Jan 31, 2011

Many Hats; One Head

Okay; first four books in the Chronicles of Aesirium (out of 6) are complete and prepped for final formatting. I'm going to get them a final edit or two just to make sure all the Is are crossed and the Ts are dotted, but it's nice to be patting them on the head. Book 5 needs an edit or two, but it's mostly done, save for a few last bits, and book 6 is already a couple chapters in, but yearning for me to write it. In spite of the world, I proceed.

Was headed into a nice vibe yesterday when all hell broke loose across the nation in terms of bad weather alerts. Now, I'm not one to bite the hand that feeds me, so while I really can't hate the fact that I had a paying job that needed me to shift my focus away from writing fiction and onto hazardous weather tracking and continuity planning....well, at the time, it was fairly frustrating.

The entirety of wearing multiple hats is not unknown to me; don't get me wrong. It's good to have a grounding and foundation of an established job in those lean months of creativity - it's liberating in a very real sense in that I never need think "I MUST write, for if I do not, I will starve!" I'm fully capable of generating my own sense of urgency, trust me. What's more, I love writing. I'm very happy to just write and write anyway.

But all the same, there are days in which I do not enjoy the conflict.

And before I continue, please let me state for the record that I appreciate the irony of a person taking time out of his busyness to address his...busyness. I get it, I do. But at the same time, this sense of frustration is like a burr beneath my saddle. A moment of resolution will prevent catastrophe, trust me.

So here's a snapshot of where I am for my 2011 projects:

Chronicles of Aesirium (6 books total):
  • Drafts complete: 5
  • Concept Kit: Complete
  • Final Edits complete: 0
  • Formatting complete: 0
  • Cover Art complete: 0
Project P (Secret Flying Pen Press project):
  • Materials received and being assimilated;
  • Business proposal will need to be written.

Steampunk Shakespeare:
  • Sonnets completed: 0

Steampunk Short Stories (2):
  • Steampunk Comedy; Conceptualized, outlined
  • Cousins origin story: conceptualized, outlined

Anachronology 101/The New (ab)Normal:
  • Data compiled, needs to be sorted and formatted
  • Estimated: 5-6 books (faith, the internet, parenthood, work, politics, random observations about the world)

One of the big changes I'll be making this year is shifting my focus for my personal projects to an eBook one. Flying Pen Press has stated that they would be publishing the Chronicles of Aesirium books, but their focus is in POD distribution, and not on ePublishing, so there's still a vast arena to be explored.

But I've also met a very successful ebook author who has offered to introduce me through that process - so it may be a bit less dangerous than I'd previously expected.

Hmmm. I can't decide if this blog has helped me or made me feel more stressed. Bleah.

Jan 26, 2011

Editing Hell? Nah. Not even "Heck", really.

I hear a lot of other writers using the term "editing hell", as in I'm stuck in editing hell, etc. I'm in the middle of what I believe is what they're talking about - - I'm turning 3 full-length (92k+ words each) novels into 6 YA-length (50-60k+ words) books. And, to put this into perspective, here's the present status update:

I began with the following:

Book One - "The Morrow Stone" - 92k words, 277 pages, 7x9 format
Book Two - "Reaper's Flight" - 126k words, 285 pages (much smaller font), 7x9 format
Book Three - (working title) - 60% complete with 72k words

And this will be converted into 6 books, thus:

Book 1 - 60k words, 280 pages, YA paperback format
Book 2 - 55k words, 270 pages, YA paperback format
Book 3 - TBD
Book 4 - TBD
Book 5 - TBD
Book 6 - TBD

In terms of drafts, I'm almost done with reconverting what is now going to be book 2, and following a weighty review of Reapers Flight will then break it down into 2 books following the design formatting I've done so far with Morrow Stone. Then I'll be wrapping the first draft of what WAS book 3 into what will be books 5 and 6, also following the similar format. Follow me so far? If so, that might just make one of us.

The thing is, the books have made thus far for a fairly simple transition from one to two books. It's also given me the chance to expand on the narrative in ways I truncated in the original versions because of the constraints of space. When I look at them now, I already have 5 completely new chapters that weren't in the original books, and that's not even including the "director's cut expanded scenes" that are getting filtered in throughout the entirety of the books thus far.

As I wrap the expanded cuts of Reapers Flight and start back into the last half of the original 3rd book, though, I expect to see little additional expansion; I'm just going to write the books as the stories need to be told, and not worry about cutting for size or space.

Very liberating.

The biggest challenge so far has been on expanding the scenes; I've had to retain a coherent sense of where the characters are way back at the beginning of the books and ensure that I don't let them behave as they do much later, or that they don't know something they didn't learn until later, etc. I thought I knew my own books before, but the truth is that I know them now so much better.

That realization should probably frighten me.

But all the same.... "editing hell"? I don't know, I really just don't feel it. Yet.

Maybe that's the whole punch line of hell, really. Maybe it's one of those things that just slowly sucks you in, and you don't realize you're in it until it's much, much too late.


Okay, now I'm a little worried.

Jan 6, 2011

New Year's Revolution

So let me get this straight - we're already a week into the new year? Shut the front door!

I am aware of the need to update things here, but every word is tinged with the bitterness of guilt that I'm not putting words into the novels. So, here's a quick update of what's the what.

Morrow Stone - am mostly done with the rewrite - the first 5 chapters have been recombobulated into a much more dramatic arrangement. Very happy with the new look and feel and pacing of it - shocked by how simple it was to reconstruct it and make it work so much more deliciously. Will be adding a second new chapter to it plus a prologue written by one of our favorite scoundrels. Then it's off for a new round of edits with Matt Delman at FPP to see what more needs to be changed. Plus I need to get it properly formatted to the printed page, AND I need the art done. And, if I can find the right person, a book trailer. Feelers are crawling out.

Reaper's Flight - will get to this one soon enough as well; will need to do a few tweaks in order to put it in line with the pattern being established by book 1's second edition and the steadily progressing 3rd novel. And then there's art.

Fall of the Shepherd - have crossed the midpoint of the book. Still a good ways to go. With the holidays behind, it's time to get back into gear and write.

Additional projects - FPP's "Steampunk & Co" is doing a pair of anthologies, and I'm submitting a "Cousins" prequel short story and some sonnets for the Steampunk Shakespeare antho.

And Matt's pitching around the idea of plushies for the Aerthos books - Mulligan, Yu and Rickets. That thought alone is making me giddy.

Oh, and if you hadn't already seen them, I've been interviewed twice this past month - one in Lexi Flint's blog and once in Lorna Suzuki's blog. Both interviews were absolutely fantastic experiences, and if you haven't read their blogs, then shame on you. Go do it now. Seriously. I'll wait right here until you're done.

Okay, all good? Sweet.

Let's see, what else. Oh, yes. Got a kindle for Christmas, so now I get to read EVERYWHERE. BWAH HAH HAH HAH! Awesome sauce.

And then, just when I thought I'd NEVER catch up, I won a contest from Tor publishing that netted me a BOX full of new books - like, 30 of them. They sit beside me by my writing desk and taunt me.

And if that wasn't bad enough, I need to update the site, too.

all right, now I'm just stalling. Back to work. Thanks for visiting!