An Update on my WIP

August 13, 2009

Thought I’d give an update on my work in progress, since I haven’t done that for some time now.  Usually I’d show one of those fancy progress bars that I like so much — you know:  actual word count versus projected word count.  But for a couple of reasons that doesn’t really work with this current project.  For one thing, I have no idea how long the book is going to be when it’s done.  It could be 100,000 words; it could be 130,000; it could (and probably will) come in somewhere in between.  I just don’t know.  Also, this is a book I’m rewriting (the first incarnation was 124,000 words, by the way).  Parts of it I’m writing again from scratch, while other parts will remain almost exactly as they were in the original version.  I’ve changed the magic system entirely, I’ve changed the core conflict that dominates my main character’s life, and I’ve changed the fundamental narrative thread that drives the story in this particular book (it’s the first of what I hope will be a series of stand alone mysteries with a strong fantasy element).  I’ve kept many of the peripheral characters and their interactions with my protagonist, because they were, along with my main character himself, the strength of that original book.

I’m probably two-thirds of the way through the rewrite and I love the way this thing is coming out.  I loved the original book, but have known for some time that it needed to be reworked before I could sell it.  I believe that when this new version is done, it will be marketable.  In fact, I think it will be as good as anything I’ve ever written.  Rewriting in this way — fitting major new elements into a book I already love — has been a challenge.  At times, as I’ve had to jettison some of my favorite scenes and moments from that first book, it’s been incredibly hard.  At other times, as I’ve seen it coming together into something new and exciting, and yet still familiar, it’s been deeply satisfying.

Along with not knowing for certain how long this book will be, I also don’t really know when I’m going to be done with this rewrite.  It could be as soon as the end of this month.  It could be late September.  It’s flowing well right now, but on Monday it was giving me fits.  I’m sure I’ll cycle through a whole range of emotions several times more before I’m done.  Right now I’m just happy to be working on a project I love, making progress, and watching it gel into what I think could be something very special.

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