“Our doubts are traitors…”

“Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by daring to attempt.” -William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure

March closed out at a little over $800. But SV is on hold for a while as I sort through the space opera story that’s been nibbling at the edges of my subconscious during the last few months.

It’s the first story I’ve written that has a concrete beginning, middle, and end. There is a grand conflict and there are smaller ones, and there are character arcs, and angst aplenty. There are planets and space battles and aliens and one big love story. My outline is an elastic thing, stretching from the microbits of a scene to broad, general sweeping plot turns (“write epic battle here”).

It’s not detailed enough for me to pound out 10,000 words in a day, as the astonishing Rachel Aaron has been known to do, but I’m stumbling through it as I go. I’m functioning off the fact that I tend to go off the rails at some point in my writing, with or without an outline, and a hyper-detailed outline would probably feel like waste at that point as I gleefully twirl off into the great blue beyond.

I’ve been managing 1,000 words a day. This is okay, not great, but space opera is much, much harder to write than anything I’ve worked on before. Building an entire universe up from scratch has a way of making my fingers freeze on my keyboard. I’m launching into my first big battle scene this weekend and am giving myself permission to take a day or two to outline it out so I can write through it quickly and logically come the weekend.

I do get frustrated with my prose. It’s either too slippery and elusive for genre fiction or too basic and declarative-sentence-y for my own taste. I’m struggling to hit the right balance with my diction–honestly, I’ve read fan fiction in the sci-fi genre that’s much better written than what I’m outputting. This is dismaying but I press forward regardless–what other choice is there?

If all goes well I should be finished with this novel by mid-June. Excelsior!

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