Fine. Let’s just get this out in the open: I’ve got some serious problems with The Balance of Light.
What problems, you say?
–A directionless beginning full of scenes that aren’t working.
–Flat dialogue that doesn’t work.
–A bloated manuscript that needs to be cut by at least a third, if not more.
–A lot of ‘stage direction’ prose.
I’m sure there’s more, but I won’t go into it. That’s not what this post is about. I’m trying to be optimistic, damn it all! 🙂
But there it is. I knew this was the Problem Child of the trilogy. I knew there were a lot of issues that needed to be fixed. I will fully admit to doing a lot of “I’ll fix it later” when I was writing it. And during all those rereads and edits, I’d been making mental notes of what worked and what needed fixing. I wasn’t quite avoiding it; more that I wanted to focus more on the first two books, before putting all my focus on this big beast. And guess what? That ‘later’ has finally arrived. I have to fix it NOW.
Here’s a secret in the creative world: when a writer or an artist or a musician goes past their expected deadline (even if it’s just a personal one), chances are good that they’re currently in the same boat as I am at present — that their work needs…well, a lot of work. And more to the point, we would really rather not put out a half-assed piece of crap. Or as Judith Tarr said to me once: don’t phone it in, the readers will know. Trust me when I say we’re not procrastinating or ignoring our creations. We’re trying to sculpt a giant statue out of a giant mountain and we want to get it right. Quite often while juggling a Day Job.
So what does this mean for The Balance of Light?
Well. First off, I’m pretty sure I’m gonna blow right past my self-imposed autumn deadline. I kind of had a feeling that would happen, anyway, so I’m not that worried about it. I’ll keep everyone updated on it who’s interested. I’m planning on going a bit old-school and printing it out so I have a tangible copy of it to work with. There may be some further revision and rewriting. But I will get it done.
And for that I thank you all for being so patient!