Today is kind of exciting. After years of working at a major corporation I moved to a smaller firm back in March, and luckily took most of my business with me. I’ve worked at firms of all sizes – that’s part of the gig in engineering, you go where the work is – and upward movement is usually accomplished by changing companies as opposed to rising from within. Each sized firm has advantages and disadvantages, and one of the great advantages of smaller firms is that they generally retain core values more like a family business. That’s why, for the first time in a long time, I’m working at an office that will close for the holidays. I can’t remember a time when I was off from work and didn’t have something to do – a horse show, a Barr family adventure, relatives visiting from afar. This means…
I have a whole block of time to just WRITE! While my novel Wynde has progressed steadily and has been milling around in my head for years now, I’m finally getting to the meat of the story. (You know, the good stuff: fight sequences, showdowns, exploding spaceships, and maybe even a kiss or two.) I’ve had a lot on my plate with work, the blog, riding, and writing, plus some friends who needed a helping hand. To top that off, I’ve received tremendous feedback and opportunities related to the blog, which will ultimately help my exposure. The response to my short discussion of the heroine’s journey earlier this week was phenomenal!
See how I got distracted from the writing there?
My editor has a stern side – no need for writeordie.com when you’ve got a lawyer-turned-professor holding your feet to the fire – and I got a lecture about using the next ten days to close in on one of my biggest goals, finishing Wynde. Not that I’ll be ignoring the happenings in the world and fandom, but sometimes you’ve got to put your head down and pretend it doesn’t exist. We have a saying in engineering – it takes 20% of the work effort to get the first 80% done and 80% of the work effort to get the last 20% finished. It’s looking like that will apply to the novel, as well.
Honestly I don’t regret going slow at the beginning. The readers aren’t going to get my first draft, or the second idea that was in my head when I started working through those scenes in the story. For the most part, by the time I put something onto the page it’s what I wanted, and I’ve already chewed around the idea – including considering all the merits and drawbacks each step in the story will have for the reader, the characters, and the plot.
Luckily my blogs are complete for the year, and even some into the next year. I’ve got a 2011 year-end wrap up to post and a 2012 preview sketched out. This will be the first time in a long time I won’t be writing something special to share with my friends, or at least that’s how I initially reflected on Christmas when I realized I was taking the holidays off from the blog. Then I realized I will be writing something to share with my friends, but they’ll just have to wait a bit longer. (Shall we say Christmas in July as a reasonable best guess for some TKL holiday goodies?)
Beginning in January, with Lex’s help, the blog will present a more detailed discussion on the differences we see in a heroine’s journey compared to the traditional hero’s journey. There’s charts and figures and such floating around in emails. Lex had written a lot of female characters I really liked before we ever started working together, and we’ve had detailed discussions about what works and doesn’t work from both sides of the gender perspective. With the fantastic lore-heavy book Darth Plagueis due out on January 10, I asked him to delve specifically into Padmé Amidala, a character I hope to see expanded upon in the Expanded Universe with a similar lore novelization. I’m excited for everyone to hear what Lex has to say in defense of her characterization in the Prequel Trilogy; in his mind, she’s got more strengths than most people have given her credit for, myself included.
Anyway, there’s lots of good stuff to anticipate, and luckily a head start on quite a bit of it. If I don’t respond immediately to your emails, tweets, or comments during the next few weeks, please forgive me. I’m off to write. Wish me luck.
Many blessings for you on the holidays and into the New Year.
Tricia Barr's novel, Wynde, won the 2014 Independent Publisher Book Award Gold Medal for Best Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror Ebook. She was also part of Silence in the Library's successful all-female creator science fiction and fantasy anthology Athena's Daughters, which is available now. For excerpts and tales of her adventures in creating a fictional universe, hop over to TriciaBarr.com.