As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, my writing’s rather stalled out hard after the release of Victory of the Hawk earlier this year. I’ve released a couple of short stories for sale this past summer and fall, but that’s about it. I’ve been struggling to try to find the mental energy to keep going on other projects, and that’s been challenging–partly out of weariness with juggling the Kickstarter obligations with my obligations for Carina, and partly out of the simple fact that I do have a technically challenging day job, and it’s often difficult for me to muster enough mental oomph to pull words out of my brain when I get home from work in the evenings.
But I’ve gotten really tired of that state of affairs, and I think I’ve managed to replenish enough creative stamina to get back to work. SO!
I am very pleased to announce that I finally have some working titles for the three Warder universe novellas that are the final obligations I need to clear off my plate for the 2012 Kickstarter. To refresh everyone’s memories, these novellas are:
- What I was previously referring to as my “psychic chick of size” story, in which Elizabeth Breckenridge, a psychic in Providence, Rhode Island, must assist her client Ross Taggart in tracking down what or who murdered his sister Edith, the Warder of the city. This story now has the official working title “A Power in the Blood”. Bonus for those of you who have read Faerie Blood and Bone Walker: Luciriel, Queen of the Unseelie Court, will be making a guest appearance in this story. It’s actively back in being worked on again, thanks to Scrivener!
- A story featuring a tuba player who is recruited by the local Warder–a woman who also happens to play in the same community orchestra–to help her guide a migration of supernatural sea creatures when she discovers they’re being hunted. Possible working title for this story: “A Last Sweet Breath of Song”.
- And last but most definitely not least, an origin story for Millicent Merriweather, the Warder First of Seattle in Faerie Blood and Bone Walker, and how she first came to Seattle and became its new Warder. The possible working title for this is still kicking around in my head, but it’s likely to involve “Bone” somehow. (I realize this is repetitive given the title of Bone Walker, but there’s also a theme of “blood, breath, and bone” that I’m playing with here. I do however reserve the right to change my mind once I make it around to finishing this story up!)
I don’t have a target release date for these stories yet. I am however going to target finishing “A Power in the Blood”‘s first draft by the end of November, as a sort of unofficial Nanowrimo. December, the plan will be to hand that off to whoever would like to beta read it for me, while I shift over to writing story #2. Then I’ll need to finish writing Millicent’s story.
There is ALSO a potential fourth novella brewing in my head, one which will feature Christopher’s cousin Caitlin Hallett, and her imminent conflict about whether she’s going to take up her father’s mantle and be the next Warder of St. John’s–because she’s about to fall head over heels for Gabien Desroches of les Gardiens of Quebec. And when two young people of the Warder lineage fall in love, somebody is going to have to leave their home. In the meantime? They’ll have to save St. John’s, too.
I am not sure yet whether I will be releasing these stories for individual sale or whether I will do them as a collection. If I do the latter, chances are very high it will be under the title Walking the Wards.
Stand by for more data on this as it happens!
I have thrown just under 300 words into the still-untitled story of Elizabeth and Ross, and have accordingly finished its first scene. Elizabeth has agreed to help this desperate guy whose sister has been murdered. God help her. 😉
I’ve also thrown a few measly words into Chapter 11 of Bone Walker, but not much to speak of. The muse mostly wanted Elizabeth and Ross tonight.
Let’s see what I can do tomorrow. Bed now.
But it’s better than zero!
Mostly nicely tired from going out to play music at tonight’s session, and didn’t get home until ten or so. Which didn’t leave much time to write, so I opted for just a couple hundred words of something. That something’s gone into the still-untitled Elizabeth/Ross story, and in them, our heroine gets to flip out as our hero begs her to have another go at the vision that just clued her in about the murder of his sister.
Suffice to say Elizabeth ain’t havin’ NONE of that.
There will be movie watching tomorrow night, but I’m going to aim for a similar small chunk of effort afterwards, just to keep to the Do Something Every Day Dammit resolution. Twelve days in on the year and so far so good!
But that’s okay, because I’ve been doing planning on the Psychic Chick of Size story. Y’all remember that one, right? The one with Elizabeth, the Psychic Chick of Size, and Ross, the brother of a murdered Warder?
The muse demanded I give that story some hardcore thought tonight to see if I can actually get it properly planned out, and figure out whether it’s going to be a short story, a novella, or a proper novel. I also needed to identify the culprit, and nail down what his or her motives are. And I’m pleased to report that while I have to finish writing out the rest of the outline notes, I do actually now have the plot nailed down!
I won’t tell you too much about the story for fear of spoilers, but I will say this: the culprit hasn’t just murdered a Warder. He or she is aiming for bigger prey–and the Sidhe are about to be very, very NOT AMUSED.
Also: I’m pretty sure this is going to wind up novella-length or so, based on the rough notes I’m getting and how much I know about my own tendencies of word count. But I’ll be better able to tell once I get some actual scenes sketched out. I still need a title, though, not to mention some idea of what I’ll want to do with this story once it’s actually finished.
