Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Packing And Unpacking My Trunk

A couple of weekends ago, I finally finished my latest trunk novel, "Blackness In The White Sand".

Now mind you, I originally didn't set out to write a trunk novel. Hell, no writer says, "I'm gonna write a trunk novel!" You basically write a first draft of a novel, then decide whether or not you should refine it or pack it away.

Such was the case with this one. I had originally wrote it while I was busy querying Line 21, partially because I needed to keep myself occupied, and partially because I needed to have something waiting in the wings for next year. So I wrote a short story based on an idea and called it,"The Backpack". After I had finished, I decided to expand it first into a trilogy, then as a novella.

Fast forward to early spring '12.

I wound up putting it aside when I started getting some positive feedback on Line 21, and as you all know the end result, I'll continue on and say that I didn't pick up my novella until early March. However, when I had picked it up, thoughts of simply stuffing it into my trunk of uncompleted slush were running rampant.

Why? Because after I had sold Line 21, I got to thinking about the incompletes that were sitting in my trunk that were written in a similar vein. I also got to thinking about another novella that I was having second thoughts about as well.

So I sat down to complete "Blackness In The White Sand" in the most annoying way possible: throw some of the plot out the window and throw in enough swerves to make anyone's head hurt.

Viola! I finished the novella early Sunday morning, after I had come up with an ending that tepidly explained the entire story while taking a shower. I then proceeded to print out the last couple of pages, saved it to floppy, my hard drive and my flash drive, then packed it away in my trunk.

At the same time that I was packing my trunk, I was also unpacking. I took out the novel that I was working on prior to writing Line 21, blew off the dust bunnies and put it next to my computer. For those who need a refresher on what it is (like me), please check out this particular link.

As soon as I do a monster rewrite of my other novella (which features this particular nugget piece of flash called "What If" that becomes the basis of for the entire novella), I will tackle that other novel, which is about 75% complete.

As for the novella, the main reason why I'm rewriting it is that while overall the story is good, the first 14 pages are wickedly choppy. And because of that choppiness, it sags and stalls in that 1st half of the story.

The pace does accelerate and successfully sprints to the finish line in the 2nd half, so I want to make the 1st half match up with the 2nd. I also want to tweak the sex quotient, since it's sitting on the proverbial fence where one side is "R" and the other is "NC-17".

However, even before I can actually start the rewrite, I have to come up with a new title, as the current title "A Troubled Conscience" simply does not capture the true essence of the story.

Do you know how hard it is to come up with an acceptable title for a story? It took me about three days and multiple sheets of paper to come up with an acceptable title that I feel captures the true essence of the story: "A Shadow Warrior's Redemption".

I leave you with this thought:

Sometimes unpacking your trunk can be just as bad as packing it. Especially if you forget to put something in to kill the smell of red rot, bookworms and mold.


  1. Once a trunk is packed, I seldom ever get it unpacked again.

  2. "Writing" really means "rewriting" doesn't it? Hang in there!

  3. Is it just my mind today or is this post full of innuendos! :D

  4. Charles: While I do have some stuff that probably will neve see the light of day, I do have two partials that are just begging me to take another look. Which is why my trunk isn't covered with too many dust bunnies.

    Debra: Sometimes. In the case of my longish short story, rewriting is the definitey the working phrase of the day.

  5. Oh fine - now I have to go back and look for innuendos. :)

  6. Lynn: If you find any, by all means, share with everyone. :D


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