I have felt very stalled since the holidays, writing-wise. I got the first agent-y feedback on Talassio, confirming with sinking heart what in truth I already knew; I dove into the rewrite, as well as taking a couple of the story-seeds I had thought of during the holidays and exploring them. But I could not get momentum on any front. Half the rewrite was really just rejiggering stuff already written, so that was fine; but the new scenes, reconceiving the London parts . . . the spark just isn’t there. It is, to quote that Stephen King meme bobbing around, like shoveling sh*t from a sitting position.
And then I realized part of the problem is that I haven’t researched London the way I researched Venice, Milan, and especially Paris. If I want something to happen in any of those cities, I can plausibly pick an area, describe its major features, know at once if I can, say, send Jules off to get a coffee while Bad Things Happen . . . you get the idea.
This is London and its surrounding areas, circa about 1728 or so.
Obviously, I have reading to do. Thankfully I have at long last learned my lesson and I have an ugly-draft of the revision all written out, so I know the main sequence of where they go, who they see, how they end up leaving. But making it all plausibly active requires a better sense of the lay of the land.
All of which means there is no way I’m putting this to bed this week; I may be able to squeak out a functioning version by the end of the month. Fingers crossed.
In other news, the Fae TOC was posted and I was so so happy to see that Beth Cato is in it as well. When I first started writing again, I signed up at the Online Writing Workshop to get some feedback (I am still a member, though I have not done much there since November—see momentum, above), and Beth was just transitioning out of the OWW. I got to read a few chapters of her upcoming novel, which was wonderful; just as important, she was one of a few writers that I looked to for What to Do. I had not submitted for several years, and when I had last done so it had been to just the Big Names of Literary Stuff—places like Ploughshares, Tin House, and the like. To find writers like Beth who were several steps down the path was a huge help in figuring out where to steer my own efforts. As I said on Twitter, it feels like coming full circle to be sharing bookspace with her. Every now and then you get a call for subs that feels serendipitous: this was one of them. So pleased to be a part of the antho!