second chapter out and the legend of finishing a novel

February 8, 2012

Hope you enjoy.


So I was supposed to get the book done by the 28th.

My editor had been very, very specific about that. Emphasized it profusely, one might say. It was not the first time he’d given me a deadline and I knew I’d be in trouble if I tested his patience any further. With that in mind and the fact I was completely overwhelmed by the stress of being “almost done with it” for a month, I wrote and wrote, especially harder than usual when the feared day came and I still had to tie scenes together by the tails to make a Rat King of a novel.

Until a series of abrupt interruptions came as I was finishing the last scene.
Contrary to his belief, my attention span does not shift from “absolute” to “none”: it is always completey devoted to the point of absorbing all data about something. Thus I am always, siempre, focused. The problem lies in the fact other parameter shifts instead, and that would be the target of said devotion. Which is, one must comprehend, rather unfortunate when I need to get something done. The world is, whether you choose to see it as a glass half-empty or half-full, a very intricate place composed of a great array of things a creature can learn from and about and, because Knowledge has nearly unlimited potential at the very least from a human’s standpoint, there is quite a lot to be distracted by.
It wasn’t that kind of interruption for once.
The power went down and stayed like that for an hour. During that hour I spent using my BlackBerry as a way of keeping contact with my loved one, who was bound to get worried since she was asleep at the time it happened with the computer speakers cranked and the noise Skype makes when one party disconnects is distressing to say the least, all I could do was wonder if this would go on all day.
It did.
Whenever the power would come back, the internet would go down soon after until the day was over.  The stress was insane, so I just let it go. The next day, when the situation was better regarding electricity albeit not optimal when it came down to internet connection reliability. Still, with the stressful days came the stressful scenes I needed to write; not to say I wouldn’t be able to execute them although without it the application of the concept would occur in a  very different manner because regardless of your initial spark, everything always affects the outcome.
Now I’m a little less (mentally) tired and will try to catch up on all the projects I’ve neglected as I work on the final outline for novel 3, which will probably be even harder to write because it actually has a plot. Or several.
This might be fun.

6 Responses to “second chapter out and the legend of finishing a novel”

  1. Cytl Says:

    Good to see a new chapter. It’s quite interesting to see things moving on in the plot but at the other hand I found the changes in the MC too sudden this chapter. Anyway, keep up the great job.

    • thatguyfroma Says:

      Thank you for reading, I’m glad you enjoyed it so far. Regarding the changes, keep in mind that a while has passed since he joined the band and it has been established that, as shown by the way he acts differently around different people and his conversation with Reikoku-sensei (chapter 1), if anything one of his main issues would be he “adapts” too effortlessly/quickly to situations. I might be giving away a plot point here but there is at least one character with a serious personality disorder among the cast (and I’m not talking about the little character traits every single one of them has), so this kind of behavior is to be expected. Saying anything more would be killing the fun.

      • xrdvx Says:

        Well, it’s been said before that one of his main issues would be that he attaches (and I’d say this involves some sort of adaption) to people too quickly.

        By the way, aside from the joy of “it’s finally here!”, I must say I quite enjoyed this chapter. It was both joyful and sad, and did certainly shed more light upon who are the characters and what they are. I certainly didn’t expect Reikoku-san (she’s not my teacher!) to have that kind of hobby – if you can call it that – but it does fit her. Considering she wasn’t exactly surprised about Ayaka, but instead to Shin-tsu & Co. involvement (that’s how I felt it anyway), that she’s involved in it deeper than everybody else thinks is only natural.

        That’s just me, though.
        Keep up the Hard Work.

      • thatguyfroma Says:

        Ding ding ding, we have a winner!

        As much as I hate killing alternative points of view (no, not really), you are definitely onto something here. Excellent job: I can’t wait for your impression on the next chapter (2.5).

        Glad you liked it.

  2. Andrew B. Gross Says:

    In the first book, there are a number of places where you play with the “is the main character really just a main character in a book and is he aware of this?” “play within a play” “breaking the fourth wall” motiff. The main character appears to hear what may be the author (or a narrator created by the author but apart from the main character) in his head, events are justified by their congruence to typical plot devices, characters self-referentially spoke as if quoting from wikipedia, etc.

    That whole angle seems to have almost entirely dissapeared in the 2nd book, which is a bit jarring. It feels like a major plot thread that just dissapeared.

    Also, at some point the “only boy in a girl’s school” thing needs to be addressed. In the first book, it came off as being “this is a silly light novel convention, and since the characters are living in a light novel that’s good enough” riff, but the less you stress that in book two, the more you need an actual explanation.

    Looking forward to the next chapter, keep fighting the good fight.

    • thatguyfroma Says:

      Yes, the voice is gone: I’m glad you noticed it. Chapter 3 (the one after 2.5, which is Kouma’s) addresses it, but if I say a word more I ruin it. God knows I want to. I will, however, give you something to think about regarding the difference between Shin-tsu’s behavior in the first novel and the second novel: remember how he adapts really easy? It was only stated with every letter in this novel, but even in the first one it’s fairly simple to see he acts different around different people: he is sweet, happy meta and almost too naïve when interacting with Ryo, but how does he act around Kouma? He turns into someone who passive-aggressively seeks for conflict, analyzes everything and tries to outsmart everyone. Depending on the “target”, Koukishin Shinzou changes so much it’s extremely hard to tell who he really is.

      And while I was saving the boy thing for “The Darkest”, I’ll rush a brief explanation for that detail into Novel 3 so it won’t keep being detrimental to the suspension of disbelief. Thank you very much, I assume other readers could have been bothered by it as well: I’m really glad you told me about it and I hope you feel free to bring up any other points that bug you. By doing so you ensure I won’t forget or overlook important things such as the Yeerk invasion of the Andalite homeworld in the Animorphs series, and that still keeps me awake at night once in a while.

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