BFFs 4EVR: Hubris and procrastination

After publishing What Happened On My Space Vacation in January, I got overconfident in my ability to crank out Angel Descending this year.

Hubris I tell you.

Well, hubris and procrastination.

Anyway, I severely underestimated the amount of rewriting I'd have to do in order to get the first DOWNfALL novel into publishable shape. My writing philosophy for the serial, online format was a quick and dirty, immature approach. More seat-of-your-pants, vomit-of-ideas writing than the measured, planned approach necessary for more professional (not to mention, edited) work.

All writers change over time. And editing something you wrote seventeen years ago reveals all of the weaknesses of your earlier work. I know I've grown as a writer. I've learned a lot about writing since DOWNfALL came into existence (I think it was over AIM chat with one of the other authors) those couple months after graduating from university. Really, I can't believe how pretentious some of my writing was. It's decently painful to look at it under a microscope, but as the Six Million Dollar Man tagline goes: "We can rebuild him...we have the technology."

So, the editing is underway. It's a lot like one of those montages in the Fast and Furious movies where they have to take an old clunker from barely working to shiny and pristine and capable of winning the race. The first pass is simply me tearing down every broken paragraph I've got and replacing it with a working one. I reread the whole thing before I started and realized that the serialized format it was written in meant that I didn't plan as far ahead as I could/should have. This resulted in the first book not having a clearly defined antagonist (Maybe that's okay? It doesn't feel right to me).

It has so many problems, I had to start a to-do list of repairs. Here's part of it:

  • Write character descriptions (you'd think this was already done...hah)
  • Give more details on what the wirewitches are wearing
  • More details on what Calamity looks like
  • Flesh out location descriptions (Aran's safehouse)
  • Language analysis (swearing, etc.)
  • Rewrite Blue Angel Darkening into actual prose instead of the uber-pretentious script format it's currently in. What was I thinking????
  • Write 6 additional chapters to deal with the Aran and Phoenix POV events in Obliteration.
So yeah, this rebuilding montage is eating up some serious screen time. 

But underestimating the work wasn't all. I procrastinated by letting myself play too many games, watch too much TV, do some editing work, as well as write other stories, and make Halloween costumes for the kids. All good things--no doubting that (and making the kids' costumes trumps all other creative endeavors anyway). Sill, there's that voice in my head, and it won't go away. It's my main character, (2)Syl, and she's never kept quiet about being creatively displaced for so long. She wants her story told. I need to finish what I started, for her, and for myself.

Right after this episode of The Walking Dead...