An Arrow on the Wind

I’m instituting a posting schedule. I have to admit that this blog is hanging on a thread for me; I appreciate everyone who reads it, Likes, and Follows, but this public journal is still hanging on for dear life because so am I.

I’m perpetually on the cusp of total failure–riding it like an arrow on the wind, always slowly tipping down. It feels silly to make it sound dramatic; dramatic isn’t how it feels. It feels like absolute shit.

But, I’m going to work against the doubt and the hate–it’s what I do.

So, first step–blog more often. Particularly because I went crazy editing Memory last month, and I feel that would’ve been a good thing to share.

I had the task in mind–the need to edit the whole book, reinforced with the mantra of “one chapter a day.”

Then I sat down and edited the entire book in three days, taking breaks only because I had full additions to make and didn’t want to rush them. I don’t keep records of these things, oddly adverse to my own achievements as I’ve been. I should maybe change that (strange how unimpressed I am these days that I’ve finished multiple books, but I’d like to think it’s part of the process–that it’s a step toward becoming a person who’s whole thing is finishing their novels).

Regrdless, not being impressed doesn’t mean I’m not pleased; I smirk as I think about my promises to myself that I’d at least have the first few chapters ready for #Pitmad and #SFFPit. The time for that careful prodding is over, I think.

Replaced by a desire to just start writing the sequel for Memory–annoyed that I’m not rich so I can’t just start writing Alemachus (name pending) or other new characters. I can’t give myself the luxury of anticipation and freedom because I know that the arrow is still falling.

It still has a long flight ahead of it, I admit if I’m honest with myself; there is still much falling to do. The thing is, being realistic about writing means understanding that when that arrow’s flight is done, it still might end with a silent punch into the dirt.

~~~Update~~~

LS-ProgressSidebar(inPost)-6.8.15I finished my 3rd draft of Memory, and although I’m sure I’ll go through it again in a week or two (for… fun?) I’ve already started submitting. Pitmad went well for me, but I know in the center of my greasy heart that this is only the start of Memory’s submission run.

I’ve only just started editing The Drowned God, a short story I love, through which I’m finally learning the art of the short. In the update box here, I say I’m “overhauling” it, which I feel is appropriate; I often opt for small tweaks that are a ton of work to implement, even if they just slightly benefit the tone of a story (a global change in tense, for example). In The Drowned God’s case, it’s a far more annoying change, but the result will definitely be that short’s final form.

For more updates or completely random ideas, thought up in the mind of an insomniac (like, “You’re an air vampire”), be sure to follow me on Twitter–@LSantiagoAuthor. While I always appreciate a Like, Follow, or Comment, thank you just for stopping by. And, as always, write well.

Update: It Starts

2013-(white)WoEContentEditProgressCC

I thought I’d take a short, casual recess from the super intense posts to write an update about my work. For two weeks, the above Progress Bar has been glowing at the top of the site. It means that I’ve finished the content edit for my first book, War of Exiles, and that I’m incredibly and finally close to starting submissions.

More immediately, however, it means that I’m going to actually start the submission process I’ve been planning for years:

Step 1 – General Maintenance (Already Complete)

Upon this posting, I’ve already made a few personal and professional changes. Admittedly, you won’t see most of these; if I had the time, I would’ve made a new background for the site and maybe chosen a new theme (kicking off a kind of… Season 3 for the site, if you will), but the majority of my changes are personal and I’ve decided to reflect them with gradual updates to the site instead (also because I just don’t want to get wrapped up doing design work or anything other than writing).

What will be appearing immediately on the site, however, are two things.

First, my new Twitter: @LSantiagoAuthor. I’ll be swapping it with my old twitter on the side bar and using it exclusively. Why? Because even though I believe in and love the idea of the Grand Silence–the strange, imagined worlds of writers, almost always private and unheard–that concept makes for a really douchey Twitter handle. It’s like calling myself @TheFugueState. And that inherent douchiness is what kept me from actually using my Twitter more often, believe it or not. So, if you’re on Twitter and want to read every… single thought that comes to my mind, feel free to give me a follow @LSantiagoAuthor.

The second change on the site is a new Progress Bar for “The Drowned God of the Silent Realm.”

Step 2 – “The Drowned God of the Silent Realm”

That’s the name of a short story that, in all honesty… I wrote without ever mentioning it here.

I do not know why I didn’t mention it, just like I don’t know why it makes me feel so weirdly guilty that I didn’t. Why do I feel like I cheated on you? Why do I feel like I need to bring you flowers and make this right? All I can say in my defense, working on the unrealistic assumption that anyone is actually offended, is that “The Drowned God of the Silent Realm” happened to me as suddenly as it’s happening to you; it’s the story that was inspired by Gravelord Nito’s theme, indirectly mentioned on my old Twitter and in my Games for Writers: Dark Souls post as a “writing session.” From the first spark of the idea, I believe it took me two sessions to finish the first draft.

I honestly don’t remember my first writing session with the story aside from having Gravelord Nito’s theme on hand; I can only assume I’d listened to it enough times that the ideas had to come out–at what must have been around 3AM one morning. What I do know is that the result is the first short story I’ve ever written and actually liked. It is also the kind of story I aspire to keep writing, if that makes any sense; it has a strong, straight forward theme that doesn’t get lost in events that don’t support it. It doesn’t do everything perfectly (especially in 1st draft), but many of the things it does wrong are comfortably intentional–meant to support the theme and the interpretive message of the story (without adding any of the countless cool but totally unhelpful ideas I really wanted to add). So that I don’t keep ranting about it, I will just say that I have a lot of faith in the story. However, even though it’s an easy choice for submission, I’m cautiously assuming I’m infatuated with it–meaning that although I’ve already sent it to fellows writers who also really liked it, I’m still editing it closely and honestly to make it as strong as I possibly can before submitting it.

In the coming week(s), I’ll be updating its Progress Bar. When it’s done, Step 3.

Step 3 – The Age of Submissions Begins

The moment I start submitting “Drowned,” I’m back to what I know are going to be long nights of editing War of Exiles. Not because I’m in a rush, but because I don’t feel there’s a more effective way to do the final edit than sitting with the whole book and troubleshooting all of it at once. The idea of stopping my edit on chapter 9 to jump back to 6 and change an entire scene feels like the most tedious thing in the world to me, but, post-Content Edit, I’m already finding too many clarifications and tweaks that need doing. Clarifications and tweaks in a book that just needs to be done, which means this next edit is the last edit; as I submit “Drowned,” I’ll finish this single edit of WoE. And then, even if I have to force myself to, it’s on to submitting it, working on outlines for its follow ups until they’re strong, and then beginning to write a completely different project that I’m already casually outlining (still tentatively called The Hand and the Tempest).

In essence, Step 3, likely only days away, is the beginning of my personal, probably horrible and defeating Age of Submissions.