My latest short story "The Night the Lights Came On"

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

An Update on How My Writing is Going

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My novel is a little like this Easter bunny. It's almost done, but there are still a few really good bites left to take care of. I spent a lot of time revising the outline before going back through it. Now I have cut several chapters, moved others around, deleted scenes, written new ones, and planned out a new ending. Even though I'm almost through with revising the first draft, only a few chapters left, and the climax of the novel will remain the same, I will have a couple more chapters to write once that is all done. It's been this way for a couple weeks now. I have many excuses, but more of it should be done. Our kids have been sick, all three of them. We've been to doctors appointments and the ER more times than I have fingers just in the last couple months. That said, I have had stretches of time here in there. The problem is, I'm just too dang tired to write when I get those chances. So lately I have had a new plan. For the first time in years, I'm trying to actively get at least eight hours of sleep. Before I was trying to get things done right before bed, but now when I find the time I'm too tired to be productive. This year is flying past me and I was really hoping to start podcasting and publishing this novel as an e-book soon. Last weekend I bought a brand-new microphone, and it sounds amazing. I have totally revamped my website so that it looks awesome in hopes that putting out a full novel for the first time will bring me new fans. I'm doing all the things to get ready to release this novel except finishing it. It is time to do that, time to buckle down and get the second draft polished up and ready to give to beta readers. Then I can take their feedback on how the story is working, and get it ready to podcast and publish. I cannot wait for that day and I hope it is very soon. Once that's done I have a novella that I wrote during nanowrimo. It is called Dying Wish. It's a fantasy about a kid who's dad dies after a sword fight, saving his kid from being kidnapped. On his deathbed he makes the kid promise to take his ashes back to his homeland. The city, the market that has always been their home is deemed too dangerous by the father so he wants him to go back to their homeland and be with his grandparents and cousins working on the farm. Lots of crazy stuff happens to him along the way, it's going to be a fun adventure. I don't think that one will take nearly as much reworking of the story to be ready to be published. I'm hoping that's the case with all my stories moving forward, but we'll just have to see about that. I am also currently writing a young adult adventure/mystery novella. So far it's going well, and I think it will also be ready for some editing once I finish writing the story. If I can get a rough draft out that doesn't need a bunch of big story edits from now on I will be a very happy man. I like the process of outlining and brainstorming a story, and I hope that it will be a tool that I continue to get better at using to give me books that have a complete story once I'm done writing the first draft. A story that doesn't need to be revised a whole bunch. I need to get these books out, because I have three ideas and outlines for other novels that I'm really excited about. Here's the first line of the next novel I'm going to write:

I learned the truth about zombies when I shot off one of their scalps with my shotgun and saw gears tumble out. It's not polite to shoot your neighbor, but when they shamble in with that dead look in their eyes you have been warned about on the news - you're kind of out of options.

Yeah that's right not another zombie story. Government conspiracy, robots parading as zombies, it will be fun. The other two are also outlined, but only in a very basic rough way. One is about a kid who's dad buys an old school building and turns it into apartments, and it turns out that they are hunted, or are they? The other is about a guy who discovers when he touches certain people, he gets visions of the last horrible thing they did. Some of these men have other people locked away back at home. He becomes a reluctant hero in this coming of age tale I will probably write in like a year :) With our three very young kids, and my wife racing off to work as soon as I get home, I don't have much time to write. Let me rephrase that, I do have time to write first draft material on my commute, but I'm finding that revising a first draft takes a long time. I don't have much time for sitting down with a word processor during my week. I hope that I can successfully start to get up earlier and take lunch breaks at work to do just that. The trouble is that I'm already getting up super early so that I can get home on time for my wife to go to work, and neither my sweetie pie or I are good at going to bed at a decent hour. Maybe I can get better at it, getting some writing done would be more than worth it.

Last night I spent a couple hours revising and now I only have 3 chapters of original manuscript left to revise! Then I will write a couple new chapters to wrap the book up all nice and it will be ready for Beta Readers to read through it and give me feedback! I've written 4 books now, but this will be the first time I've completed a second draft on one. I'm really excited!

1 comment:

  1. Keep up the good work, Dan. I came to the same realization about sleep eight months or so ago, and I'll tell you, I get more done sleeping 7 or more hours than I do sleeping six and working past my bed time. Plus, I'm in better spirits throughout the day. I'm sorry to hear about your ER experiences, I can't imagine. Keep your chin up and finish that book!

    p.s. zombie robots... interesting.