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Time for a new weekly writer’s roundup of my works-in-progress and those ready to read!

Because of the Labor Day holiday, I had a long weekend and got a lot done. :-) Although there was some straight-up writing involved, the majority of work I did over the three day period consisted of editing at least 20,000 words.

Half of the edits were on chapters seven and eight of Vivian’s Last Cigarette, and both are now in second drafts. Of the time I did get to spend writing new material, I devoted it to finishing chapter eight to a final tally of 4,800 words before pulling out my metaphorical red pen and cleaning it up. Twice.

Between working on the novel chapters on Sunday, I also did some hefty edits to the first chapter of Cretaceous Queen. Monday’s work consisted of a solid ten hours of editing the novelette’s remaining four chapters, but I got it done. Now the whole thing is in a third draft state, and in the hands of its next critiquer.

Tuesday it was back to the day-job, and that gets us to today. :-)

My plans for the upcoming week don’t include any further action on Viv’s. My first goal is to edit my short story Far from Acheron into a fourth draft. This shouldn’t be a big task, as it’s only 1,600 words long.

My second goal is to start writing a new short story for the upcoming Fantasy Writers subreddit challenge that I’m overseeing:

Your Challenge this month is to write a fantasy story that combines elements of H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos and R.E. Howard’s Hyborian Age. Submissions will need to be five-thousand words or less in length to be eligible to win.

It has deadline of September 24th. I’ve had a story idea for it consisting of a few scenes since January. It’ll probably take me a couple weekends of writing and drafting to get it ready, but maybe less as I have a good grasp of the story I want to tell and the characters in it.

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of H.P. Lovecraft and R.E. Howard, so I’m looking forward to writing a polished piece of fiction combining aspects of both of their mythologies. I had written some very short fiction set in REH’s Hyborian Age almost two decades ago that I think of fondly… but more in the sense of a first step in my growth as a writer than as great fiction.

It has only been within the last five years that I’ve truly gotten to know and respect Lovecraft’s work and creations, however. So I’m quite excited to at last pen a tribute to him using the creative legacy he so generously left for future generations.

Once I have the story ready for the contest in a couple weeks or so, it will be back to work on the novel. :-) The first order of business at that point will be to take the book’s old chapter two and convert it into the new chapter nine. And it will be Nine that will serve as the splice-point between the book’s original material, and the seven chapters I added following a big revision to first.

The new material I’ve written now comprises virtually the entire first act of the novel. My vision for reworking two into nine sees the chapter’s role as a transitional one: The boundary making the end of the first act and the commencement of the second is crossed as chapter nine unfolds.

Right now, the old chapter two is pretty short at about 2,000 words. From that, a few bits are going to get cut because the newly added material makes them apocrypha, redundant, or leaves Viv out of sync with her new path of character development.

Whittled down from those cuts, I’m then going to add a new and very important scene involving the Hammerfist antagonists. The goal of it is to leave an lasting impression in the reader’s mind before their presence recedes into whispers and shadows for most of the second act. Beyond that addition, the rest will mostly remain as is, albeit with a few tweaks. But I’m sure it will end up a longer chapter after the revision than it was before it.

I should be able to make the revision/conversion of two into nine over a solid weekend’s time. With that complete, the goal afterwards will be to edit in all of the feedback given by my critique partner Lauren on the new first act chapters. That will take them to an overall fourth draft state.

And finally, after all that… it will be time for me to pull the lever and get the novel’s conveyor belt of critique rolling again. ;-)

Alright, time for me to stop blogging and get back to writing some more fiction! Take care!

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