From Genesis to Completion

Ink Calls to Ink is a sort of accidental novel. It started as a short story which appeared on the inaugural podcast of the Wily Writers, Valentine’s Day weekend in 2009. Angel Leigh McCoy, editor and major domo of the Wily Writers thought it would make a great novel. It was honestly something that had never occurred to me. I mean, I have tons of novel ideas. I had to create a spreadsheet to track them all. The last thing I needed was another novel idea!

I completed the outline for the novel of Ink Calls to Ink by March 2nd, about 2 weeks after it was suggested. And at first, the writing was sweet. I launched into it with a passionate fury. The first 30,000 words flew out of me like I was possessed. I read the prologue and first chapter at Norwescon and to a few close beta-readers. This had every indicator that it would be my big, breakout novel.

Here is a clip, posted to an old blog of mine, three days into writing. It’s from the first chapter and stars Juliet Capulet, one of my three POV characters.

Her meager possessions amounted to a few changes of clothes, a pair of tattered books, and a broken music box, all of which fit into a scavenged Marks & Spencer shopping bag. Everything had been gleaned from rubbish heaps and dustbins, deemed worthless by someone and discarded.

Like her.

Like all of the Fictional Personae.

But somewhere, somehow, I got off track. It happens, sad to say.

Months went by when I didn’t touch the manuscript at all. Most of 2010 was spent writing short fiction for anthologies, all of which I loved, even though it took me away from the work in progress. I still knocked out pages here and there, especially with a short burst of writing earlier this year. But for the most part, it languished.

It was painful.

I knew where the novel was going. I was thrilled by the changes and growth and resolutions I had planned out for the many characters. Hell, I had a 5,000+ word outline that spelled it all out in detail sitting on my computer from March 2, 2009! But I just couldn’t get there.

NaNoWriMo, my frequent November kick in the ass, became my savior, my Batman, my magical writing Oompa-Loompa. I decided not to write a new novel in November. I was going to finish the shit that I started.

At 4:11 AM, Pacific Coast time, I finished my first draft. I know a rewrite is in order. A few minor characters were introduce late that could stand to be seeded into the story earlier. I’d like to scrub the text and make sure it reads smooth, that I am consistent with levels of sensory details. But that is all second and third draft stuff. For now, Ink Calls to Ink is wrapped, and it’s on to the next big adventure.

3 thoughts on “From Genesis to Completion

  1. I need to do a bit of touch up first — seed Honest John and a few other Ficts in earlier just as background, maybe pad the ending (which feels abrupt). Then I’m adding you to the list of beta readers. 🙂

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