Rhiannon Frater is the award-winning author of the As the World Dies trilogy.


Update on The Lament of the Vampire Bride

So…this happened.

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This is probably the worst flare up I’ve had in a long time. I’ve been typing since I was around ten years old. I was warned years ago by my doctor that I’d eventually have arthritis in my hands if I didn’t type slower or less.

HA!

Like that was going to happen.

So…my first flare up with arthritis in my basal joint (the one at the base of your thumb) was around eight years ago. Doing exercise, wearing splints, and massages helped significantly. In fact, for a long time I didn’t have anymore pain.

Well, when I started typing a lot on The Lament of the Vampire Bride, I started having severe pain in my back, shoulders, neck, wrists, and hands. When I had replaced my ergonomic keyboard and mouse back in 2015, I bought what I could find right away. That was a wave keyboard and what was supposed to be an ergonomic mouse. I realized that my writing setup was causing a lot of stress on parts of my body where I usually experience low grade pain due to car accidents. So I bought the same keyboard that had worked so well before and found a new mouse that has a thumb rest and is at a 60 degree angle. Combined, they helped get rid of the worst of my back injury related pain.

But my hands were a wreck.

So, I dug out my old brace and bought a new one. I’ve been wearing them religiously, even when I sleep. I only take them off to cook, go to the restroom, and shower. My left hand has improved to the point where I don’t have pain, but my right hand is still not back to normal. In fact, I took some food out of the oven one  night and my thumb dislocated. Talk about pain! I’m still amazed I didn’t drop the food! I popped it back into place, which was just as painful.

Therefore, I had to stop writing to let the joint rest and heal up.

I knew before I had to stop writing on the book that something was very off with the first chapters of The Lament of the Vampire Bride, but I couldn’t put my finger on it.

In fact, the more I read over what I’d written, the more frustrated I became.

Pretty much how I felt.

The writing didn’t suck, but somehow it was all wrong. The more I read it, the more annoyed I became because I couldn’t sort it out. Finally, I resolved to resume dealing with the manuscript in 2016. I needed both a mental and physical break. So for the rest of December, I played Sims 4, hung out with my family, and read a lot of books.

When 2016 rolled in, I realized I had to wait a bit longer for the inflammation in my thumb to settled down. I hated not writing, but I ended up binge-watching Fringe. Weirdly, it helped me sort out what was wrong with my book. As I analyzed the episodes, it became apparent where I had gone wrong.

In my attempt to catch readers up to date with what was going on, I had inadvertently written the map I need for the book. There was a lot of exposition that read like a summary. I had finally figured out what I had done wrong.

I may or may have not done this while sitting at my desk.

Now that I’m able to type for stretches of time without crippling pain, I’m working on the book again. Last night I finished reworking the entire first chapter. I pulled a lot of exposition, some of the dialog, and other bits,  and tucked the snippets into another file for reference and use later. I also reworked and rewrote a few parts, and by the time I was done, I was incredibly relieved.

This weekend I’ll be revising the rest of what I wrote previously, and hope for a fresh start come Monday.

I’m so happy!