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What I Learned About Writing This Week…from Writing Horribly

Dear inklings, in case you didn’t already know, you should understand this now: I am an insane person.

I’ll not waste your time with a longish preamble as to why this is so; instead, I’ll show you the proof:


This, my dear ones, is the printout of my manuscript Legend’s Heir (working title).

Legend’s Heir (working title) is the prequel to Triad, my epic fantasy novel that both Aaron and I have mentioned before.

The first draft manuscript of Legend’s Heir (working title) is, as you can see, 3.5 inches thick. I estimate that it’s 200,000 words long.

I haven’t looked at it in more than eleven years.

I have started rewriting it.

Stop The Insanity — And I Mean It!

If you’ve been paying attention (and I know that you have, for that’s just the kind of precious, blogophile inklings you are), you know that Aaron and I have committed ourselves heart, soul, body, and mind to Kindle publishing. (There might have been a contract signed in blood involved somewhere.) One of our shared goals is to publish our respective novel backlogs under Consortium Books.

In just over a year, the selection-to-publish from my backlog will be Triad. At some point after that, we’ll want to publish the novels that go with Triad. Right now, that’s Legend’s Heir (working title).

I’m explaining to you because you look nervous.

Anyway, having no idea whatsoever how long it might take to rewrite Legend’s Heir (working title), and needing a writing project other than blogging (so that I wouldn’t go crazy), I sat down this past weekend and started rewriting what I am now referring to as The Monster Epic Fantasy Novel (MEFaN) — thereby proving that I have gone crazy.

So Far, My Favorite Dramatic Line Is:

The pain was as bad as a hangover. Worse. It wound its way around the top of his skull, resting there like a vicious reptile, sending forked tongues of agony down the sides of his head. Even the sockets of his eyes ached, as though that oviparous creature had laid two painful, throbbing eggs and left them in place of his eyeballs.

That’s what she said.

*Le Sigh*

Once upon a time, I was a college student, and I wrote such things. Nowadays, I’m a little more seasoned (mmmm, cilantro) and a little less impressed with my own vocabulary. No, I don’t use the word “oviparous” in daily conversation. (Although I’m rather pleased to see that even back then, I was good friends with the third person singular neuter possessive pronoun.)

What I’m sighing about, though, is the fact that line-by-line, there’s not a lot from this manuscript that’s salvageable. For the first time in my writing career, I am faced with a rewrite that’s a genuine rewrite and not just a major overhaul-your-ass edit.

The Good News Is…

…that the story itself is still pretty cool. Yeah, I’m gonna have to do all the prewriting exercises Aaron talks about before I start the actual writing. And yeah, a main problem with Legend’s Heir (working title) is that when I penned it, I didn’t know my characters at all.

I mean, I’ve got Jael showing empathy toward James (soon-to-be-renamed) after she slugs him.

Jael would never feel sorry for slugging him.

*ahem* Anyway, I’ve got a ginormously embiggened pile of work ahead of me concerning this story — but it’s still a good story. Cool swordfights are fought. The good guy doesn’t get what he wants in any scene. The bad guy is creepy hot. Elemental magic happens.

Also, there are elves.

What’s really freakin’ awesome is that as I’m reading, skimming, and bemoaning this manuscript, I am also writing out the list of scenes-and-sequels I’m going to use when I finally sit down to write the MEFaN into something less monstrous and more enjoyably epic.

Rewriting Is Hard — But I’m Lovin’ It

And that’s WILAWriTWe!

2 Responses to “What I Learned About Writing This Week…from Writing Horribly”

  1. Joshua Unruh says:

    Hey, I’m down with all of this except elves. Are they JRR style “elvier than thou” Elves? If so, does everyone realize it and treat them like the asshats they are? Elves and Kryptonians, man, they are the KING JERKS of their respective universes. Please tell me you went with this universal truth! Please? please?

    • I went with this universal truth.


      My elves are pretty different from the Tolkien-esque style of elf. But they definitely retain the elvier-than-thou attitude — at least until they run into a set? caste? group? of elves who are even elvier-than-they. So I guess they get their comeuppance. ; )