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Monday, January 25, 2010

Preparing for Alex Van Helsing #1 paperback, churning away on AVH2 ruff

Just a few updates here.

Every evening lately has been taken up with writing, hammering away on the rough draft of Alex Van Helsing #2. Today we have a rough draft of about 54,000 words, shorter than I'd prefer. I've printed it out and gone through by hand, so the next step is to enter these edits in and have what is essentially a cleaner rough draft.

Orson Scott Card, in one of his writing books (I can't recall which one and I don't want to guess, because right now all my books are in boxes) said that the writing process requires the writer to engage in a kind of constant double-think, simultaneously "this is going great!" with "that's terrible, you should hang it all up now!"

A rough draft can paralyze, or at least it can paralyze me. You can do all the outlining you want, but even a very detailed outline still isn't the work, and it still won't tell you whether the outline is right or not. The outline can say, "Sam takes a bad guy's place at a card table and wins every hand, getting him access to a secret meeting," but when you get to the scene, suddenly: How do I write this? Do I describe the whole game? Reference it, keeping the game offscreen? Which would be more exciting and not embarrassing? Should it be tennis instead?

Paralyze, was the word. So for me, a big part of the Orson Scott Card positive side is just the sheer audacity of not giving up.

Meanwhile, remember, the actual work goes on. Harper sent me the jacket copy for the paperback edition of Alex Van Helsing #1. Bear in mind that the hardback edition won't be out until May and heck if I know what sounds good. I said it was all fine.

The jacket includes one of those "about the author" things that no one ever reads. I mean, seriously, does anyone care where I live, and whether I live alone, or with a cat, or with a boisterous family of me, my lawyer, two little girls and two dogs (which I do?) . My editor-- who has a knack for elegant brevity-- keeps it to about a sentence. Nice!

The first draft of this book is due in less than a week.

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