Writing and Rambling

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In the beginning…

Posted by Dave on February 24, 2010

Well, I finished my first fantasy novel, Jaben’s Rift this week (or From a Far Land if JR turns into a two parter).  Just over 125,000 words B.E. (Before Editing).  I’ve been working on it for seven years.  It took me six years to write the first half, and a year to write the second.  Right now it’s sitting in virtual limbo as I let it simmer for two or three weeks before pulling it back out to take the editing clippers (scissors, axe, chainsaw, jackhammer, whatever it takes) to it. 

It’s a rather odd feeling, knowing that it’s finally done.  (Well, at least the first draft.)  There’s a definite sense of satisfaction in the fact that I actually made it to the end.  On the other hand, there is also an undercurrent of trepidation.  Now I have to show it to someone else.  What if no one likes it?  At this point it’s hard for me to be objective.  I’ve read, re-read, changed, poked, and prodded it so much that I’m almost tired of looking at it.  But, like they say, if you don’t try, you’ll never know.  A feeling I didn’t expect was a sense of loss.  If I don’t write a sequel to it, I have to say goodbye to these characters that I’ve come to know so well.  Weird.

When I started it, our kids were seven and three, and for a couple of years in there I was working two jobs.  I didn’t have a lot of time (and sometimes not a lot of energy or drive) for writing.  Well the kids are a little older now, I’m working one job, and we just bought our first laptop so that I’m not restricted on where I work (i.e. I can go in the bedroom and close the door).  I’m hoping the next one won’t take quite so long.  I have numerous thoughts for future novels, both in the fantasy and sci-fi genres, as well as others, so there’s no lack of ideas.

I thought I would go ahead and start this blog so other hopeful authors might be able to observe my journey, and maybe even learn from my mistakes.  I’m hoping I don’t make any mistakes, of course, but I am a realist.  The intention is to update the blog at least once a week.  (More if anything significant happens…or if I’m just feeling lonely, hehe)   I’ll be letting you know what I’m doing regarding my first book, and where I’m at with the next one.   Over the years I’ve also read a number of books on the art of writing.  I’ll give you my take on some of those as well.  Plus, if I just feel the need to rant a little, or share something with you that I found interesting, I’ll do that too.

My target goal for the next book will be to average (*deep breath*) at least 500 words per day.  There.  I said it.  Now it’s out there for the world to see.  (What have I done??)  Right now I’m sitting at a little over 5,500 words.  That output would have me finishing the first draft sometime this fall, depending on how long it ends up being.

So, now that novel #1 is waiting for editing, my next step for Jaben’s Rift is to start putting together a query letter for agents and/or publishers.  I won’t be sending it out until the book (and the query) is as good as I can make it, though.  If and when I get a positive reply, I’ll post the query here in case anyone wants to see what worked for me.

Okay, that’s enough for one day.  Take care and write on.



2 Responses to “In the beginning…”

  1. Rich said


    I just want you to know that this is one of the coolest things ever. I have always considered you one of the most creative and intelligent people that I have ever known, and that has nothing to do with us being related. The news of your journey as an Author only reaffirms my opinion of you.

    I am so incredibly proud that you are my uncle and extremely proud of your accomplishments in all facets of life. I have not had many people to look up to in my personal life, but I honestly could not ask for a better role model to try and pattern areas in my life after. Thank you for living a good example and in case you ever thought it was being unnoticed, I assure you it is not.

    Congratulations Sir!

    Rich Hand

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