My latest novella, Hatchets and Hearts, is now available for purchase!
Revisions on (Vampires) Made in America continue. I got about half-way through the latest round of revisions when something clicked and I realized what I really needed to do to make the story work. Which meant I had to start all over. Fortunately, I’m no stranger to such stupidity, so this prolonged round of revisions doesn’t bother me. Much.
I’m also going to do what should be the last round of revisions and the polish of Hatchets and Hearts. Then I can be done with that novella.
I figure that will be good enough to start the year.
I also need to figure out a self-publishing schedule for the year. Putting out three things last year worked out pretty well. They were pretty evenly spaced out and such. I’d like to do that again.
It’s just a matter of what and when.
And I currently have no idea about either of those things.
So, yeah. Off and running, kids. Off and running.
Just because I’m experiencing a writing crisis of sorts doesn’t mean the party stops. While I’m seeking validation by submitting to agents, I also have a different plan on the board that I’m executing, one that is sort of independent of that whole writer-validation thing that I talked about doing last week. Basically, it’s Operation: Get Some of This Shit Off Your To Do List, Woman!
So, last month involved me doing a round of revisions on the Zak novella (no, it still doesn’t have a title), writing a couple of short stories (“The Seaweed Man” is a lot longer than I thought it’d be and I’ll need another week or so to finish it; I also ended up writing another short story called “People Are Terrible”), and getting the pre-order of Spirited in Spite set up. All of the was done even while I was having my “Why am I here?” troubles.
This month, since it is of course October, I will have NaNo prep, which will basically just be me going over my outlines for the next two Ivy Russell novellas to make sure I know what I’m doing. Yes, I’m doing two novellas again for this NaNo and I will talk more about them in another post.
Speaking of Ivy Russell, to help me get in tune with that world, I’m going to finish the rewrites on The Timeless Man, which means finally figuring out and writing the new ending. It will be smooth sailing on further revisions once that is done.
I also need to do another revision of Hatchets and Hearts. I’m changing the time period. I think that will be the final big change that will really tie the whole thing together. It seems like everything I wrote during a certain few months of last year/this year was nothing but a struggle. It will be a victory when I get that all sorted.
And so there won’t be any dull moments, I’ve got a couple of new short stories I could write if I need to: “The House Down the Road” and “Nadie Has a Dog”.
Slowly, but surely, I’m going to get this To Do List whipped.
I’ve mentioned before that I’m working on clearing off the bulk of my Writing To Do List. I thought that maybe some of you would like to see this mythological creature, as I’m frequently mentioning it, but not very good about getting too specific about all of the projects I have going on.
It’s not in any sort of special order and all of it is writing related even if it’s not actual writing.
- Revise Hatchets and Hearts
- Polish Hatchets and Hearts
- Revise “She’s Not Here Anymore”
- Polish “She’s Not Here Anymore”
- Revise The Timeless Man
- Revise The Rainmakers 1
- Revise The Rainmakers 2
- Revise (Vampires) Made in America
- Write Fairliza
- Write Parlor Tricks
- Publish A Tale of Two Lady Killers
- Publish Spirited in Spite
Hatchets and Hearts is, obviously, the novella I’m currently revising. “She’s Not Here Anymore” is a novella that I revised down to a short story. The Timeless Man, as you should know by now, is the next novella in the Ivy Russell series. The Rainmakers 1 and 2 are the two novellas I wrote for NaNoWriMo last year. (Vampires) Made in America is a Stanley Ivanov novel I wrote for NaNoWriMo a few years ago. Fairliza (which isn’t a title, but the name of the character) is an idea for either a long short story or a short novella that will more than likely be written this summer. Parlor Tricks is an idea for a what will probably be my NaNo project this year (or one of two projects if it looks like it’ll be a novella).
How the To Do List works: Projects that are/will be getting my attention are on the To Do List. I don’t put polishing any project on the To Do List until it’s had at least one round of revisions/rewrites.
That’s the Writing To Do List.
A living thing.
At the beginning of the year, I established a sort of publishing schedule for myself. I knew that I’d be putting out Yearly in February, but I decided that I should set a couple more dates for the year to keep myself motivated and producing with the end game in mind.
After some thought, I settled on June and October (dates not specified, of course), already having some idea of what would be going out when. I thought the time span was reasonable enough for me to finish what I wanted to publish while publishing often enough to attract potential readers while keeping others interested with the new content.
