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Dec 29, 2008


I hate it. I'm going along in my novel, writing one, two even three chapters a day. A nice, satisfying pace. The story is unfolding before me like a well paved road.

Then -- bwam! -- no more road.

It may be sudden, like hitting a rock, or gradual, as the pavement just peters out. Either way, the path ahead is no longer clear. I stop writing. I sit there, staring at my keyboard, at my notes, at my reflection in the mirror while I brush my teeth, wondering what to do. Have I hit a dead-end, a cliff to oblivion, leaving me no choice but to turn my story around, go back to the last fork in the road, take another route entirely? Do I have to re-write a chapter, a whole section, the entire book thus far?

Or should I just keep plowing ahead, in the hope that though a bit of snow and gravel obscures the road, if I can just muscle past the landslide, the road will pick up and keep me going to the end?

I wrote all of Part I and most of Part II in my new book, before the road petered out. Now I'm flummoxed. Is the manuscript working? Or do I need to re-write the story from the start? Have I introduced too many characters, too much history at the start? Maybe I need to start smaller, slower. Or then again, maybe I need to pick up the pace, press the story forward, not dwell on so much detail. I don't know!

I've put the first section draft as it is up on the OWW for critiques, and I've received some. But the readers can't really tell me if I need to start the story over. They don't know where it's going, so how can they tell me if it's taking the right road?


Anonymous said...

I read the prologue to The Great Games, and generally it was very good. I did not find all the allusions to places, things, and concepts that I was not familiar with confusing, but I would assume that these would be individually identified and explained later in the story. (I would keep a notecard for each novel concept introduced and reference it later, but you know me with notecards). Just some comments, though. Yogush claims to live a thousand years; the dragons have been running the games for 1100. Is this right? Isnt the Empress helping Jivad a form of cheating? "Oh damn it, Yougush died annoyed" is pretty lame! He is a champion! He would be anguished, frustrated, devastated! Dont cheapen Jivad's victory. I would end the prologue with something like "Jivad turned to face the tumultuous crowd. He knew that the battle had just begun." Or something like that...

Tara Maya said...

Thanks! I'm glad you were able to follow it. Yes, Yorgush is actually older than the Peace of Shadri -- he (or rather, a previous avatar) was involved in the first war between Thedros and Demaitria.

You might be right about not cheapening Jivad's victory. I was striving for humor, but maybe it's just cheesy. :)