letters from the battlefield


I’d meant to really get started on my current book a week ago Monday, but with one thing and another it’s really only getting underway today. All I’ve managed in the last week is revising the 2.5 chapters I’d written as a proposal for this book.

Now, this is the fourth book in the Walker Papers series, and I wrote the proposal for it just a smidge under two years ago. Since then, I’ve written *well* over half a million words in five books and two major revisions. Going back is…somewhat painful. Not going back to Joanne, whose style of speech is easy to write, but going back to a proposal that I was (more than) a little brain-dead when I wrote in the first place, and which involves a character who’s grown up a lot more in the last two years since I’ve written her than she had in the couple weeks (at most) between finishing COYOTE DREAMS and writing this proposal.

I’d figured the break after COYOTE was as good a time as any to stop writing Jo for a while, ’cause there’s a certain amount of resolution to the end of book 3, and it would give me time to do something else and stretch my wings a bit, but I had *no idea* how good it would be for the character to give her some time to mature.

The problem with this, of course, is it means totally rewriting most of these first three chapters. I’ve gone over the first chapter more times than I can count now, tightening, editing, polishing–cat-waxing, perhaps, but on the other hand, it’s been *so long* since I’ve written her that I feel that doing this is good for me–and the second chapter did…all the wrong things, really. It always did (which is why it’s a 2.5 chapter proposal instead of a proper 3 chapter proposal), or at least mostly: the first scene in it is good, and the last sentence is good. The rest of it had to go, and the last sentence became a mid-chapter scene break or punctuation point instead of the end of the chapter. And the third chapter, well, pfft. All wrong. Out the window. Except the scene that’s good, of course, which ended up finishing the second chapter and leaving me with somewhere, I hope, to start with chapter three.

With this stuff resolved I’m hoping for a couple weeks of incredibly high wordcount; this is a 110K book due in mid-July, and I’m going to be busting my brain to get it done. Probably the next six weeks of blogging here for me will be more letters from the battlefield, just me and the headspace I’m in right at that moment while writing a book. I hope somebody’ll get something out of it. 🙂


6 comments to letters from the battlefield

  • I think I am a busy writer…then I read this.
    110K words by freaking July????
    I can’t wait to see the babblefield — I mean battlefiled — comments.

    Honestly, my brain wrote that, not me. Telling me that I’d be a babbling idiot…

  • I like the battlefield comments! Keep ’em coming.

    Btw, I went out and purchased four or five of your books. Looking forward to reading them. I’m currently enthralled in David’s Rules of Ascension book and working on some writing, however, so there’s no telling when I’ll get them.

    I need more hours in the day!!!

  • Keep away from any butt altering substances such as chocolate, coffee, sugary biscuits(cookies), lasagna… and you’ll be fine! When you’re on a big word count trip do you get time to exercise?
    Looking forward to hearing how you go over the next month.

  • >>Butt altering substances…?

    Natalie that makes me giggle.
    When asked what I hate most about writing, I usually answer… Big Butt Syndrome … or something similar.


  • I think the battlefield stuff is fascinating, Catie. Keep it coming. We all have different processes, different approaches to meeting those deadlines or getting past the rough spots. Can’t wait to read more.

    And good luck, by the way. I’m with Faith on this one: 110,000 words by mid-July?! Please don’t take this the wrong way, but you’re a bit of a freak. Of course I mean that only in the best way. 😉

  • Christina: Oh how I feel your pain. I need more hours in the day too! I hope you enjoy all our books, though, when you get time to read them! 🙂

    Natalie: *laughs out loud* Butt-altering substances. I’ll do my best to stay away from them!

    I make a pretty solid effort to get out of the house and walk at least 3 miles daily, whether I’m on a massive wordcount hunt or not. I’m happier if I manage 6, and I’ve just moved to a new town where the swimming pool, while a mile and a half away, is not up a massive hill in either direction, so I actually plan to start swimming tomorrow (next Tuesday’s post may be totally incomprehensible through exhaustion). Actually, now that I know somebody here is keeping an eye on my exercise, that might help me do it. Maybe I’ll keep a tally of that, too, in my Battlefield Letters. 🙂

    David, Faith…you’re right, I’m a freak and I’m *nuts* besides. this book, though, was technically due a week ago (I told my editor six weeks ago that it was *so* not going to be in by the 1st of June), so I really want to get it done by mid-summer if possible. And I’m planning on going to San Diego Comic Con, so finishing it *before* that would be good.

    Yesterday was a decent writing day. Only about 1100 new words after spending a lot of time still working on revising the first two chapters, but they were *new* *words*! I was all, “Ooh! Writing is fun! Yay!” Let’s hope I can hold on to that for a while. 🙂