The Story that Almost Didn’t Get Finished

October 31, 2009

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My latest story, The Cell Window, took six weeks to finish. Key Relationships (the main story from The Fiction of Kosmo Volume 1 – roughly the same length as The Cell Window) took about ten days to complete, so I assumed I was setting aside plenty of time when I began writing a full month in advance of my projected publication date. I never dreamed that I would miss the date by two weeks.  (one of the nice things about being the Editor-in-Chief is that nobody breathes down my neck when I miss a deadline)

So, what happened? I try to avoid uses excuses too often, but I’m making this an “all excuses” edition of The Soap Boxers, just for kicks.

  • I have been fighting off a few different illnesses. In August, I contracted the stomach flu twice. For the month of October, I have been dealing with a sinus infection that just won’t go away. I’m on the second treatment of antibiotics – hopefully this will do the trick. Needless to say, a sick Kosmo is a Kosmo who doesn’t feel like writing.  None of this stuff was particularly severe, but still enough to hamper creativity a bit.
  • In the last month, my two year old daughter had decided that she doesn’t want to go to be at eight o’clock; preferring eight thirty or nine o’clock instead. This effectively cuts my writing time in half, as I often use the 8-10 PM block to write.
  • I really, really wanted to read Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol and get a review up quickly.  Alas, that hasn’t happened quite yet, although I am about 70% of the way through the book.
  • My Rockies made the playoffs!  There was important October baseball to watch.  My Rockies have made the playoffs three times in seventeen years – so Rockies playoff games will push a lot of things to the back burner.
  • Issues related to the blog took up some time. Some other writers were also dealing with illnesses and were unable to meet timelines, meaning that I had to write more in order to fill in the gaps. Obviously, I’m not faulting them for this – it was completely beyond their control. There was a sudden unilateral parting of the ways with another writer that caused a gap. I wrote several articles to fill this gap, while also taking the time to line up some new writers to fill this spot.
  • Finally, I backed myself into a bit of a corner. Typically, when I write, I rough out a plot, suggesting several larger scenes. I use these as benchmarks during the writing process. I know that on the way from point A to point Z, I’ll hit D, J, T, and X. Along the way, there will be a lot of “connector” material. I can’t simply skip from high point to high point – there must be a natural flow to the story. I skip around a lot during the writing process. I’ll write point J and then perhaps write the connector material between points X and Z. In the case of The Cell Window, I wrote too many of the main scenes first.  Effectively, I ate all of the dessert first and left myself with a plate of veggies.  This made the second half of the work much harder.  Lesson learned – leave some good parts for later!

So, what does the future hold, as far as fiction?

  • First, I have a rough idea of the story for next quarter.  I’m not waiting until I have a mere month before the deadline this time around!  The working title is If the Walls Could Talk.  I doubt that will be the final title, as I’m not a big fan of it.  Anyway, the story will features stories-within-a-story, as the owner of a B&B reminisces about some of the past guests and their experiences.  The B&B featured in the book will be Buckingham Place.  If this sounds familiar (other than the reference to Buckingham PALACE), it’s because Hayley and Mike in Key Relationships stayed at this B&B.
  • Also, I am finally beginning work on my novel.  Its working title will be Casting Stones.  I AM a big fan of that title, so there is a strong chance the book will retain the title. Casting Stones will be a murder mystery that follow a detective named Brooke as she attempts to catch a serial killer.  I don’t want to share many more details at this point, because most of the details that I have figured out would be huge spoilers and give away a ton of the plot.  Considering the other irons that are currently in the fire, I would be very surprised if I finish Casting Stones in less than two years.  I do NOT plan to make this available on the web – I actually intend to find a publisher.  Obviously, that’s a long shot, but it’s what I’m aiming for.

One Comment (+add yours?)

  1. mary
    Oct 31, 2009 @ 21:16:35

    Hope you are feeling better! My husband also had a sinus infection/headache issue the last couple months. Good luck with the medicines.
    A rule of thumb with kids: as soon as you get used to something they do, it changes. Keeps it interesting 🙂


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