Wednesday, July 2, 2008


Current Reading: Making Money, by Terry Pratchett

Inspirational Quote: "More than at any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly." -- Woody Allen

Interesting discussion over on agent Nathan Bransford's blog. Could you maintain a book-a-year pace while keeping the work fresh, interesting and good? In one of the comments, someone mentions Stephen King saying that if you take longer than about 18 months to write a book, you're goofing around.

So I find myself wondering, can I write a book in a year? Never mind maintaining that output. Can I even achieve it?

My "Magnus Somnium" has taken me somewhat close to eight years and I'm only about 2/3 of the way through the second draft. I've been struggling with writing even one word on it for about three months now (although I've been able to complete other work in that time). Am I tired of it? Am I stalling? Is there a psychologist in the house?

I had decided to give it up, to consign it to the bit-bucket, there to await resurrection come judgement day. I've started a new work, something a little zen... but with demons and blood and stuff, of course. It's fun. It's fresh. The ideas for it are coming from a mind eight years more mature than the ideas that form the core of the Magnus.

But recently I attended a meeting of my face-to-face writer's group where one of the chapters of the Magnus Somnium was dissected. The way they discussed it reminded me just why I loved it, and how much I wanted them to read the rest of it, and how much I wanted there to be a "rest of it" for them to read.

Now I'm torn. I keep looking at the Magnus and wondering if I should go back and face the terrible uphill battle to completion. I keep wondering, am I making a mistake abandoning it? Am I making a mistake not abandoning it? Thus, I feel the quote above is appropriate.

When do you abandon a work? Are you ever certain you're doing the right thing, or is it only the passage of time that gives you perspective enough for certainty?

And, while I'm asking questions, "How is it possible to find meaning in a finite world, given my waist and shirt size?" (Allan Stewart Konigsberg again).

1 comment:

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