At the start of this week, I printed out the rough draft of Always & Forever. In all honesty, I didn't want to touch it. Two other projects were coming along at a much better pace and I'm still not happy with how A&F is turning out. Yes, that's why rewrites and revisions exist. I made a trip to the nearest B&N and paid a visit to each section that my WIPs belong to. It's encouraging and intimidating at the same time. General Fiction is a massive ocean. Fantasy is nearly as large, but a bit more categorical. The Science Fiction Fantasy was the most interesting. That's odd, because the majority of my projects would be fantasy/epic fantasy. Anywho, what I was reminded of while looking through the selection of fantasy titles was how much I love the publisher Tor. It seems that everything I've picked up with their marking has been impossible to put down. Something about Tor just works for me. Yes, Baen is also awesome, but Tor has had my attention much longer. My realization was that I want to have writings published by Tor. I have their submission guidelines stored in my list of dreamy publishers, but I've never attempted wooing them.
This situation was on my mind all the way home. I know I must have been rambling about it, because when I pulled into town and stopped at a light, my husband looked at me with his "Oh my gosh, are you going to bore me to death" look. As I've said before, he has nothing to do with my writing besides making sure my computer stays alive. I knew he wasn't following, so I explained (probably more so to myself) each of the open WIPs I have running, my goals for them, and my admiration of Tor. The death-by-boredom stare continued. What I needed was someone to tell me where to focus first. I've never been really good at picking one out of a bunch of things needing attention. That's when Colt finally caught my meaning. By the time we were sitting in our drive, he helped me set up a plan to tackle my stack of WIPs.
Always & Forever comes first. I know where I want the story to go, I've just allowed other works keep me from getting it there. But I owe it to those who've read Where to Belong to finish and have it out in a reasonable amount of time. The time, in my mind, has already passed. I am far behind where I wanted it to be. Thus, I printed the project, shut off the computer, and went through it page by page, making notes on every little thing that has been bugging me. Now I have a thick stack of paper with loads of ideas scribbled on most of the pages.
The biggest pain is the opening. I've dubbed the rough draft 'suck draft'. Pretty much the first third is getting scrapped. I don't know where I was when I started A&F, but it wasn't anywhere near the story. Cue notebook. I sketched out a few different openings and have narrowed it down to one that doesn't make me want to nap.
The next roadblock was three quarters of the way through. Legal jargon. It was summarized and needed lots of help, prompting more research and more trusty notebook. I just might have that conquered. I have a few other points I want to check on, but for the most part, I have it in order.
In steps the closing scene. The story rolls along and builds up to the climax, then I fell off. It happens in all my work. I can trudge through the meat of it, but as soon as it comes to finishing it, I hesitate. What if I'm forgetting something? What if there's another line to be added? Can I really stop right there? Endings are like goodbyes. (Don't get me started on my bout with FF7) Closing a book means leaving the characters and getting back to the real world. This is how Shattered Remnants has morphed into a trilogy.
But Always & Forever needs to end. Closure has to happen so I can box it up and send it out. I've dilly-dallied too long. I've had more than enough time to write, rewrite, and rewrite this one again. So now I'm sitting here with this marked-up draft and a blinking cursor in Scrivener. Yet, each time I talk myself into getting back to the rewrite, I seem to go into a spell of chronic napping. Maybe this is why I should have stuck with Row80. I missed the start of the round and decided to go my own way. Now I'm reminded of how lazy I can be. Distractions are welcomed.
This all tells me A&F needs even more work. Perhaps that is why I'm dragging my feet. I still haven't received my clone, so I have to do the rewrite myself. It's been a week of wading through a suck draft. I know I am able to have A&F redone and ready for its first round of critiques in a week, two at most. The problem is ignoring the distractions and getting it done. Cue cattle prod.