Thursday, March 08, 2007

Vacation Writing

There's nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein. ~ Walter Wellesley "Red" Smith

You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you. ~ Ray Bradbury

Substitute "damn" every time you're inclined to write "very;" your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be. ~ Mark Twain

Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwards. ~Robert Heinlein

Update at the bottom

When I planned this vacation - and I needed it, believe you me! - I told myself that I was going to write. Either I was going to continue struggling with the two novels I've been fighting for so long, or I would shelve them, and move on to another work. Well, I shelved the old, and picked up the new. I know I won't come close to finishing this before my return to work on March 16Th, but I can get a ways down the trail, and lay down a fine foundation for myself.

I've officially, for my purposes, begun my sequel to "Benning's War", which is called, for the time being, "Harry's War". I'm still doing my research reading, and may have to buy some of the books I'm reading (the library has some, but not all, of the material I need. And I like to have the reference matter at hand if I need it.), but I have a good idea of how the story will unfold. I have historical figures, and new characters, and many of the old characters from "Benning's War" to flesh out the tale. I have to confess that I love the family I created for my first novel. So writing more about them is no struggle, but is more like a nice visit with people I like.

This time around I doubt I can find the time, or the money, to go to the sites I will write about. I don't have the kind of income I had when I was ready to do on-the-ground research for the first novel. I wish I had, as that in-person look at the actual battlefields was very helpful to me, and added a feeling of reality to what I wrote. At least I think so! So this time around I will have to rely on maps, and pictures. And I will use the Internet more than I did before.

But the story will write itself, as the first one did, and I'll try not to get in the way too much. As of 10PM this evening, after about 3 hours of writing, I now have one-and-a-half chapters done. Granted, they're first drafts, so much can, and may, change later. But 4,000 words at a sitting is very good. For me. I imagine Stephen King can do 10,000 at a sitting, and come back for more after a snack. But I'm very happy that the words flowed so nicely for me, this evening, and I look forward to doing more. If not tonight, then tomorrow.

My editor from "Benning's War" has agreed to look over my early drafts. She is familiar with my "voice", or writing style, and I trust her judgement. That's a plus! I expect to submit this work to my publisher, ePress Online. I'm comfortable with them, too!

After my morning coffee, and my blog visits, mind you.

I'm expecting this novel to be longer than the first. I have a larger swath of territory and time to cover. And I want to delve into my Indian characters in a way I didn't do with the British and Tories in the first. I hope my Muse stays with me through it all. I'll keep you updated. Whether you want me to or not! Ha!


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Possible SPOILER Alert! Warning! Warning! (that's for aka Blandly Urbane who has not finished Benning's War. Sorry, BU!)

Update 3/9/07: So far, this morning, I've managed to pound out 2,478 words. Chapter Two may be finished, as far as a first draft, but I may tinker with it a bit more. It's flashback, if you will, and it spreads out and adds some 'backstory' to the tale. This was fun to write, as I managed to introduce one of Isaac and Rebecca's children: daughter Irene, named for Isaac's mother. Well, two of the children when you include the baby, Will, who does nothing but gum a biscuit. Well, back to my Word document! The coffee is gone, and I may start thinking of eating something. Stay safe, friends!


camojack said...

I look forward to reading another of your novels.

Joubert said...

Break a leg, Benning.

I imagine Stephen King can do 10,000 at a sitting, and come back for more after a snack.

Maybe, but, after reading his stuff, you feel like all you've had to eat was a snack - not a three course meal which I'm sure Harry's War will be and as Benning's War is.

benning said...

Thanks, guys. Right now, I'm not struggling at all, the story feels as though it's simply pouring out, and the discovery is exciting. I'm learning new things about Harry, and meeting new friends, and getting reaquainted with old friends, too.

If it continues like this, as the first novel did through most of the writing, I'm gonna be happy with the results.

Brooke said...

Good luck, Benning! :D

I can't wait to see it.

defiant_infidel said...

I read your words, Benning, and I find myself saying out loud, "What an incredible character this guy is"! You are a writer to the core, Sir, and reading you has a calming effect that makes me just smile. I think of words like 'comfortable', 'happy' and 'content' when I read your posts. And your eagerness to research displays how hard you work.

I want to buy a copy of your book, and will, but I am so busy right now that I know better for the moment... I'm sure I couldn't put it down.

Have a wonderful vaca, Benning. I feel sure you will...


benning said...

Brooke: Thanks! I can't wait either! LOL

BU: Now how am I to get my head through the door? ;)

a.k.a. Blandly Urbane said...


Mark some of the stuff with **SPOILER***!!!!!!!!!

Isaac and Rebecca?????????????


I cannot help it if I haven't been allowed to pick the book up in two weeks!!!!


Farce be with you!

benning said...


So skip the updates, BU! I expect to move beyond that sort of updating, but I needed to say it.


Always On Watch said...

Woo-hoo! Another novel from you?

My two students who loved your book will be excited about this.

I am excited too!

Crank it out, Benning. And make it good. I know you will. :)

benning said...

Thanks, AOW. I'm glad they enjoyed it! Thanks for letting them know about it. :D