Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Rainy, muggy, musty
Hey, only one retrograde, will ya look at that? Too bad it’s my ruling planet!
The lovely Susan Gray started running an interview with me on Gottawritergirl. She’s kind enough to call me “daring” and “dynamic”, which is a nice way to start the day, as I stumble around trying to remember where I put the coffee grinder and, while lying in Corpse Pose during yoga, getting thwacked in the head by a little yellow ball with a bell in it batted by one of the cats! Hop on over and read it.
Okay, to clarify about ANGEL HUNT. I’m glad you’re as excited as I am about its progress, but remember, I had 106 episodes of the serial to ADAPT to novel format. I didn’t write 72K from scratch. I’ve cut, changed, reworked, revised, added new scenes, honed the plot, focused the characters, and done a lot of work – but it’s not 72K of new material. I will have to write about 25K of new material starting later this week, and it certainly won’t be at the same blistering pace at which I’ve been able to adapt. I’ve worked a lot faster than I normally do, until I can barely see on most days, because the story’s rolling well again, and it’s finally starting to fulfill its potential. But the 72K is not from scratch.
And there will be several more drafts to work through before it’s ready for submission.
One of the biggest mistakes I see writers make as they break into the business is thinking the second draft is ready to submit. It rarely is. You’ve got to put the manuscript aside so you can approach it with fresh eyes. And then you’ve got to put it aside again. Not every book has to go through 6, 7, 8 drafts, but it’s very, very, VERY rare that a single edit is going to land you a publishing contract with a traditional print publishing house. The longer you write, the more you publish, the more you streamline the writing/editing process and the fewer drafts you need, but at the beginning – figure you’ll need between three and five drafts.
Even this technically “second” draft of ANGEL HUNT is more than that. It’s based on serial episodes that were published several years ago. That means those episodes were rewritten several times (in spite of the blistering pace I kept up, writing four serials simultaneously) before they were published (and I’m still catching mistakes not caught by the editor that make me cringe). And, as I revise ANGEL HUNT, I’m going back through and reworking batches of chapters at a time, and then going back and making more changes in the chapters already worked on to strengthen and streamline the whole thing. So this revision is about three-in-one, and there will still be more when I think this draft is “done”.
“The Merry’s Dalliance”, one of my favorite stories I’ve ever written, is supposedly up on NEW MYTHS. However, when I try to access its page, it’s blank. It was there about a week ago for a few hours, I saw it. I’ve been paid for it. I emailed the editor and am waiting to hear back if I’m having some weird browser issue or if something’s wrong. I want people to be able to read it!
I finished my column; I want to read it through one last time before I hit “send”. I still haven’t done the work for Confidential Job #1, which must be finished today before I leave for the show, and I have two guest blog posts to write.
I better get going – today starts the eight-show week!
Angel Hunt — 87,797 words out of est. 125,000
87 / 125
Hex Breaker by Devon Ellington. A Jain Lazarus Adventure. Hex Breaker Jain Lazarus joins the crew of a cursed film, hoping to put to rest what was stirred up before more people die and the film is lost. Tough, practical Detective Wyatt East becomes her unlikely ally and lover on an adventure fighting zombies, ceremonial magicians, the town wife-beater, the messenger of the gods, and their own pasts.
$4.00 ebook/ $6.00 on CD from Firedrakes Weyr Publishing.
Visit the site for the Jain Lazarus adventures.
5 in 10: Create 5 Short Stories in Ten Weeks by Devon Ellington. This ebooklet takes you from inspiration to writing to revision to marketing. By the end of ten weeks, you will have either 5 short stories or a good chunk of a novella complete. And it’s only 50 cents, USD. Here.
Writing Rituals: Ideas to Support Creativity by Cerridwen Iris Shea. This ebooklet contains several rituals to help you start writing, get you through writer’s block, and help send your work on its way. It’s only 39 cents USD. (Note: Cerridwen Iris Shea is one of the six names under which I publish). Here.
Full Circle: An Ars Concordia Anthology. Edited by Colin Galbraith. This is a collection of short stories, poems, and other pieces by a writers’ group of which I am a member. My story is “Pauvre Bob”, set at Arlington Race Track in Illinois. You can download it free here: