Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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A new addiction can certainly get in the way of your own work

So on Friday, for some reason I thought it would be a good idea to read Shadow Unit 3 — you know, that shared world kind of thing that Emma Bull, Will Shetterly, Elizabeth Bear, Sara Monette, et al have going.

Wow, was that intense. I mean, not all those live journal / email entries, particularly, but once Chaz is kidnapped? Yeah, intense. So then I had to see how the fallout from that episode worked out, so I had to read Shadow Unit 4. And the team was still in a pretty bad place at the end of that one, so I was forced to read Shadow Unit 5. And in fact I didn’t stop until I’d finished Shadow Unit 6.

So, yeah. I can stop now, finally, because the team is in a much better place at last. Whew.

I was kind of at a stopping place, at least, because for various reasons I suddenly had to take a break from my current WIP (the BLACK DOG sequel) and write three synopses for a previously finished manuscript: one six pages long, one two pages long, and one juuust over one page. Wow, not easy, writing a one-page synopsis for a whole book.

But that led to something useful, because after that I thought maybe it would be helpful to write a synopsis for the WIP. The longer kind of synopsis, which is basically one paragraph per chapter. So I did that. Naturally it is quite a bit more detailed for the first half, which is already written, compared to the back half, which isn’t. But the most useful part is the bold-faced bits in the first half, which are the details that need to be changed. Working that out makes me happy!

I think I will take a break from forward progress on the ms. in order to go back and revise the first half — I would not necessarily suggest a new author do that, the most important thing for a lot of people is getting FINISHED with a novel. But I’m quite confident by this time that I will have no trouble finishing a ms., and I just think I will feel more comfortable getting the first 250 pages in order before I press ahead. If I revise two or three chapters a day, I can do it in a week. Though, with the four-day dog show this weekend (Thurs-Fri-Sat-Sun), I may take a little longer. Which is fine! The only real deadline on the ms. is self-imposed, so no worries.

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