fantasy,  publication,  WIP,  writing

It’s not about the destination, it’s about the… lemurs?

(Warning: a late-night caffeine-infused post-word-binge rant.)

I’ve had friends tell me that their favorite part about fantasy literature is the journey. The part when the characters are tromping through the forest, drinking from waterskins, gnawing on jerky, and sitting around campfires telling stories. Yes, there is a certain amount of charm in that but, well, let me tell you something.

I seriously hate writing it.

At the moment, ironically, it is just where my characters are. While much of the first half of the book is, technically, a journey, this point is where the marshmallow toasting and night watches come in. It’s the build-up to the big end, the culmination, the Big Burrito Payoff (I don’t know what that is exactly, but I think it sounds cool).

And honestly? I can’t wait to get it done. I can’t wait for the dude to roll out of the bushes and yell, “ROLL FOR INITIATIVE!” I want Peter to stop pondering his existence and all those lovely kisses from the last chapter, and go and do something already. I would really REALLY like to stop writing about horses, and people on horses, and horse hooves, and horses in the snow, and burrs in horses’ tails.

But, pacing. Pacing is important. I can’t wrap up a week’s travel in one paragraph. That would be sillier than a lemur on a pogo-stick doing the fandango.

(Apparently this is my 90K meltdown. I wasn’t aware one was coming, but lo and behold, here it is.)

So, instead of writing this scene, I’m sitting here writing about not writing this scene. I need to get the characters from A to B, with enough exciting and yet brief stuff in the middle so it doesn’t lag and yet moves along smoothly because, damnit, I tend to be too long winded with these books and I’m forcing myself to keep it to 30K more and that’s it; because really, no agent/publisher/editor is going to want to represent/buy/read a 250K manuscript about people sitting around campfires waiting for Big Burritos.

Except maybe if they’re also lemurs.


  • thejinx

    I know precisely how you feel. I’ve had a lot of trouble writing similar traveling scenes for the sake of pacing, and it’s probably one of my least favourite things to write. (And yet, it ends up being one of the most common, due to the exposition that needs to come out somewhere.)

  • Scott Marlowe

    There’s one of those rules out there… if you’re bored writing a scene, aren’t your readers going to be bored reading it?

    I sympathize with you. I’ve had scenes where I just want to be done with it and move on to something more interesting or exciting. Of course, more often than not, I fall back on the rule above and the scene ultimately gets axed.

  • Mari Adkins

    What Scott said. Besides, you can always write it and trash it and redo it later. Been there. Just plow through it. Or skip it and come back to it. But this is me – Miss WriterlyOutofOrder McWriterlyOutofOrderSon.

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