Category Archives: A Marriage of Land and Sea

July’s installment has gone out!

(or: two things I forget about — updating this blog and paying attention to my public FB page.)

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For those of you who are signed up for the Story Subscription, chapter 7 of A Marriage of Land and Sea has been sent out. I’m roughly two chapters ahead of you in the writing, and I can say that it’s looking to be about 12 chapters long, so it should wrap up in December. I hadn’t planned on that — in fact, I thought it was going to be longer — but I am not a long novel writer, I am a short novel writer *insert short jokes here* and 12 chapters looks like it’s going to be just about right. *cue ominous music?*

I still have getting a Patreon account set up, so that I can move away from Paypal, largely so that you have the option of setting up recurring payments rather than having to remember that this is a thing you want to support. Anything that makes life easier is a good thing! Honestly, the setting up of an account intimidates me and conjures up all sorts of “aack, I’m pulling wool over eyes!” as if your enjoyment of my writing is some great scam I’ve tricked you all into. Silly, silly Jo. I’m hoping to tackle that particular project by August. Fingers crossed!

Paying Attention to the Story

Story telling is more than just the technical bits of getting words onto the page, right?

By now I really should know things — most of the things — about my storytelling process. It’s a bit annoying (and humbling) when I realize I don’t.

In January I was making great progress with the WIP. In February I added a non-fiction book to my WIPs ‘pile’. (file-pile?). In March I effectively slammed the breaks on all writing, and have done nothing beyond blog posts since. This week I finally cracked open the fiction WIP, discovered that in the time between January and now I convinced myself that I had 8k words less than I actually have, and that the scenes sucked.

They don’t suck. They are awesome, and I love them, and rereading them brought me to a place of, “*I* wrote this? Really?? But, this is *good*!”

It also helped realize that a huge portion of my reluctance to write is that I don’t like what I have planned for the next 2-3 chapters. I like where I have my MCs going, I agree that they need to get to that point, but I don’t like how I’m going about it, it does not fit them or their relationship. Yes, as I work toward the climax of the book I need to do terrible, awful, horrible things to Charlie and Roern . . . . but they have to be the right terrible, horrible, awful things and, more to the point, the reactions that Roern and Charlie have (especially Charlie) need to fit their personalities.

So tomorrow I’m writing a new outline and then diving back in!

My only regret is that I wish I had realized earlier that this was why I was dragging my feet. The second I say, “Meh, I don’t really want to write,” really ought to be the second I realize something is off with my story. I’d decided, in my mind, that since I’m outlining now, my standard MO of having the second half of my longer works fall apart to reform into how they are really meant to be would no longer happen — but that’s maybe not going to be true. Maybe what outlining is going to do for me is help me realize sooner when I’m off track? In my defense, there was a lot of nerve pain and health issues, so I was distracted, but I’d like to know sooner that the “eh, writing, bleh.” is about the actual story and less about me being tired/sick/in need of mental refueling.

So far, I have *not* finished the first book in the series, though I’d planned to be on book 2 (and halfway through it) by now. Alas. I still hold out hope that I may get them all written this year. But if not . . .well, my plans were over-ambitious, and I realize that.