Serialised Fiction – Part Eight
Despite the minor hiccup I had last week, having to redo the final episode pretty much from scratch, I finally managed to finish this opus this week. And how do I feel? Am I overflowing with a sense of achievement? Satisfaction for having gotten this mammoth under control? Relief?
In truth, no. I am merely in a place where I feel “Meh, is that it? So what now?”
I shall be honest. I have never completed a project before. Sure, I’ve finished that novel (despite doing endless redrafts) but it’s still sitting in my hard drive, as opposed to sitting on the shelf of the local bookstore. I’ve finished several screenplays, but again, they live in my hard drive next to my novel, as opposed to being on several screens at the local multiplex.
This is the first project I’ve finished which is actually going to be in the public domain (Albeit after that final do over to incorporate editors notes.)
But that isn’t why I don’t feel the achievement. And I’ve been finding it hard to place why. Is it just the typical artist thing of never being happy, or satisfied? Is it because I’ve been working on this for so long, and more importantly, so intensively that to get to the finish line (or damn near) that it seems like an anti climax? I promise this will be the last time I drag out this whole writing/marathon metaphor.
It’s All about the Race, Not the Finish Line
This is the only way I can summarise this feeling. Of course, now that I’ve finished it, part of me wants to take a break, while another part of me wants to move on to the next project.
But none of this is useful advice. I shall move on to that now. So for this final post I want to write about that evil thing-
I never had a problem with doing this for academic essays. Mainly because it was a requirement to do so, and I wouldn’t have known what I was talking about otherwise. Research for fiction on the other hand, I’ve always been a little more lax with. Mainly I always figured it was about making stuff up. Which is hypocritical I know, because I personally hate it when books I read (or more particularly) TV shows I watch get basic principles entirely wrong. Watch pretty much any episode of the X-Files to see what I’m going on about.
Well, the final episode of my series is set in a place I haven’t been to in a few years, and have sketchy recollections of. This is one of the reasons why I had to entirely re-write the last episode, because the geography that I remember and the actually geography didn’t match at all. So I decided to do a little (lazy online) research.
And it’s a good job I did.
Because I discovered that the main location of my final episode hasn’t actually existed for almost three years! Which is especially bad since the episode in question is set three years ahead of us! When I found this out, my heart sank. Did this mean I’ve have to entirely rewrite the whole episode over again?
A little further research led to some significant relocation, just to clarify the geography, which in turn led to further edits of several of my other episodes. But in a way it helped to ground the episode more, and certainly in my mind at least, made it feel more solid and real, as opposed to taking place in this ephemeral head space that it had taken place in before.
So yes, never underestimate the value of research, even just a bit of quickie research like I did. Even if you’re writing something about spaceships with hyper-drives fighting ice breathing dragons in space, it still might pay to look up some basic physics, just to cover your bases.
I’m still not entirely sure when the first episodes are going to be posted, but in the meantime, still do check out the site at www.owango.com
Now, in traditional writer’s style, I think its time for copious amounts of alcohol.