October 24th, 2011

Sometimes writing isn’t magic.  Sometimes it’s cranking.

I’m continuing to function in crank mode, writing 3500 words each day and deleting 3100 of them the next day.

The end of THE FEAR ARTIST is out there somewhere.  And not just “an” ending, because I’ve had several of those already, but the ending.  The ending that will allow me to sleep at night rather than basting in flop sweat as I wait for the sun to rise.

So wish me luck, burn sage in my direction, salute the four winds and seed them with inspiration, and DON’T PHONE ME.  This will eventually come to an end.

In the meantime, two great guest blogs coming up — Chester Campbell, a thoroughly original writer tomorrow, followed by the long-delayed ROR, which stands for Return of Robb.

Don’t touch that dial.

11 Responses to “Cranking”

  1. EverettK Says:

    I’d comment on your crankiness, but I don’t want to disturb your cranking.

    Oops, too late.

  2. Lil Gluckstern Says:

    So much of life is slogging. I would have responded sooner, but I couldn’t access your site. Just think how wonderful it will be when you get to the top of the mountain.

  3. michael hallinan Says:

    Unless this is a contest speed is not too important. A great ending might come to you after a few days of rest. Tell ’em Mike sent you.

  4. Sheri Hart Says:

    Hang in there, Tim, and know you’re giving hope to all the little people.

    There is something comforting in knowing even Big Name Authors have cranking days.


  5. Helen Simonson Says:

    In the final days of my novel draft, I once stopped to write ‘some days are like breaking rocks’ over and over on both sides of a scrap envelope. It was a Tim Hallinan quote and it got me through my own flop sweats and the screaming troll on my shoulder that said the end would never come. Go Tim! Best wishes from Helen S.

  6. Larissa Says:

    I was having trouble accessing your site the past few days too…hm…luckily it seems that the problem has been resolved. (c:

    Keep chugging away-there really is an answer out there…not just an answer but THE answer, as you said. I’ve been back at the mental grinding wheel of New Ideas and I’m being reminded of how many unfinished projects and homework and work work that I have left to do before I can sit down and start anything new. So, you’ll have some distant slogging company! (c:

    Anyway-good luck and we can’t wait to see the end!

  7. Lil Gluckstern Says:

    How your crankiness now? Can’t wait to see the outcome!

  8. Bonnie Says:

    Tim has reported on DorothyL that the Fear Artist is “finished;” that is, it will need some editing in addition to the editing that was always ongoing, but still…sounds like he has wound it up. Congratulations. Goes without saying I can’t wait to read it!

  9. Crenna Aesegas Says:

    Think of it this way…..know how looking directly at stars actually makes it hard to see them? So look away, have confidence that your infinitely fecund brain will see the star ending in the darkness! Besides, when you get distracted and frustrated you vent great stuff here, heh heh…
    Slog on, McDuff, slog on!

  10. Timothy Hallinan Says:

    Hi, everybody, and sorry yet again for the long absence. Dreamhost, on whose servers this site resides, go through spasms of intelligence contraction when their combined IQ shrinks into single digits and they forget things like who’s the registered owner of the site and whose credit card things are billed to and, and, and. And special thanks to Bonnie for helping get the site up and running again.

    Yes, the first draft of the last quarter of THE FEAR ARTIST is done, and I’m currently in speed-edit mode for about 12 hours a day. Everything but that long final push to the end is probably actually third-draft because of the way I write but I churned out the ending without going back every day and rewriting over and over and over, etc. So now it’s time to make sure the whole thing works.

    Crenna, it’s funny because I just used the not-looking-directly-at-the-object-in-the-dark thing two days ago, and thanks for the oblique reference to Rilke, and my favorite Rilke poem at that.

    Helen, thanks for reminding me that I used to know how to finish a book. What I should have done is asked you to finish it for me. How’s the new one? When will it come out?

    Mike, the only need for speed is that the book is contractually late, and the publishing process actually begin with the delivery of the manuscript. And there’s no hurrying the publishing process.

    Sherri, Everett, Riss, and Lil, thanks so much for all the support and good wishes. And Sherri, I never, ever forget the Little People.

  11. Sean Bunzick Says:

    From what I’ve read of your past novels, Tim, you’ll get exactly what you want when the time comes but of course–like any OTHER writer–you more than likely won’t know when that time will be until the very moment when it hits you head-on like some Issan punk driving a tuk-tuk at Warp 15 down Sukhunvit well after even the Thermae has shut down for the “night”. Then it will feel orgasmic in its own way but until then, yeah, it’s sure as shit going to be truly annoying.
    I know because I’m currently going through that right now with my latest John Harwich Adventure novel that I’m working on here in Pucheng, Shaanxi Province, China when I’m not pretending to be an English teacher to high school students. Some days are pure bliss as a writer–others are akin to being trapped in a broken lift with Roseanne on the rag. The most important thing to do is get the novel finished–and then feel fairly satisfied with it. You can always do re-writes later–I always do. Best wishes from Chung Kuo!

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