glitter_n_gore: (stargate snark)
So, that experiment I was trying with outlining versus not--I've discovered, now with a more definite sense of certainty, that outlining in my case is a very, very bad idea. I could not get through one chapter once I got to the actual writing part on that project. Not one chapter.

However, I'm not sorry I tried it, because that's useful to know about myself I guess. It's really better in my case if I just write. And I'm not giving up on that story entirely--just can't deal with it right now, so it's going into the Trunk until further notice.

Anyways, what with my experiment and a number of other things going awry, this is what I have on the table as of now:

The Candelabrum: Revised, reformatted, and sent away again. Now waiting for a response. Wish me luck!

The Fire Worker: Up to 43k, and working out some revisions in my head for when I go back for a second-draft sweep. I say "in my head" because I've been trying not to monkey around with manuscripts at all until that first draft is completely finished. It's not easy. With the pantsing thing especially, I inevitably wind up with a number of plot holes that need filling in once I go back, and once I work out what they are I want to fix them immediately. Which I will, eventually, but the more important thing is finishing the draft. If it's complete, and has an ending, even if that ending winds up changing, then I have something I can work with.

Now, since those two are the only "current" projects I have, I feel myself flailing. Two projects, one of which is a short story that I'm for all intents and purposes "done" with at least for the moment, feels way too low. As anyone who's followed this blog for a significant length of time probably knows by now, I generally keep at least three or four going at once.

Which means I have a couple of options here--I can feed one of the plot bunnies (I always have a gracious plenty of those); OR I could take out one of my previous manuscripts and give it a good, clean overhaul and put it back in the queue. I'm thinking of one in particular that I think has loads of potential, but got put on hold once I reached the synopsis-writing stage and uncovered a number of plotting oversights that needed fixing. It's been resting for about a year. Maybe it's time to dust it off and polish it up.

I'm hesitant to do both until I get that draft finished. A girl has to have boundaries, after all.


Last book read: Wondrous Strange, by Lesley Livingston

Currently on: The Remains of the Day, by Kazuo Ishiguro
glitter_n_gore: (gambit)
Biggest news on the actual writing front is this: "The Candelabrum" has earned me my second personalized rejection. Yay! And I do mean that sincerely. Of course, I would prefer an acceptance, but this is the first place I sent this story out to, and it was both complimentary and just detailed enough to let me know where to go next.

So! As usual, I'm being attacked by plot bunnies left and right. Except this time, instead of ignoring them all, I'm trying to keep them neutralized a little differently: outlining.

As some of you probably know, I'm normally a panster when it comes to writing. Meaning, I prefer not to outline my plot, but start from scratch and just keep going until I get to The End. The reason being I tend to lose interest in a story once I know how it's going to end. Even if it's not fully fleshed out, if I have the basic structure "finished," my writer brain decides it's done with it and wants to move on to the next Shiny New Idea. Given the amount of plot bunnies clamoring for attention at all times, you can probably imagine how this goes for me.

However, also given the amount of plot bunnies I wind up with, I can see how outlining might actually be beneficial. I've just outlined a complete novel start to finish (dark, alternate universe YA--working title "The Light Bringers") in about a week, give or take. A fully fleshed out novel takes a lot longer than a week to write. But now, see, that particularly bunny has a home and is no longer nibbling at me. So perhaps this is a good way to keep them satisfied and still have time to work on my major projects in the meantime.

The question is will these unwritten stories still hold my interest enough for me to finish them fairly? Time will tell. This is an experiment. (There's a reason I decided to go with the Gambit icon for this post.) I'll see how it goes on this one for now, and I'll keep you posted as usual.

Last book read: Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House.

Currently on: Gail Carriger's Soulless, Book 1 of the Parasol Protectorate.
glitter_n_gore: (Default)
First, check out this interview with Luke Walker about his new ebook, The Red Girl.

Second, in the continuing spirit of Women in Horror Month, fellow Houndie Night Flyer has posted on a spotlight on author Sarah Langon on her shiny new blog. Check that out as well.

In other news, I have now read two--count 'em, two--of the books in my TBR pile: L. A. Banks's Minion and Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island. Crossing 'em off the list now.

Anyways, since I haven't done one of these in far too long, here's a progress report on what I'm actually working on writing-wise:


Novels:

Fire Worker--previously known as "Demigeists," so obviously the first piece of news on this one is I changed the title. The reason being that "demigeists," these neat little fun-sized ghosties I made up that travel through mirrors and steal souls very, very gradually, while still worth a shot eventually I think, just aren't going to work in the context I worked out. The total wordcount so far is 28,000. I'm about at the halfway mark.

Early Risers--Currently standing at 13,000 words, and passing the Plot Twist. Which, this being a zombie story, means the outbreak is getting worse. Another issue is I realized I haven't described what my protagonist looks like yet. I tend to be lax with physical descriptions for some reason, particularly for POV characters. I don't know why. I'll figure something out, I hope.

Shorts:

Doppelganger--four rejections so far, all form, no takers. I took another look at it and decided the beginning was weak, so I'm putting it back into the editing stage before sending it anywhere else.

The Candelabrum--3,000 after the second round of edits, and now I'm scouring my lists for where to send it. Wish me luck!
glitter_n_gore: (midori sours)
Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season! I sure did. Better than last year, anyway, and I have a new job that I actually really like, which is quite exciting.

