Updates

I haven’t written a post since November, but because February is the shortest month, I have three blog posts in the pipeline that I’ll be publishing the next few days.

First, a revision update: I’m still working on typing in my handwritten scenes for Deviants, cursing my abysmal handwriting as I go. I’m starting to call it “Draft 2.0” because it’s so radically different from my original first draft that it’s practically a new novel.

After I finish that, I still have Amazon’s Apprentice to revise, which should be much easier, and then I have a few concrete ideas with detailed preliminary workups that I’ll take up next. I still have a few scenes that I started on a fantasy with a scrappy female lead, two handsome young men, a mysterious woman warrior, lots of queerness, and dragons (there must be dragons). Then there’s a story featuring an all-female space colony (not as far-fetched as one might think…), and a story set in the same world as Deviants, but in an earlier time, dealing with how the world ended up with most people living in VR with a few scattered groups roaming around outside. But first I want to finish my revisions and get them out there.

On the more personal side of things, one of my other projects since last year has been working on my health. This project is coming along somewhat faster than my writing, and I’ve lost around 40 kg since I started (almost 90 pounds), which is…quite a lot, when I think about it. I have no secrets for anyone, it just takes a lot of work and time, tracking everything I eat and working out a lot. It interferes with my writing time, especially since it’s becoming harder and harder to sit down for too long, but I wanted to live long enough to publish something, so what can you do?

One thing that helped is finally coming to terms with who I am. It’s unfortunate that, like many in my generation, it took reaching my mid-life crisis to figure this stuff out, which brings me to first upcoming post I mentioned, “A Gen X Ode to Millennials” which is a shout-out to all of the Millennials who have helped teach this old dog some new tricks.

The blog post after that will deal a little bit with my journey, along with a discussion of Peter Darling by Austin Chant.

Last but not least, in honor of Black History Month I’ll have a post about African and Black writers, and how they have helped me to recognize and combat my own bias.

 

Revised Draft of Book One/Deviants DONE!

So, last weekend I managed to finish my revised draft of the first book of Deviants. Now I just have to type in 300+ pages of mostly handwritten material, then print it out and do the final revision. Oh, joy!

It wouldn’t be so bad if my handwriting was actually legible, but it might have a silver lining: I’m too lazy to try to decipher my handwriting for superfluous information so I’m automatically getting rid of some deadwood while I type it in. So, “it’s not a bug, it’s a feature”?

Revision Blues

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I haven’t been blogging very faithfully lately. I promised to myself I’d try to do at least one post a month but it seems that things change so fast in the news these days that by the time I manage to write a reaction to something, it’s already obsolete, and to be honest some things have been so horrific that they don’t really need a blog reaction at all. I wish that there weren’t so many leaders determined to prove that there is evil in the world, but unfortunately they exist.

On a more positive note, I’m still in the middle of revision on Deviants, and have been doing Camp NaNoWriMo with a goal of at least 1 hour/day doing revision.  I made the decision to incorporate a lot of the backstory into the manuscript, so right now it looks like there are going to be at least two books following the adventures of Simon and Jamie from childhood through adolescence and early adulthood. I may also do a third, which will follow them into old age. So on that front things are shaping up nicely.

 

 

Finished first draft!

I managed to finish my first draft of Amazon’s Apprentice, so I’m going to put it aside for a couple of months to concentrate on the rewrite and revision of Deviants. During my first read-through of Deviants, I’ve discovered that there are way too many threads, themes and characters in the story as it stands (what happens when you take 2 years instead of two months to write a book!). I think I’ve managed to get my story outline trimmed down to its essentials, which I’ll be using in the rewrite.

NaNoWriMo

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This year I tried my first NaNoWriMo. I went into it with some skepticism, and didn’t really expect to reach 50,000 words, but to my surprise I finished with an almost complete first draft of a Fantasy novel.

Doing NaNo helped me conquer one of my major problems: I have a tendency to get stuck in an endless cycle of revision. I’ll write a chapter, revise, write another chapter, revise both, and so on and so forth until I get to the middle and have no clue what direction I want to go. Having a set goal for the month really helped me get out of my rut. I managed to write more of my NaNoWriMo book in 30 days than I achieved through more than two years of slogging through my other project.

I’m not really good at thinking up titles. I’m calling my NaNoWriMo project  “The Amazon’s Apprentice”  for now – the book doesn’t have any real Amazons in it, but it is based on a society where women have the power and men are their chattel. We’ll see if I can come up with a better title during revision.

I have a few more scenes to write to flesh out the story, and I’m hoping  to finish by the end of December and have a first draft to put through revision. After I do some revision I’ll go back to my Science Fiction project, and hopefully I’ll be able to take a fresher approach with it.