Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Year's end

Before we slipped into the new year, I wanted to wish everyone a belated Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year. I hope everyone's Christmas was spectacular. I know mine was despite suffering injuries in an auto accident on the 15th when I had a nasty run-in with some black ice on a bridge over the Etowah River. Everyone who sees pictures of the crash tells me I'm lucky to be here today. I couldn't agree more.

I'm spending the week leading into the new year with my beloved wife and my youngest son, so I couldn't be happier with that. In the meantime, I'm busy editing one of my three novels written this year. It's the story of a college student who has been blackmailed into performing executions for the mafia. So far during my re-read, I've found it to be entertaining. I only hope I can polish the rough edges and emerge from the editing process with the gem I envisioned. Also, I'm nearly finished with the edit process for a short story I wrote called MAN'S BEST FRIEND. The feedback from my first readers was much better than I anticipated. I have some more feedback I'm waiting to receive and then I will begin shopping the story around to various markets.

With the new year comes the prospect of publishing new stories, and hopefully, a novel. I'm keeping my fingers crossed and working diligently to produce the best, most entertaining material I can. I hope I will succeed. Thanks for reading. See you all in 2011!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Catching up

Okay, so my last post was really short because I was on Thanksgiving vacation. In it, I said I would elaborate more on my NaNoWriMo results. Well, here it is.

I didn't cross the 50k finish line, but I did participate at least. I managed to finish the first draft of that novel (and yes, it will be a novel, more on that in a bit) with 41,865 words. I was doing pretty well with making the daily word count of 1,667 words. In fact, I was usually well ahead of that number, averaging about 2k words a day until I got closer to the end of the story and then I slowed down because I knew I didn't need to kill myself when I wasn't even going to get 50k words. Also, I may participate in 2011, but if I do, I plan to outline the proposed story more thoroughly. This time, I half-assed my preparation and outlined only the first couple of chapters before NaNo began. I had the main story arc all planned, but after those couple of chapter's outline and I was off-road writing, so to speak.

While I finished the story in under 50k words, I still feel it will be novel length when I finish the extensive editing I plan to take it through. During the writing of the first draft, I simply did a brain dump, getting the meat of the story on the page and foregoing all the description and scene setting. I imagine when I go back and flesh that out more thoroughly, the story will really blossom. Also, I feel really anxious to work on it, to stand back and see the forest instead of the individual trees. I think the characters are strong and the story is gripping. I enjoyed writing it and look forward to returning. This isn't usually the case with some of my stories. I know, that sounds bad, like I write shit and bury it. That's not what I meant though. I mean, that usually, when I finish writing the first draft of a story, I'm more excited to start something else because I've been in that world for so long, it's beginning to become tiresome.

For a writer, you're exposed to the intricacies of an environment and at the mercy of the characters who populate the world for much longer than the reader, who reads it much quicker than the writer creates it. After a while of that long creation process, a writer tends to get tired and wants a change of scenery. Or, at least, I do. I can't speak for all writers, but that's the way I am. I am almost always eager to start something new when I'm half or three quarters through a long piece of work. Maybe I'm just impatient that way.

Anyway, I'm eager to return to my NaNo novel to clean it up and whip it into a finished, marketable product. In the meantime, I am keeping to my word before NaNo and I'm editing the previous two novels I wrote. Like I said in an earlier post, my life for the next few months (or possibly longer) will consist of nothing but editing.

I wrote three novels this year and a couple of short stories, one of which is currently making the rounds with selected magazines. I'm going to be a busy busy fellow. Hopefully, you'll check back in to hear my progress with everything. If you'll pardon me, I need to go edit.