What Is It With Those Pesky Emotions



Writing was a bit off last week…

Yes, again. I’ve been in a wee bit of a funk with that whole done-with-college-now-need-a-job-also-didn’t-write-for-two-months-because-I-was-in-DC thing. Coupled with personal relationship stuff that rather exploded, that was a no on the whole writing subject.

What is it about emotions that really screws everything up? And how interesting is it that they meld with different people’s creativity in such a variety of ways? I can’t write when I’m depressed. Angry, happy, excited, amorous – definitely. But sad or depressed? Forget it. Yet I know a few people who churn out pages the best when they’re depressed.

(Hey that rhymed)

Moving on, Monday was FINALLY a break through. I sat down (actually, laid down in bed) and wrote for about four hours. I fixed two holes. Did some editing. I think, between Monday night and some spotty writing the day before, I added about 1,500 words. Coupled with yesterday, another great writing day…I think I added another 1,000.

This brings my total to a little over 103k words. Yeesh! I think this book might be long. Is it too long, do you think? I’m not sure why this particular one got so much longer – and why it keeps getting longer. I know how long the ending scene will be since I’ve basically written it already…and that adds quite a bit of length. I’m starting to realize I’m going to have a problem on my hands when I get this thing finished – I’m going to have to start cutting. Maybe a lot.

But! I make myself focus every time I go down that rabbit hole. I’ve got to finish the thing before I can figure out what can be cut and/or rearranged.

The length has a lot to do with how many different seeds I’m planting in setting up for later books. There’s so much more with this one I’m actually trying to say, and coupled with the tendency of my characters to take off running, it’s turning into a giant epic. Hopefully not a giant epic mess. Sometimes I worry I’ve got way too much complexity and mystery going on here.

In an attempt to counteract this, I’ve started enacting a Rule of Three when making sure the reader gets something. If I’m trying to relay a point, portray something about the world they’re placed in, or set up for further mystery or revelation, I’ll mention it three times. Maybe it’s a very discreet three times. Maybe it’s more obvious. But I put it in there three times.

. . . Hopefully that works.

Needless to say, the end is in sight for this one. What are your thoughts on length of novels? What about complexity and sewing seeds for future books – should an author stick to a simple and elegant plot for the book, or can they drops things here and there that only come to fruition in later books?

About R. K. Brainerd

I've been writing since my pre-teens, mostly in the realm of fantasy and sci-fi. Taking interesting concepts and dropping complex characters into fantastical worlds is my jam. I also raise dairy goats and herd cats, the evidence of which can be found on my Instagram. Welcome to the adventure. View all posts by R. K. Brainerd

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