Garden Fantasy

I still need to come up with a good title for my reaper novella. The current working title is Big Boy. . . . . so yeah it needs some work. Especially now that the MC is thirteen and not eight, so calling him a big boy just feels kind of creepy.

I’ll start with the good news. I am ahead of schedule on the garden fantasy book. This is my fifth day of writing and I just hit the 18k word mark. It would be SO cool if I could hit the 20k word mark today, but I’m not gonna stress about it. I already hit my 3k minimum for the day so I’ll probably get in some much-deserved reading time. I’m currently beta reading the 2nd book in my friend Lauren Lee’s Demons of New York series.

The bad news is, not only do I need to come up with a title for my reaper tale (though I do have a cover and it looks pretty sick) but I’m running behind on my edit goals for it. As you can probably put together from the paragraph above, I’m running behind on edits because I’m running ahead on a rough draft. I’m doing my best not to stress about it, I don’t think the reaper tale requires any major changes, I just need to add a little more depth to each character so it’s more a tale of interesting characters than one of a pretty plot.

since I’ve proven I can’t effectively edit one project and write another at the same time, I’ll probably relieve the self-imposed stress I’m feeling and just focus on writing the rough draft first. It’s easier to take a break from editing than it is to take a break from a rough draft. One is all about objectivity and the other is all about momentum (at least for me).

At least I have a week before I move down to New Orleans for the summer and in that time I’ll probably crank out another 20k words, but ideally, I’d like to finish the rough draft by then.

Remember my summer goals: I want to publish two novellas and one full-length novel. I already published Third Life. My reaper tale will be my second novella (about 120-130 pages) and my full-length novel will either be my garden fantasy or Skipping Over Sundays.

All in all, I’m pretty optimistic about where I am right now.

As always thanks for reading.

Editing is kinetic

So, I know I can’t shut up about Third Life but I find I give my best advice when I give anecdotes. Rather than boring you with a formula of how certain generic actions equal certain dynamic results, I put a face to the character performing tasks (me) and give actual results.

So, I’m editing Third Life, and as usual, I get discouraged when I edit. There is just so much to remember, so many small details I want to include early on to wink at the reader when they finish so I can say “see look what I did there?”

Anyway, what I’m discovering is the further into the story I get the fewer edits I have to make. Most of the edits are early on while I’m still building the world and figuring out the ending. Even though I went into this project with a pretty good idea of what I wanted my ending to be, I came up with a lot of ideas for the world while I was writing. That happens no matter how much I outline.

Anyway, by the end of the story I know all the rules and obviously, know what the ending is going to be so there are fewer errors as opposed to the beginning of the story there are tons of contradictions and things that just wouldn’t work because I added some new rules down the line.

So, I guess the point of this post is to say don’t be discouraged while editing. It gets easier.

Third Life: Edits have begun

Welcome to the land of no names. I started my edits on Third Life this morning. It isn’t long, only 20k words so more or less 80 pages. It is fun though. Only two characters have names, the protagonist, and his brother. The rest are nameless, and eventually faceless, except the two leaders of warring tribes. They don’t have names but titles.

I am really excited about this story because it’s the first time in a while that I really let my imagination run free. It’s not that the audience wasn’t on my mind; it’s more that I care about them in the edits and not so much in the rough draft. Part of the issue I had with the Absolute, and part of the reason I lost the excitement of it is it just sorta lost its way. When I originally wrote it, it was more the kind of content my mind goes to on its own. A story with a big question that could never actually happen.

It became something bland. Something that reads like I was overly concerned with pleasing everybody that it just became boring.

Thid Life is definitely not for everybody. I’m not even sure if it’s any good, but I know I’m excited about it. I built a world of rigid discipline. A world where life is cheap, people get more than one, and its sole purpose is to serve a higher purpose. The two tribes fighting believe in opposing purposes, one to the world and the other to the longevity of those who are living.

What I am most concerned about is my info dumping. I was so excited to create this brand new world that I think I got carried away, particularly in the first chapter, with explaining every detail. It’s also difficult to edit because I want those details there, and part of the reason I think the info dump might work is that it occurs during moments of “blank stare,” which is a side effect of adults in the Formation (the tribe the main character is a part of).

I hope to finish my first round of edits this weekend and send it off to some beta readers. I’m always looking for more so if that’s something that interests you please shoot me an email on my contact page.

I was forcing the Absolute because I really felt like I needed a full-length novel out, but I think it would be best if I give it a brief pause and work on some of my novella ideas. I also think that would be best for the people who actually read my work because it means more content!