Down the hill

December 9, 2018

Now it’s the end of the year, and nothing left to do but write.

This afternoon I just finished “Libra” for Air. The publisher would like Air for the end of the year. This means I need to write a lot more quickly than usual.

When I need to write quickly, I plot it out. I use index cards, real live paper index cards, not virtual ones. I put the title of the piece in the left hand corner, in this case, the symbol for Libra, POV is Point of view. SH means the Sheriff, the main character. SC is the scene number, in this case, 3.

Next I write the setting I need to establish. Then in three or less sentences I summarize the scene. This is based on Holly Lisle’s “How to Revise Your Novel” online class which is not worth the $300 to spend on it when you can get a few other “How to Revise Your Novel” books for $14.99. But Holly’s course is actually fun if you’re like me, and like to deconstruct your novel over and over. I used it for the first Grimaulkin book, which unlocked a few ideas. I also used it for War Mage, twice, and it didn’t work.

Man, this picture doesn’t do it justice.

This gives me enough space to do the actual writing without giving away the details. Because the fun of writing for me is coming up with the details, the plot cards only guide me. This way I don’t meander, waffle, or get distracted. I can get the writing done.

So hopefully Air will be done in 3 weeks. I’ve done most of “Gemini” (I need to add more sex scenes, to tell you the truth). I’m having trouble with “Aquarius”. Need to do research on him. Was going to do the “Summer of Love” but there was a lot of darkness then, too. After all, Charles Manson came up through the ranks at Berkeley. 

Hit and miss

December 2, 2018

At the Rhode Island Expo, I sold ten books. I was happy and excited, because I got to meet a real fan who read my books (the erotica series) and loved them. I also met two people who traveled from the northern part of the state just to come get my books (and another LBGTQ fantasy author). In RI, being such a small state, that’s a big thing. I also sold a few War Mages for the card reading aspect.

I ended NaNoWriMo with 9500 words to go. The more words I added, the more stupid the whole thing started to sound. I knew I had to go back to the beginning and introduce Nash instead of introducing him in the middle. And I didn’t take note of the timing because I knew that Nash had to reappear on Thursday or Friday night – but I didn’t know where I wrote Thursday or Friday night. I started to re-read, and realized the entire first scene was a throw-away…so I gave up.

But the important thing is that I got a story out. Any words is better than no words, and now that I have something to work with, I can take care of things on the second pass. I’m going to let it rest for about a month, while I write one of the Air stories, and then get right back to it.

Here are my goals for 2019:

Brothers of the Zodiac: Air – Spring 2019
Grimaulkin in the Wild – (an anthology of backstories for Grimaulkin) Spring-summer 2019
Blood From a Stone – Fall 2019. That one needs a lot of TLC because it is really a hot mess. Max may end up telling this one.
Yellowtree – Summer 2019 Once I make it pretty.
Futhark (tentative title) – a standalone erotica story by Max – Unknown when.

OH NO! Not enough story!

November 25, 2018

I finished Yellowtree this morning, this first draft clocking in at 40,314 words. There are a few spots that I could repeat, and a few threads that I totally dropped.  One book I’m reading now has repeated the main character’s main feelings four times within a hundred pages, so I know what not to do. 

The threads I dropped, I’ll pick up again right now, to try and fill the 10K words. However, because I dropped them, they must be unnecessary so I’ll take them out on the second pass. Watch me end up with a 30K word book by the end.

I discovered that my main character also has feelings, unlike Mike. This is so hard for me to write. Not because I have no feelings, but because I love anti-heroes and most of my stories consist of anti-heroes. To have a main character feel bad about killing another person, even in self-defense, is something that I’m not used to. (I’m not a sociopath, at least according to my last psych eval…:-)

I may just end up doing a secondary story running parallel to this one, something to do with Claudette. I want to explore her more, make her more than the crazy old lady in the falling-down mansion a’la Charles Dickens. And I definitely wanted to bring in Nash more, but I couldn’t find a place for him due to time constraints. Owen is a dropped thread, a Chekov’s gun that was never used. And all of a sudden, at the beginning of the end, the main character Kevin starts to burn bridges. What the hell was that all about?

Today I have to make notes on the time period, days that things are taking place. I also have to pack for the RI Author Expo for next Saturday. I’m not expecting to do a lot of sales there because it’s going to be so overwhelming. I will probably not do it next year, depending on how this year ends up. Last year a thousand people came through. This year, we’ll see.

NaNo Update

November 18, 2018

Yellowtree may not be called Yellowtree anymore, but The Walker, not sure yet. I don’t like The Walker because it makes it sound like much darker fantasy. 

I’m up to 29K words as of this writing, thinking, “It’s all downhill from here.” Problem is, I’ve gotten to a plot point and I’m afraid of plowing through it too fast and ending the story that quickly. I know what I have to do. The scenes are in my head. It’s just that I need to  slow down and get the other bits and pieces put in.

I can’t keep bringing up Lady Air’s abilities as needed. I need to foreshadow, but that looks like I’ll be doing it on the rewrite.

Well, back to work.

NaNo is here!

November 11, 2018

So,finally started NaNoWriMo four days behind. On Saturday morning, I had 6K words. As of right now, I have 14.5K words. Not bad.

My waking up at five this morning did not help with writing at all, as I ended up passing out throughout the day in front of my computer, creating only 2200 words as of this writing.

I am afraid, as I always am, that the story itself will be too short for a novel. I looked up my subplots. One of my characters is not doing what I want him to do; one subplot hasn’t even been introduced; one subplot is barely mentioned. There’s flashbacks  and dream sequences that I hate using, but are necessary for the story. 

My friend asked me what it’s about. When I tried to explain that I can’t explain it right now, she didn’t understand. Non-creatives don’t get that when we’re in the thick of creating, we can’t explain what we’re doing or how we’re doing it. Sometimes we can’t explain it even afterward. 

I just hate being around non-creatives. They don’t get that we need the time, the space, the ability to create, and sometimes creating is a sacred and necessary act. I’m sorry, but I’d rather spend my weekends working on a novel than watching endless games of football. Or I’d rather use my imagination to create my own story rather than have it spoon-fed to me on a TV screen.

And I don’t do this for the money, Gods know. I do this because I have a story to tell, and I want you to see it or hear it or know what it is. I realized that the money is icing on the cake, like when I read cards. It’s an exchange of energy, one thing for another.

I used to  read cards for free, and I prefer to do that even now. But I’ve learned since that card-reading is a service that people are willing to pay for. I don’t charge an arm and a leg for it; I try to keep things cheap because, again, I have a story to tell you about yourself and I want you to know it.

Why do I create? Because the muses tell me to. And they are far more interesting than any of the stuff on air, because it’s mine.