Time for a new weekly writer’s roundup of my works-in-progress and those ready to read!
I’ve been busy as usual, but on things other than Vivian’s Last Cigarette at the moment. As I mentioned last week, this is a planned lull of work on the book for the most part. I’m taking a break to clear my head before the big dive into editing the novel’s first act… and using that time to start, finish and polish several different projects.
My weekends are the days where I get major blocks of time to write, and I try to reserve them for my fiction. This Saturday, however, had a lot going on: I purchased a domain name and site hosting that morning. I’ll be building them to build an author’s website and platform, but I’m not revealing anything yet because it’s in an ugly state of construction at the moment. However, I will be getting the word out as soon as it’s ready. :-)
The basic idea is that my site will serve as a starting point and hub for anyone seeking me, my written works, and my media presence on various platforms. In no way does this mean my author’s blog here will be going away or migrating to another host. On the contrary, the content of my writer’s platform will be focused on, well, my writing and the major things that I’m up to as an author for the most part. Links to my blog and more will be facet of that interface, but I plan to continue running Aethereal Engineer on all gears, just as I have been.
I cannot say the same for Aethereal Engines, my WordPress story blog and archive.
The blogging format isn’t an optimal one for reading and archiving stories longer than flash fiction, and most of my work available on Engines are short stories or longer. So it isn’t a convenient platform to either discover or read my fiction with. Therefore, my new site will be taking over that archival function.
I’ll be making many of the stories currently on Aethereal Engines —with more to come in the future— available there and still free to enjoy. And after the migration they’ll be available in multiple formats for varied reading options! :-D These will include links to no-cost ebook / Kindle versions that you can download off Amazon and read on your device of choice.
This will also be an opportunity for me to revise and possibly expand a handful of my older stories from years ago that I feel that I can do better now. In addition, and to be transparent… a few of my novelettes will no longer be free to read and instead only be available for the whopping cost of a 99 cent download…
That’s because not only are most of these the equivalent length of at least three or more short stories, but I’m investing money in artwork for a classy ebook presentation as well.
I’ll most assuredly still be premiering a lot of new fiction in episodic posts on my author’s blog first. Once their run is complete here, they’ll be making their way to my author’s site archive and become available in the different formats.
All that said, and as you imagine, Saturday was an exciting day with a lot of planning going on. It was a good step forward for me… but it certainly wasn’t a good day to write some fiction. ;-)
But Sunday was!
Actually, I did writing hand-in-hand with editing for most of Sunday, working on a big retooling of my short story, Far from Acheron.
I’d gotten an extensive critique on the piece over a month ago from my friend Caroline, but hadn’t had the time to act on her notes until this weekend. She’s helped me as a reader on many of my pieces, and as usual made good points in her excellent feedback.
Although Acheron is a single scene story, Caroline’s opinions made it clear that I had touched too lightly on several points. In response, I set to work on expanding and clarifying those parts to improve the tale. She also specifically brought to light an issue with one of the characters having murky motives and intent near the ending. It was significant enough that it prompted me to rewrite/rework that part completely, and insert new material to give the story’s end a better tone.
The results of all that grew the piece from 1,600 to 2,600 words, and I’m really happy with the fourth draft that came of it. I think it’s one of those times when I let hubris and haste get the better of my storytelling: I was too breezy in my prior versions and there were gaps that hindered the story as a result. Thanks to some honest and clear critique, those problems were exposed to me and I could fix them. Now the revised piece is, somehow, more like the story I thought I was telling in the first place… and I’m really looking forward to sharing it. :-)
Revising Far from Acheron took the remainder of my weekend. But Cretaceous Queen did get a little bump forward when it received another full read and critique by my author friend, Jeffery Reynolds.
He received it very positively, enjoying the piece, and urging me to write more with the characters and setting because he — admitting selfishness— just really wants to read more about them. ;-) I was flattered, but Jeff also outlined several good points of improvement I could work on in his feedback. My plan is to take action on his critiques before I send the next draft off to a new reader, which may happen later this week.
My big disappointment this week was being unable to start work on my as yet untitled HP Lovecraft and RE Howard tribute story. I’ve got it planned out with as much of an outline as I ever do, but that’s about it. I really wanted to get going on it by Sunday, but as detailed above, my weekend was packed and it just didn’t happen.
I’m working against a deadline of September 24th to get a short story of 5,000 words or less written. That leaves me with a tight schedule of only one and a half weekends to get it done and polished. Right now my plan is to do some weekday-evening writing sessions fueled by caffeine to try and make up for lost time.
I better put the kettle on now; this is going to take a lot of Earl Grey…
Alright, time for me to stop blogging and get back to writing some more fiction! Take care!