May 17 2012

My 12,000 Word Rule

Posted by Mathias

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.

May 14 2012

Moving On From The Farseer To Hunger Games

Posted by Mathias

I have given up for the time being on reading The Farseer: Assassin’s Apprentice. I am so far into the book and nothing that has made me remotely interested in the story has happened.

I have decided to read The Hunger Games instead.

May 10 2012

Compiling My Agents List

Posted by Mathias

I have begun compiling a list of literary agents to whom I will query and otherwise send my manuscript to once it is completed. My plans are that after this latest edit of Under the Darkened Moon is completed and the review group has given their comments that I will do a polishing edit. Everyone reading the story seems to think it good and have only minor comments such a the occasional awkward sentence or the misspelled word the spell checker missed. But once that polishing edit is complete, I am allotting one day per chapter so about a month and a half, I have to have some idea of what to do with it.

Side note:
I already had an encounter with one lit agent who a friend referred to me. She claimed to be accepting epic fantasy for review and lobbied for me to send her a sample. However upon me sending her the first 50 pages of my novel she then claimed that she was not looking for epic fantasy. Her web profile, however, says that she is. I don’t know whether or not she is just confused as to the what the genre is that she claims to want submissions on or she just hated the story and did not want to say so. Either way, it certainly annoyed me because I went though the bother of doing a polish on the first 50 pages and rushed it off to her.

May 07 2012

Bazinga! Silly Things We Writers Do

Posted by Mathias

We writers do silly things when we write. Many of these silly things are never intended to make into our final manuscripts but are just done as placeholders so that we can move on and not get bogged down in the foolish quest to make everything perfect from the get go.

We name our characters things like John Q. Knight or an_elf_01. We call our call remote cities that we haven’t yet come up with names for Bumfuck Egypt or just BFE until we come up with something better. In my current work in progress, Under the Darkened Moon, I had the main character shouting “Bazinga!” (ala Dr. Sheldon Cooper) for one of his spells he would cast until I had worked out the language now known as Old Kingdom.

Sometimes I just have to shake my head and ask what I am thinking but these little things help me move on and get the story done. The funny part happens when you forget about these sorts of shenanigans and rediscover them during the editing process. You sit there with your face twisted and wonder what ever compelled you to call that one particular character Farty McFartpants.

May 05 2012

Moving Forward And Thinking Ahead

Posted by Mathias

Under the Darkened Moon, the first novel I have come close to completing, is proceeding through the editing process. My mind numb from having read, edited, read, incorporated feedback, read, edited, incorporated feedback, etc. there is a need for in me to seek shelter elsewhere from time to time. When I cannot concentrate on editing this story, which is now so engrained in my mind that it is literally part of me, I am actively working on the development of Her Lovely Blood.

Currently that novel stands at around 30,000 some odd words and intrigues me the most to start working on seriously as my next project. I started writing Under the Darkened Moon on July 18th of last year. That means I have dedicated almost a full year to that story. Now starting its 8th edit it is getting near the end of the line for that one and it will have to be shopped around before the end of this year. I need to get involved in something new so that once this story is out the door I can hit the ground running on the next project.

May 04 2012

Under The Darkened Moon Update

Posted by Mathias

My review group has just finished up the first 26 chapters of my novel Under the Darkened Moon. Good feedback so far with several helpful comments. I have selected the ones I feel are addressable, some of them just aren’t, and have begun weaving fixes into the story.

Right now the novel stands at about 146,000 words. After originally trimming the story back from a 200,000 word first draft and down to 130,000 words, it has given me some room to make these additions over time.

My plans are to get my review group then next ten chapters or so this weekend and perhaps even tonight.