Time for a new weekly writer’s roundup of my works-in-progress and those ready to read!
Things have been progressing well since last week. Even with a number of disruptions, I managed to finish the longest chapter yet for Raid on the Château de la Malartrie. It tallied almost fifty seven hundred words, bringing the total word-count for the piece well past the fourteen hundred word mark. So now this thing is in the novelette range and I don’t see it finishing as anything less than a novella. I did self-editing and tweaking on the new chapter yesterday and the day before, smoothing it out a little and I’m really happy with it. The story has skirted around introducing a major character who has only really been shown in glimpses, although they are key scenes and plot points. This chapter she shows up, full-frontal and a raging force of nature.
I’m pleased because I think I got the character to come across exactly as I had her in my mind. I was also able to write in a scene featuring a more established character that I had been wanting to do since I started the story. That segued into a conversation between the two that I had thought about for weeks and showcased their great contrasts to hint at the odd relationship dynamic they share. Finally I wrapped it up with a cliffhanger that introduced a pair of villains who seem to have created the “Oh shit!” moment I needed to up the stakes and tension as the story moves towards the climax.
Also, lots and lots of action! It reads very briskly and the chapter doesn’t feel half as long as it actually is. It’ll be fun to hear the feedback from my alpha-readers on this one. I’m glad that I’m not a live-action film director trying to shoot what I just wrote, because all I would be thinking about would be the immense effects budget required to make it happen. I’m confident it would get people into the IMAX, however. ;-)
It’s good to make some progress ahead of next week, when I will be attending PortCon, “Maine’s largest geek culture celebration”!
Four days of tremendous fun! Huzzah! It’s also just up the road for me and I love supporting our local Con and the people that frequent it. Last year they had several very good lectures on genre and writing that I enjoyed. Although this year’s offerings are more limited in that area, I’m still looking forwarded to seeing and meeting all the friends, artists, creators and performers that will be there!
One day, I’d love to rent a booth and sell some of my books-yet-to-be written while chatting it up with passers-by. But this year I’m just happy to go with so much more material to share if I start conversing with someone about my writing than I did last year! I’ve really come a long way since the last PortCon in terms of my writing quality and quantity, and that is a point accomplishment I’m enjoying as I plan my days at the convention. :-D
Although my weekly writing goals will absorb this as a planned dip / vacation, all the stimulus and creative fun at the Con I’m sure will do me a lot of good. I’ll start back into things afterwards refreshed… And I’ve got so many writing projects that I want to get to!
And on the subject of finishing projects, I’ve been thinking about my participation in the monthly writer’s challenges on Reddit for the past nine months. They have been prompts and platforms that have really helped me in refining my craft. In fact, they have been so successful that several have spawned ongoing projects that I really desire to refine or see to completion! Only counting the items inspired by the challenges, I have the following projects on my “to do” writing list:
- Finish Allied Section Alpha: Raid on the Château de la Malartrie… Currently at 14,000 words going to be a novella when it’s done. This is my current project.
- Edit and revise A Contract in Azure and Indigo which currently stands at 14,000-ish words in its current form. I love this story, but I know that I can make it better with the skill and knowledge I have acquired since writing it last year. I want to really make it shine as I prepare it for my compilation book of peasant stories set in Burus.
- Finish my Exerverse story Oo-De-Lally… Currently at 9,500 words and also highly likely to end up a novella.
And those are only the ongoing projects inspired by the Challenges! I’ve still got another short story or novella to write in The Orgcrst, a tale for the peasant compilation, plus three other stories to fill-out that book. Then there is my idea for The Accidental Unicorns of Mystic, Maine which I have no idea on how long it might be (but probably not a short story). And let’s not even get started on my novel Usundered, or my (long on hiatus) serial novel, The Pool of Sacred Stars…
In short, I’ve got a lot on my itinerary already… I want to finish them all; I’ve got to keep completing my projects. Yet it seems like every Challenge I participate in takes me away from my ongoing work for two or three weeks while I write a new story. Or it does that, and then inspires me to expand on the new idea which adds another ongoing project!
At the same time, I like participating in the challenges. They’re great practice and training and I love the interaction with other writers… So I don’t want to just stop doing them while I work, possibly for a very long time, on getting caught-up.
Instead, I’m going to try a middle road. No matter what the word-count limit is for the month, I’m going to take the prompt and write a flash-fiction sized entry of a thousand words or less for the Writers Challenges. That way I can participate and it will not take nearly as much time for me to do it. If a prompt inspires some larger-scale idea, I’ll notebook it and get back to it later.
I’ll be putting this plan into action starting this month. I suspect the Challenge will be for a flash-fiction length this go-around anyways, given that it hasn’t been announced yet and there are only thirteen days left in June as of today. ;-)
Alright, time for me to stop blogging and get back to writing some fiction! Take care!