characters from “Joshua’s Nightmares” and where they’d end up at the end of the story.  Yes, there would be closure for them, but it felt like there was more that could happen.

And that’s when an idea happened.  It met up with similar ideas, which in turn met with other similar ideas.  I realize this presents a bit of a bothersome situation, as I’m not even close to halfway done with “Joshua’s Nightmares” and I’m already thinking, “Hey, there should be a second book.”

So the real question to you writer-type people is how soon is too soon for sequel-oriented thinking?  Or is it just one of those things you should embrace as it happens?

Either way, I’m afraid to say I’ll have to stash the ideas away in my little red Moleskine for the time being.