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Sorry for my longer absence this time. The last few weeks have been A LOT. I missed a blog, then we were preparing to leave town for multiple reasons, and then when we returned we hit the ground running with a huge event that took a full day prior to prepare for. It was great, but it was an enormous team effort. Now that I’m back, though, we’re, appropriately, discussing reflection and why you make the decisions you make. It’s really important to make sure you’re making the best art you can.

On a side note, the source blog post on this, which is linked below, was written during NaNoWriMo ’21. I participated and won that year. It was the first time I won and it was great. The odd part is that 2 1/2 years later, I’m still working on the same darn book. If that’s not motivation to keep chewing on editing, I don’t know what is.

Drawing from the Well

I made a little progress here, though I wish it was more. I’m still working on one of the additional chapters in Arc I for Book III to fill it out and smooth out (aka correct) the timeline. It’s coming along, it’s just a lot of arguments leading to character growth, so it takes some time to make it feel organic and avoid preaching at the reader. It’s coming along, though. I just need to get back into the early-morning writing habit to make these chapters come together and get back to the editing tasks. Soon, my friends.

321 Pages
181,658 Words

Filling the Well

I made some progress these last couple of weeks, which you would certainly hope so, right? I finished 4 books these last 3 weeks which is barely keeping me at pace. These were A Dance with the Fae Prince, sequel to Elise Kova’s A Deal with the Elf King, The River Judge and Median, both Tor/Reactor short stories, and the incredible Water for Elephants. This books is a NaNoWriMo success story, feature film, and a brand new, Tony-nominated Broadway musical. If you haven’t read it, I can’t recommend it enough.

Full List

33/100 for #ProjectBookworm2024



Well Chat

This whole series has been about reflection, but I came upon a blog from November 24, 2021 that hits this topic hard called Existential Crisis. I questioned a key moment in Book I and had to dig into why it was there and if that was okay. It’s an important topic, so let’s chat.

The event in question has to do with the unfortunate trope of “fridging” a character, typically a female character. Back in November, I talked about my fear that I had done just that. I explored it, got credible advice, and determined that what I had written was valid, did not actually use this trope, and kept it in. Now, a couple of years later, I have not heard a single comment complaining about this. That doesn’t mean no one noticed it, but I’m not being lambasted online about it.

More importantly, let’s take this practice and look at it in a wider context. Drafting is a frenzied process (at least for me). Editing takes me so far down into the weeds that, by design, I can miss the broader strokes. Reflection is critical to evaluate how you feel and what you think about your art overall. Looking back at your work gives you perspective, especially with the gift of time. That’s the whole crux of editing anyway. Now, I take it as granted that you will probably think that your work is simultaneously the second coming of fiction AND the worst drivel ever written (how is this even English). Right? Right.  The truth, of course, is that your work lands somewhere in the middle. That’s excepting that the continuum of goodness is pretty subjective too. So this isn’t about any of that.

What this is about is progress. Retrospective analysis of your work will allow you to recognize the good and bad in your work from an increasingly objective point of view. You’ll be able to see the mistakes you made and improve upon them going forward. You’ll see potholes in your approach so you can fill them. Moreover, you’ll see that you actually are capable of writing well (or creating well, depending on your chosen artistic medium). It will remind you that you’ve done this before, even if only once. That’s motivation to keep going. These are all good things. Just make sure you don’t take them to the extreme of beating yourself with your past. No good comes from that.

What do you look back on creatively? What makes you release a sigh of relief? What makes you cringe? Let me know on social media. Be well. See you next week.

May the tide carry you to safer shores.