Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Writing and Editing a Fantasy is Hard Work

Writing a book is hard.  I mean, if you want to do it right, you have all this stuff you have to do and remember and juggle so it doesn't get lost and so every single thing makes sense.

Writing a fantasy takes hard to a whole new level.

Let's say you write a book filled with normal people set in the present.  You can pull from everyday to populate your book and color their world.  Then you write a book with not-normal people (paranormal) or set in another time (history/dystopian).  You can still pull from everyday for the setting or your experiences as a human interacting with normal stuff.

Fantasy has not-normal people in not-normal places interacting with not-normal things.  That's a lot of stuff you have to make up in your head.  And it all still has to be believable.

There still has to be rules.  You make a critter that lives in the dark, and it can't have attributes of critters that live in the light.  That sort of stuff.  You make a character with loads of power, they still have to get tired.  Eat a muffin.  Sleep.  Your rules can go against normal rules of physics, certainly, but they need to be consistent.  (An all-powerful magic user would get pretty boring, by the way.)

Anyway, I kind of understand why a certain author takes forever to get his books to print.  Although, one might think he'd have his world down by now so he could easily slip into it and crank out whatever book number he's on.  For the record, I don't read this particular author's books, but I hear people complaining about them and how long it takes.  Perhaps someone could suggest a series bible type thing to make the process quicker.  :shrug:

As I sit trying to make progress on the editing of this book... still haven't nailed a title yet... and find myself looking at the percent meter and barely seeing it move from day to day, I'm struck by how much harder this seems than editing my other books.  I built a world.  And as I was building it, things changed between the beginning and the end, so now I need to make the beginning match the end in all the world-building ways.  

I don't know how many pages of notes I have now.  A lot.  Everything from a comma to 'this needs to be moved over there' to rewrite this scene.  And I'm only at 9% as of last night.  That's like 9000 words out of 97000.  Blerg.  So, I guess what I'm saying is... if you're sitting around waiting for this to be done, don't hold your breath.  This shit is hard.  I'm loving it, but that doesn't make it any easier.  Might make it harder because I want this to be the best book it can be and that's going to take a lot of work.  

But I'll do it.  Sometimes I lay in bed at night wondering why I don't just go back to mystery and suspense.  Give myself an easier task.  But I started this and I am going to finish it.  I'm mulish that way sometimes.  And this will be so satisfying when it's done.

What's a task you've completed that you knew was hard going in but had to complete?  


  1. Not holding my breath and remaining patient because I know this song of woe! Too well. And I also understand the struggle to make it the best it can be. Writing fantasy IS hard. There are Rules. Changing the Rules mid-stream? Yeah, not good. Bottom line, you work at your pace.

    And does the author of which you speak stick a bunch of the same initial between his first and last name? I don't read him either though I enjoyed the first few seasons of the HBO adaptation. Then it went off the rails. And yeah, people do complain about the YEARS it takes him. (Of course, I have ABSOLUTELY no room to talk. LOL)

    Keep editing. You've got this!

  2. I agree, writing fantasy is the hardest of all the genres. It's also the most fun!

    Given how wonderful your urban fantasy is, I can barely wait to read your trad fantasy!