Post Practical Writing

One more month of writing

Hey all. So, it was about a month ago that I post­ed that last update on my writ­ing career. You may be won­der­ing how the writ­ing career is going.

Yeah, how is the writ­ing career going?

Okay. I spent this last month doing a lot of world­build­ing, which was fun.

An aside for non-SF/F fans: if you’re writ­ing fan­ta­sy in a world that is not our own, or sci­ence fic­tion in worlds sig­nif­i­cant­ly dif­fer­ent than our own, you need to spend time work­ing out how it is dif­fer­ent, and what that means. World­build­ing can be brief or com­pli­cat­ed. Mine was both, I spent most of my time try­ing to rec­on­cile two suns and no moon, but I’m “build­ing” the rest as I write.

In that time I’ve also start­ed and scrapped four short sto­ries. The one I am work­ing on now is real­ly more of a pro­logue to the books I’d like to write. What hap­pens in it is impor­tant but would have hap­pened off-screen in the books. It is fun.

So, I am writ­ing. But career? Not yet, I am afraid.

What else is up with the not-work­ing thing?

Not-work­ing? I see what you’re doing there.

Well, I got canned from my social media writ­ing gig, which was sad, but okay. As a result, we decid­ed to dump our house­clean­ing ser­vice ($$$!), and I have tak­en those duties on. But we also decid­ed we can’t live with­out col­lege bas­ket­ball ($$!), so we’re going to add that back in this month. Still a net sav­ings. And I am pur­su­ing a web­site design job (just a one-off, not a career!) to help make ends meet.

Today, I dust­ed. The whole house. Blinds, fans, pic­tures, sur­faces, etc. Took about an hour.

But you still like what you’re doing, right?

Oh, yeah. I love it. I dream about it. I think about it all the time. I write myself notes in church about things I want to put in my writ­ing. I would rather write than do just about any­thing else. I have fun doing it. I even have fun doing it when it is hard.

I had a moment a few weeks ago, when I broke for lunch. I was look­ing for some­thing to read, and I real­ized that what I real­ly want­ed to do was read my sto­ry. My book. I want­ed to write it more so I could find out where it is going.

Whaaaat? You don’t know where your book is going?

Yeah, so it turns out that I am not a detail plot­ter. Or rather, I do plot things out ahead, but as I write I come up with new, bet­ter, more detailed ideas. I start­ed writ­ing the sto­ry I’m writ­ing now from one char­ac­ter’s per­spec­tive. But it was tak­ing too long, he was describ­ing all the things, and they were all new to him (and to the read­er). And then I fig­ured out a major plot point that is cool, but he was only tan­gen­tial­ly relat­ed to it. I mean, he’s in the mid­dle of it, but does­n’t know any­thing about what is going on. There was no meat for the read­er. So I scrapped that, and now I’m writ­ing the same sto­ry, but from five (hope­ful­ly six) char­ac­ters, each with their own scene. I think it’s work­ing out real­ly well. But I ful­ly believe I may have to go back and change some­thing again when I fig­ure out how that sixth char­ac­ter fits in.

It is a bit messy, as process goes.

But you know what? It’s fun.

So, you’re hav­ing fun?

Darn tootin’.

What’s next, then, guy who does­n’t plot ahead

Well, I hope to fin­ish this sto­ry soon. Then I’ll have to do a sec­ond draft. I’ll write about that lat­er. Then I hope to get it out to a few trust­ed friends and/or fam­i­ly for them to com­ment. Then I’ll draft it again, and then I’ll send it out and see if any­one thinks it’s worth pub­lish­ing.

One sto­ry? That’s a lot of eggs in one bas­ket, no?

It is. And I should prob­a­bly have a cou­ple oth­er sto­ries going, too, but I don’t have the time, real­ly. 8am to 3 pm goes by real­ly fast. And dur­ing that time I’m clean­ing, eat­ing, and walk­ing the dog, in addi­tion to writ­ing. After three, the kids are home and we’re man­ag­ing home­work and chores and dish­es and din­ner and activ­i­ties (swim­ming, soc­cer, Lego League, scout­ing, etc.) and then we have oth­er stuff (like col­lege bas­ket­ball, did I men­tion that?) and gro­ceries and laun­dry and all that stuff.

It would appear that I may get about two to three hours of writ­ing in a day.

Sev­en weeks in, I am not sure that is enough time.

Don’t be a down­er, dude

No, no. I have to say, even with all that, I real­ly do love my life. Absolute­ly love it. And the absence of my pre­vi­ous job is still a won­der, I go to sleep on Sun­day not dread­ing the next morn­ing. But more than that, I love build­ing these sto­ries, even the ones I have tossed on the waste bin. I lurve it, even.

So, yeah. I want to be writ­ing more, and I want to write for the rest of my life, and those are my goals. And I am the one that can get me there.

By Danny

My name is Danny, and I grew up living overseas, but have settled in Kansas, where it turns out some of my family started, back when. I am helping to raise my own family, and hoping to be proud of what I've done when it's all over.