Posts Tagged State of the Writer

State of the Writer: October 2011

Another month.  September absolutely sped by.  Here in the DC area it was a hell of a month with earthquakes and flooding, and on a personal end included getting a new sewer line finally installed at the Casa Del Thurston.

What it didn’t include much of was writing, unfortunately.  I’ve been working on a steampunk short story located on Venus that has a lot of promise, but needs better direction than it currently has.  In the end it’s one story that could be told in two different directions, which is interesting considering my upcoming project for October.

After the blog post I made a few days ago about my conjoined novel, I’ve been thinking more and more about the status of Capsule.  The final conclusion is that it is, and always has been, two novels.  The final straw was reading Kraken by China Mieville.  It’s a story that goes in a lot of different directions, but at its heart it remains a heist story.  Capsule?  It’s gone in not only different directions, but has transitioned from being one type of plot line (murder conspiracy) to another (cult kidnapping) with only the most tenuous of ties between the two.  It’s had this problem as long as I’ve been writing it.  On one hand, I wish I could have seen this sooner, on the other I’m glad I was able to see it at all.

So this month, the process of division starts.  I’ll track it in the blog, as I suspect it’ll make for an interesting case study.  Scrivener for Windows is going to be my tool of choice, identifying which pieces go in novel A (still called Capsule) and which go into novel B (working title: Post Apocalypse).  Really, the entirety of the process will be broken into three parts:

  1. Identifying the pieces that go in each novel.
  2. Identifying what needs to fill in the missing pieces from each half.
  3. Outlining.
  4. Writing.

In an ideal world I’d have one outlined enough to be a Nanowrimo project, but I highly doubt that’ll happen.

Two other big October features:

Capclave!  As I’ve attended other writers conventions, the local one here in DC still strikes me as my favorite and the best I’ve attended.  If you’re a genre fiction writer in the DC area and you haven’t been to Capclave…why the hell not?

Flashathon!  There are still some details to leak in the coming three weeks, and then the event itself three weeks from today.  October 22nd.  I’m hoping to get a nice turnout for the event here on the blog.  I’m hoping even more for some fantastic mental exercise and inspiration.

State of the Writer’s Blog

Blog viewership continues to grow, for which I am eternally grateful.  In the ongoing quest to reach eyeballs in all 50 states, I entered September needing six more states.  During the month, this blog got its first views from Montana, South Dakota, and Louisiana.  That leaves only North Dakota, Arkansas, and Delaware to go.  I’m not sure what the next goal is going to be after finally collecting all fifty, but I’ll figure that out when I get there.

State of the Writer’s Beer

No news.  Haven’t done any brewing or much drinking this month.  Means that bottles we have are that much better aged.  Been meaning to crack another bottle of Lazarus.

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State of the Writer: April 2011

Another month has come and gone, so as I am want to do, a little bit of navel gazing.  I’m oddly happy with March, I feel it’s been one of my better writing months in a long time.  And I credit that to one thing: Short Stories.  I never used to be a fan of writing short stories, though can’t really say why.  I think it went back to my first real writing project being a novel and feeling like the longer form was somehow a more worthy endeavor.  In the end, though, the short story has given me a chance to explore thoughts quickly, make every word count, and in the end I think I’ve really grown as a writer.

Now the next trick is to keep it up.

I got one short story out the door this month, Vampire of Mars.  I’m happier with it than I have been any other story in awhile.  It might not find a home the first place I sent it to, but it’s going to go into heavy circulation until someone picks it up.  And it’s the first story I’ve written where I can say with real confidence: someone will pick it up.

April will mean a return to my Luchador story, and potentially some work on an idea germinating about a marshy Venus, in keeping with my Unleaded post this week.

Just because it’s been a good month doesn’t mean it’s any time for me to rest.  Always onwards.  Always forward.

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State of the Writer: February 2011

People tend to like to really look at themselves at the beginning of every year, making resolutions and the like.  As part of pushing myself to be in more direct touch with my writing, I’m going to start these state of the writer posts every month.  I make them public largely just to make myself do them.  You hear me, five people that Google Analytics says visited my site yesterday, I need to be kept honest.

Novels in Progress:

  • Capsule.
  • End of the Line.

Short Stories in Progress:

  • Back Half.  For the Primogeniture anthology.  Rough draft completed.  Due date April 7th.
  • The Luchador.  For Bad-Ass Faeries 4.  Proposal accepted, and rough draft in progress.  Due date June 2011.

Short Stories Sold:

  • The Rustler.  Woot.

Short Stories Out:

  • Sleep

Short Stories Doing Nothing.  Bad Writer.

  • !Div0
  • Queen of Belmeth

I’ve been falling down on my goal of keeping a certain number of stories circulating at any one time.  In part this is because I lucked out and sold one of my main circulators, but also in part because I’ve been falling down on Duotroping.  On the other hand, my goal of 6 stories written for specific anthologies is doing well, as I’ve got two in progress, even if I’m starting to back off on the notion of sending one to its intended destination.  I’ve been frustrated about the way Primogeniture keeps adding details to the ship, which is really reinforcing my initial fear that submitters had to somehow correctly guess how the editors always planned the ship to operate.  However, it’s still a fun generation ship story that I might clean up and send to anthologies that don’t have nearly so many rules about how a generation ship should work.  I’ll probably give one more try, but if the goalposts move again and make it even harder to tell my story on their ship, then I’ll have to go on my own.

I haven’t forgotten Capsule.  I’ve actually been doing a lot of mental outlining that needs to turn into physical outlining to get me from where I am to where I know this act ends.  There’s a few key scenes, I just need to make sure there’s no more.

People who’ve known my writing for awhile will notice an old favorite on my Novels In Progress list: End of the Line.  I feel like something needs to happen fast with it, since the whole conceit of the story is based around the five lines of what will soon be a six-line DC Metro system.  I’ve had multiple suggestions made, from ignoring the sixth line to inventing a sixth horseman of the apocalypse (I feel like adding a fifth is about the most I can do to stretch that particular concept), to setting the novel in a given pre-Silver Line year.  None of them strikes me as all that fulfilling of an option, with the third the most appealing of an unappealing lot.  So I think instead I’m going to push to get something done with it, even if it ends up on Smashwords (my emergency fallback point to be sure).

I’ve been happy with the first two installments of the Fortnightcap project.  It’s going to keep going for now.

In all, I’m satisfied but not thrilled.  I’m certainly ramping back up from my lost 2010.  I’d probably be doing better if Altair and Ezio didn’t need nearly so much help assassinating people.

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