Week 1 Retrospective

Well, we finished our first week in the office.

And it was awesome.

Truly.  There was something magical about waking up each day and heading into that little room.  We started out on Monday, and spent the first few hours doing some story breakdown on the first of our fantasy novellas.  If you looked at Joe’s blog post from last week, you might recognize the name of the first novella.  We are referring to it as “Elinor” for now, though I think a title reveal may be coming soon.

“Elinor” has been kicking around for the last couple of months, and originally our plan was to finish “Elinor” and get it out and published before the summer hit.  This didn’t quite happen, but as we are learning more about what we want to put out there and the aspects of publishing that we are handling ourselves, the extra time is definitely being well spent.  “Elinor” was a little rough through May, as we looked at a couple of different directions we wanted to go.

It became clear that with “Elinor” being the first in our series that we were writing, there was quite a bit more world building and context to establish, as well as crafting a story that we were proud to tell. Monday morning, Joe and I sat down in the office and got to work on fine tuning a lot of this stuff.  In all honesty, this is some of my favorite work we do.  Face to face, firing ideas back and forth, writing frantically on the mounted white board on the office wall.  This is just pure creative thrill, and it is awesome.  It also is one of the hardest situations to arrange during our normal lives.  So that first morning, when we were free to just really work in that way, was honestly worth the first month’s rent right there.

Tuesday we had off.  The way our schedule works, we meet Monday, have Tuesday off, then work Wednesday through Saturday, with Sunday also a day off.  It was good.  I spent Tuesday with my dad and my son while my wife worked, and I felt great.  I was also excited to get back to work the next day.

Wednesday, we went over some of the writing that had been finished for “Elinor.”  It was good, strong.  But we both kind of realized there were certain aspects in it that were still not quite working.  Then, Joe did what Joe does best.  Joe has a habit of coming up with radical changes.  At first, these changes seem to come at inopportune times, but the truth could not be more opposite.  These changes come at the absolute prefect time, and every time…EVERY. SINGLE.  TIME.  they serve to make things better.  So we looked at that change, and realized, yup, it was much more in line with the story we wanted to tell and the themes we wanted to focus on.

Thursday and Friday were spent finishing up the first draft, with the exception of an epilogue that is still to come.  Joe and I would talk in the mornings, and then from about 10-3 would be writing time for me and editing/revision time for Joe.  By Saturday morning, we had the first draft done, and the notes for our revision pass  Saturday afternoon, I tackled the first of the revision packages for one of our Acts (our novellas are looking like they will have a five act structure).

And on Sunday, we rested.

Ok, that is actually totally not true.  On Sunday, I had my son’s third birthday party at an amusement park, and Joe and his family were there.  Between the kids, the rides, and the sun, we both felt pretty tired from our day off.  But we also both joked about how excited we were to get back to work tomorrow.

Because we really are.

This coming week will see “Elinor” finished and ready to send out to Beta readers.  Beta readers will be the subject of a future blog post, but they are essentially the people you let see your work before you publish it, so you can get their opinion.  They are the single most valuable commodity in writing.  If you are interested in doing some Beta reading for us, email me at mark@gelineauandking.com. We’re looking to expand beyond our small and trusted current coterie.

And once “Elinor” is done and in the hands of our Beta readers?  Why, then I will start the writing work on “Ferran,” our next novella.  And I need to, because Joe is already outlining novellas three and four.

Believe me when I say we cannot wait to share these stories with you.

-Mark

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