Get ‘em Done

My 2019 version of Angel is done! I completed the heavy edits and finished adding the ending I’d intended for it originally close to midnight on Sunday.

The 2019 draft is 6,600 words compared to the 4,900 of the 2015 version. Plot-wise, it differs in some details, but is still the same story. Mostly, it’s just told differently and in ways that I feel are improvements, like toning down some incongruous humor and rewriting the story in one consistent POV. The biggest change comes from its new ending, which doesn’t replace the prior one but instead forms a closing coda after it. I think it wraps the story up better, and ends it on a stronger, solemn beat. The original’s abrupt and funny end now plays as a tension release after the climax, something it preforms far better as than it did as an ending.

After doing an additional editing sweep Monday night, I handed Angel over to my wife for reading… She’s always my first beta. ;-) If you enjoy YA supernatural horror with some dashes of black humor — and want to be a beta too — drop me a comment.

My experience revising Angel has in turn caused me to revise my upcoming plans. As I’ve outlined before, my goal is to release nine of my short works one-a-month starting in September ahead of the release of my novel Vivian’s Last Cigarette in June, 2020. My original idea was to work on getting the short stories and novelettes ready concurrently with Viv’s editing and rewrites, but now I think I’ll get the nine short works taken care of first and then move on to Viv’s.

It’s a more practical way to tackle the work. The same amount of things still need to get done in eleven month’s time, but now the things with closer deadlines are done first. In addition, my track-record of speed and efficiency writing multiple big projects simultaneously is less than stellar.

With this strategy, I can focus on each of the short works in turn and then move on to the next until all nine are done. Likewise, their beta cycles won’t be overlapping with those of my novel. And with the text complete well ahead of launch dates, it grants my wife a larger time buffer to typeset and format the stories into hardcopy books and electronic versions.

I don’t expect that most of the short works will require the same level of revision that Angel did: It’s almost the oldest in the batch and had the least amount of editing and beta reading. However, the total time they will require in sum to finish is still an x-factor I can only guess at… and another good reason to get ‘em done first.

Finally, structuring things this way grants me an uninterrupted chain of months to work on Viv’s afterward, without the complexity and possible Achilles’ heel of writing concurrent projects. I’ll definitely need the time and focus.

Now that Angel is starting its beta-cycle ahead of a mid-late September release, next-up on the short works to-do list is my 2017 short story Harvest. It’s shorter than Angel and I was more experienced when I wrote it. It’s already gotten lots of positive feedback and I’ve got no plans to alter it beyond adding polish where and if needed. Hopefully, I’ll have it beta-ready after this upcoming weekend.

Harvest is a Halloween story that’s a little spooky, but a lot more humorous than horrifying. I’d be an idiot to not release it in October. ;-)

Have a great week everyone, and keep writing!

~Jason H. Abbott

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