Posts Tagged ‘novel’

Space Case

 

I’m currently working on a whiz-bang space opera adventure story. I’d say it has a variety of inspirations, though it most heavily reminds me of Firefly + the seamier side of Star Wars Indiana Jones in space. Or something like that. I’ve probably heavily oversold the idea at this point. I really don’t care because it’s so much fun to write!

The weird part is that I originally developed this concept within a shared setting. So now I’m doing a lot of revision, removing intellectual property that doesn’t belong to me and having a great time coming up with new world-building material to fill in the gaps. I’m loving the story more than ever because now it’s truly mine. If I want to use jump drives and a form of subspace communication, I can! If I feel like painting a backdrop of fallen empires and space cowboys, that works. And if I want to include espers, alien pets, and bug-eyed monsters, that just makes it more fun.

Hopefully I’ll have these revision wrapped up soon so I can move on to the part of this process I dread the most: The Query.

Wish me luck!

 

Project: Top Secret

I’ve recently started a new project! I’m so excited about writing this novel and I’d love to tell you all about it.

But I can’t.

240_f_68272941_rxnsim3egcbifodhee0zurtw1d95ido0I’m writing in a shared setting, and like working with any licensed material, I can’t share anything about what I’m working on without approval from the owner of the IP. So I will now commence vague-blogging for the next [REDACTED] months. Assuming I remember to update, I mean. My track record is a little shaky.

I really like the setting, though. It reminds me of [REDACTED] crossed with [REDACTED]. It has that whiz-bang adventure feeling of old pulp magazines, where anything can happen (and usually does). I’m doing my best to write something wacky and fun to suit that paradigm.

So hang onto your hats, adventurers! As we get closer to the release date I should be able to share more about what I’m working on.

Evil Plots and Diabolical Plans

Whee, watch me dive into this rock!

Watch me dive straight into this rock! WHEE!

Of course I’m only calling this plot evil because it’s currently eating my brain. Yes, that’s right, it’s project planning time again!

Please note that I’ve never managed to complete this step in the writing process. I usually manage a few vague character notes, way more time devoted to setting than I can afford, and then a sketchy outline before I can’t stand the suspense and just leap headfirst into writing.

Or headfirst into a brick wall. Same thing, really.

I get over-excited when writing. Overstimulated by the cool whiz-bang ideas floating around in my brain. Then comes the reality of sitting down and writing every day:

  • No, you can’t play that game.
  • No, you don’t have time to go out with those friends.
  • Laundry is for wimps.
  • Who needs clean floors?
  • Surely the kids have figured out the microwave by now!

Or maybe that’s just me? Anyway, combined with the difficult-to-interpret nature of my usual outlines and a tendency to get carried away chasing shiny plot will-o-wisps (and we all know where those lead), my first drafts so far have a tendency to meander off course in small ways that eventually add up to a giant, chaotic mess.

But not this time! No matter how much it feels like I’m banging my head against a brick wall before I’ve even started, I’m going to complete this planning process. There will be notes on critical plot points, on important conflicts between characters, on the critical scenes that must occur to move the story to the desired ending.

If anything, it just makes me more eager to get to the fun part. Really, really eager.

Project: The Last Necromancer | Status: Planning and Plotting

Slogging Through Faerieland

Photo by bogenfreund, used under Creative Commons license.

Photo by bogenfreund, used under Creative Commons license.

So how is everyone else faring in this post-Mayan-Apocalypse world? I have to say I’m pretty pleased the world didn’t end in December. The holidays were good to me, aside from the inevitable fifteen pounds I gained from “things I really shouldn’t eat but family made them, so I’ll just have a taste.” Oh, and immediately after New Year’s everyone in our family got sick. That made it a tad difficult to get back on the work-out wagon, but there’s always tomorrow. Or next month. Pass the Girl Scout cookies.

In the meantime, I’m starting over on my revisions with Palace of Bone. I’ve started the “How To Revise Your Novel” course by author Holly Lisle, and while the process is difficult for me (hello analytical brain, nice to know you’re still in there) it makes so much more sense than what I was doing, which basically amounted to agonizing over individual word choices while covering my ears and yelling “LA LA LA, I can’t hear you!” at the glaring plot holes and inconsistencies.

There’s something about reading your manuscript on paper that makes it look more real. Suddenly I can’t just wipe out an embarrassing typo with two clicks of the mouse. Nor can I delete the three sentences of redundant dialogue that make my protagonist sound like a babbling idiot and blithely pretend I never wrote that drivel in the first place. I have to face my drivel. It’s humbling, and it’s hard to get through it without wanting to give up.

I have faith that the story will emerge from this process stronger and better. Or, at the very least, I will have learned a few things about crafting a story without plot holes you could drive a Mack truck through. Hopefully. Wish me luck, won’t you?

Or send cookies.

Writing Goals:

  • Complete revision on Palace of Bone by the end of June 2013
  • Rework unnamed Earth Warden story for submission by Feb 28
  • Finish draft of “To Eat Dragon” by March 10?
  • Attend Dreamin’ in Dallas Conference March 29 – 30
  • Re-do outline for “Dancer” story, still not working

WTB: +5 Shears of Editing, PST

Yeah, I totally geeked out on the title there, sorry. Still, some +5 Shears of Editing would come in really handy right about now.

This particular novel wanted to be Young Adult, whatever I thought about that plan (I’m actually quite enjoying it). The average length on a YA novel tends to be on the lower. I’ve seen estimates ranging from 40,000 to 80,000 words with the caveat that only books with speculative fiction elements should be at the higher end of that range.

When I pitched this at Desert Dreams 2012, I couldn’t remember my exact word count after the latest revisions. I guesstimated that it was around 90,000 words–too high, but not ridiculously outside the realm of possibility, especially for fantasy.

Imagine my surprise when I finally sat down to work on further revisions this week and saw the actual word count: 94,000. Whoopsie!

Thankfully I already had plans to axe a couple of scenes. That brought me down to about 90,000 words yesterday. Today I condensed three more scenes, so I was feeling pretty good about my progress. Then I checked my current word count: 90,500.

I’ll be damned if the thing is getting shorter, but it’s definitely getting better.

On Writing…
Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I'll try again tomorrow.~Mary Anne Radmacher
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