Sunday, October 27, 2013

State of writing.

This post is a note to myself -- trying to get a handle on the crazy amount of writing I've done.

After roughly 3 years, I have written 9 books, in various stages of completion.  I've been so obsessive -- especially in the last year and a half -- it's like I'm only now emerging from a fever dream.  I'm finally willing to admit to that amazingly prolific number.  It's like, instead of a normal writing career over the last 35 years, I've condensed it all in the first three years and the last three years...

Add in the two leftover books, the three books that were published in the early 80's, and the two books I finished but which have been retired or lost (yes, believe it or not, I lost a book) and I've completed 16 books in my lifetime, plus a multitude of false starts.

Scary to think what I might have done if I hadn't chosen to buy Pegasus Books and make a living that way.

Of course, all that activity may be for naught.  But it does give me a small sense of satisfaction.

I wrote just about every day I wasn't working on the store -- I took several week long vacations where I wrote just about every waking hour.  I pushed through whether I felt like it or not.  I didn't let anything distract me or get in my way.  I was a working writer and I worked at writing.

Some of the books came extraordinarily easy, others were harder.

Some are better than others, and some are more finished than others.

Of the 2 books that were left over from my previous writing career,  I completely rewrote Sometimes a Dragon from top to bottom, and I intend to give the Deviltree a once over.

Three of the new books are online, at Amazon and Smashwords.

I put Freedy Filkins, To Rule Them All online first.  This was a fun little book to write -- my cyberpunk hobbit.  It is complete -- in and of itself -- a short, fast read.  Instead of "One Ring to Rule Them All," it's  "One Flashdrive to Rule Them All."

I've also put the first two books of my Vampire Evolution Trilogy online:  Death of and Immortal and Rule of Vampire.  The third book, Blood of Gold, is ready to be edited and then will be put up online.  I'm really proud of having finished a consistent and integrated series of books.  It was kind of test to me, to see if I had the stick-to-it-ness.  If nothing else, I've accomplished a Trilogy!

Led to the Slaughter is finished and polished.  I've been trying the traditional publishing route - agents and publishers -- with this one so far, without much success.  (Someday I'll be willing to talk about that -- to admit to failure -- but I'm not ready yet.)

Faerylander is my problem book -- it was the first book I tried to write after coming back and I made all kinds of mistakes.  I've completely rewritten it several times and I think improved it each time.  I like the ideas in this book and still want to publish it, but I want to make sure it is fixed.

Wolflander, the sequel with the same characters and setting, is finished to my satisfaction and just needs to be edited -- and of course it can't be published until Faerylander is -- which is a pretty big motivation.

The Reluctant Wizard was my breakthrough book -- the book after my missteps with  Faerylander where I found my footing -- where I finally settled on a work process that worked -- and when I finally relaxed on my writing.  I really like it, but I just feel it needs to be fleshed out.  Recently, I've had some ideas about how to do that, and I've also realized that it is the middle book of a trilogy, of which the first book is Spell Realm and the last book is Sometimes a Dragon.

Spell Realm is pretty much a mess that I got halfway through before I realized it, but I finished anyway.  Just as well -- both Spell Realm and Sometimes a Dragon will need to be rewritten to match The Reluctant Wizard.

The Unfinished Books:

Faerylander -- just need to keep tinkering with it until it's truly ready.

Wolflander -- needs to be edited, but can be published when I'm done with Faerylander.

Spell Realm -- needs extensive rewriting, but that can't be done until I've finished The Reluctant Wizard.

Sometimes a Dragon -- Ditto.

Led to the Slaughter -- pretty much done.  I need final confirmation that the traditional route isn't going to  happen.  Needs cover art, and maybe a bit more tinkering, but I feel like it's a good book and ready to be published.

Blood of Gold -- needs to be edited and published.

Deviltree -- a finished book, but one I'm wondering if I can't give a little boost.

The Reluctant Wizard -- my current project.  I feel like I have about half a book finished, as is.  It needs about a quarter of book added to the front, and a quarter of a book added to the end.  

A few observations: 

One -- I'm proud of my patience.  So far I haven't put out a book that I didn't think was ready.  That's a big difference from my first writing career.  I need to continue to be patient and make sure that what I publish is as good as I'm likely to get it.

Two --  No matter what happens from here on -- whether all these books are ever finished to my satisfaction or not, none of it has been wasted.  I've practiced my writing diligently, and I think I'm getting better at it.  Certainly, I've worked out a pretty good process.

Three -- It is easier and more fun to write new material than to work on old material.  But the material is starting to pile up and needs to be dealt with. 

I've more or less taken the last month off -- finishing the last few thousand words of Spell Realm, but otherwise thinking about writing more than actually writing.

So I just need to pick a new starting point -- I'm thinking November 1 -- and get back to doing it.

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