At the end of February I had finally spackled in all the missing scenes of Fletcher & Cooper and tidied up the ending to Episode 5 and felt very confident, very confident indeed, so I made my March priority to write 40K or reach The End.
…add in some weeping
Here we are in the last week of March and you will no doubt be surprised to find out that a) 40K was not as easy to knock off as suspected and b) I am nowhere near the ending because there is now a giant conspiracy and people from earlier Episodes making reappearances and the “second half” of the plot sure is a whole lot like another separate book. (Shocked! We are all shocked! Good thing you’re likely sitting down).
March was, in many ways, kind of insane. All the social events in January and February that got cancelled due to weather or plague were rescheduled in March, on top of the month’s own activities like birthdays and people moving away and Cutie’s job needing them to be on call on weekends and oh yeah I PUT OUT MY BACK like some sort of clumsy sitcom Dad, and had to spend the better part of a week lying on a heating pad trying to do work on my phone (my laptop was too heavy to hold at that angle). Even 2K a day, M-F (my original goal, chosen because it was so “doable”) gained extra daunts due to introvert burn-out and sheer lack of time.
(I’m hoping to still make my goal by Friday by ATTACKING THE KEYBOARD every day this week. Stay tuned on Twitter.)
But lest you think this is complaining–it really isn’t. I’m having fun with Fletcher & Cooper; the story is insane but it’s everything that I personally enjoy, and not having to worry about query letters and genre expectations and commercial vs literary and word counts and all that junk is very, very liberating.
Every so often I will get hung up on something, internal-editor-style, and have a moan to E, who will gently remind me that it doesn’t matter; this is a story just for me and I don’t have to share it with anyone if I don’t want to, so I can put in exactly and only what delights me (usually what delights me is Fletcher running after things with a sword, conversing like he’s at a garden party while Cooper follows along behind, rolling their eyes, ready to punch whatever needs punching. Or raising undead shrimps. Honking mulicorns and undead krill: my personal contribution to literature.)
For instance, at the moment in Episode 7, Fletcher has been taken hostage by some eagle-bears. He can understand what they are saying but they can’t understand him and keep patting his head and trying to feed him eat raw meat and play fetch while he keeps trying to escape, because they are just a family camping and they think he’s hurt and want to take him home. It is very silly. This morning I realized I could mix it up with some horror movie tropes, so there may be a monster lurking in the jungle stalking the campsite. Also there are pterodactyls? Which Fletcher described as ‘fuzzy flying jam-fruits’ and I wrote that sentence as a grown-ass human being and then quietly laughed to myself for what is probably too long.
Generally speaking: publishing is difficult and soul-sucking. And good, serious writing is very hard and time-consuming. Writing as a career is as hard as any other. Which is, IMHO, why we should all, from time-to-time, work on a project that’s just for ourselves, not for the public, and that’s definitely what Fletcher & Cooper is, even if Cutie needs to keep reminding me so.
(It’s like the difference between dancing at a club or a wedding–being aware of everyone around you looking on in comparison of all the dancing that’s ever been done before–and dancing by yourself at home, alone, with your headphones on, knowing how ridiculous you look but not caring.)
So yeah. Gonna ride this insane-train as far as it’ll go, and then get back to writing stuff with Themes and Undertones and possibly even Social Relevance. But until then, it’s undead shrimpies and flying jam-fruits all the way.