Monday, November 30, 2015

Writing Next Year.

Taking the day off from writing.

Todd and his girlfriend are home, and that's been a fun visit.

Tomorrow I start working on The Darkness You Fear again. I'm 40K words into the book, and I'd like to get the first draft to about 70K words.

I'm at a point in the book where I need to do some research before I proceed, so I'm going to spend a few days doing that. Then push to finish the book, hopefully by the middle of the month, but definitely by the end of the year.

Try to get it edited in January and off to Books of the Dead in February.

Meanwhile, as soon as I have a cover to The Manic Pixie Dream Girls Murders, I'm going to put it out myself. Followed by I Live Among You and The Last Fedora. Hopefully, followed by Gargoyle Dreams. One every three months.

I'd love to write Not by Water, But by Fire next, but unless the big publisher gives me a contract -- which is extremely unlikely even if he likes my proposal -- I think I want to move on with my life.

I have a publisher who will at least take a look at my next Creature book -- Snaked. So I think I should do that, since there might be a market.

Then I'll turn to Not by Water, But by Fire.

Oh, well. I make these plans and then I suddenly get other ideas, but that's how it looks right now.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

The gratitude of finishing a book.

I always feel a little wave of endorphins when I finish writing a book. It's gratitude, a feeling of accomplishment, a thrill to have created something.

"I Live Among You" is finished.

It's probably the first book where I've finished a first draft completely satisfied. Even Led to the Slaughter took some work before it reached that standard, and there are elements of almost all my other books that I wasn't completely satisfied with.

Not that the book wouldn't benefit from a rewrite -- but plotwise, it's sound. There isn't a single chapter I want to move or redo.

I wrote this as a whim, and it came out well.

Many times over the last few years I've wondered if I should think more before I start. Have an outline, or something.

And then a book like Tuskers or I Live Among You comes along and completely contradicts that notion. In fact, the message seems to be -- trust in my instincts. Let the subconscious do the work, get out of its way.

I'm really proud of this book. But even more -- it has pointed to the way for my future writing. Some books do require research, some books I have to wrestle with, but I'm more and more inclined to write these quicker books. They're just as good, if not better, and they are so much easier and more enjoyable to write.

Then again, I do want to challenge myself.

So I'll probably continue to do a mixture of the two kinds of books. 

I'm addicted to this process now. I love it.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Meanwhile, I keep writing.

I'm writing the last chapter of my November book, "I Live Among You," today.

Two days early!

To be honest, the 2000 word pace was a little leisurely for me. On the other hand, I usually give myself more breaks.

I will set it aside while I finish the first draft of The Darkness You Fear (I'm 2/3rds done). The Virginia Reed book will receive precedence in editing as well. When I've completely finished it, I'll go back to my November book and give it a rewrite and then have it edited.

I'm hoping I can release The Manic Pixie Dream Girls myself early next year. Just waiting on a cover.

I'm ready to proceed with putting my books out myself, without regard to publishers. I still want publishers, don't get me wrong, but I'm so damned prolific that there is really no way to send all of them off.  I already need to write Tuskers IV for Ragnarok (with Tuskers III finished and waiting), and The Darkness You Fear is intended for Books of the Dead.

I have an idea that another small publisher expressed interest in -- no commitment but worth writing.

And I'm still dangling with the Big Publisher, though based on what's happened so far, I don't expect that to come through. That has been an adventure, which I shall someday relate, but I don't want to burn any bridges just yet.

Meanwhile, I keep writing.

Turns out, if you keep writing every day for five years, you really start to pile up some books. I'm going to be forced to release at least some of them under a different name. I can't afford top line covers and editing for all these books. I'm going to need to release some under my own editing.

That isn't that big of a problem, actually, since my grammar and spelling are mostly correct. It's a bit of an extra, trying to get the book as good as I can, that I have been paying for it.

The covers, too, can be done cheaper. Photoshopping myself or with some help. I'm figuring, all these do-it-yourself books will come out under a different name. I still think they are good stories, worthy stories, but I'm just so prolific that I can't continue to expend money.

So I'm separating out the books that I consider to have commercial potential from books that I wrote for fun. Actually, I wrote them all for fun, but some of them just have more inherent possibilities than others.

The ones with potential will get the full press -- professional editing and covers. The others will be done to the best of my ability by myself. 

Meanwhile, I keep writing.

Friday, November 27, 2015

A tank versus the Old Gods?

I wrote the scene yesterday, then read it to Linda, who looked at me in bewilderment.


So as much as I like that response, it probably isn't a good one for the penultimate chapter. Heh.

I've built this whole story into a war between the worlds, but more importantly a war between good and evil. Using a tank is pretty reductive.

I think I can use some elements of this chapter, make the tank a red herring, but it probably shouldn't be moved front and center.

I'm going to sit down and write a completely new chapter without reference to this aborted one, and then take whatever elements I can save and use them.

I don't usually take such false steps but this could be a earlier chapter in a longer story --  there is a second book in this series, if I want there to be. But it might leave the ending to this book a little less than spectacular. I'm always annoyed when I watch a show and they have a natural conclusion that they obviously avoid in order to extend the story. It's a bit like cheating.

I still have four days to write the last two chapters, so I can work on it. Try to get it right.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

I feel like writing, turkeys.

I came up with a second "mainstream" idea that I liked a lot. It came out of my original concept for Snaked, only I made it bigger.

So yesterday, I see a book that is almost exactly the same idea. Not only that, but has a similar cover to what I envisioned, not only that has a title that evokes the same idea and even uses one of the same words. (I like my title slightly better, and I like my cover idea slightly better, depending on how it comes out.)

But I don't know anything else about this book.

So if I write it, I might be doing what he's doing or I might go off in an entirely different direction. Even if it's similar, it will be different.

Or I can go back to the original smaller idea, Snaked, which I intended as a simple creature story like Tuskers. Maybe even simpler.

Oh, well. I never actually know what I'm going to write until I start writing.

It's amazing how often my more whimsical ideas take off -- I mean, I start them almost as a joke and they just keep going.

I'm going to write today, even with guests. I am feeling the urge too strongly to ignore. Will still spend half the day with relatives, but the other half locked in my room.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

9 year blog anniversary.

I've now been doing this for 9 years.

I've only missed a few days, all of them in the last six months. Once I missed a day by accident, I figured, what the hell.

Nevertheless, I still write just about every day.

At first, it was a "bubble blog" talking about the real estate bubble, predicting a collapse -- though not predicting the whole Great Recession.

Then it was about the my business and downtown Bend.

All along, it was also personal.

Lately, and probably to most of my original readers' disgust, it's been about writing.

In fact, the fact that I could so easily write this blog every day was part of the inspiration for trying fiction again.

9 years. Who'd have thunk it?

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


Slowest day of the year. This is going to hurt.

Didn't write today, either. Just didn't feel inspired. I have only the last three chapters to write and I want them to be good.

What else?

Oh, yeah.