Monday, March 6, 2017

And Then There Was None

A funny thing happened over the weekend.

I may (or may not) have completed my revisions.

I have to keep the 'or may not' part because I am, after all, me, and I have a long history of not actually completing my revisions.

But, for the moment at least, they are complete, and the manuscript is in the hands of my last beta reader. And in theory, she is reading at a neck-breaking pace because she finds it impossible to put down the story. (and also because she'd like to get to the end before I decide I must rewrite the entire thing. Again. My beta readers love me. Just so much.)

So until such time as I decide to either move forward, or rewrite the entire book (again), I'll be working on other things. It's kind of weird to be saying that because I've been revising for so long. Like, just this side of forever. I'm a little worried that I'll end up revising more just because I've forgotten how to do anything else. So if you see me with a red pen, just slap it right out of my hand, okay?

Here's what I'll be attempting to work on in the coming days and weeks and possibly months, all in the name of distracting myself (and also because they need to be done anyway—but mostly that first thing...):

1. Write a blurb for Second Nature

I had one brief moment of happiness upon the completion of my revisions. It was quickly swallowed by the knowledge that the dreaded blurb now awaited me. Is it too late to run away to join the circus?

2. Work on plan for Full Circle (aka, Book Three)

When I last looked at this manuscript (the last time I thought Second Nature's revisions were finished...), there was one of those super fun big ole timeline problems. I really need to figure it out before I can do anything else with this book.

3. Once the timeline problem is solved, find that scene I wrote in a notebook somewhere for Full Circle but now can't seem to locate.

I swear I wrote that scene fairly recently (translation: since having moved), but I haven't figured out in which notebook it's written. Fortunately, I only have about a million notebooks, so I'm sure tracking down one scene in one of them will be super easy.

Good thing I have a lot of time on my hands...

What's going on in your corner of the world?

Happy Monday, all.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Tales From The Vault (An IWSG Post)

Hello, everyone. It's the first Wednesday of the month, which means it's time for another action-packed installment of the Insecure Writer's Support Group.

(As always, I'm assuming that, by now, you know what this is, but if you need/want more information, or a complete list of participants, please click on the link.)

This month's co-hosts are Tamara Narayan, Patsy Collins, Nicohle Christopherson, and, you know, me. (I always feel weird writing this particular part when I am among the hosts. But, as I pretty much always feel weird regardless of the situation, I perhaps didn't need to mention this particular instance to you.)

Anyway. On with the post.

This month's question asks, "Have you ever pulled out a really old story and reworked it? Did it work out?"

Well, I'll tell you. Well, at least I'll tell you half of it. I have no idea if it will ultimately work out, but I did, not too long ago, pull out an old manuscript of mine.

I generally have two projects going at one time—a main project, and a back-up project that I work on a little bit whenever I need a break from the main project. At the moment, my main project is Book #2 of my fantasy series, and my back-up project is Book #3 of said series.

And because there was this time when I thought I might actually finish Book #2 (Ha!) and promote Book #3 to Main Project Status, I went hunting through the archives of abandoned never-finished stories to look for a new possible back-up project.

One of my top contenders was this novel I had started in high school, and worked on through a few years of college, but never finished. (The story of my life, I know.) What pages did exist were well-received in college. Like, really well-received. The feedback from professors and classmates and fellow writers met at conferences was excellent, flattering, even—and maybe, just maybe, played a minor part in cultivating my ego a little bit. (I know I'm always so ego-free, so this information may seem jarring to you.)

So, fast forward many, many years to the time when I thought I might actually finish Book #2. (Again, I say, "Ha!") I pulled this abandoned story out of a box and submitted the first ten pages to my critique group, just to get their take on the story.

And their take was:

Leaving me all:

and wondering what in the world all my professors, classmates, and conference-writer acquaintances were fawning over during my college years, as well as worrying that my entire decision to be a writer (made the summer before my junior year of college) had been predicated on big, fat lies designed to avoid hurting my delicate artist feelings.

But that's another post for another day, perhaps.

I went home after my critique and paged through the rest of the manuscript, and had a good long laugh at both it and myself. My critique partners were so incredibly right, and if this story ever does make it to Back-Up Project Status, or even Main Project Status, the characters and I will be in for a total overhaul.

And boy, am I looking forward to that.

Thanks for stopping by today, everyone. Happy writing.