The Write Stuff: 1/13/2014

I figured I could just do a writing update at the end of every month, but where’s the fun in being that predictable? Instead, I think I’ll post when I have something worth saying, such as after I’ve completed SOMETHING, and since the first quarter if this year is going to be full of various projects big and small, I think this is a good way to go about it.

So what’s up in my writing world?

Yesterday, I finished the proofreading/formatting pass of Magic Elves (code name). Here are the stats on that sucker: it took me 309 days in 2012 to write 579 pages, which added up to 132,013 words. That means, on average, I wrote 427.23 words per writing day. Talk about a huge difference between 2012 and 2013, where I averaged 916.77 words per writing day, where it took me 117 days to write 107,262 words on 473 pages in the LB Prequel. That’s a definite improvement, but there are a lot of factors to consider.

1) 2012 marked the first year I got back in the saddle after getting my Master’s in 2008 (and after I finished rewriting Telepathic Soulmates). It wasn’t that I didn’t write AT ALL between 2008 and 2012. I had spurts here and there, but I didn’t finish a thing. So it makes sense that getting back in the saddle took time and effort. I’ll never forget the first day of starting Magic Elves. Staring at the blank screen for what felt like hours, unable to swallow the knot of anxiety in my chest. I’m glad I’ve moved beyond that. That doesn’t mean you won’t catch me staring at a blank screen, or that I don’t get anxiety, but it’s for different reasons, and not the crippling kind.

2) Content: both projects I made up as I went along, but with Magic Elves, it was DEFINITELY a case where I didn’t know what I would do from one day to the next. I had a very basic idea, and then ground out a page per day (roughly). With LB Prequel, I was working in an existing world of my own creation, I knew the characters to a certain extent and was learning more about them, and therefore, I was already invested. It’s funny how, even after re-reading Magic Elves, I still find myself rather distant from the project. I hope that, once I really dig in and focus on what makes the novel cool and interesting, that I’ll be more invested during the rewrite, but there’s something to be said about working on a project that’s your baby (which for me is the world of LB Prequel and Telepathic Soulmates) and an idea that morphs into a project that hasn’t been years and years and years and years in the making.

That being said, both worlds — both projects — have been cannibalized from a fantasy novel I started when I was in college. Magic Elves would be more recognizable to those college readers in that the trappings are very similar. However, the characters of Telepathic Soulmates would be familiar to them too, as well as some of the key cultural THINGS that drive the story, albeit in an SF setting.

At any rate, I’ve sent Magic Elves off to my brainstorming reader. While I’m waiting on her feedback, I’ll be working on a short story for the Women Destroy Science Fiction! issue of Lightspeed Magazine. I’ve got three story candidates in mind, and all of them need some serious revision. That being said, I’m going to browse through the magazine some, get a better feel for what they publish, so that I can determine which of those stories might be the best fit (or determine if I’m barking up the wrong creek and need to churn out something completely new and fresh). Now that I’ve sent off my piece to The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, I can focus on this next project, which will be good for me. Already, after re-reading the story I sent off to F & SF, I’m starting to see how my writing style is evolving, and I’m starting to wonder if perhaps, sometime in the near-future, I won’t be working on a novel so much as writing some short fiction, just to see what I can do.

But that’s a musing for another day.

At any rate, it seems that January will be the month where I officially finished writing the discovery draft of the LB Prequel, which I sent off to my daily readers and posted a survey for them to respond to, proofread and adjusted the formatting of the discovery draft of Magic Elves and sent it off to my brainstorming reader, and then posted a short story to The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, of which I’ll get a response hopefully no later than February. No, I’m not telling you the name of the story or what it’s about or even its specific spec-fic genre. I’m kind of superstitious about that, for some reason. But when I get a response, I’ll let you know how it shakes out, okay?

January isn’t over yet, obviously. I have an SF short to get into shape, get feedback on, and get out by February 14th. And by then, I hope to have my feedback, erm, back for Magic Elves, wherein I’ll start working out a synopsis for the rewrite.

I think I can count all of this as a win, no?

Progress Report: 3/10/2013

It’s been a hard week. Work’s been busy and stressful for not just me, but those in my immediate circle, which affects me. Writing was often the last thing on my mind, which is making me wonder if I shouldn’t go back to the page-a-day method that got me through Magic Elves, even if I’m not posting said page daily for my accountability readers. We’ll see. This week has the potential to be thoroughly interesting, but not fun and not conducive to a good head-space for writing.

Project Code Name: Space Vampires
Word Count This Week: 1,512 words
Total Project Word Count: 3,057 words
Status: Chapter One is almost complete. It’s a crappy dump of info, but it’s a necessary dump of info, and I have to remind myself that in the first draft, this is okay. Revision is the time to iron that stuff out and make things subtle. Right now, it’s just important to get the story on the page.

Other Accomplishments: the hubby and I spent Saturday running errands, and we picked up a new toner cartridge for my printer and a few reams of paper. We’re going to attempt to print out Telepathic Soulmates ourselves. Which shouldn’t sound like an impressive endeavor, but we’re going to try to print DOUBLE-SIDED on a printer that only prints SINGLE-SIDED! If that doesn’t work, I’ll take the file to the local print shop, because I really want a hard copy for editing. The tentative plan is to have that sucker out the door and begging for agents by the end of April. We’ll see.

Progress Report: 3/3/2013

So I promised my two readers that I would start some sort of project in March. I decided on Space Vampires. Unlike last year, where I was writing Magic Eaters by the seat of my pants and sending them at least a page daily, I’m going for a more prepared focus. Instead of a page-a-day, I’m going to send them chapters. Ideally, I’d like to do a chapter a week at minimum, so we’ll see how it goes.

Every Sunday, I’ll do my best to post some kind of progress report on whatever writing-related activities I’m doing.

Project: Space Vampires
Word Count: 1,545 words
Completed: started the prologue on Friday, finished on Saturday, but let it sit before sending it out. Was in a hurry on Saturday to write, and thinking things over is a good thing: a minor, technical detail that was alluding me on Saturday became clear, so I was able to iron out a few things before sending it to my readers.

And that’s that! Hopefully, this coming week will have more to talk about, perhaps even on multiple projects!