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The Start of a Book

Originally published at Ben Peek. You can comment here or there.

 

Today, I return to writing.

Two weeks ago, I finished Leviathan’s Blood, and sent it off to my agent, my editor, and my test readers, and then I went and found a hole, and buried myself in it. The final three months of the book had been fairly intense, and I needed time to sit around and empty my head. Since the deadline for the third book is in a year, however, I can’t sit around for that long, though I’m going to ease back into it slowly, letting myself build up slowly to where I want to be. It’ll be maybe two weeks of half time writing, pecking, planning, and cleaning, before I fall into a decent work pattern, again. Even then, it won’t be like the last three months: you have to pace yourself in this gig, I’ve found. After all, a single book takes over a year to write, especially if you include edits (I added 20k to the Godless during edits, for example).

At the start of this book, however, the first thing I am going to do is get the book printed and bound in some cheap, black plastic shit. Then I reread it, mark it up with various notes, both for edits and for the new book – almost every page of the Godless is so marked – and it sits on my table as a reference alongside the previous one. Every time I need to make reference to something, or remind myself of something, I open it.

It’s not how I would start a new book, obviously, but the third book in a trilogy is a bit different, and it’s all a bit of a new experience. This is one I found quite useful for the second, so I’ll keep it for the third.

My experience of writing books at the moment is very different to my previous experience of writing a novel. It is not just the trilogy aspect, but the deadlines, and the expectations, which are both very reassuring when you’re embarking on a long project. Writing without a deadline imposed by someone else lends itself to doubt – ‘Why am I writing this?’ ‘Who will buy this?’ ‘I should do something else’ – which lends itself to procrastination, and can make the task of writing a book much longer than it should be. It is probably the hardest thing of writing a book without a deadline, the search for that constant desire to keep pushing forward, that constant bit of faith in oneself.

Whereas now, the questions are about balance between work and life, and so on and so forth. All of it important just as important, of course, but just different from the previous experience.

At any rate, it is back to it today, even if, I admit, back to it is really just easing yourself into it, much like as if you were a frog, and someone had just turned the lit the stove on low.

 

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kylaw
Jun. 5th, 2014 01:26 am (UTC)
Just don't croak, Ben. Don't you dare croak.
benpeek
Jun. 5th, 2014 02:43 am (UTC)
*cough* i feel... *cough*
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