It’s taken some time to get my head wrapped around the things that I need to do. You might have noticed that since my last post was April of last year!
Sometimes life just throws too many changes at you at once and things you love to do get pushed aside. For me, what was pushed aside was my writing.
I have been working on it, just not at a pace that was conducive to success. It was more at a pace that allowed me to keep it on the back burner while life sorted out all the other little and big things going on around me.
But in the end, the plan remains unchanged. I am going to keep writing with the intention of getting a publishing deal OR self publishing.
Because of the hectic pace of life this past year, I have focused on my short story projects. Specifically The Yoke and The Flames. Also, my two short stories that are prequels to my Daughters of Fate project have received a bit of attention.
The Daughters of Fate project is still moving forward and I do still plan to publish bits and pieces of it online as they come out in a workable draft. Right now, chapters 1 through 4 are the focus. Draft of draft is about 50% done.
The Yoke is about as good as I can make it. It is preparing for submission to a major writing competition this first quarter of 2016. The Flames will be a second quarter submission. By that time I hope to have the first four chapters of Daughters of Fate up for everyone who has been patiently waiting.
Outsider has made quite a bit of progress as well, and is coming along.
Under the Darkened Moon is still out there and I am preparing some new queries for it. It may get another “Final” edit, and if there are no takers it will be up on Amazon in the next year or two.
So that’s where everything stands. Hope the new year is treating you all with luck and joy. I’ll be talking to you soon!
Spent some time last night and today laying out the plot of a new short story idea that came to me out of nowhere.
Title: Ayra’s Fall
It’s a story about what happens when an Angel entrusted with keeping the world safe fails in her task. So watch this space for updates on this title, and of course other ongoing projects.
So, 2014 is underway. Time to layout the plan for this year.
As of right now, I am still shopping my manuscript for Under the Darkened Moon around. Been a little lazy about it, and will keep chugging away. Nothing’s changing on this front.
I now have 3 short stories that, I think, and so does my focus group, are ready to go out into the world. These will be submitted to various contests and publications throughout 2014 to see if they can garner any attention.
Hopefully one or more of them will be noticed and published. If not, I plan on releasing them in various formats for download. Plans are right now that they will be free, in preparation for what might be the need to self-publish my manuscript at some point in the furture.
I’ll keep everyone appraised of my progress on these plans as the year unfolds. Wish me luck!
Under the Darkened Moon is not yet done, but it is getting close. A few more chapters need polishing. Then it will be off to whatever is next on the list once the novel is sent off to fend for itself in the slush piles of literary agents and publishers. And boy, is that list of potential projects long. I have so many that it is going to be hard to choose.
There are a lot of short stories I am working on. I have considered finishing up enough of those to wrap them up into an small book of maybe 100 pages or so and get something published and available for sale. Right now I am preparing to get two stories (Frist and Second Lessons & The Yoke) critiqued by my writers group. Second Chances is available to do something with too. So that could be the start for this idea. (more…)
With the Long List for the Fantasy-Faction Anthology released, you will notice that Second Chances did not make the cut. Since the six stories to be published will be selected from the long list, Second Chances is now free as the proverbial bird.
Ok, I’ve been rushing to complete my short story Second Chances for submission into a fantasy short story contest to see how things go. Deadline is fast appraoching, like tomorrow fast, and I have been doing some polishing.
The story follows Kath’ri-sa, an elf, and the deuteragonist of my novel Under the Darkened Moon. I just like saying the word deuteragonist. Its sounds so quirky.
Final stats on the short story are 5,941 words, Flesch Reading Ease of 84.3, and Flesch-Kincade Grade Level of 4.1. (more…)
I tend to find that when I am working on a novel project it generally takes about 50 pages or 12,000 words before the real basis of the story itself is charted. Usually by about page 50, about three quarters of what I had originally mapped out as the course of the story has gone into the scrap heap. Or at least that stuff is stashed away for a possible future story. Under the Darkened Moon followed this rule which I did not even consider a rule when I started writing it as it was my first project. However over time the law seems to be holding true. I have at least 50 pages completed in several other novels and each of them have resulted in 75% of the planned course being discarded or seriously revised. Be it The Half-Orc Princess, Cry of the Golden Wyvern or Her Lovely Blood, the 12,000 word rule has been a nemesis to the finest laid plans for each of them. Even a project I just started today as a sort of test story, The Arrow, completely went off in another direction by the 1,500 word mark and is, honestly, better than what I had sketched for it.
I attribute this to the fact that I seem to work better when actually writing than postulating and sketching things out. I just cannot see how everything fits together until I start actually writing the actual text. Maybe some other writers can. But I cannot. So I am just accepting this and embracing.
