I cannot remember the last time I had two days off in a row. This is my Sunday and for most of my Saturday and today I have been editing and re-reading outlines of old story ideas. Today read part of my second book sent back to me from a friend, Emrie, and this gave me some hope that book 2 will be better received than book one. Don’t get me wrong, I love book one, Tazeric: Sword of Light and Dark, like a child, after all, I was my first book. I did learn from book one some simple things like how not to tell but show better. My fight scenes got crisper, cleaner, bloodier and a little bit more realistic.
130,000 plus words went into book Two. I mean, holy crapple, that is a lot of words. How did I get to the place of 130k + words? Honestly, I just kept writing until the story was finished. When my mind collapsed and I was satisfied that the core and the root of the story was told, I just stopped for two days. Two whole days of resting my smokey mind to think about nothing but chai tea and croissants. You see, I bake too, I love croissants and chai with oat milk and a little bit of chocolate. (On the croissant and in the chai.) After those two days, I dive right back into chapter 1 and start to enhance it.
You see, my good reader, the first draft is all mine to have. I’m greedy like that and you should be too. After the first draft, it’s the worlds to own and read. Well, not really the worlds, but my editor, Jamie’s to read. She and I start to email, Zoom and generally rip the thing apart and rebuild the parts that need it and high light the parts that work. We are kind of like engineers in a strictly metaphorical way. Then after months and months of this, around the time and the skin itches every time I think of the 130k + word monster, I think that we are finished! Kaziah, I scream (in my mind) and pad myself on the back. Then the itch starts all over again.
So, I take 2 days off, bake a little bit, drink chai or coffee or chai with coffee and decompress. Then I dive back into the book, starting with chapter 1. Yep, that’s right my dear reader, I start the whole gods damn process over again. But, this go around, I start to doubt my ability to write and question all my life decisions up and beyond this point. I start to hate my writing, doubt everything I have ever written, including my name, and dive head first into the dark side of writing. This is also the time that I write my best and most gruesome fight scenes.
A small sample of my writing when I’m on the dark side.
“Into the fray, lads,” Forrest’s voice boomed as two men leapt over the shield wall and landed on either side of Ashley. Each man held a short sword in one hand and an axe in the other. Their long, braided, blond beards and hair sheened black with blood. They had a brief second to nod at each other before the demons rushed them. Kasa growled, bit down hard, tearing the throat out of one demon, blood spraying her face and chest. She screamed as she slashed and thrusted her seaxs into anything that was not human. Blood pooled around her and her two companions up to their ankles. Pikeman and sword women stabbed and thrusted the tips of their weapons deep into heads, necks, and throats of the demons as they came, wave after wave. This battle along the shield wall was now the apex of the fight.”
This is what keeps me sane when I write. The knowledge that I can create a picture like this. Now, dear reader, you may not see the whole picture as clearly as I do, but this is just a small corner of a much larger canvas. I do not shy away from embracing my dark side. As a matter of fact, I like writing when I tired, morose, a little depressed and even in a whole lot in need of a good cup of coffee, or even a bad cup of coffee. It’s the caffeine delivery system that counts. I don’t know if I see the picture clearer, or if I can focus on just one aspect of my writing, but when I’m in that void, that twilight of my mind, I can smell the blood in the dirt. I can hear the clashing of sword and the deep sweet song of flesh parting as the blade sinks deep, hitting bone and offal. (The dark side)
The biggest problem when I write in this mood, is that I have a tendency to miss words. The next time that I read my writing, it’s kind of bad. Misspellings, words that need to be included, bad sentence structure, and many more wonderful surprises await me after writing in the dark side. My dyslexia get kicked into overdrive. There are a lot of ‘WTF’ moments, I’m just saying. I am so happy that I type everything out, otherwise I would have to decipher my writing and I don’t think the CIA could help me there. Most of the time I write on my days off in the morning. I think that I have the best writing sessions during my writing periods. But, when I want to get dirty, and I’m tired, my mind if like mud, by eyes burn and I’m basically sick of the world and this f-ing book, that’s when I love to write and it’s all darkness and blood.
Thank you for reading this,