April Writing Projects

Yellow flowersRemember last month when I said that I was forcing myself to revise two short stories that needed a lot of work and I didn’t like them and it was going to take me forever and everything was terrible?

Yeah, that was all nothing but an empty whine because I ended up getting them both done in about two weeks. I didn’t anticipate that, but it happened, and I’m happier for it.

And since I got them done so quickly, I just moved right on to the next big revision, The Haunting of the Woodlow Boys, which I’ll continue working on this month. I’ve got over half of it done already, but it’s the last third or so that really needs a lot of work and rewriting. I’m going to take my time with it. It’s the last story in the still-untitled ghost story collection that needs major revisions. Once it gets done, that whole thing should come together pretty quickly.

In side project news, if you follow me on Twitter (you probably shouldn’t because I’m terrible) or read the tweets that come up on the blog, then you know I’ve been referencing five outlines. First I talked about finishing them; now I’m talking about writing synopsis and fifteen pages. It’s possible you might be wondering what the hell I’m talking about.

(It’s also possible that you don’t give a shit, and that’s also valid.)

I’m going to try my hand at the Writer’s Digest Annual Writing Competition again. Nine years after winning 10th place in the genre category and a few failures in other categories since then, I’ve decided to try my hand at the script category. I’ve only written a script once before for Script Frenzy (which they don’t do anymore), so I’m looking at this as a personal challenge that’s going to cost me a $25 entry fee.

So what’s the deal with the five outlines? I took five ideas that I had and outlined them. Now I’m writing the first fifteen pages and synopsis (the requirement for the entry) of each one to see which one I think is the strongest entry. Then I’ll take the one I think is strongest, polish it all up, and submit it. Is it a lot of extra work to do it this way? Yeah, probably, but it gives me some practice. Am I cheating by only doing the first fifteen pages? Yeah, probably, but I will finish whatever one I submit for sure. It just won’t be done by the deadline, which is in May. I only have one more outline that needs fifteen pages and a synopsis written, so I’ve got plenty of time to get this done. I find script writing to go very quickly for me.

Which means I’m probably doing it wrong.

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Writing–April Projects

SeptemberI’m having one of those really helpful productive periods that allows me to lay waste to whatever I put on my daily To Do List, which in turn helps me clear off my mega-To Do List, and all of this accomplishment just inspires me to to do more.

I’m going to try to continue that vibe in April.

Last month I finished up all of the work that needed to be done on the remaining Ivy novellas and they are formatted to ebook specifications, so they will be ready to roll out over the course of the year. All that’s left in their regards is to format the collection paperback and do the covers, which I’ve farmed out certain aspects of the artwork to roommate Carrie, so I won’t have to worry about them until at least May, since I plan on publishing the first novella in June.

Last month I also revised some short stories. I will continue work on “The Seaweed Man” this month because I’m not exactly sure what I’m doing with it. I wrote the new stuff I wanted to include into the story, but I’m not sure how I want to combine the new stuff and the old stuff together. There’s a few different routes to take and I haven’t decided which way is the way to go. I anticipate agonizing over this and futzing around with it for the duration of April.

Also, I’m going to revise “The House Down the Road”, which I was going to revise last month, but completely overlooked because I’m human and not as smart as I think I am.

If I have time, I’ll start writing a couple of short stories, “Cabintown Road” and “The Electronic Looking Glass”, for the next anthology.

And of course, I’ll be publishing my latest finished anthology, People Are Terrible and Other Stories. Look for that sometime next week.

Go Team!

Writing–March Projects

green flowerYou may have noticed the lack of blog posts in the month of February. Or maybe you didn’t. Maybe you didn’t care. Whatever the case, the point is that you can expect random and fewer blog posts to be the norm for a while. My world is in a bit of transition at the moment, sort of like when I had the existential crisis last year, except it’s less crisis, more change.

Anyway, that doesn’t mean that I’m not doing writer stuff. My goal to clear out my backlog of projects remains intact.

Last month I finished making notes on (Vampries) Made in America and it has all been put to the side for the moment. I’m sick of looking at it. I also finished revisions on Odd Section of Town and Firebugs and Other Insects. I’m satisfied with how they turned out for the most part and I think the next step for them is beta and minor tweaks/polish. I also wrote “A Ride in the Country”, which was actually less writing and more taking a chunk that didn’t make it into Night of the Nothing Man and revising it into it’s own little stand alone bit that will go into one of the anthologies.

Speaking of…

This month, I’m going to be working revising short stories that I’m going to use for future anthologies. I’ve already finished a revision on “Nadie Has a Dog” just a few days into the new month (productivity, what?). Also going to be revised this month “People Are Terrible”, “Cover Up” (a rough draft that I found that I think will go nicely in one of the anthologies), “The House Down the Road”, and “The Seaweed Man”. Of these four, it’s “The Seaweed Man” that’s going to take the most work. It’s going to be more of a rewrite than a revision.

Slowly, but slowly, the backlog decreases.

Writing–I Think I Got a Hit

YearlySo, Yearly has been selling pretty well, much to my surprise.

By selling well, I mean that it sold an average of a copy a day last month (the final count was 33). That’s pitiful if you’re someone else, but that’s fantastic if you’re me. Thirty copies of one title in a month is more that I’ve sold of everything else in over a year. I’ve sold over 60 copies of Yearly since its release in February. And things are already looking good for this month, too. If I could hit 100 total by June, that would be like meeting a goal I didn’t think I could even set. Sad, but that’s just how my writing career has gone so far. Slow build.

And by surprising I mean that I didn’t expect Yearly to do much of anything. It’s a short story anthology. I didn’t expect it to really hit on anyone’s radar. And yet, it seems someone finds it nearly every day. I’m not sure if this is the power of word of mouth or keyword searches or what, but I like it.

I think it also automatically sets me up for disappointment.

My own publishing schedule had me putting out something new next month. There’s almost always a surge of interest right after I publish something (except for Night of the Nothing Man, that’s just hated) because it’s new and people want to see if it’s worth the time and money. Inevitably, after that first week, interest disappears.

At least that’s the norm.

Right now, Yearly is a hit, but it’s also an anomaly. I’m not sure that the next thing I do will do so well. I may be a one-hit wonder instead of a chart topper.

I hope I can handle that.

Writing–December Projects

Snow Cat

December is always a rough month writing-wise for me. Between the NaNoWriMo hangover (which, I admit, can’t be bad this year since I was done in two weeks) and the holidays and the holiday obligations, writing seems even more of a chore than it should be. In order to combat that, the writing-goals for December get toned waaaaay down.

This month I only have a few goals which shouldn’t tax my brain and my patience too much.

I need to get the cover art done for the Ivy novella, which finally has a name! I’m calling it Cheaters and Chupacabras, which is a crappy name, but it’ll do, pig, it’ll do. And once I get the cover art done, I will be publishing it so you can find out if the novella itself is less-crappy than the title (I think it is).

I also need to get the cover art for my next anthology, Yearly, done. I’d like to have that published in January. And don’t let the title fool you; it’s not a yearly thing. It’s just the way the stories ended up representing months and I decided to capitalize on it.

And finally, I’m revising “She’s Not Here Anymore”. It was originally written as a novella, but after reading it again, I’ve decided to rewrite it as a short story. I’m taking out certain elements of the story because it ended up not being what I wanted and the new way will be better. I’m giving myself the whole month to do it because I’m not exactly enthused about it, but I think it needs to be done. Once I get the rewrites finished, I think I’ll be happier with the story and therefore, a little more inclined to work on it.

So that’s what I’ll be doing in December. Enough to keep me productive, but not too much to make me feel like an utter failure.