Sunday, September 1, 2013

Ataraxia completed!

Now Playing: Kill Bill soundtrack - Battle Without Honor or Humanity

Title: Ataraxia
Genre: Science-fiction
Protagonists: Caesar Blackbird and Sonya Serova
Started: November 1, 2012 (part of NaNoWriMo)
Finished: September 1, 2013
Word count: 133,000
Chapters: 20
Microsoft word pages: 445

This was a few hours ago, so I did my jumping around/crying/babbling to my parents and friends already. I'm a bit calmer now, though I do feel...weird. It's the first time since I was eleven that I'm not working on a project, so I'm trying to process everything. (Note: Up until this novel, I had a bad habit of working on multiple projects at once, which did the opposite of keeping me motivated.) This is sort of similar to the summer before junior and senior year. I'd finish my projects at the nick of time, then spent the next few days drained but confused. It's like my brain can't really process when I have nothing else to do.

I guess that's sort of a lie. I already have another fantasy story somewhere in my head, so it's not like I've got no ideas. There's still work to do in the near future.

And I know, it's weird, I started it on the first of a month and ended it on the first of another month. And I totally lived up to hipster stereotypes by finishing the book in a cafe. My friend and I decided to go to the library today and just park ourselves there for 90% of the day. It's Sunday of labor day weekend, and it's a college campus, so either everyone with a car ditched or everyone who went out the night before is suffering from a hangover or catching up on sleep, so it was pretty empty and nothing was opened. Luckily, there's a Starbucks right there in the main library, so it kept us fed and caffeinated for a few hours. My friend sat in front of me with a romance book (and shared all the awkward but apparently awesome bits) while I wrapped up the climax and epilogue of Ataraxia.

Because we were there for a few hours, both my friend and I got to the end of our respective stories at around the same time. I was in tears because I was drained and sadfaced at what I'd written, and she was in tears because THE DUKE HAS DECIDED TO REMAIN WITH HIS LOVE, AND NOTHING WILL SEPARATE THEM. It's so beautiful. *cries*

So yeah. We both walked out of the library to go grab a bite to eat with dazed-off looks.

I'm happy that I finished, though. This was an unexpected little thing, in the same way that Redemption was unexpected. I didn't spend weeks and months dreaming about the characters, didn't come up with them as a child then develop them the older I grew. This popped into my head because I saw a cover of a movie called Safe, where a grown man protects a little girl. I thought the relationship looked absolutely adorable and intriguing, and I switched up the genders and came up with my thirteen year old prodigy and his eventual friend and guardian.

I got a lot of things wrong at the beginning, and so many details that took a while to discover. I wrote a brief scene somewhere at a BestBuy on a Mac because all the PCs were taken and I've always liked leaving pieces of dialogue in foreign computers. Then NaNoWriMo came and I decided this was as good of a project to work on as ever. I was disappointed that I only came through with 30k words, and that then it took me nearly nine more months to get 100k more words. But I managed. And I'm happy with it.

So...what now? Do I rewrite it, rewrite it another time, rewrite it a third time, edit it till the end of time, gather critique partners and beta readers, edit it another time, then start up with the agent search?


I know the strength of my writing. I may not know what is publishable, but I know what isn't for sure. Ataraxia is not publishable. The science is sketchy, the prose is mediocre, and while I love my characters, I think I could have developed people like Haider and Maria (especially the former) much better throughout the story. Plus my fight scenes need some serious work.

I will probably work on it and fix it in a few months, when I'm procrastinating on my next novel or avoiding studying for midterms. Maybe ten years from now I'll dig it up and rewrite it so to properly tell Caesar and Sonya's story.

One thing is for sure, though. No sequels* and no focusing on this in the imminent future.

I do think I should move on to the next thing. I hope, for sure, that I'll be able to crank that one out faster and then polish it through a longer period of time. Fantasy isn't easier than sci-fi, but it does require a different approach at researching (and the implementation of said research), so I think I should suffer a little less with this.

That and after starting novels I'd been looking forward to and then being disappointed in a matter of pages because of the protagonists (looking at you, Throne of Glass >>), I'm gonna try my best to write the YA leading heroine I've been eager to find elsewhere. (Even if she is a bit...young).

Hopefully I don't screw it up. Hopefully. There's nothing more eye-twitch inducing than writers who think they've created strong, memorable characters and yet write the most uninspiring cardboard cut-outs.

But...for now, a few days of rest and reading should do me well!

I'll miss you for the time being, Caesar and Sonya. I hope I'll see you again some day.

*I'm surprised at how much I seem to be inwardly against sequels. I've yet to truly write one, and I've only ever planned one (Salvation). I can't even imagine the day I'll have the energy to write a trilogy (or...even something longer than that O_o). But I guess the older I grow, the faster these things will come to me....and the longer the stories will become :D

1 comment:

  1. That's amazing. Congratulations. I'm really proud of you. And I know the feeling VERY well. I remember finishing a novel in the summer before college started, completing the last page in the middle of the night and taking the handwritten manuscript to a used book store to sit there all sleep deprived and read it. ::sigh::


"Science and science fiction have done a kind of dance over the last century... The scientists make a finding. It inspires science fiction writers to write about it, and a host of young people read the science fiction and are excited, and inspired to become scientists...which they do, which then feeds again into another generation of science fiction and science..."
- Carl Sagan, in his message to future explorers of Mars.