Sunday, January 27, 2008

Sunday, January 27, 2008
Waning Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Snowy and cold

Revisions on Tracking Medusa came to a screeching halt yesterday. The major plot surprise MUST be father/son and mother/son to have the correct emotional impact. Grandfather/grandson and grandmother/grandson simply do not work in this particular set of circumstances.

So I had to go back and adjust, all the way through the draft, what happened in relation to what other historical events.

Which took hours.

But the further I plowed into those revisions, the more I felt I got off-track with the grandfather/grandson, which was only switched to that from father/son because of the dates. And the farther I felt I got off-track, the harder every page, every sentence became.

It was time to cut my losses.

I couldn’t lose that emotional wallop because I wanted something that happens off the page to happen in a particular time period. I had to find something equally interesting to put in context with it in a chronology that made sense AND kept the emotional impact.

I rewrote all the nineteen chapters I’d already rewritten. I’m not talking about minor tweaks. I REWROTE the whole damn book up to this point. 56,253 words.

I’m exhausted, but I feel as though I’m on track again.

I had to undo all the stuff I added when I put in the extra generation – that took some sorting, with drawing paper and charts and the calculator.

I rewrote the first sex scene between Justin and Gwen for the umpteenth time. The more I work on it, the more I realize how spare, simple, and organic it needs to be. It’s so significant to the book that it happens at this particular point, where they both are in relation to this quest and each other. If it happened earlier, one would have been taking advantage of the other (depending upon when it happened) and they would have had to walk away from each other. If it happened during the Earl’s house party, it would have been a contrived literary cliché. It had to happen at this time, in this nameless little town, not as an explosion of passion or out of fear or desperation, but because this is simply what they’ve grown into now. I’d overwritten it several times, and I pared it down, down, down, simplified, simplified, simplified, and now it’s where I want it. It’s different from the way most of this type of scene is handled, but it’s exactly right for them at this time. And I know I’m going to have to fight for it, because it’s not the “usual.” But the way it’s “usually” done doesn’t work for these two people at this particular moment in their lives.

And I just realized a mistake I missed back in Chapter 17, an historical reference I forgot to change, so I better go back and do that.

My only interruption was some more building crap. Time to file some more paperwork with the state. And perhaps a police report or two.

Now, it’s on to the rest of Tracking Medusa. I’m tired from the physical and mental work, but it also feels good to be this deep into the novel and back on track.


Tracking Medusa revision – 56,253 words out of est. 90,000 (62.5%)

Devon’s Bookstore:

5 in 10: Create 5 Short Stories in Ten Weeks
by Devon Ellington. This ebooklet takes you from inspiration to writing to revision to marketing. By the end of ten weeks, you will have either 5 short stories or a good chunk of a novella complete. And it’s only 50 cents, USD. Here.

Writing Rituals: Ideas to Support Creativity by Cerridwen Iris Shea. This ebooklet contains several rituals to help you start writing, get you through writer’s block, and help send your work on its way. It’s only 39 cents USD. (Note: Cerridwen Iris Shea is one of the six names under which I publish). Here.

Full Circle: An Ars Concordia Anthology
. Edited by Colin Galbraith. This is a collection of short stories, poems, and other pieces by a writers’ group of which I am a member. My story is “Pauvre Bob”, set at Arlington Race Track in Illinois. You can download it free here:

Published in: on January 27, 2008 at 8:52 am  Comments (5)  


  1. My gosh! You rewrote 19 chapters. I’d have puked . . . and then had a nervous breakdown. Congratulations!

  2. Wow, you rewrote 19 chapters, simply wow. I don’t think I could do that, but if it needed to be done for the sake of your book, then it had to be done. Congratulations on that achievement.

    I hope your Sunday is a good one.

  3. I am in awe that you sat down and rewrote 19 entire chapters!
    I hope today you take some time for some mental rest.
    Have a pleasant day.

  4. 19 chapters in one day? I should think exhausted would be an understatement!

  5. You sound shattered too. Don’t work too hard.

    And good luck with the police reports if you decide to go down that route.

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