As you may recall, I spent last week trying to work my writing around Plushie getting bitten and ending up in the cone of shame. It wasn’t productive. This week went much better.
For starters we took Plush out of the cone and only had to correct him occasionally about trying to chew on his injury. We did have to watch him constantly, and discourage him and Trixie from wrestling together (she loves chewing on him) but it was still much better. A little tougher in the evening when he insisted on sitting on me in the bed as much as possible (he seems to regard me as his safe space). Then this morning, we finally got the stitches out. Huzzah!
After wrapping up some of my August goals Monday, I finished a Screen Rant on Bizarro (my second. What can I say, I love the Dolt of Steel), though it’s not out yet. And I reread Southern Discomfort. I’m not sure binging on the whole thing in a couple of days was the best way to start replotting — it was definitely hard to keep focused as I went along — but I really want to get my replotting done.
I must say it looks better than I thought, though the climax is, as I suspected, chaotic. I need to figure out some underlying rationale and rules for how some of the Hither Country magic works, then rework based on that, so it’s consistent. And my characters definitely lose some of their motivation as they’re running around battling unseelie monsters and saving lives. And Maria loses her motivation (and her very good reason) early in the book. She’s just a piece being moved back and forth by Olwen’s pleas, Sheriff Slattery’s pressure or Gwalchmai’s attacked. I definitely need to work on that.
My next step was going over the manuscript chapter by chapter and noting what works and doesn’t work, how the character arcs progress, whether characters disappear from the story, and keep track of everyone’s names (some of the minor characters change names a couple of times). I made it through half the book by the end of the week. This has been a little rougher as I’m using a more critical eye: once I get down to the details more problems suggest themselves. In any case, when it’s done I’ll replot and fix the problems, plus hopefully add some length (I’m only at around 76,000, which is short for most book markets).
I also took a look at an older steampunk manuscript, Questionable Minds. This one sold to Barbarian Books a few years back, then Barbarian Books went out of business (not my fault, honest!). I have exhausted almost every other market that takes unagented steampunk so I guess it’s time to self-publish. The first step is rereading it to look for major problems. So far none.
I’d hoped to put in some short story writing this week, but I didn’t get to it. Disappointing as I know I’m going to lose at least one day next week to my root canal. Maybe that’s part of why I’ve been so wired about work this week, a feeling that I need to get as much done as fast as possible. Or maybe it’s just a mood.