Are you the only person in the known universe who hasn’t heard the news? Okay, okay, so you’re one of billions. However, *drumroll please*
I finished The Thing.
It’s not actually The Thing, as i’ve mentioned before, this is actually a distillation of Things going back to last century (1995). And this is also only the first draft of This Thing. Omigod, i’m SELF-REFERENTIAL! Ahem. Don’t panic, I’ll keep my ego in the corral.
This is The Thing Mark II, after The Thing Mk I went horribly boring, and i’d spent months wrestling with it. Pretty much everyone who was following me began to pray that i’d finish The Bloody Thing (as its ‘fans’ labelled it) before they all went mad listening to my angst-ridden and possibly crazed creative process.
So now i’ve finished a proper draft of it, i figured it was time to pass the love around. First, thanks to my Twitter followers and friends, who were kind enough to listen to me, and not one of you ever said “Shut up before I kill you.” (And thanks to those who thought it but didn’t type it at me.)
Some of you unfollowed, but i think that’s because of the insane number of tweets i can do in a very short time. I do try to stay away from Twitter for large chunks of the day, to compensate for ear-bashing everyone when i’m there.
Those of you still listening (all fifteen of you who haven’t learned to tune me out) can take credit, every time one of you said, “Go on, get back to The Thing!” it really did help, i really did feel inspired, or at least determined. Besides, it showed some of you had been listening to me. How embarrassing would it be, if yet again, i had A Thing I Can’t Finish?
Second, I’d like to pretend it was all my own work, but Randy Ingermanson’s Snowflake Method (opens in new window) set me on the right track – his newsletters are likewise informative – you can access them on the site, or sign up your email. I have a series of books i wanted to write and without RI’s tips on organisation, i really don’t think i would have managed to get this all-important, integral, first book written.
It doesn’t really matter what method a person uses, but i will say this for being organised – having your hook, your synopsis, and then scenes laid out before you start writing the book – it’s easier. Seriously, i had no idea. I knew it had a possibility to be more coherent.
For how-to tips, this list of useful writing, publishing, and agent blogs (opens in new window) has many good sites listed, where you can learn a lot, and make yourself dizzy reading about all the stuff you don’t know.
Some people can write by launching themselves off into an uncharted ocean of imagination, and i can do this, have an adventure, and go home, but it doesn’t furnish me with a book. I need charts, and fathom soundings, a gadget that gives me phases of the moon, and of course, an idea of which way i’m heading.
My imagination might break the voyage with an unexpected shipwreck, which is fine, providing I get back to the rest of the action, that’s going on without my main character, and providing my side trips don’t break the plot.
The Thing Mk I got the plot broken – awful experience, and time-consuming as i went back through my hard work and picked out all the places where him dying was either mentioned, or the plot had changed because of it.
This brings me to my third thanks, another Twitter one, aside from those who follow me – the hashtags on writing on Twitter, and the people on the #amwriting hashtag. (both open in new windows)
I have learned so much! Seriously, after decades studying writing, writing books, songs, poetry, etc, and also working in both the music industry and publishing, so seeing creative arts from the dark side, as it were, I knew i didn’t know it all, but i feel now that i knew nothing.*looks Zen and like the kind of woman you want to vote for world dictator*
This last year and a bit on Twitter feels like some kind of master-class. Every week, i learned something and thought, oops, i need to check my book, i know i’ve made this mistake. The work i have printed out in front of me now is better thanks to all i learned.
So thanks again, everyone.
Now you can listen to me (opens to my twitter feed) bitch as i edit it, and go through trying to find agents and publishers.
Happy happy joy joy
Postscript: My Beta Reader has started reading – to our intense relief, he’s enjoying it, and as he said, doesn’t have to be tactful. The reason he’s the Beta Reader is because he’s into the genre, and will tell me if it’s crap.
He says it’s good. I’m in shock.