October 27th, 2006

discover

a pleasant surprise

I was bery bery tired last night, so I went to bed around 10 (instead of 9 like my mommy told me to).

No sooner had I gotten really, really comfortable, than the first line of CAULDRON BORNE popped into my head.

And then the first paragraph.

And then the first scene.

I got up and wrote 550 words. I could have written a great deal more, but I thought that was probably enough to get things stabilized in my head so they wouldn't fall out and leave me wondering, this morning, what the hell that opening scene was.

Given that at 9pm last night I was muzzy from headache and walking around all day and looking despairingly at what I have left to do and looking at having signed up for NNWM and thinking there was just no way I could do that and what had I been thinking, a 500 word scene made me feel much better. :) Maybe if I get enough revisions done, I can reward myself with another 500 words on the new book. :)

Speaking of which, breakfast, then work.

ytd wordcount: 367,100
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I think...

I think the only thing wrong with COYOTE DREAMS is that is not...clear enough. I know what I'm trying to do, and I know what legends I'm drawing on, but I don't think quite enough of that made it onto the page. I've got about a hundred pages left to go through at this point, and I'm pretty sure I still need to write one more chapter between the current penultimate chapter and the final one. I suspect, if I can figure out how to do it, that'll take care of a lot of the confusion. I think the rest is just deepening details.

The whole thing reminds me a little of eolas16 asking me, a while ago, why it was that I used a lot of very specific Celtic mythology in URBAN SHAMAN, but then went so generically Native American/New Agey in THUNDERBIRD FALLS. That bothered me for weeks, until I came across my research notes for THUNDERBIRD. By that time I could no longer remember, without the notes, that I hadn't always known the stuff I'd used for the story background in TF. I did every bit as much research and based the main plot thread in THUNDERBIRD on actual specific stories and characters as I did with SHAMAN (and then went hog wild stretching mythologies to fit my own story, just like I did with US). It's just that he was generically familiar, I think, with the thunderbird and other elements used in the book, but didn't know the specific stories I was riffing off, whereas he was more familiar with the Celtic mythology I borrowed from and could recognize very clearly where I'd taken things from. I'm finding my editor having a similar problem in COYOTE: I've got some really specific stuff based on really specific Navajo characters and events, and she's trying to make them tie to a part of the story they don't tie to, because I haven't backed them up sufficiently so they stand on their own. Obviously, I thought I had, so taking care of that should help strengthen the story a fair bit.

It's a little tricksy to do from a first person POV, when my POV character also doesn't recognize the story elements, and it's actively *hard* to do when I've done enough research that I forget what I'm writing isn't common knowledge. I may have to give Jo a little more information earlier on to make it work.

I need to do something about dinner, and then finish reading this book. I think the real editing will happen tomorrow and Sunday (and if I'm very lucky it'll be *done* Sunday). I donno. I like it. The book, I mean. That's quite wonderful, given that the last 3 books I've worked on I've had whirly eyes about and have fallen asleep doing edits. I've been too close to them--HEART OF STONE I've just read Too. Many. Times and revised Too. Much, and HOUSE OF CARDS came too close on the heels of HoS to have room to have a feeling for it. And I've read TQB a *lot* while I've been writing it, so trying to edit it is exhausting. (I have 2 weeks off from it, basically, before I have to spend 3 very intense days working on edits, and oh *lord* how I hope that'll be enough time to divorce myself from it to some degree.) But I haven't looked at COYOTE since the end of February, and 6 months is enough time away from to be glad to get back to Jo and Gary and Morrison. :)