Sorry, All —

January 20th, 2008

I can’t do it right now. I have most of a chapter but it eats it, and I’m completely, totally wiped out by having done a 20-day sprint to finish BAD MONEY, the first of my burglar series. (This is the fastest I’ve ever written a novel; I had the idea on Thanksgiving day, started writing on December 1, and finished it on January 17.) For the past three days I’ve been working ten hours a day combing the manuscript for horrific mistakes, and finding more than I had anticipated.

So this morning at 10:30 I sent it to my agent and sat down to finish my chapter. No way in the world. I am empty. And I’m also mildly depressed by finishing the book, because I loved living in the world in which it took place. I’ve never laughed out loud so often while writing anything.

Maybe tomorrow, maybe the day after. I’ve got this damn move coming up, too. And while I know the world isn’t holding its breath waiting for the next installment of Counterclockwise, I hate missing deadlines.

6 Responses to “Sorry, All —”

  1. Lisa Kenney Says:

    “It eats it” — uh oh. I’m pretty sure my chapter eats it and I posted it anyway 🙂

    I am so astounded that you finished and edited an entire novel in less than two months! How the heck does that work?

    Although some of us are, indeed holding our breath, waiting for the next installment of “Counterclockwise”, we certainly will cut you some slack. You have a LOT going on. Take your time and post when you’re ready, but reassure me that it’s ok to post a shitty chapter or I’ll stab myself with my quill. 😉

  2. reality Says:

    That is a lot of work. Impressed than ever.
    Down with the flu and braincells are dead.

  3. Timothy Hallinan Says:

    Lisa, this chapter really does eat it, believe me.

    The novel just pushed its way through me — I woke up thinking story, wrote all day, seven days a week, went to sleep thinking story, woke up in the middle of the night a few times to write things down. One night I got up at 2:30 and wrote till 10 AM. There were times I felt like John Hurt in “Alien” when that thing burst out of his chest.

    And I didn’t really edit it — it was a comb-through and a touch-up, looking for the things that happen when we write too fast – a character named Frank, for example, who comes back eleven chapters later named Tony, or the occasional chronological impossibility, something to which thrillers are particularly vulnerable. Found and fixed two.

    And I’m wiped out and a little bit depressed.

    But I THINK it’s a good book.

    And I’ll read your chapter tomorrow and tell you how shitty is isn’t.

  4. Timothy Hallinan Says:

    Usman —

    I know exactly how you feel. The only days I ABSOLUTELY don’t write are the days when I’m sick because my IQ drops down in the inanimate object zone.

    Feel better fast.

  5. Jennifer Says:

    Well, I see that you posted a chapter a day after posting this, and I look forward to reading it.

    I’m really impressed by your–I hesitate to use words like “discipline” and “work ethic,” because it sounds like you’re doing what you want and love to do. So maybe it’s passion that impresses me, because it’s obviously producing results.

  6. Timothy Hallinan Says:

    Jennifer —

    Yeah, I finally made it. I’ll probably be late this week, too. And you’re right about writing being what I want to do, but it still requires both discipline and a work ethic because life is so interesting and writing can occasionally be so daunting.

    One of the ways I gauge how daunting writing actually is at any given moment is to see how interested I am in things to which I normally wouldn’t give a moment’s thought — the writing on a Windex label, for example, or a long magazine story about interpreting the body language of cats. If those things are holding my attention, I’d better ask myself what’s gone wrong with my writing.

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