So, like hi. Let me get in here, dust this off, move a few pieces of furniture around.
My poor, neglected blog. I didn’t walk away because I didn’t love you, baby. You gotta believe it’s me, not you. No, really, I was finishing A CURSE IN CLAY and it’s a whopper at 117k words. Fantasy, so I get a pass on length, but still – that’s pretty long when my typical books are more in the YA range of 70 to 80k!
It’s been an arduous journey with this book — almost nine months? — and though I’d love to say CLAY is poignant and deep, it’s a cowboy book with dick jokes, a transvestite sidekick, fairies, and witches. I think it’s a GOOD book with dick jokes, a transvestite sidekick, fairies, and witches, but the jury is still out. When I hear back from those who shred my work for fun and profit, I’ll have a better idea if I succeeded or failed horribly.
Lemme do that writer roundup thing I tend to do after every manuscript is finished!
The Good: The cast. The characters carry the book. They’re distinct people with distinct voices and problems and I think I captured them well. I like the way I did the timeline (current chapters alternating with snippets from the main character’s past). I like the third person limited even if it’s a bitch to write at times. I think it’s legitimately funny. Also, I nailed the epilogue.
The “I Worries”: I am HOPING Cora’s as fleshed out as she needs to be. I think so? But really, in comparison to the rest of the cast she’s actually a little more normal so we’ll see if that translates as “boring.” The witches are fun, but I want them to be appropriate bad guys. Also, this is cowboy fantasy but I worry that the romance angle and a few other tidbits might give it genre confusion.
I like to think with every book I write, I hone a skill. In this one, I think I worked on voice and characterization. My next book I’ll be working on mood and nuance, but this one was definitely all about the narrative and the cast playing inside said narrative. And writing third person limited? It’s trickier than it looks. If you get a voice down (and basically in this book I was going for something like Mal from Firefly) and then, you know, screw it up? It sticks out. Like a sore thumb Consistency is a must and it’s difficult when you have as many words as I do.
But, it’s over. Once I hear what the pack of hyenas has to say, I will update as to the success or failure of this latest literary adventure.
For now? ONWARD. And then DISNEY.
Cora had a thing for pillows. She couldn’t have one for each side of her bed, she had to have forty, and every night before he fell asleep, Clay tossed a heaping pile of feather bags onto the floor so he wouldn’t suffocate in their fluffy depths. Frederick was all right with it, always climbing the mountain and sprawling across the top, but it made getting up in the mornings a little more difficult. Clay had to navigate around a mini-disaster just to don his drawers.
“Pillows are stupid,” he announced to no one and everyone, his fingers fiddling with the buttons of his pants.
“No, you’re stupid,” came Cora’s sleepy reply.