I wrote a long post about Figment last night, so I do not think I have another one in me today.
Yesterday morning, after many months of agonizing and sitting typing, I completed the first draft of Serango. This book brings me back to a world I created in high school with a few of the characters I worked with in a quasi-prequel.
Over the last couple weeks, I had to write a series of big splashy fight scenes and then find the way home, so to speak. One interesting thing I did, that I think I will tuck away in my toolbox, is that I returned to the beginning and actually entirely reworked my first chapter. I was determined to incorporate more of the divine voice narration, as well as have a more exciting moment than Holoon the tour guide leading rich customers through a theater. Here is a screenshot of the beginning of work on that new chapter:
After writing that opening, I bounced back to the end to write the last couple chapters.
One of the little things I learned at the end of this project was that sometimes I write fight scene in my outline, but it does not have to be a fight. One of my favorite moments of changing my outline ever so slightly was instead of writing a duel between two characters, I took each step they took apart, and for each step, there was a memory. A reflection on their life and how they had had gotten there.
But the actual gunfire and fighting is over in two sentences.
I also wrote one fight scene, and I loved it so much more for scrapping the elaborate fight plans and simply writing: "He fought."
There was no getting around the big dragon versus heroes moment at the end of the book, and it took a few days for me to figure out how to orchestrate it. I scribbled word lists in my notebook, planned and scrapped conversations, and solved all kinds of tiny, irritating logistical issues that were not working in the outline. The actual sentence-composition only took a few days.
The last, long chapter of the book took just about one day. But the day before, I bounced along on the bus listening to music. And I pulled out my phone, and I began to write out what happens to Yama at the end of the book.
Of course, I could not write all of it on my phone, but it was good to start. Sometimes transitions from writing on paper, to computer, or phone, or vice versa, can help if I'm stuck.
Serango has been a funny project in that it's been stop and go all along. It's been a book of lessons, perhaps more so than other projects. Be brave with structure, narration, and the things we take as standard. But the biggest lesson was probably when I realized that I shouldn't stop. Don't stop.
Finish the book. Not matter what, finish the book.