Yes, that's me. I've been AWOB. That is, Absent Without Blog. It's been an entire week and that is sooooooo unlike me. I usually have lots and lots to say. Well, it's not that I don't still have lots and lots to say, but that I've been putting that energy into finishing up the second book in The Legend of Blackbeard's Chalice series, THE CULT.
And of course, these things just take time. Sometimes, they take their own good time. Words, like basset hounds, often cannot be rushed.
Years ago I used to do this workshop called 10 Steps to Writing the Novel. One of the last few steps was a phase I called fermentation. This is when once you have the draft all down on paper, whether you just lay down the pages and move on, or whether you edit as you go, once it is all there from front to back, I believe the book needs to ferment. During fermentation, it has to bubble up and let off a little gas and be stirred around a bit in the brain to really, REALLY know if you've truly writen all that needs to be written. In short, the book needs to get a little age on it.
Last weekend, I typed "the end" (well, not really because I actually never do that, but just imagine) to the book. I let it alone for two days, didn't touch it. On the third went back and read it all the way through, front to back. Made some line edit changes, added a sentence or para or two here and there, and then printed it off. Once on hardcopy, I read it again, front to back, made notes and hard copy edits. Then I let it sit another couple of days.
Clearly, I knew deep in my gut the book really isn't finished but I did not exactly know why yet.
Yesterday morning I decided to drive up to my parents to visit. It's a three hour drive and the alone time in the car on the way up was nice. Cleared my head of some things -- you know, the junk that sometimes clutters it up in there? And while there yesterday and last night, I didn't think much about the book. Then today, driving back, it hit me.
The reason I know THE CULT is not yet finished is because there are two more books in this series coming. Now why, would you say, two more later books would affect the current book? Because of continuity from book to book. All of the books in the series could stand alone, of course, however there are certain elements that must gel from book to book.
That is why this one isn't finished. I need to lay a little more ground work in this one before I can move on. Which means, because I now know there will be a book 4 and a book 5 in this series, I want to make sure I've laid it out perfectly in book 2.
The chatter in my head died down enough today in order for me to figure it out. Now, I just need things to ferment slightly more in order to get things down on paper.
I'll have THE CULT finished by next weekend, I'm certain, now that I've given the book a chance to age and given my brain a chance to relax.
That's a good feeling, you know?