Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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Those moments in writing . . .

Those moments in a writer’s life when, for example, you stop for the night with this phrase:

But at that instant

I only wrote 1000 words last night, because I honestly did not know what was going to follow. Some sort of emergency or disaster which would get the main characters from HERE IN THIS SITUATION to THERE IN THAT MUCH WORSE SITUATION, but I did not know what was going to happen to kick the narrative from one state to the other.

Sometimes I do wish I wrote from a detailed outline.

Anyway, I did go on from that point this morning. Sometimes sleeping on it does actually help. I’m pretty sure who is standing there over the main character cackling evilly — she is about to look up and see them. Tonight I will have to write that bit, so I’ll find out for sure.

I’m about 220 pages along. I do know what THAT MUCH WORSE SITUATION comprises (more or less) (‘m pretty sure). And I have a vague idea how my characters are going to get out of THAT MUCH WORSE SITUATION and INTO YET ANOTHER CRISIS before they make it over the hump into the falling action.

Meanwhile, I’ve surprised myself by doing something I never thought possible: I’m rewarding myself for hitting my daily minimum with KERI by allowing myself to write 500 words or so of a SF space opera kind of thing. In other words, I’m switching from one writing project to another and back again every day.

This is weird. I honestly don’t know whether it will last. Part of what’s driving this is that I’ve been reading Mary Stewart books that are not appealing to me very much. I’m finding them boring and the main characters wimpy and, well, I’d just as soon work on something of my own as read further in these books. (Thunder On The Right and My Brother Michael are the two which I’ve found boring so far, just fyi.)

I think switching writing projects might be working for me because the two projects are so utterly different. KERI is a fairly straightforward YA fantasy. The other one (working title NO FOREIGN SKY) is an adult SF story that kind of turns H Beam Piper’s LITTLE FUZZY on its head and shoves the scenario forward a hundred years, and yes, that sounds pretty opaque now that I look at what I just typed. Okay, I mean that instead of cute teddy bear aliens being marooned and culturally smashed and then being rescued by humans, I have a human colony that was marooned and culturally smashed and then rescued by Very Big Aliens (and yes I worked out the biological and evolutionary history for the alien species (I did that ages ago)). Only, as I said, that is all in the backstory; this book is set about a hundred years after that rescue, so that the human population is fully integrated into the alien society. And now things are happening.

Anyway, don’t hold your breath. This one is only about 18,000 words along, which barely even counts as “started” in my lexicon. And I don’t know how much I’ll be working on as I go forward with KERI and then need to finish other projects. But I thought I’d mention it. Because I never got how a writer could work on multiple projects at the same time, and now I do get that.

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1 Comment Those moments in writing . . .

  1. Craig

    Interesting: I still don’t get it, but it’s easier to imagine switching between those two than other more comparable works.

    Plus, of course, I’ve been quietly encouraging you to work on NO FOREIGN SKY more or less since I heard the situation summary, so I’m delighted to hear that it’s happening — at least a little.

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