where the writers are
New Year Resolve

I'm aiming to finish Hal 5, natch. I've been working on other projects for two months now, mostly programming ones, but I'm beginning to feel the pull of the WIP once more.

To say I've missed a deadline is an understatement, but I have to write my novels a certain way. First, I get a rough draft together over a period of months. I keep working on it until I'm sick of the thing, and then put it away hoping never to see it again. Two or three months later all memories of the hours, days and weeks of solid writing and plotting have washed away, and I'm able to pick up the draft and tackle it with an editor's eye, rather than your typical tortured creative writer's one.

But Simon, you say, this is your fifth novel. Surely you know the routine by now?

The reason it's taken me this long to work out my routine is because I had to rewrite my first three novels for publication, which is why they only took 4-5 months each. I figured I could knock out new books in eight months tops, making one a year including the publisher's side of things.

Book four (Hal Spacejock No Free Lunch) emerged from the smoking wreckage of three different NanoWrimo efforts, so again I started with actual wreckage to rebuild - even then it took me 18 months rather than 8.

With Hal 5 the wreckage was still tumbling while I was trying to fix the thing up, and that made things impossible.

So, I'm sitting here with a pile of manuscript wreckage on my desk, and it's barely smoking at all. I'm just about ready to pile in with the bobcat, shovel and dynamite, and I'm looking forward to it.

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