What's Eating A.M. Rycroft?

I haven't been to the gym in almost 10 days. For me, this is unusual, and totally unacceptable, given that I've spent most of that time in a chair. I'd like to say that I was just being lazy, but really, I just didn't have the time or the energy. Corruption of Honor has honestly eaten my everything, and the spoon too. If you know about the Spoon Theory (not to be confused with String Theory), then you know what I'm talking about when I say that.

Writing can be hard work. It can take everything you have to do it. Only writers and people living with writers know just how hard it can be.

It's not just getting the words down and getting a novel completed. Sometimes, it's hard work just navigating the emotions that a given story or character evokes. Sometimes, a book eats everything you have and leaves you with no energy to do another damn thing.

I finished the first and second drafts of Corruption of Honor early in 2016. I put it away for a while, because it wasn't the right time to publish it -- I needed to finish books 3 and 4 of the Cathell series -- and I couldn't take looking at it anymore.

Don't get me wrong, I love the characters and the story, but this book is DARK.

The main character Shaun's life goes to hell and stays there for the majority of the book. If you're saying to yourself that it can't be that bad to write, imagine the thing you hold most dear in life, whatever that is -- your house, your dream job, your spouse, your kids, whatever -- and now imagine it's gone. Just gone.

Next, imagine everyone around you questions who you really are, and you don't know who you are now either.

That's the basics of what happens to Shaun in Corruption of Honor. It is hard work getting her through that. I always forget that. Until I go to revise it again.

It took me 5 days just to revise chapter 2, mostly because I was having trouble cutting to the heart of her issues, without boring the reader or cutting out too much. It took me another 5 days, working almost non-stop, to revise the other 20,000 words that just make up Part I in the book. There are three parts total, three phases to her life, basically.

By the time I got done with Part I last night and had it to a point where I felt like it was ready for my beta readers, I was DONE. As usual for this book, I wanted to scream and throw something through my computer monitor. I'd just spent 10 days in hell with Shaun Greyson. And, I probably have 20 more to go for Part II and III.

I don't begrudge Shaun the time. She's an awesome character, and it's an awesome book. You're going to love it when I start sharing chapters in February. But, like I said, it's hard work getting through it. It's worth it. Shaun's worth it.

For now, though, I'm going back to The Joy Thief, which also needs revisions. I never thought I'd say this, but that book is a walk in the park in comparison . . .

A.M.

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