Breaking the Cycle

There’s an inertia that can set in when something like semi-regular blogging gets set aside for something pressing. In my case, it was the final push to finish my novel The Colder Moon before my 12/31/13 deadline. All my available time was poured into making my deadline (which I did, by the way, with a couple days to spare).

The problem was that not only had I set aside my blogging schedule, but I had set aside a bunch of other things too, and suddenly they were calling to me. The next thing I knew, I was well out of the routine of posting on Sundays, midweek and on Friday – a schedule I had worked to establish in an attempt to be more consistent at putting content on my site.

And that’s where the inertia came in. Something bigger than the physical effort of sitting down to type up a post, something more than finding the half hour I might need to put it together. An invisible something sitting between me and this thing I knew I ought to do, and the longer I didn’t do it, the easier it got to keep on ignoring it.

I finally decided that I could move past the impasse by blogging about the impasse, so here it is. I’m blogging about not blogging, which will hopefully help me to get blogging again.

To make sure that this post isn’t entirely useless, though, I’ll say a word about one of the things I’ve been working on and then I’ll look forward at something special I’m planning for my blog.

The Challenge of Continuity

The biggest thing that has occupied me since mid-January is a massive continuity edit of books 2 and 3 of The Wandering. I’ve mentioned this elsewhere, I think, but one of the things that has changed in my writing process since I wrote The Binding of the Blade is that I plan in less detail. I have pretty definite ideas about story arcs, but I trust myself more to figure things out as I go.

I definitely haven’t quite embraced the Stephen King method of starting with a premise and no idea where it goes and just launching into it, but I do think his discussion in On Writing about going back through a book after you’ve figured out certain things and removing stuff that doesn’t fit and adding things that do makes sense. So, when I finished The Colder Moon, I decided that a massive continuity edit of both The Lesser Sun (book 2) and The Colder Moon (book 3) was in order. I took out things that I found that would cause continuity problems and then added some things earlier to correspond with decisions made later in the writing process.

I think this was important, but it was surprisingly time consuming. The two books together are about 800 of my pages long, or about 300,000 words all told, and it was quite a task to comb through it. I’m glad I did, and I think the series is the better for it, but this became one of the issues that delayed my return to blogging.

To those of you who have started The Wandering by picking up The Darker Road and giving it a read, by the way, I really do think you have a bit of a wild ride ahead of you. I hope you’ll like it.

A Summer with Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles

The thing I’m planning for the blog that I’m excited to announce, is that I intend to do a series of blogs on Ray Bradbury’s Sci-Fi classic, The Martian Chronicles. Because it is a collection of short stories, as much or more than it is a novel, it lends itself to being read & discussed in weekly chunks perhaps better than most books. You – the reader – can read a story or two a week, come read my blog on the story for that week, post any comments or questions you have about it, and then come back the next week and do it all over again. I see it as a chance to have a kind of online book club this summer, a chance to discuss a classic with some other speculative fiction fans.

So, I’m giving you some notice, intrepid readers. Get your copy of The Martian Chronicles. I recommend owning it, personally, but if you want to hedge your bets or if you’re on a tight budget, reserve your copy from the library and stay tuned. As we get closer to the summer, I’ll post more details on the reading schedule and we’ll dive in. I look forward to reading the book with you.

4 thoughts on “Breaking the Cycle

  • Sounds cool! Definitely excited for what’s to come in the Wandering.

    I haven’t heard of the Martian Chronicles…I’m curious, besides the length accessibility, what else do you like about them? How do you view them stylistically against other works like Ender or Perelandra or the like?

  • One reason why I think people who like sci-fi should read Bradbury, is I think he is one of the key figures in ‘modern’ sci-fi/speculative fiction. “The Martian Chronicles” are from about 1950, and they, along with Asimov’s “Foundation” trilogy from the same time feel like watershed books to me. So, I recommend them in part because of their ‘historical’ place/value. Beyond that, I think Bradbury is a great short story writer, so I just think people should read him to see a good short story author at work.

  • I’m glad you’re back to blogging. I was beginning to worry. The Darker Road was awesome and I was wondering what the projected timeline is for the release of the next books? (What I loved about the Binding series is that I came into it late and could go from one book right into the next.)

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