I have a great way of overestimating myself.
The good news is that, provided I can come up with covers, I will be publishing according to my little schedule. The sort-of-bad-but-not-really news is that I’m not publishing what I thought I’d be publishing.
In January, I thought it’s be The Timeless Man and probably Hatchets and Hearts, even though one wasn’t even written at the time. Now, in May it’ll be A Tale of Two Lady Killers and Spirited in Spite, though I haven’t made the final decision on what will be happening when.
Turns out that Hatchets and Hearts and The Timeless Man have ended up being a lot harder than I anticipated. Surprise, surprise.
This is why I end up working on so many different projects in different phases. I may think I know what I’m doing, but in reality, I’m a moron in need of plans A-Z.
Thank goodness for my need to always be working on something.
Next up will be the final polish of Spirited in Spite.
And then I will be back to revising.
I probably should get back to The Timeless Man, but I haven’t quite worked out everything that needs to be fixed yet, so I don’t want to start it until I know the solutions to all of the problems. It can sit another month or so while I work the last few kinks out in my head.
Instead, I’m going to take another hack (pun intended!) at Hatchets and Hearts and maybe try to get in another round of revisions done on “She’s Not Here Anymore”. Of course, the latter will depend on how well the revisions of the former go. If they turn out to be a big struggle, then I’m not going to add to my pain. I anticipate the revisions on both of these projects, even though they’ve each been revised/rewritten before, to be rough.
But if by some miracle, they both end up being easier than I anticipated, there’s plenty of things left of my To Do List to fill my time.
I’m in the process of revising Hatchets and Hearts and it’s been a pretty hard slog. I knew it would be. I knew when I was writing it that it wasn’t working the way that I wanted it to and so I knew when I finished it and tucked it away that I was looking at some serious rewrites/revisions.
Hard revisions are the worst.
I usually like revising because there’s something about stripping down a story and putting it back together to make it better that I really dig. But sometimes there are revisions I dread. Those I call hard revisions.
I guess they’re hard because they take more effort than usual. I don’t mind rewriting/revising extensively. It has to be done and most of the time I’m right there in it. But there are some stories that whatever revising I have to do is just plain work. Maybe I don’t like the story all that well at the moment or I’m not keen on the revisions I’m doing because I’m not convinced that they’re the right thing to do but something has to be done to get this show on the road.
That’s where I’m at with Hatchets and Hearts. The story isn’t what I want it to be and I’m not sure these revisions/rewrites are going to get it to where I want it to be and it makes me feel very meh and blah and uninspired. It makes me have to force myself to work on it, to do the bare minimum every day so it will get done. And then I chide myself for not putting out more effort to get more done so the whole thing gets done faster, but I just don’t have the energy for it, ya know?
And the hardest part is coming because I’m changing the ending and it’s going to be really hard because I don’t WANT to do this to the character, but I have to because the way I’m doing things, that’s how it has to go. It’s going to brutal and I’m dreading it and I think that’s part of my foot-dragging.
The thing is I’ll finish these revisions because I’ve become very good about finishing things and I’ll put this aside to settle for a bit. And when I come back to it, the next round of revisions are more likely to be easier because the slogging I did this time will pay off. There will be something better for me to work with so I can get the story closer to where I want it to be.
And that’s why I never whine too much about the hard revisions. I know it’ll be worth it.
Finally, we get around to my first projects post of the new year.
I’ve got most of the heavy lifting rewrites done on “She’s Not Here Anymore” and it’s officially a short story now. I’m going to let it rest for now. It could probably use another round of picky revisions, if not two. But not this month. It can wait.
This month I’m going to start on one of my big year goals and start revising Spirited in Spite, which I thought was still a novel-length manuscript, but it looks like the previous revisions I did cut it down to novella-length. Now I get to decide if I want to expand it back to being a novel or just go with novella, which is kind of becoming my thing. And so my big goal takes on a new dimension.
I think I’m also going to start sketching out the next Ivy Russell novella. I’ve already got the idea for it, but it’s gonna need a little work, some fleshing out and outlining. I may even start writing it if I’m feeling good about it. You never know.
I might also start doing some work on the Hatchets and Hearts novella if I’m feeling productive. It needs some hefty revisions and I’d probably be better off getting them out of the way as soon as possible.
I had an easy time of it in December. Time to get back to work.