I have always been a rebellious sort, and in the absence of an external authority against whom to rebel, I will often rebel against myself, and start not wanting to do the things I know that I should be doing, that I want to be doing, even, but I’m just so bloody cussed sometimes that I can’t help it. Take, for instance, the novel I have recently resumed writing, The Victorius Revolution.I started The Victorius Revolution over the summer, for the Clarion Write-a-thon, a yearly summertime fundraiser for the program that coincides with the actual workshop, during which graduates, instructors, and other well-wishers buckle down and really get some work done (not unlike during the actual workshop, which is kind of like being back at school and having finals week over and over six times), and hit up their friends and fans for money for the perenially cash-strapped program. It was a bit of an intrusion into my writing schedule, at least as I envisioned it back then, but the revisions to stories and a trunked novel I’d been planning for that time-period just didn’t seem right for a Write-a-thon (although I think a Revise-a-thon has its appeal, as well), and I’d been kicking around the idea for The Victorius Revolution as a standalone novel/novella (I always think they’ll be shorter than they turn out) for a while.
As with so many of my projects, it ties into the GoATDaD universe, and the events that form the narrative of The Victorius Revolution provide the backdrop to one of the more important narrative threads in the larger story. I thought about just trying to wrap The Victorius Revolution into GoATDaD, but it takes away from the momentum of the story, no matter how fascinating I personally find the events.
Besides, I thought it’d be fun to write, a quick ‘n dirty novel in which I would just let my natural mojo do its thing. I mean, it’s basically an action movie; I’m maybe halfway through and there’s already been torture, chase scenes, gang warfare, a cage-fighting tournament, and a caper. And the real action is only just beginning. Since I picked it back up I’ve written 13-15K words, nearly doubling what I had when I left off. And it’s been super fun.
But now, of course, I’ve set myself the task of finishing it, at least the first draft, and quickly. It’s time for me to get a novel out there circulating (though I’m still on the fence as to whether to try and sell it to a publishing house or just self-release it), and I think this one, unlike Company Girl, which I wrote about a year ago, will need minimal revision, since it’s a much simpler story. So it makes a lot of sense for me to concentrate on writing it for now, at least for the next few weeks.
Problem is, my rebellious streak, having been deprived of an object of focus, has been turning against me. Even now, writing this blog post, there is some extent to which I’m just avoiding it. And not for any good reason. I’m not blocked, I know what happens next, I have a pretty solid grasp of the characters and their motivations and what they’re likely to do, and they all seem relatively in-synch with where I think the story is going. Nope, it’s just pure cussedness, my inner child stamping his foot and saying ‘No!’ just to assert himself. It’s a real pain in my ass.
So what have I been doing, you ask? Well, to some extent I’m making myself do it anyway, but I’m also using the dilution of focus to address some of my revision backlog. I’ve got several stories that are anywhere from half- to mostly-baked, some of which have even garnered a few rejections. I’ve been needing to bang them into shape and get them out there for a while, so I’ve been doing that, too. Or instead, some days. I try and get at least some writing-related work done everyday, but it doesn’t always help.
So far I’ve got two done (one of which has already garnered its first new rejection), and once I’m done with this I may work on another one for awhile. Or I might work on the novel. It is really fun. I just have to make myself start.
The important thing is I’m blogging, which hits a really sweet spot in that it’s very like doing something worthwhile, while also keeping me from actually working on the things I should be.