Last night I picked up my short story titled “The Yoke” and gave it a fresh look. The editing process added roughly 500 words to the story and it stands at 6,534 total words with epilogue.
Current “readability” statistics are:
Passive voice sentences 1%
Flesch Reading Ease 85.7
Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level 3.8
Not sure if it still needs another edit or not. Will probably revisit it in a few weeks and decide.
Marinda is a character from my short story, “The Yoke“. The following is a free writing excercise seeing events prior to that story from her point of view.
[Begin 6:34 PM]
The foul, little runt of a man drew far too close to me for comfort. He never seemed to give my personal space any consideration. The fact that he smelled like an unbathed horse did not help matters much either. Nor did his eyes; eyes that I felt wandered far too freely about my body with hardly hidden fantasies of what he would do to a woman if allowed to.
Often times I could just think, strongly in my mind, stop it! And it seemed as though he would oblige and withdraw his eyes. Sometimes he would even take a few steps away as well. But I knew it was just coincidence and my imagination. I was a mage, trained in the arts of elemental magic and not some illusionist who delved into the manipulation of minds.
My hand never moved much from the hilt of my long, thin sword whenever Halen was around. I think he got the hint. Whenever I did tell him of my displeasure with his closeness, like as now while we hid together in the weeds, he would just tug on the thick, silver band with the large orange stone about his neck as if using that as an excuse. It what an exact match to the one about my very neck.
Only once had we made the mistake of separating the collars too far from one another. The raw, once boiled skin under where the stone rested still bore the rippling from the burn that such as foolish action caused. Escaping from the bondage the stone and necklaces kept us in would not be simple. I needed time to study the device. But again, I am a mage and not an enchanter. I was aware of the art of imbuing materials with spells, blessings and curses, but I was not well enough versed in them to understand the process. Usually, enchantments were weak against elemental magic. As I had already stated, I just needed time to study the devices and find out how to break them.
Getting that time however was something that was easier said than done. He was always watching us; the man we only knew as “My Liege”. That was what the guards all called him. Never a name. Never anything less. Any time I had tried to look at the devices it was not long before either he or one of the guards was there to separate me into a neighboring cell. They did the same with Tsala, a Southman and a shaman who possessed a fair knowledge of magic but not as detailed as mine. She was also part of the “group” and her magic was spiritual in nature. Kort, our muscle, and also a Southman, was not versed in any sort of magic so he never tried to meddle with the devices. Halen had tried to use his thieving skills to get them off more than once but could never find any lock upon them to pick.
The collars seemed to have been cast directly around our necks although none of us remembered it happening. And as long as we did exactly as “My Liege” requested, other than the cells and the inability to escape, we had been pretty fairly treated. Although he did keep my spell book isolated, ensuring that I would not use it to try and hasten our often planned escape, he did allow me any number of interesting tomes to read. Although none of them were magical in any way, they did keep my mind sharper than not reading would have.
Halen put his arm around my waist. I wanted to slap him, but the gesture was clearly not in an attempt for affection. At least not primarily. He was guiding me to look down the trail, to the coach slowly coming into view. Then, after doing so, he did pull me closer to him.
I pushed him off. “Halen!” My tone was harsh but hushed. “Enough of that. Let’s just get this over with.”
“Aw come on darlin’, don’t flatter yourself.” Even as Halen denied what he had been trying to do, I knew better. He was not that good at hiding it.
[End 7:24 PM]
So much going on. I have finalized my short story Second Chances and am going to starting submitting it for publication. Since it is based as sort of a prologue to my novel Under the Darkened Moon I had to get very close to completion of that project to work out any discrepancies first. As for that novel, it is still in the editing phase. I am about 80% done with my second serious edit. There have been three edits and four versions of the story in all (rough draft, rough edit, first edit and now second edit).
I have learned a lot by writing it including how petty other writers can be and how what one person finds thrilling others find boring. Overall however, reviews from people who have been reading it are positive. You cannot please everyone though. Lots of comments along the lines of, “better than much of what gets published,” in Fantasy literature. So I am encouraged by that.
Right now that novel is sitting as I am working on Her Lovely Blood which is turning into a story that will be not all that unfamiliar to anyone well versed in the stories of ancient Greek gods. No, it is not a copy of one such story. I only mean that it is similar in the sense of the players and how the plot will twist and turn with gods meddling here and there. The trick is going to be to keep the story seeming logical without any, hopefully, unwarranted excursions into the realm of doing something unbelievable to save the story’s heroine from peril.
Right now the novel is 16,666 words and growing by the day. It seems that it will likely be a trilogy or at the least a first book and then a sequel to complete the story arc. The overall ending is unwritten although I do have three alternatives that I am keeping in mind as the story unfolds. This first draft is being free written with very little editing so far.