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Posts Tagged ‘letters to the brain’

Dear Brain, WTF.

The revised draft of this novel is due in to my editor in about a week and a half. Plus, due to problems with my financial institution, I’m going to have to do all my tax-related work in the same span of time.

So, naturally, my brain is trying to write three short stories at once.


This entry was also posted at Comment here or there.

Time to fall over.

With Fate Conspire is revised and off to L’Editor.


Length of final draft: 157,000 words

Length of kill-file, containing material longer than a sentence or two cut during the process: 57,000 words


Dear Whichever God Rules Over Novelists,

What do I have to sacrifice to you in order to guarantee that my next novel will not require me to write thirty-six percent more material than I actually use? Lemme know, and I’ll get right on that.

Your obt. servt.,
A Very Tired Writer

on a calmer note

Dear Book,

Don’t think you’re safe just because I’m not using the angry kitten icon anymore. That’s Hel up there, and she will cut you.

But we may — may — have resolved the problem. By dint of doing . . . not a lot, actually. Going back to a plan that fell by the wayside, and trying to find some way to insert more downtime at a particular point. Easy enough on Eliza’s side; I just have to find some justification for why Dead Rick’s plot can skip over a month or so. If I can do that, everything else is fine; I don’t have to redate two-thirds of the book or work around historical events or anything of the sort. Just a bit of downtime, and I’m set.

So long as I can find a way to do that. Don’t ask me how; that’s a problem I’ll tackle tomorrow.

You’re still in the doghouse, though. I knew you were going to be the biggest bastard of the series — and that’s saying something, after the difficulties I had writing Ashes and Star — but you’ve been outdoing yourself, really. Any time you want to start being cooperative, feel free.

Slightly less inclined to light you on fire, but still thinking about it,
Your Writer

Not *again*.

Dear Book:

I hate you.

No, really. We’ve gotten to that stage of the writing, the stage where I really just want to light you on fire. It happens almost every book (except for the rare ones that just sail straight out of my head — of which you are SO not one), but this time, I really, really mean it. Why? Because I just figured out that I could solve about 90% of my pacing problems . . . by moving your start date back three months.

This falls into the category of “annoying change” rather than “major seismic upheaval,” since most of what I have to do is change the dates on scenes. But that’s about 100K worth of scenes I have to re-date

FUCK I just realized that doesn’t work.

Because there’s a scene that has to happen on a specific date, and that specific date is before what I thought would be the new start date. But there are other events that have to happen on other specific dates, and SON OF A BITCH I HATE YOU.

<beats head into desk>

Never again, people. Never again. I am so very done with this historical fiction thing, where I can’t just decide when stuff happens because history says otherwise. I’ve been doing this for four books, and I will never subject myself to it again*.

I’m sure I’ll find a way through this. But it is going to cost a lot of pain and suffering along the way. (It already has.) And right now, I kinda want to light the book on fire.

No love at all,
Your Writer.

*Of course I’m lying. It’s like childbirth. In a few years, when I’ve forgotten the pain, I’ll probably decide this is a good idea again. But right now, I mean it.

apologies I only sort of mean

Dear Dead Rick,

I’m sorry I’m a horrible person.

Tomorrow morning kurayami_hime will read this and say, “You’re not sorry at all,” and she’ll kind of be right — but I have to say it anyway. Because one of your levers is more like a giant knife sticking out of your heart, and sometimes I just have to give it a good twist.


If it’s any comfort, I suspect you have some RIGHTEOUS FURY OF REVENGE scenes coming up later in the book. It’s got that feel in my head, even if I don’t know the specifics yet. I hope that helps.

Love and apologies,
A mean, mean person


Dear Brain,

No. No, no, no, no, NO.

There are many things we need right now — an answer to the question the stranger just asked Dead Rick, a precise outline for how Eliza and Miss Kittering are going to achieve a state of conflict-balance, some sense of what’s going on with the Society — but NONE of them are the premise for a random secondary-world YA fantasy series.

Even if it involves an order of holy lady knights who run around spying for the Queen they’re sworn to protect.

You know perfectly well what this is. We’ve entered into the Stage of Oooh Shiny, where everything looks enticing except the book we’re supposed to be writing. Put the shiny down, and get back to Victorian England.

(After all, I’ve already written half a page of notes for the YA-knights idea. Maybe we can do more later tonight.)

Er, I mean, NO! No new shiny. Work on old shiny instead. I promise, there’s plenty of fun to be had there.

Not nearly as cross as she should be,
Your Writer

almost . . . there . . .

Come on, brain. We only need 150 more words, and then we can stop for tonight. And yes, that does mean you’ll have to figure out just what Dead Rick thinks he’s accomplishing by going to La Madura, but we’ve got to make a decision on that sooner or later. If it’s sooner, that means we can spend tomorrow thinking about its ramifications, and that will make tomorrow’s writing easier.

Of course, it would help if we knew what Dead Rick is supposed to be finding. And we already skipped over that one to start tonight’s work. This skipping-details thing, it is not working out so well for us.

Early’s better than on time, but on time is better than late.

Dear Brain,

I refused to start official work on this book yesterday, because it just seemed inauspicious, but because also because I still didn’t know why Eleanor was working for the Kitterings. Today I woke up and you handed me the answer. So I guess we can, in fact, get started today, and for that, Brain, I thank you.

Now I don’t suppose you have any ideas about that trouble Dead Rick ought to be in . . . ?

Your Writer

Department of Things I Didn’t Need

Dear Brain,

I recognize that you’re trying to be helpful and all, and I appreciate it. But it would be lovely if you could offer help with “Mad Maudlin” (which I’m trying to finish) or the Victorian book (which I’m about to start) or That Thing We Can’t Talk About (which I need to do), rather than the opening line for a sequel to a short story I haven’t sold yet.

Just saying.

Having said that, it is a pretty fun opening line.

Dear Cayce,

I know you’re tired of receiving Well-Intentioned Parental Advice, but there are a few things every young woman should know before she goes to Hell.

Back to the things we should be doing . . . .

Your Writer