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
I’ve hit another dry spell lately, which is annoying, so yesterday I decided to try to do something about that. Throwing small chunks of words at everything I have in progress seemed to help. I did at least over my usual desired target quota of 500, even if those 500 words were scattered across six works in progress. 😉
It all means no real major progress in any of it, but at least there was small pointer advancement! We’ll see what I can do today.
Written on Mirror’s Gate, Chapter 2: 157
Written on Bone Walker, Chapter 11: 174
Written on Shards of Recollection, Chapter 1: 150
Written on Child of Ocean, Child of Stars: 26
Written on Shadow of the Rook: 30
Written on Untitled story about Elizabeth, psychic chick of size, and Ross, brother of a dead Warder: 34
Total words written yesterday: 571
Do y’all know how weird it is to be able to actually say “I’m on a PANEL”? ‘Cause, y’know, it is!
I’m sure it’d be weirder if it were a big-time physical face to face type convention, but you know what? A virtual convention is still pretty damned awesome. And tomorrow–okay, today, since it’s after midnight now and that does technically make it today–I will be participating in the awesome! I’m in on the Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Fiction panel at 3pm Pacific, 6pm Eastern, along with several of my fellow Drollerie authors and Spellbent author Lucy Snyder! Come by and say hi and listen in. Details on how can be found over at CoyoteCon’s site.
Meanwhile, I’ve been having great fun participating in the CoyoteCon word wars. Like those run by , they’ve been doing wonders at making me get used to throwing words out onto the page on a regular basis again. Today I was feeling particularly ambitious, and managed to add words to not one, not two, not three, but FOUR of the works in progress! Go me!
Bone Walker now stands at nine complete chapters, and those of you who are fond of Elessir may find yourselves going WHA WHA WHA? at the reveal about him I drop at the end of Chapter 9. Muaha. No, I won’t be posting it.
Mirror’s Gate started Chapter 2 as Yevanya reacts–badly–to seeing someone she thinks is her dead husband Aleksandr, and over in Shadow of the Rook‘s shiny new Chapter 3, Faanshi reacts to realizing OH HEY she did something severely, hugely game-changing, about which I will not be elaborating because it’s spoiler-rific for the end of Lament of the Dove. Trust me on that ‘un.
And, I threw another hundred words or so into Shards of Recollection, which is still sitting in Chapter 1, but every little bit of progress counts!
All in all? This has been a good day.
It occurred to me this week that I have six, count ’em, six books in progress in various stages, and as part of the Great Get My Ass Back in Gear Initiative, it might behoove me to do a quick rundown of where all of these books are and what needs to get done with them. Therefore, by way of high-level overview and more or less in order of priority, here we go!
- Bone Walker. Urban fantasy, the first sequel to Faerie Blood. I’m very close to the end of Chapter 7 on this. I have not yet formally queried it to Drollerie but plan to do so as soon as I have a working draft. Beta readers, be on the lookout for a call in the latter half of the year.
- Queen of Souls. Urban fantasy, a sequel of sorts to the Hades and Persephone myth. This is the most complete of the lot since the first draft is actually finished, and I am stalled out a little ways into doing the second. I last left off finishing editing the Chapter Formerly Known as Chapter 1, and which is more like Chapter 4 now. I need to pick up again from there, so I can get this thing into queryable shape and get it out the door.
- Shadow of the Rook. Fantasy, Book 2 of the trilogy The Dove, the Rook, and the Hawk; Book 1 is of course Lament of the Dove, and that’s out getting queried right now. Since this is one big story, I want to have progress done on it in case somebody wants to actually buy the whole shebang. Currently trying to get out of Chapter 2.
- Mirror’s Gate. Fantasy, set in the same universe as The Dove, the Rook, and the Hawk. Still in Chapter 1 and the story is still taking shape.
- Child of Ocean, Child of Stars, in which a young telepath discovers things that could completely wreck the budding alliance between humanity and the native species of Nereus. Soft sci-fi. Three chapters and change in.
- Shards of Recollection, in which a young thief falls in with a smuggler eking out a ragtag existence–and discovers that he’s forgotten some dangerous secrets that could bring a world to war, not the least of which is his own past. Soft sci-fi. Didn’t like the first draft’s initial start, started over, still in Chapter 1 on this too.
With pretty much all of the first drafts in progress, I need to buckle down and do some heavy duty outline work. I’m really kind of daunted realizing I have finished three whole novels (Faerie Blood, Lament, and Queen of Souls), and have FIVE MORE waiting to get done. The two big things that really need to get done are finishing Bone Walker so that my editor can tell me if she wants it, and getting Queen of Souls ready for its escape into the wide world. Anything above and beyond that is gravy, but if I want to make some serious progress by the end of the year, it’s time to start some serious planning.
Wish me luck, folks.
It’s been a while since I posted about this, but some of y’all may remember that in addition to Bone Walker and Mirror’s Gate, I have several other barely started works in progress. One of them is currently tentatively titled Shards of Recollection; this is the SF-flavored novel that’ll be starring heavily adapted versions of two of my former MUSH characters, Shenner Veery and Tance Vokrim.
When last I was working on this one, I’d restarted from scratch since I’d gotten about four chapters in and it wasn’t really coming together for me. So I punted that work to Draft Zero and restarted the first draft. I’m still a little ways in on Chapter 1, working on the scene where Shenner first meets Tance and sees he’s got “mark” written all over him. Tonight I was in the mood to throw a few words at that. A hundred or so words is definitely only a few, and it didn’t take me out of Chapter 1 yet. But that pointer did by gods advance.
Little by little, I will get back into the habit of daily writing again. Even if I have to do it a few tiny blurts of words at a time.
Now that I’m back from a delightful sojourn up to Canada to see my favorite band, and now that I’m done with “The Blood of the Land” and editing Lament of the Dove, it’s time to think about what I need to be doing next.
First up is likely to be resuming editing Queen of Souls. Y’all may remember (at least, those of you who were following my now-defunct annathewriter Livejournal) that I had barely started editing the second draft; now I need to dive back into that and getting it closer to being formally queryable.
Meanwhile, I have four, count ’em, four other works in progress that need attention, all of which need some serious review of their core concepts so that I can start planning them better and getting more work done on them. These are of course Faerie Bones (the projected Book 2 for Faerie Blood), Shadow of the Rook (Book 2 for Lament of the Dove), Shards of Recollection (which I never have been happy with yet), and Child of Ocean, Child of Stars (which starts okay but which needs further review). I don’t know yet which one I’m going to start throwing serious words at; I think this is a decision I’ll need to make after I get a bunch of outlines written up.