Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Tackling the Nasty

So, there I was sitting around after my marathon session to complete Djinnocide and submit it to Harper Voyager.  I was wiped out.  And I promised myself a week off (at least) to recover.  I submitted on a Sunday.  Sunday night I felt weird because I wasn't at my computer working.  By Tuesday, I was being inundated by my other stories - all clamoring for their shot.  On Friday, I made my decision as to which of the whining bitches manuscripts I would tackle next. 

I spent the weekend thinking about how I was going to approach this particular unfinished, hot-mess.  If you've been here long enough, you may remember a little behemoth I called Nano (short for Nanotechnology - aka Bloodflow).  I finished the first draft a few years ago and then left it to simmer.  I've gone back to it several times - each instance discovering it had taken on a scary quality.  It's big.  It's got so many twists and turns it puts my paperclip box to shame.  And every time I look at it, it adopts the attitude of MONUMENTAL UNDERTAKING.

In short, it's nasty.

It has the main plot.  A sub plot.  A sub-sub plot.  A budding romance.  A villian who isn't.  A villain who is.  Henchmen working behind the scenes doing things even the villains haven't authorized.  A red herring or two...  :shudder:

Yeah.  It's nasty.  But it's also delicious.  I can totally see how this could be the BIG BOOK.  I just need to jump on ride this f... sucker like the untamed beast it is until it becomes the dressage champion I need it to be.

But frankly, the idea is scaring the holy hell out of me.  And it has for years.

The last time I tried to tame this thing, I did the note card approach.  Each scene written down with major points and key ingredients.  I have a whole pile.  And it didn't help me one bit.  (Still isn't helping - since I picked it up over the weekend and went 'arrgghh'.)  Note cards are not my process, apparently.
"Whyfor did you bathe me, Mom?"

So, Sunday I printed off the best couple first chapters I'd come up with and yesterday I sat down with a notepad and pen.  That's my process.  So far?  Well, it hasn't bitten my hand off yet.  That's something.

Wish me luck.  I may need it.

What nasty job have you tackled recently?

Oh yeah, I was so not wanting to tackle this bear that on Friday, I bathed the cat.  That ought to show you how much this thing scares me.  Max does not make bath time lots of fun.  ;o)


  1. I'm excited for you, B.E., tackling this behemoth into submission! You can do it (*shaking pom poms*)!!!

    Oh, and if you find a fabulous process, can you share, 'cause you know I have a couple of hot messes I have to try and tame, too!!!

    Love Max - such a cutey-pie!

  2. Thanks, Janet. You can do it, too. And I'm over here shaking my pom poms at you, too. ;o)

    The process? Print it out and re-write (or re-type) the whole damn thing. It's not pretty but it works for me.

  3. Good for you!

    I love henchmen. ;-)

    Well, I released a new book last Tuesday, did a half marathon Sunday and now I need to finish two books by the end of the year. (no wonder I'm tired, lol)

  4. I have a hot mess like that. It's the second book in my Penumbra Papers urban fantasy series. Once I'm done with the Wolves (and maybe the SEALS), then I'm going to deal with a werewolf, the CSI who's stuck with him, and the manitou that plans to eat them both.

    In the meantime, I'm lighting sparklers and waving poms for you and Janet both!

  5. You ought to be tired, JB. Holy cow. And two books by the end of the year? Let me know if I can do anything to help. Heh, gotta love henchmen. ;o)

    Ooo, Silver, that sounds interesting. Once you get the Wolves and SEALS done, I'm holding you to finishing that up. And thanks for the sparklers. We need them. =o)

  6. Good luck! I'm a big to-do list person, so if that helps you, make a list of everything and tackle it sequentially. That helps me from getting overwhelmed. At least somewhat... sounds like a fun book! I love your dressage metaphor, btw. I literally have to train my horse this fall. Talk about procrastinating...