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The Trouble with Writing Book 3

When I was first making plans for this year, I was hoping to finish book 3 of my epic fantasy by the end of April. Then, my laptop broke and with the delivery date of my new computer being three weeks later, I knew I’d had to adjust the plans. I hoped for the end of May, but realistically, I set myself to finish by the end of June.

It’s almost halfway through the month, and although it still could be possible for me get to the end before July, but even if I push really hard, it’s unlikely. There are several reasons.

Out of the groove

For the three weeks I was waiting for my replacement computer, I didn’t work on that novel or, in fact, any of my regular projects. Stuck writing on a borrowed laptop, I didn’t want to go through a tedious setup process just to have to set up again in weeks’ time. It made sense to just wait it through and play around with other ideas.

This was a good plan that got me writing stress-free, and I had a chance to dip my toes in a project I’ve been putting on back burner for nearly a year now, but at the same time, I lost the connection with my epic fantasy world. It’s not something permanent, but being out of it for a prolonged time made me feel a bit less confident in the characters’ voice or the setting’s details.

Because of that, I have to go back to previous books or even scenes to make sure I didn’t miss something or mix some facts up.

The complexity of the project

Although very sword & sorcery in its atmosphere, my epic fantasy was always meant to have… well, an epic scope. With multiple point of view characters and various plotlines interwoven, the first two books were building up to what would be, in a manner, an epic-sized two-book conclusion: all the plots and characters finally meeting and clashing.

This means that I have to be very careful in how I weave the story, making sure the timelines and events match. It requires attention and some juggling, and sometimes even demands I go back and alter previous scenes to match when I trip over a plot hole.

As a result, I write slower than I’d like to.

The reality

Everyone probably can agree that so far 2020 is nothing like we expected or hoped for. And as months roll by, it’s impossible not to utter a tired, “what now?” at another piece of disturbing news. As much as I try to keep going, the reality of the events taking place in the world I live in does take its toll on me. Therefore it’s not always easy to write about fun adventures and exciting places, and it’s even harder to venture into darker places with all the baggage that what’s happening is putting on everybody’s shoulders.

I still try to write daily, but my word count has significantly dropped in the recent weeks, no matter which project I’m working on.

When will the book be done?

With two of my planned deadlines already gone, I’m hesitant to set another one. I still hope I’ll be able to get back on my writerly feet and get to the end of the first draft relatively quickly. I’m glad that even though I was planning to finish writing soon, my deadlines were self-imposed and not binding.

I’m still hoping to be done some time in July, but time will tell.

Joanna Maciejewska

Joanna Maciejewska is a fantasy and science fiction author who enjoys all things SFF: books, movies, and video games. Her short stories appeared in magazines and anthologies in Polish and in English. Her epic fantasy adventure series, starting with By the Pact, is available in ebook and paperback at all major retailers.

This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. J.R.Bee

    Life is definitely lifey right now, isn’t it? You did well to keep going with other things. Good luck with the getting back on track!

  2. lissajohnston

    Ahh this is clearly a progressive complication, as Shawn Coyne would say. Looking forward to seeing the results!

    1. Melfka

      Thank you, Lissa! I do hope it’s progressive, and I do hope I’ll finish this novel by the end of July. I’m getting weary of it, and it’s not good.

  3. sjhigbee

    Yes – that business with the laptop must have been REALLY annoying! But at the end of the day, as someone who has regularly mentioned deadlines, only to have to push them back, it’s more important to get it right, I think…

    1. Melfka

      Agreed! And thankfully, I set my deadlines with a lot of space for pushing them back, so it’s not too stressful. Just frustrating that I’m not done yet.

      1. sjhigbee

        I know that feeling! But I think it’s just a question of putting one foot in front of the other and accepting the circumstances in which we find ourselves. I was having this conversation with another writer last week – we are often far too hard on ourselves when we don’t manage to hit those targets, which are only guesstimates… You’ll get there – but it’s better to get it right than get it out there, as you know anyway.

  4. claragbush29

    i can SO sympathize. My “what next” started in 2016 with my daughter’s loss of a child (my loss of a grandson) and continues to this day. Though my daughter did give birth to a healthy beautiful little boy a year later, my writing still seems to be on hold. I’ve yet to reach the productivity I experienced prior to the loss. However, I love writing far too much not to persist. So here’s to you and me and all writers — see you on the other side of this, this …whatever hell this is.

    1. Melfka

      Sorry to hear that, Clara! I hope that you’ll manage to get back on a saddle and that life will give you a… nice vacation from issues (writing “a break” felt too much like jinxing it).

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