On the writing front, I haven't stopped working on any of my various projects, but I'm thwarted by technology and its failings. (Translation: The lappy is D-E-A-D, and I'm borrowing my stepdad's mini to work on my manuscripts until I can get a new one.) This has been an issue since mid-October, and has been in a state of flux until recently, when it became a state of D-E-A-D.

Anyway, I finished the first draft for "The Candelabrum" and have had two beta readers look it over.

Got another rejection back on "Doppelganger," and I'm holding back on any more submissions until we actually hit January, because that's when all the magazines open up for new material again.

For the novels, I'm 17k into "Demigeists" and getting a slightly better handle on the plot. (Yay!) I also have a plot bunny I've decided to feed--taking my 2010 NaNo, "The Time Ghost," in a different direction, and that one has about 4000 words on it already. Lastly, "Early Risers" is at a standstill, but I've passed the 10k mark so it feels like a real manuscript now. Something about hitting that fifth digit is encouraging.

Nothing further in the works right now, but I think that's plenty.

I do have resolutions for the New Year. Let me show you them:

1) Hone my synopsis writing skills.

2) Whiddle down my TBR pile. This means no buying any more NEW books until I read all the ones currently stacked up in various piles around my room at this very moment. It's 54 books. I know I can do it. I will post my reading list here shortly after the new year so I have something to cross stuff off of.

Speaking of lists, the final count for Books Read in 2011 stands at 78. Coming in last is John Wyndham's The Day of the Triffids--the heartwarming story of a world being slowly taken over by seven-foot-tall man-eating space plants. To tell the truth, the narrative tone is wretchedly sexist and ablist, but the concept and execution is brilliant. It's one of those pulpy, sci-fi classics that people like me simply must read at some point their lifetimes.

I'll do a blog with my top ten books I read this year some time later.

Anyone else have resolutions they'd like to share? I'd love to hear 'em.
glitter_n_gore: (Default)
First, an update on my progress, now that November is nearly over:

My two complete short stories, "Doppelganger" and "Early Risers," have been submitted and subsequently rejected. Moving on to the next markets for each now.

My two novel-sized WIPs, "Demigeists" and the expanded version of "Early Risers," are at 11,000 and 5,000 words, respectively. Not quite where I wanted to be right now, but slow and steady.

My in-progress short story, "The Candelabrum," is almost finished at 3,000 words, and I'm now struggling with whether I want to kill off my MC entirely, or let her go with a lifelong cloud of guilt hanging over her. It's a toss-up. I'm one scene from finished. (Maybe one and a half.)

So, about short stories versus novels--the submission process isn't wildly different, but different enough that I've discovered some pros and cons of each. Since short stories are what I'm submitting at the moment, I'll go with that process.

Pros:

-No query-writing. At most, magazines, ezines and anthologies ask for a brief cover letter, which is so simple it feels like cheating. All you need is something like, "Dear Editor, enclosed is My Story, it is X words long and in X genre. Thank you for reading!" And if it's a paper submission, an SASE enclosed as well. That's it.

-No synopsis. I feel I don't need to explain this one.

-Lower printer/ink costs. Because they're, well, shorter. Less paper, you see.

Cons:

-Slower response times. This took me by surprise, actually, but many magazines and ezines keep you waiting for a matter of months. The longest I've seen is a projected 10 month wait time. On the other hand, the shortest was just two weeks, so maybe this isn't as bad as I imagine it to be.

-No simultaneous submissions. With rare exceptions, what this means is you stay waiting with one story in the queue, and until you hear back from that publisher, you can't send it anywhere else. This might be why the wait time feels slower to me, since you aren't hearing back from multiple places on the same manuscript like you would with novels and agents.

The lack of synopsis is a HUGE plus. But so far, it hasn't gotten me picked up by anyone yet.

Onward!

NaNo 2011!

Nov. 8th, 2011 03:26 pm
glitter_n_gore: (hyde)
So I'm not doing NaNo this year, exactly, but I do have a number of projects currently underway so I figured I might as well use this space to track my progress. If nothing else, it'll give me something to blog about, because seriously, I need to update more often.

Here's the score so far:

Short Stories:

Doppelganger--supernatural horror, clocking in at 6500 words. Longish for the markets I'm looking at, but not too long, hopefully. Ready to sub, at least as ready as I can make it with the help of five betas and one personalized rejection.

Early Risers--zombie short, horror-comedy, 1290 words. Submitted to Publisher A, no word back yet. It's been about a month since I sent it, but their kill date is 60 days, so I'm not worried. (Yet.)

The Candelabrum--good ol' fashioned haunted house story, no word count yet as it's all longhand. Inspired by the October Prompt on AW.

Novels:

Early Risers--same zombie short, expanding into a novel against my better judgment. (The first "chapter" is what I'm pitching as a short story, and I still think it works rather nicely as a standalone piece.) I'm also taking some of the pieces I couldn't make work from "Dusty" and trying them here instead. Progress so far: 4500 words.

Demigeists--YA horror/urban fantasy/magic realism. I put all those in there because it's still cooking and I'm not sure what it'll look like once it's done. I've taken one of my own nightmares, the random infestation of crows that popped up 'round these parts over summer, mixed in some characters from a trunk novel, and enrolled them in a prep school next to a graveyard. Progress so far: 5000 words.

Total rejections so far: 6 (1 personalized)

Full requests: 1

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