I had a college roommate who was tatting a tablecloth. She called it her “never never project” because she was “never never going to get it finished.” I’m beginning to feel like that with the Other Mages trilogy.
About halfway through October 2008 I decided that I was going to do NaNoWriMo. I’d been thinking about it for a couple years but for some reason I suddenly decided that now was the time.
So, on November 1st I started writing. I had a vague idea and no outline, but I had a lot of fun and I hit 50,000 words and wrapped up the story.
(Well, to be honest, I thought I was done with the story way before I hit 50K but since I didn’t think I could pull of a 10,000 word celebration orgy I kept writing and got an ending that really wrapped up the story.)
A few things happened that November.
One, I got hooked on NaNoWriMo. As in totally addicted. I remember reaching the goal and finishing the novel and just staring at my computer screen, thinking, “I did it. I wrote a book. Wow.” which was immediately followed by, “It’s all over until next November.” (My roommate’s response to that was “No one said you can’t write the other eleven months of the year.”)
Two, I got hooked on novel writing. My roommate was right – I didn’t have to wait for NaNoWriMo to write, so write I did.
Three, I learned what happens when you don’t have an outline. (One character who was supposed to play a very minor role became very important. Not too bad of a change, right? Except about 2/3 of the way through she had a complete change of alignment that was great for the plot but not so great for the future editing.) And there are plot holes you could fly an Air Force squadron through.
And, four, about midway through writing it I realized that it was actually book three of a trilogy.
So instead of trying to fix the mess that Xooshemi (don’t worry, her name is going to be changed) made of things, I decided to write the other two books first. Book One didn’t present many problems but Book Two is making me want to tear my hair out.
For one thing, I never outlined it. I have a vague idea of where it needs to go but I don’t have a clear end scene. And somehow the focus has shifted from Katheri to Trebor and Sidden when the book is supposed to be about Katheri coming into her power.
And the whole Trebor and Sidden thing is going to royally muck up Book Three. Maybe. I might have found a way to keep it and skirt a plot hole.
But I’m still having trouble with where it needs to end up. And without knowing that I have no idea how to get there. So I think I’ll put it away again for a while and see if my subconscious can figure out a solution while I’m working on something else.
Maybe I’ll work on writing a new version of a scene in the Trilogy Without a Name. (It’s actually the original version that I had planned before the plot hijackers main characters took a detour.)
But I will get back to The Other Mages, and it will see the light of day.