The Battle of Halfway Hill
Not to depress you, but that’s us past the halfway mark for 2019. Honestly, the older I get, the more time speeds up. Edinburgh has recently claimed second prize for the longest I’ve ever lived in one place, at the three year mark (not all in the same house, but never mind). My job also wins first prize for the longest I’ve been working in one place, but I’m only young so it’s not that long in the grand scheme of things.
That’s not the point though, and it probably doesn’t interest you. The point is that we’re halfway through the year, which means it’s time to recap and re-evaluate the goals I set (what feels like) a couple of days ago in January. When I sat down to write this post, I couldn’t actually remember what my goals were, I had to go back and read them again.
It’s always at the halfway point that I begin to struggle. The excitement of the beginning has fizzled and it’s still a while before the end will be in sight, hence I’m calling it The Battle of Halfway Hill.
1. FINISH DRAFT 2 OF AURELIUS
Cue weeping and gnashing of teeth. What was I thinking??
This is an accurate gif of me interacting with the current draft of Aurelius:
I go through cycles of feeling very loving and protective of my beautiful (gags) first book and then despising it enough that it’s a good job I live in a rental or I’d take a flamethrower to it. I’ve had some alphas reading it and some of their feedback was helpful, but the more I look at it, the more I see that it’s a terrible book in almost every possible way.
To be fair, I started it at eighteen and took four years to write it, but over that time a lot happened. My life experience grew exponentially, I escaped the teen angst that had long been pursuing me, I learned stuff about writing, and I developed a voice of my own. As a result, Aurelius as it currently stands, is a patchwork disaster. It’s like that one, mangy, deformed mutt that your great aunt can’t bear to put out of its misery, even though it would be better for everyone.
But although there’s no hope of revising my first draft, the solution came in a blinding flash of inspiration (which is punny, all things considered, but you’ll have to wait and see why). There’s no hope of revising it into shape, so I shall simply rewrite it.
So far, I’ve made a list of all the things I want to keep, all the things I want to pilfer but change a little, and all the things I’m completely redoing. I’m effectively changing all the words and the plot and the characters (and probably the title too), but it’s still the same book.
Progress: Not a chance. Consider the goal changed. I have six months left to rework the idea and start writing and I’ll consider it a victory.
2. FINISH THE FIRST DRAFT OF THE LEGEND OF DREICH
Whenever someone reminds me that this book exists:
I tried to write it for NaNoWriMo last year and got through most of it. But basically I need to rewrite it because my voice in that draft is too old for kids. I didn’t finish the draft either but I know how it ends so it’s fine. If I can be bothered doing NaNo again this year (probably not), I’ll pick it up again.
Recently, I’ve been reading a little more middle-grade fiction and it has been refreshing. I’m beginning to remember how children read again, so I’m able to see the flaws in LoD and set about beginning to fix them.
Progress: I’ll get around to it eventually. My family pester me about it periodically so I’m not likely to forget.
3. WRITE ANOTHER 70k OF MY ‘SECRET’ WIP
So far, I’ve managed 25k (bringing it up to 45k total), but in my defense, I wrote a 30k novella last month, so it’s not like I’ve been shirking. . .
I’m writing my current project by hand (it works better for me) so progress is slow, but I’ve clocked up a good amount, considering I hardly touched it for two months. If I’m honest, I’m making excuses. Bits of the project are difficult to write and it’s easier to ignore it than push through. If I had more discipline, I’d have done more already, but it’s a learning process. 50k over the next six months is not impossible, it’s the same as what I’ve done already this year.
Want to know more about the book?
Progress: It’s doable if I set my mind to it. I should manage a minimum of 50k on it altogether, but here’s shooting for 70.
At the beginning of the year, I made the resolution to read better, not necessarily more. Uncharacteristically for me, this year, there are books I simply haven’t finished. Apart from one particular book that I was really excited about, but it was grossly mismarketed (and it was gross itself), this year’s reading has been pretty good.
The book I really hated (I didn’t finish it for reasons that will become evident in a moment), was The Binding by Bridgit Collins. It’s beautifully bound and the book itself is a stunning production physically, but I strongly warn against reading it. It was marketed as a book about a young man who learns the magic art of book-binding, and his fight against the people trying to exploit the art, but it’s basically an erotic gay love story. It hardly mentions the books, and in reality, the whole book-binding thing isn’t really relevant to the story. I picked it up because I loved the concept and I binned it (didn’t even sell it on, just trashed it) because I hate erotica and I hate it even more when publishers trick readers into reading that sort of thing. It’s just dishonest and gross.
That aside, the reading year has been pretty good so far. Here’s what I’ve read:
There are, of course, the ones I didn’t finish (The Binding), as well as a couple that are still in progress (Xenocide by Orson Scott Card and Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak). Another that I could add to the list is Dust by Kara Swanson which, frustratingly, I can’t review or recommend (or even own a copy myself yet) because it’s not published yet.
Progress: 15 decent books this year, 2 disappointments, 2 beta reads, 1 DNF, undefined quantity of Asterix & Obelix comics.
As I recall, I was aiming for a little more structure and consistency. I’d like to think I’ve accomplished that, but I’ll admit the Tuesday posts have slid to Friday, and recently they’ve been late even then. Sometimes life is busy, it can’t be helped!
The email list is progressing, but it’s not yet up and running. I do have a clearer idea of what I’d like to do with it though, so keep your eyes open.
Progress: At least it’s progressing.
- How are your goals for the year going?
- Have you completed or changed any?