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Friday, September 12, 2008

Blood 2 is Done, Now What?

So now it's back to the real world of writing - where nothing is even close to being finished and you've got a mountainous queue of stories waiting to be written, like ghosts that only you can see, and they all want something different.

I stepped into Black Hole Son today to make some small changes that I thought of yesterday. This reminded me that it's 321 pages. The story I just worked on so arduously stayed around 210 pages. This is 50% longer. True, it's in first draft form, but I'm having trouble thinking of stuff I can cut. With Blood 2, it was easy. I could have cut a lot more stuff that doesn't have any influence on the plot, but I kept it in because it fit with the style I had established. This doesn't have any predilections about what it needs to be, and it feels like everything's part of the product. I can't think of what to cut, because its all important in its own way. It's not a mixture like Blood 2 was, like a salad. This is a tartar sauce, where each ingredient works to enhance the whole. But I've made so much tartar sauce. No one needs that much tartar sauce.

I'm not talking about cutting out scenes. At this level I need to cut out entire locations, entire scenarios, and I can't think of any obvious ones that can go. What is the solution for ovewriting? I know Character A is the whiny, introspective one, and there's lots of him that I could cut out, but I doubt it's 30,000 words worth. And I have to think of Character B for pacing.

321 pages? What was I thinking? What publisher would take that from a first-time author? And the question is - can I condense it to a reasonable amount? I think I can get it to 120,000, but more than 150,000 and it's not an option. And after I pored over page after page of Blood 2 (which was actually a condensed time), I've got this beast waiting for me, as soon as I get my short stories circulating to the publishers.

Which is another nice thing - Avatar has to be deconstructed like a bicycle with extra parts. I have to take out yet another character, and change the focal point. It used to be the partnership between the player and avatar, but now the player's being taken out, because, well, it'll be better that way. Thankfully, this will make the style less childish, but it involves major restructuring. More and more work.

It depresses me. It depresses me that I have so much work to do and piddle time to do it in. It seems like years before I can get to my next novel, and I don't feel any closer to getting published. I'm such a bad writer right now, I'm in a constant state of revising and correction. And it doesn't seem like its just futile writing, like Blood 2. Who's going to want a 150,000 first novel? Who would read it? I'm writing stuff even I would pass up at the bookstore. And it'll be a long time till I get to the next novel, which I think will be more publishable - it'll be more event-driven and shorter. I keep telling myself that I've got to finish this novel so I can write the next one. But I've got so many miles to go before I sleep.
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