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
glitter_n_gore: (romy)
Greetings! I have many updates in my adventures in querying, and writing in general because I just don't seem to be satisfied unless I'm working on about three or four things at once. (I don't understand it either. I just can't stop myself.)

In Query Letter Hell: I have a response from the agent who read my full. It's "no." A very polite form rejection, they have too many clients to take on anyone else right now, thanks for sending it to them and being so patient, etc.--the usual deal. I knew what it was and what it would say the second I saw the letter. This one stung a little. I imagine this is how it works in the querying process, though. The further you get along the path of "maybe," the more disappointing it is when you eventually get the "no." Also, because this one actually took the time to read the manuscript, that says to me that my query letter is good, but the story itself might be lacking. Which means I might have more revising to do.

And here is where that little voice in my head pops up and chirps, "Does that mean we can put off the synopsis some more?" and I sternly tell it, "Dammit, NO!" I will figure this mess out if it's the last thing I do. (Which it might well be.)

So, speaking of the synopsis: I put a better one together, more lean, that makes a little more sense, and got some excellent feedback on it. So now I have a clearer idea of what I need to do with it, and how to make that happen. Still don't want to though. I think most writers hating doing these things.

As far as my other works-in-progress go, here's the word count tally:

LUCID, my YA urban fantasy/horror story: 28,000.

DEMIGEISTS, an older idea that's been knocking around my head for a while, a ghost story set in a school: 3,000.

THE TIME GHOST, my NaNo from last year, going in a decidedly different direction: 600.

Now, let me talk about THE TIME GHOST for a moment here, because it's my most substantial WIP right now apart from LUCID: I wound up with a grand total of 75,000 words once I finished my rough draft, making it the longest story I've ever written, ever. However, since I have a tendency to write short, I was struggling to make that word count and wound up with a LOT of padding to fill it out. I haven't yet mastered the art of writing economically and still making the story last long enough to fill a book.

However, here's what I discovered after looking at the manuscript again: the plot is wretched. It's messy, incohesive, hard to follow, and doesn't make sense. It's only towards the very end that it starts to get interesting, but after that it quickly falls apart again. What I did well with the manuscript was world-building, getting a handle on the government and species of my futurist, interplanetary peoples, and creating a top-notch monster. The characterizations are....not my best. I have one that I like enough to keep. So he's staying. Everything else, I'm rewriting from the top. Hence the low word count.

Also, this newer approach is veering into romance territory. I don't read much romance--meaning, I can count the romance novels I've read on one hand, and can only think of one that I actually enjoyed. It's just not my genre. With that in mind, if I'm going to write a story that blends sci-fi and romance, I need to do some research.

So I asked for advice from the good folks at AW, got some reading recommendations, and a brilliant suggestion: read a couple of the shorter, category romances and study them, not for style or wordplay, but for plot structure and pacing. The goal is to see how the romance/courtship plot fits in with the other half of the plot, how they mesh together, the amount of time spent on each, etc.

I don't see myself becoming a romance writer on the whole. But this is fun--I haven't had homework in a long time, and I've bought myself some black and white composition books to take notes in, because I love those things.

The first book on my required reading list is Ann Aguirre's Grimspace, a futuristic romance that I found shelved in science fiction. I actually bought Grimspace last week, because Aguirre is one of the authors who publically supported Jessica Verday in that YA anthology fiasco I blogged about last time, and in turn I wanted to support her. The fact that she's on my list of recommendations is just lucky. It's a space opera type novel, which spaceships and distant planets and government-issue androids. So far, it reminds me a little of Star Wars and a little of FarScape--both of which equal WIN.

Ending with Jessica Verday's The Hollow, which I finished just this week, I have now read 16 books total this year.

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