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1200003_88771071Working Titles: The Four > The Human Element > Forces of Nature (Finally happy with that one, conveys the whole spirit of the story a lot better.)

Word counts: 46,620 upon writing completion, 46,933 upon editing completion

Favorite mistake: “Hikers taking out-of-the-way trails that edged on his property might have thought a mating mountain lion was mating.” (Oh, well, glad to know only the mating mountain lions are mating.)

Favorite line: Still “If we cast our bones and find out you haven’t boned, I’m going to have a bone to pick with your bones. Got it.”

I’d intended to start editing on Wednesday. I couldn’t wait and started on Monday and finished on Wednesday, instead.

In a few minutes, I’ll start working on the synopsis and query letter for Forces of Nature, which I don’t anticipate will give me too much trouble. The truth is, this whole story was just about the easiest thing I’ve ever worked. It was easy and fun to write and it was easier and even more fun to edit, because when I’m writing I don’t get to have the same stimulating experience as the reader. I’m too busy making sure the pacing and word choices are just right. My thoughts are very technical at that point. But when I’m editing, I’m in full “feel everything” mode. And every one of these characters had intense sexual chemistry together, even more than I’d originally intended before I started to write, which was just pure-d awesome.

But that’s not the only thing that made this experience incredibly enjoyable. The tone of the piece, in spite of taking place right before an apocalypse, is incredibly light-hearted, and my characters – Ash, in particular – have such a quality about their dialogue. They’re smart, witty, humorous (both dry and direct), self-effacing, self-referential, and they’re not above a few puns. The puns, oh my dog, the puns. I had no shame with those. Because when your life has the potential to be total hell and natural disaster, the only thing you can do is make light of it.

I wrote this thing in three weeks and edited it in only three days, because there wasn’t much to edit. I got most of it right the first time. I anticipate that an editor will have more things to say about some of my choices, but from where I’m sitting, this baby is done. I have done as much to it as I can do myself.

I’ve been down in the dumps for weeks, and I suspect a good portion of that is because the last story I was working on was very depressing. I feel my characters’ pain, y’all, and while empathy is a usual gift as a writer, it’s hard to deal with as a human being sometimes. But in this case, I also feel my characters’ perseverance and excitement, which pulled me up right when I needed it.

It’s my hope that everyone else will enjoy it as much as I do, because really, it’s a short novel (I call it a novella, but apparently in the e-book world, it’s a short novel), but it’s full of things to laugh at and gasp at and just in general these are good people to spend your time with. I’ve never written a proper foursome before. I’ve written an orgy, but I’ve never established an actual relationship between four people.

It was amazing. I cannot oversell this.