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Diligence, Doggedness, and even Spunk: Yes to Persevere!

I have been going through a bit of the doldrums recently regarding my Writing. This has been my modus operandi over the last 40 years. Get halfway through a novel and then get bogged down, lose the story thread, feel like the story isn’t going anywhere, and worse of all — make myself believe that my writing is Crap.

“What?”

I didn’t have to ask who as her voice penetrated my head like a silver bullet.

And naturally I can’t just leave it out in the ether like that. “What do you mean what?”

She spun my chair and leaned forward putting both hands on the armrest. “How could you say those things? There is a big difference.”

“What difference?” Sadly it was my turn to ask the questions.

“Before you didn’t have…” a quirky smile lit her face “your Muse…Me.” She stood back looking at me.

For once she had a point. I had tried to go it alone in the past and it never worked. Plus I also didn’t have the course I was taking or the support of all the Writers I have met and gotten to know in the How To Think Sideways’ Forums.

I chalk some of my lost spirit up to the fact that I am retiring in a week and all that it brings into the equation. But even so I have been struggling with my Writing, making the mistake of reading it as I write and criticizing the quality.

I have a couple of other Writers who are reading my First Draft and giving me feedback. They, along with some comments from the Forums,  have encouraged me and reminded me that I don’t need to worry about whether my writing is any good, if I feel like my story is moving slowly, or anything else. All I need to do is write until I finish the First Draft. And as Holly says herself, it doesn’t even need to be good writing. The idea is to just get the story down on paper (or in a computer file). That is all that is important. It doesn’t make any difference if the story is any good or if more than half of it will eventually be thrown away. Just finish it. Everything else can wait until I start Revising the First Draft.

And while I am still a little sullen about it all, I suddenly feel more energized. At least animated enough to keep plugging away on the First Draft. With a renewed spirit I will Persevere and finish the novel. I mean with all the support I am getting and the new skills I have obtained through my course, how could I not finish the novel.

“And…”

I was so lost in my thoughts that I forgot she was still there. “Oh yes, and my delightful Muse.”

I was rewarded with a smug look. But enough of this for now. Sufficient to say that I am charging ahead and will keep working nearly every day to get through this First Draft — and then onto Revision.

And to prove that I am providing what I hope is a little treat for you guys. I am really hoping to get my Book’s website up soon – just waiting on artwork. But in the meantime I wanted to give you an example of the type of thing you will find on the website when it finally comes up. I will have some character descriptions, different stages of artwork, my own personal thoughts on how the story is going or what I am planning on doing, and even snippets from the book. In fact, below is around a 600 word snippet from the First Draft. It is from the currently planned Scene 11 after Willoe and her brother Rowyn have changed places. And to paraphrase a caveat from my instructor, Holly, below is protective notice so you totally understand what it is you are reading.

NOTICE: This material is copyrighted, unchecked raw first draft, including all the mistakes I still need to fix. Please don’t post typos or corrections (I will worry about all that when I start Revision). This snippet of the book may not survive Revision. Do not quote or repost anywhere or in any format. Thanks.

While Willoe had been taking in the grand preparations Mael finally showed with his three apostles in tow, Shield Tanguy among them. Mael and Captain Harte would lead the column out of the city followed by the Shields and then the carriage containing Count Reneir, Lady Emeline, the Priestess Huguette, and the mysterious Bat-Uul. After that would come Aeron, Willoe, Protector Dougal, and Cleric Yoan, with the Pages not far behind. Bringing up the end of the column would be the mounted and foot guardsmen, supply wagons, and various servants. Once they left the city several mounted guardsmen would scatter as outrunners to the front, side, and back of the caravan. Just precautionary as it was unlikely any bandits would confront such a well armed convoy.

Mael looked over at who he saw as his brother and shook his head belying the smile on his face. Willoe just stared straight back at Mael and shared the biggest grin she could muster. Mael’s smile faded into a confused frown. Aeron noticed the interchange and elbowed Willoe saying a bit loudly, “We should get to our mounts Prince Rowyn,” emphasizing the word Rowyn.

The grin quickly disintegrated and she turned her head away from Mael. One of the Pages, a young boy, probably around twelve, walked quickly up to Aeron and Willoe. He introduced himself as Tomos and started to show them to their horses.

As they approached the horses Tomos turned back towards them, his brown locks draped in his eyes. He acted as if he wanted to say something, but he just pointed to two horse without looking at them. Mael and the Shields would be seated on the larger Courser war horses. Aeron’s mount was also a Courser as befitted his station. The other mounted guardsmen and squires rode the smaller all purpose Rounceys. In contrast Willoe had been saddled with one of Rowyn’s personal horses. While a fine horse and probably more expensive than even the Coursers, it was a much smaller horse, breed for speed and endurance rather than for the short rush and violence of combat.

“Prince Mael?” Willoe asked blandly.

Tomos just nodded in agreement.

Willoe sighed, pushed the hair back from her face and looked at Aeron . He just shrugged with a twisted smile and said, “I can get Night Spirit”, his Palfrey similar to the one waiting for Willoe.

“No, no need.” The insult was evident. The heir apparent was making a point that Rowyn was not fit to be in the escort. And Willoe would be Shade Damned if she would let Mael get the better of her.

“It’s fine Tomos,” Willoe stepped up and scratched under the bay’s mane. “I am very familiar with Rowyn’s Windsinger,”. Aeron cleared his throat and Willoe quickly corrected herself. “My Windsinger.”

Tomos bowed again somewhat relieved and in a squeaky voice, still in the midst of change, informed them, “Either myself or Sion,” he pointed to the other Page who was intently listening to a lecture he was receiving from Mael, “will provide your service for the journey.” He was very official in his manner, but he couldn’t keep away a smile that showed off his young dimples.

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