Tunnel’s End.

It’s done. The novel is done. I’ve finished the lengthy process of checking through The Hypernova Gambit, and there’s really nothing more I can learn from this, and nothing more I can do to it without help. There’s some reformatting and tidying to do, now that I’ve gotten it into one big file, but it’s complete. Unless I’ve got a very good reason, the project officially ends here, and I don’t think I’ve quite got my head around it. The bottle of champagne I’ve kept around for this occasion should hopefully help me with that when I crack it open later, but at the moment, I’m somewhat shell-shocked.

I’m also mildly horrified that in the last rewrite, despite going all-out to trim the fat, up the pace and remove any unnecessary digressions… the wordcount has gone up. And not by anything small. My last total, back on March 13th, was 150, 867 words. Now, the grand total (and, frankly, where it’s staying unless I’ve got some serious motivation) is:

164,917 words

I’ve created a monster. And the thing is- having just spent the last week solidly trudging through it… I know there isn’t really anything I can lose. It’s a wild, entertaining romp- it’s just also a terribly intricate entertaining romp, with stuff going on at almost every step of the way. Despite the increase in size, I’m still immensely proud of what I’ve done, and there’s no way I’m looking at this and going “Well, that’s enough for one lifetime”. Getting here may have taken longer than I expected, but now I’m here, I’m not going to stop. I have someone in publishing who’s interested in looking at it (admittedly, not for the next month, but publishing is always like that…), and after a short break and some subbing work next week, I’m going to finally decide what needs to be done next, and do it.

This is just the first step of the journey. I’ve no idea where it’s going to lead me, but I’m going there all the same…

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

Life related updates have been a little short recently– but, I felt it was important to record that I am actually, genuinely, definitely in the final stages of the novel. The point where the book goes from ‘pending project’ to ‘something I’ll need a very good reason to tinker with’ is not that far away. I’m currently going through the ‘final draft’ version of the book, checking my English, restructuring some of my habitually overcomplicated sentences, and running it through a spell checker. I’m up to chapter 9, and I”m doing very little else this week other than getting this novel finished. There’s a lot of pages to go before the end (I have to try and average two chapters a day), but it’s an odd feeling, finally getting it to a point where I know there’s nothing I can do about it. Then, of course, I enter the risky world of actually sending the thing out… but for now, a big celebration isn’t too far away.

Tick, tock, tick tock…

Trudging through the snow, laughing as we go…

It’s possible that I might have just done all the structural alterations that I can to my novel. In short, now all I’ve got to do is try to do a fairly thorough rewrite, and get it to a state where every chapter is as good as (or at least approaching) the standard of the first four chapters. If I can do that, I’ll be happy. I just have the suspicious feeling that it’s going to be a very long way towards the end. At the least, though, I’m within reach.

It’ll all be over soon…

Both Of You, Dance Like You Want To Win!!!

Right. That settles it.

I’ve been depressingly lax on the blogging front for too long. Most of it has been as a result of a few life-related ups and downs, but it’s also been thanks to a gigantic spell of work that’s showing no signs of slowing down. Occasionally my life gets like this– everything snowballs into everything else, until the resulting avalanche carries me off down the mountainside. I’ve spent most of this week getting a massive number of reviews out of the way, more are incoming, and I’ve now got four days of subbing next week which is (a) fantastic news and (b) guarenteeing I’ll get very little work down on the novel.

Oh, yes. The novel. I’m at the stage where I’ve got to do a major bit of surgery (essentially removing some very clunky writing and a bit of a slump in the middle). I’ve got to hack the very middle of the book out, and then make sure that I can still make everything fit together. It’d be nice if I could just sit down and start getting all the rewriting done on the final draft (for, it is about that time…) but it’s not quite there yet, and I’ve got to get it structurally sound.

On top of everything else, I’m getting nervous about what I’m going to do next. My teen novel Flipside may be resurrected very soon, but I’ve also got a plan to revive a series I worked on a very long time ago. The worrying thing is, however, there’s no way I can clear a signifcant amount of time in the next couple of months. I’m going to have to figure out (at long last) a way of making my life work while writing in small chunks. If I don’t, I’m never going to get myself started.

There will be regular updates. I’m not letting myself get out of that. Plus, there will be more TV Eye action incoming.

I guess, if I want this blog to be entertaining to read, rather than a litany of everything that’s getting me down, there’s only one way of doing it.

Here goes….

Lithium Flower

I’ve been lacking in official, non TV-Eye related updates recently, mainly because I’ve had a couple of tough weeks, and there’s been an awful lot of desperate staring at the novel going “HOW AM I GOING TO MAKE THIS WORK?!?” One of the most disturbing things about looking at a big novel in depth is that all your tricks are laid bare. The repeats. The over-used phrases. “The problem is…”, and so on. The fact that I’ve got several gigantic dialogue scenes, yet can’t work out a way of making them visually interesting or blocking them out in a way that makes sense. There’s a gigantic amount to do… and if I’m going to reach my deadline of June 22nd- just over three weeks from now- there’s going to be a crapload of work to do. I’ve got to take a novel that’s “Kind of there”, and push it over the edge into officially done. I know I can’t fix it, but I can try and get most of it to the level that I’ve reached with the first chapter (which I read aloud to George tonight). I’m going to make it.

Elsewhere, I’ve been subbing, doing a ridiculous amount of driving, and been on the verge of having a filling repaired, when the dentist had to cancel due to illness. Pah!

I may, at least, have solved our DVD player problem, and will be ordering a new one tomorrow which should (theoretically) do everything our old one did, and a few more things as well. There’s other things that I need to sort out, some of which will be happening on Tuesday when I return to London for a day of shopping and sorting out of things.

My second-hand SF book habit continues– I’ve been trawling charity shops recently, as there’s a fantastic selection in Alton which often have some fascinatingly weird books (I picked up Mindplayers by Pat Cadigan, and Take Back Plenty by Colin Greenland for a total of £2). Every single shop also seems to have a copy of From a Buick 8 by Stephen King, which doesn’t fill me with confidence about ever reading it (I’d happily pounce on a cheap copy of The Gunfighter by King, as I’d like to dip my toe in the Dark Tower series, but it never, ever seems to turn up at the right moment…). Anyway, I also recently discovered that Alton has a quite excellent second hand bookstore with a wonderful SF section that’s crammed full of the kind of weird and wonderful paperbacks that brought back happy memories of libraries during the Eighties, and I picked up Mythago Wood by Robert Holdstock, and The Space Machine by Christopher Priest. I’ve got an SFX book review to do, but once I get those out of the way, I’ll be starting on one of them. Either way, my love of reading for pleasure, dormant for a while, is finally starting to wake up again. It’s nice to have it back.

Plus, this week, George passed her Driving Theory Test, and is one step closer to getting her licence. Hurrah!