Time for a new weekly writer’s roundup of my works-in-progress and those ready to read!
The past week was a busy one. I got my short story Far from Acheron into a fourth draft after working with its latest critiquer’s feedback over a late evening. We did some back-and-forth between us on the Google Doc, I implementing revisions and she sharing opinions on them… sometimes leading to revisions of the revisions. ;-)
I actually really love that about editing with Google Docs: If you are both online at the same time, it’s like working together in semi-real time. It’s not quite as nice as working face to face and putting red ink on draft pages, but it’s very close. I’ve sat in a room next door and listened as someone reads my work for the first time. It’s something that’s both terrifying and wondrous.
It’s terrifying because writing is laying your soul bare, and to do so with a reader —let alone a critiquer— right there is the ultimate in emotional exposure. It’s wondrous when you hear them gasp, flip pages in excitement, or laugh when you know they must be reading “that part”.
My wife gave the new version of Acheron a read after I was done, and only suggested a few tweaks and grammatical corrections. I put in those fixes, and settled on draft 4.1 as the final for now before I posted it on the blog this Saturday. It’s been very well received thus far, with a lot of people telling me that they’ve loved it. :-)
Getting that story out was a bright spot in a week that otherwise was not very conducive to writing fiction. Work at the day job got intensely busy, wearing me down before I even settled in to write at home in the evenings. That situation combined with a number of moderation tasks/posts needing my attention on the Reddit fantasy writing forum I help to manage, in turn getting me behind on preparing my blog content…
The domino effect spilled into my weekend, where I needed to finish setting up and writing social media content for the next two weeks. This included a couple more essays about Lovecraftian monsters that I’ve been posting as part of my recent Throwback Thursdays, and yet more incidental Reddit moderation stuff.
The net result of all that turned my Saturday into a total loss insofar writing fiction was concerned. Instead, I tackled what had become a substantial “to-do” pile and got caught-up on those writing chores.
Sunday was better. I spent half the day editing all five chapters of Cretaceous Queen into a fourth draft using Jeffery Reynolds’ feedback notes. I then got the new version of the story off to my friend Brooke, who’s excited to give it a read and critique.
The afternoon found me receiving critique on the new chapter eight of my novel Vivian’s Last Cigarette from author Lauren L. Garcia. Overall she liked the content, but not the method I used to convey it. I was experimenting with shifting between scenes rapidly as things unfolded simultaneously in two locations in chapter eight, but the end result just got her very confused.
We spoke about the problems, and a few other points, over the afternoon and I’ve decided to reorder the chapter’s contents. In edits I’ll be consolidating the many fragmented cut-scenes into three individually much longer scenes: One with events following character group “A”, then I’ll do a slight step-back in time to show what happens to character group “B”… and finally a third scene will reunite the groups to close the chapter/first story arc.
It will be a bit of work, but this is a serious clunk to fix.
My big regret of the weekend is that I couldn’t find any time to work on my HP Lovecraft and RE Howard tribute story, Shadow of the Black Tower. However, I have a clear calendar and a three day weekend coming up thanks to a morning doctor’s appointment on Friday… don’t fret, it’s just a check-up after my recent health issues and I’m doing fine. But because of that I’m hoping to make-up my lost writing time with an extra-long weekend after telling my doctor how much better I’m feeling. :-)
Alright, time for me to stop blogging and get back to writing some more fiction! Take care!