Princess of Fire is now over 96,000 words, but that’s not a completely happy thought. I believe I will use most of what I have written, but the structure of the novel as it now exists is an appalling jumble. I have to admit that this is one instance in which pantsing the draft has not done me any favors.
This novel has gone from “gosh, this is going to be easy” to trench warfare. In fact, I have the feeling that I need to put this project on hiatus, giving it a few days to rest before I think about my next steps with it. This is not something I usually do, but the scope of the problems I now perceive with Fire exceed those I had with Princess of Shadows, which at least had the benefit of being a good deal simpler in structure. I need to give this project some space to sort itself out.
But, in truth, there is more going on with me than just the issues I am having with Fire. Other factors are impacting my productivity and making it hard to stay focused on a difficult project– uncertainties in the personal space, employment issues, and, depressingly, one of my periodic funks in which I am sure my writing is the most godawful dreck in the history of literature. I do this every now and then. This time around it’s been bad enough to make me wonder if I should really be asking people to pay for my stories on Amazon, and whether I shouldn’t just offer them all for free somewhere.
Partly as a consequence I did remove two of my novellas from Kindle I decided were not up to snuff, but I finally talked myself into leaving my other stories in place. I think my stories are at least as good as the average run of self-published material. Considering what’s out there, I may be damning myself with faint praise, but I’m not going radically change anything, at least for the time being.
As far as Princess of Fire goes, I am going to let it lie fallow for a few days while I doodle on some other projects, and then see if I can come back to it with fresh eyes. To be honest, it’s not like I have a rabid fan-base pounding on my door, demanding the next Divine Lotus book. The only pressure I have on me with this project is self-imposed, and I need to give myself a break.