For my own reference, just to remind myself, the current word count on the piece is at 1,981 and I’m not out of the first scene yet. Like I said: this smells like a novella.
And yay, three days in a row of doing Things That Further the Writing!
So by and large, 2010 went pretty well for me on a personal level–but not quite so much on a writing level. I’d like to change that this year, and that means getting Seriously Back on the Stick. Here are various goals I’m going to aim for this year. Sooner is better, but I’m not going to nail time frames down to these because really, the overall goal boils down to this: Get Back My Writing Discipline. Anything above and beyond that will be cake.
In general order of priority, these are the main goals:
- First and foremost: finish the edit pass on Lament of the Dove and get the revised manuscript back to Carina Press. Current status: Chapter 19 of the word count reduction pass.
- upstart_crow has given me an anthology invite, so I need to plan out what I’ll be writing for that. This is higher priority right now than either Bone Walker or Queen of Souls, since it’s a solid invite and will mean Actual Albeit Small Cashy Money, assuming the piece is accepted. More on this as events warrant; right now I don’t even have a story idea, and the antho in question is quite a bit far out yet.
- Follow up with Drollerie as to whether Bone Walker will actually be feasible for Drollerie to pursue this year, and if so, what they need from me to make it happen. Either way, I should go ahead and finish it. Current status: still in chapter 11, and I’m about to the point where I need to plan out what’s going to happen for the rest of the book.
- Review where I left off with editing Queen of Souls and get that into queryable shape. Current status: still pretty much on Chapter 2 of the second draft.
Everything above and beyond these things is a stretch goal, right now. This includes all of the current notable works in progress, which are:
- Shadow of the Rook. Current status: Made it into Chapter 4 before serious edits to Lament made it clear the beginning of Shadow will have to be heavily reworked as well. Therefore, Shadow will remain on hold until Lament‘s edits are done.
- Mirror’s Gate. Current status: Chapter 2.
- Child of Ocean, Child of Stars. Current status: Interlude between Chapters 3 and 4.
- Shards of Recollection. Current status: Chapter 1.
- Still-untitled Faerie Blood-universe piece starring Elizabeth the psychic, and Ross the brother of a murdered Warder. It’s still not clear to me whether this piece is going to be a novella or a novel in its own right. Review of it must occur.
And oh yes: I DO still intend to do the last couple of How to Read Ebooks posts, as well as any further ones that occur to me. If anyone has specific requests about ebook-related things you’d like to see me post, please let me know!
Tonight, I can safely say that editing of Lament has happened. I doublechecked Chapter 18 and realized there was another minor scene with Celoren that I could completely nuke–partly because it didn’t really advance the plot much, and partly because removing it also addressed one of the various issues from Carina’s editor. And I’ve headed into Chapter 19, where I’ve re-discovered that I did leave this chapter in a bit of a mess after cleaning up the tail end of 17. Now I get to clean that mess up.
It’s also become clear that I will indeed be swinging back around for a sixth draft once the word count reduction draft is done. It’ll have to be the sixth draft where I go back in and put in significant new content.
And since I’ve made it a couple of pages into Chapter 19, about 20 minutes shy of midnight, I’ll call that today’s writing-related activity. More tomorrow. DAMMIT.
Edited tonight: Quite a bit, actually
Chapter 18 revised total: 3,750
Chapter 19 revised total: 5,815
Lament of the Dove revised total (fifth draft): 105,783
My Psychic Chick story is still germinating in my brain, and tonight its heroine, Elizabeth ‘Ealasaid’ Breckenridge, who hides actual psychic talent behind a seemingly sham psychic-and-Tarot business, demanded I give her more words. So I gave her 547 of them, enough to move her first scene far enough along that she has now discovered two things:
- The story’s male lead, Ross Taggart, knew the instant he triggered her into having a vision that she’s the real deal, and
- Something very, very wrong has happened in connection to him.
I’m still mulling what that actual something very wrong is, but as of tonight, I’m pretty sure it has to do with the murder of his sister, who was the last Warder of the city of Providence, Rhode Island. Ross isn’t an active Warder himself, but he’s shall we say Aware of the Lineage, and therefore aware of magical things in general. So he ain’t gonna bat an eye at a psychic chick. All of which is going to be quite the eye-opener to Elizabeth. Muahaha.
I have also figured out by way of character development that Elizabeth has had to vehemently refuse to undergo any weight-loss surgery, despite pressure from her family and particularly her mother to do so. When you’re psychic and your visions can be triggered on casual contact, undergoing a major medical procedure which involves all sorts of contact all over your body just spells all kinds of trouble. I strongly suspect traditional anesthesia doesn’t work very well on her.
Eventually, I’ll give this thing a title! But it’s good to know that it’s a Faerie Blood universe story, that it’s set in Providence, and that my two lead characters are starting to come to life.