Now We’re Here

shehulkicon The zero draft of Harmony is finished! It’s over 100K, easily my longest zero yet. I dislike it, as a book. It’s messy and structurally unsound, and revising it will no doubt be a chore, and I slogged through it for so long I have grown to hate it with the fiery hate of a thousand suns.

All in all, usual for finishing a zero draft. When I go back, I’ll no doubt find passages that maybe aren’t so bad, and ways to fix the structural problems, and and and.

I took yesterday off–for a certain value of “off”, I guess, one that included a doctor’s visit and all the chore backlog from weeks of stabbing the book and hoping it would die. Also as usual: a monstrous headache and the urge to try that tiny bottle of Drambuie I bought to see if I’d like it. Conclusion: It’s not for me, if I want liquorice I’ll go straight for absinthe, thanks.

So today is for a run, and for turning my attention to Afterwar. I meant to use NaNoWriMo to finish the first half of Afterwar, but the last 50K of Harmony intruded. I’ll still aim to use that spur to get me through. My head doesn’t hurt quite as much, and while I’d love to take a week off, I’m already behind and the urgency of writing is poking at my back and pulling my hair.

The funny thing (well, funny-strange, not funny-haha) is, one of the pitches for Afterwar was the simple question: what if Trump won? I’m not sure if my precog ability was working overtime or if it was just the most horrific topical scenario I could come up with to express the alt-historical track I intended the book to take. Of course, now we’re here, and the small hands of the orange demagogue are grasping at corruption riches while his “friends” try to normalize registering people to send them to camps.

The darkest timeline, indeed. And we’re only a few days into the “transition”. Great.

Writing has always been, for me, a scream against the darkness. I suppose now I’ll find out where my courage truly lies, again.

With that ultra-cheerful thought, I’ll sign off. Perhaps I can sweeten the pill by saying this: if you have often wondered, as I have, what you would do in said darkest timeline, well, now’s the chance to find out. Think about it beforehand, so when the bite comes, you’re ready. I have faith (faint and fading, but faith nonetheless) in us.

Over and out.

  • Maicon Vollzin

    It’s not being a great political and existential time in the world righ now. That helps be really strange when writing alt-history, as you, seeing your pitch line happening, before your eyes, in reality. Here in Brazil — after a presidential impeachment resembling more a coup d’état than a actually conviction of a wrongdoer public servant –, we aren’t in better shape and the prospects are the worse possible. This year was tough so far, and last month’s regional elections showed no hope. Through it all, as my final college project, I’m developing a TV series bible about a dystopian future, discussing segregation and totalitary and theocratic political movements — and it’s so nerve-wrecking witness this happing outside my fictional narrative since I begun writing it. I only hope that fiction be able to show us some merciful ways out and better possibilities even amidst so much horror — to keep us strong to keep on fighting.

  • Yeah, I was reading about the Dilma Rousseff “impeachment” and my heart was in my throat. 🙁 I don’t know if fiction can save us, but I’m going to keep working as if it can.

  • Maicon Vollzin

    I don’t know either, but I keep on hoping, somehow we may reach somewhere through creativity…
    (I’m suprised you’ve known about Dilma’s “impeachment” in order to have that kind of reaction, which somehow equals my on since this portentous happening.)

  • I follow Glenn Greenwald on Twitter, and he was doing stories about it. It made me worry about my Brazilian fans. Like you!