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Jan 17, 2017:

Still Having A Hard Time Getting Here

Yea, I know, what a title. lol

Anyway, despite having a problem doing regular updates on what is supposed to be the "official" author blog, things are going pretty good with the writing.

I was going to start the final polish (based on beta reader comments) on Assassin's Choice this week, but that's been moved to next week. A new reader popped up and will have it back to me by Wednesday. I have 2 other readers I'm waiting to hear from. If I don't by Wednesday, I plow forward anyway. I did do some work on the first chapter and submit during Dragonmoon Press's open submission recently, but it was rejected as expected. I'm pretty sure even if they liked it, 124k was just a bit daunting...and it was their preferred word count plus another 25%. I had to give it a shot, though. I would really like to be a part of DMP. ;)

Book 2, Quest For Ehlarayn, is moving along a bit more slowly. Until book 1 sells, making the Alden books a primary project doesn't make much sense, but I do want to get them done. So for now, they're my alternate projects and I work on them on the weekends. Really, way too slow for them since they're intense in terms of the amount of work they need to begin with, but a better use of time unless/until one of them sells and brings them to the forefront work wise.

I may write because I love to write and I have all these stories in my head, but I also want to be published. For the latter, you need to work on new projects until something sells. Fortunately, I have plenty of new something to keep me busy. ;)

The other major project right now is Blood Charms, and it's going much better now that I've freed myself to step outside of standard urban fantasy boundaries. I actually got to about chapter 7 while trying to stay rigidly in the genre, but I was getting less and less comfortable with it, and the crits weren't too enthusiastic. Scratched that, started over, let myself move inside and outside the boundaries of genre as I need to, and it's not only going better for me, but the crits are more positive as well.

The sort stuff, eh. Have been buried pretty deep in the novels, for one. And right now, with other issues going on in the personal life, time has become a little more pressing. It's been a lot harder to do as much. Strangely, the weekly word counts are still going okay, even without the revision words from A.C. Third, still only one sale for the year, so not encouraged to put more time into stuff that's not getting me anywhere and is costing me more than I'm earning. Still dabbling, still submitting, just not as invested in them. Honestly, novels are my best length. I've mastered the short story, and now...just don't need to keep torturing myself with it.

Am trying to get to some work on the author site, but that too seems to be one of those things I have a hard time with these days. Really do need to make some updates, but I suspect another move might be in the offing soon. NOT looking forward to that at all. But if things settle out at home, I might make a preemptive strike and move before the trouble I see brewing occurs. Besides, I'd rather have the site somewhere where I feel it's safe instead of someplace where I'm worried about it all the time.

And that's pretty much it. Maybe that's why I don't write here with overall updates much. all they are is writing and more writing with the occasional personal or web thing thrown in. Hopefully soon I'll have other exciting updates to share. ;)

Heroes of Ehlarayn, In Progress, Pushing Boundaries, Short Stories, The Shunned, Web Stuff


Learning the Curve

There's a lot of talk about how writers need to be readers and need to write every day and so on. Very little is said about how writers need to also be learners. We never really fully know our craft -- there's always something new to explore and learn, whether it's a new genre or new guidelines about what works or new background information that we need for a story or novel. Writers should always be pushing their boundaries or they become stale.

I'm learning a "new" genre. Under A Blood Moon is urban fantasy, not so hard, mixed with mystery, I guess. Think Dresden Files meets Anita Blake, only with a paranormal main character. Now, I read these books, and Phyllis A. Whitney. Reading mysteries doesn't prepare you for writing them as much as one would think. While I'm still using my NPB method, I've had to add a step or two and modify a few things. And there are so many questions -- what forensics do I need to know? How do I keep the real perpetrator from being obvious? Then there's the doubt -- can I really do this?

I'm plowing through and trying to keep it fun while I do -- Assassin's was such a struggle despite being a learning novel, that I need fun in addition to not mind bending. But every step of the way comes with new questions. I just did a timeline and not only found an error (I doubt a detective agency would be open on a Sunday -- most places aren't) that I'm going to have to figure out how to fix (I just need some Sunday padding), but am now wondering if the time from start to finish is too short. Granted, I'm not done yet, but there's also not been much "down" time so it's only been 11 days so far.

I did end up cutting a murder from the total. So, today I get to make the adjustments, then I get to turn those adjustments into the narrative draft format. I was worried it would be too much work and I'd have to go back to the outline, but it'll be fine.

Best of all, despite the second guessing and all the doubt and the questions, I'm enjoying the story and delving into the genre. And that's a very good sign.

Obstacles & Overcoming, Pushing Boundaries, The Shunned

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