It is done.
Done and gone.
Which is rather a relief, since facing my critism and the decision to cut, cut, cut, I feel as if I have been scrambling to catch up with myself. Letting go the hopes of dreams and facng the grinding reality of the hard work it takes to produce something of quality. No indulging in writers block- edit, make notes, reread, research! No clinging on to writing that simply does not work, or is not good enough- cut it or improve it. No complaining that you cannot find the time to write. You want to be a writer, be a published author, then you simply have to make the time. It's your job.
This can be difficult, life can be difficult. I'm a single mother, so I know this all to well. There is always housework, shopping in ill weather, a ravenous child needing love and entertainment, homework and all the other myriad demands of parenting. Joyous, hectic, exhausting.
And then there are the inevitable dark times. I was sexually assaulted in the spring, my nose broken. A family member passed away. At the beginning of the summer holidays I suffered a nasty concussion, which has left me with neuropathic damage. It was a bit shit for awhile there and lets just say that such injuries, and the emotional fall out, are not very conductive of writing.
But you have to persevere. No matter the loss of control that life leads to, you are the only one who can control your actions, your reactions, can work toward your goals. Even if that means pushing self imposed deadlines forward two months and planning for a slower rate of writing. Even if that means struggling with frustration and guilt. You have to keep on keeping on. Don't yearn towards dreams and let others drag you down. Be the dream.*
My title has changed. Before I had been working with Song of Sorrow but, well. A Song of Ice and Fire is a rather good series, you may have heard of it, and Song of Stone is also a very good book. There are enough songs out there, I think. Now:
Of Bloody Reflections
Refractions of Fire
Of Bloody Reflections is complete at 110k, about 60k of which is new material and the rest much revised. Some days, during the revision, I was deleting as much as writing per session. This is good, considering my criticisms, but an odd feeling none the less. The whole has been restructured, during editing I pulled each character into separate files: Mera, Llew, Tomas and alt. The better to edit without getting sucked into the story. Then woven back together always considering pacing: of tension, of action, of suspense and mystery, of character development. The closer to the end the more the earlier scenes were tweaked and expanded. After the restructure came line edits, which were not that bad due to half of it having been previously edited and my habit of reading through and editing when creativity isn't really flowing, or when a subplot arc is complete/reaching height. I don't know that I'll ever be happy with it (no, brain, perfection is not attainable. It is a paradox!) but it is much improved. A good story.
Last night I started contacting my beta readers, six of them already have it. I thought I would feel nervous and twitchy (I mean, nobody has read the new material, gasp) but...It's good this feeling, nice, like I'm finally back where I should be. Proactive.
Next: Working with betas, then tackling the synopsis, covering letter and searching for the right agent. I will do some posts on these. Then NaNoWriMo and using the random scraps of scenes and notes to start Refractions of Fire.
But for now I strongly suspect that something is rotting in my kitchen. Adieu!
*Yeah, that is down right cheesy I know.