Wednesday 7 September 2011

Counterpunch edits

I got the edits for "Counterpunch" yesterday, which all seem relatively minor--a couple typos, passages where the rhythm is off, house style things and that's pretty much it (I guess I'm just a clean writer overall, and "Counterpunch" has come out pretty clean overall). So that could be easy, right? Err, no. I've recently been on a bit of a "trip to the past" with regards to my style, which tends to mean paring the fluff down even more, using a tighter POV and overall better structure.

Which means, knives are out and I'm giving this book the full treatment once I have a moment. (Work at work is crazy. We're again under strength, thanks to holidays and people leaving. Which is somewhat unfortunate in terms of timing.) The biggest decision I have to make is how to deal with any potential connected work.

Right now, there are a couple "missing scenes" from "Counterpunch" that would make a good addition to the book. Originally, I was hoping to write a related project (possibly a novella), this month, but I don't think I can fit it in. I'm also thinking that that novella might actually belong to a potential sequel or might stand completely on its own. The main issue is, the novella puts everything that happened in "Counterpunch" into a completely different light, and it seems wrong to simply deliver that like an afterthought. So, potentially, that idea might be large, it might start where "Counterpunch" ends, and I'm running out of time on the "Lion" sequel and a number other projects.

A couple days ago, a good friend told me she has an aggressive cancer, which in many ways brings home mortality (apart from all the other emotions that I can't speak about--least of all in public. That's stuff that I need to work through on my own, really). From my family history, I have a good chance to get cancer, too, so at least I have a fair idea how I'm going to end.

As a writer, it made me think of all the books I really want to write. It's that old mind-game: If you only had a year to live, what would you write?

In my case, that's "finishing Dark Soul" (a project that's ~20 years old), "Lion 2", and the two WWII novels. So that's basically what I'm going to do, before I think about any short stories, novellas or sequels to anything else. The WWII novels especially have been heavy on my brain, so I'll focus on those for the rest of the year and likely all of 2012.

2011 has been an insanely productive period, but part of me thinks "stop messing around" - it's like I'm running to all these other projects largely because I'm scared as hell to mess up the historicals. I'm scared witless of getting any of that stuff wrong. It's time to turn around and face that particular tiger.

I have that one short story to write and "Counterpunch" to edit, and then I'll tackle those three books. It might even mean that that's all that's coming out in 2012 or even in 2013, but I'm OK with that. If I still have time to play, I'm sure I'll find some projects to fill up the rest of the schedule.

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