Title: Stone & Chains
Word count: 50,018/85,000
Summary: (working) Abby Stone has been saving victims of demonic entities and cults ever since she left home to look for her father, an angel now bound in stone to a cemetery in the mystical hot spot city of Meridian. As a night nurse, she also saves people in the clinic with the power of healing that she inherited from her unusual lineage.
Between reformed-demon gargoyle Zekiel, who has joined her in her efforts, and the charming incubus Charles who calls her nephil-child – the child of a fallen angel, which angers and confuses her – but has still set his eyes on her, her life in Meridian is certainly interesting. With harbingers of apocalypse rattling the city of bones and blood, Abby could stand for things to be less interesting.
So by the prospective word count, I’m over halfway through S&C. I’m not sure how real that is, because I have done precisely zero planning on the plotty climax of this story. Usually I know the end before I start at the beginning, but in this case, I know all the way up to the end what’s going down. Otherwise…I’m kind of flying blind. It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye, and as a writer of horror, that could very well happen.
I have moments when I love this story and moments when I hate it. Since that’s pretty much par for course during the writing process for me, I’m pretty sure it’s neither the best story ever or the worst thing ever written. I’ll compromise and hope that it’s decent by the end of the first draft. I’m in the valley lately and not sure whether S&C is ever going to be decent or whether it’s a stumbling piece of dreck. I suppose it would be okay if it was. Sometimes I’m going to write something that doesn’t work. However, it’s not failing to the point that I want to throw it away and never look at it again, so I’ll keep going until the end. It should only take the rest of this week and part of next to finish it anyway.
Some of the things that I like about it include a sex scene where no one takes their clothes off at all–which I’m irrationally proud of; some of Abby’s spirited sass (she’s got more good humor in her sass than Maya of ARCANIUM, who was sarcastic and hiding a lot of anger); and in general I like the moments where there isn’t any sex at all, which tells me I should probably improve the sex scenes in the editing process. It’s hard to tell, since most of the time while writing sex scenes, I don’t get the benefits of getting turned on by it. Too focused on wording, choreography, and pacing.
Some of the things that I don’t like about it is that I’m worried I’m forcing chemistry where there isn’t any, which may or may not lead me to eliminating some of the erotic elements. I worry that some of the writing is plodding and slow. This could be because writing takes longer than the actual narrative, which gives the illusion that something is lasting longer than it actually is, if that makes sense. And I have to remind myself that I have a cutting floor for such things, and I know how to use it. I worry that it’s just plain uninteresting, and that’s something I’m not sure I can fix. At least ARCANIUM is very interesting, if possibly too dark, which is a whole other issue to have, isn’t it? Same outcome, though: rejection, reassessment, dejection.
I’m a little down because I received some excellent rejections for WOLF GIRL and FORCES OF NATURE. WOLF GIRL really isn’t going to get anywhere unless I self-pub, because it’s still just too dark. But I was given some good ideas on FoN, like maybe expanding it couple by couple into a series rather than a short novel.
I’ve been given this criticism several times now: Apparently I tend to pack in a lot of stuff into one story. It doesn’t feel like it to me, but then I’m not content and it doesn’t feel complete until it’s complicated. I feel a novel lacks richness unless it has multiple layers, and not all questions have to be answered. I think in a lot of ways, I’m an old-fashioned writer, but that doesn’t get me very far in the now. Maybe that’s just my problem with STONE & CHAINS, that I’m packing too much in, even though it all seems relevant.
I guess I’ll have to wait and see.
On the bright side, WordPress really makes a beautiful ampersand in the post title, doesn’t it?