Monday, 11 January 2016

In which I get started...

I'm watching Labyrinth tonight, because of course I am, but this isn't about the majesty of the Goblin King's trousers.  What could I possibly say that hasn't been said better by someone else already?

I've made a surprisingly good start on the second draft of Iron and Gold.  Reading over the first draft I found I actually quite liked it already.  It's not perfect by any means (because what first draft ever is?) but it's worth working on and polishing.  And so I set off, tweaking and improving, and for a while I was going great guns.  Two chapters a day, clean and tidy, and it was looking like I'd be through it in no time.

And then I hit Chapter Eight.

There's nothing inherently bad about Chapter Eight.  It's just that it's the first chapter that needs major work at this point.  It's like sprinting off the end of a race track and landing in a bog (with or without Eternal Stench).  It's still possible to get where you're going, but it takes a lot more effort.  And it's very easy to give up as soon as that happens.  It's not really your fault, after all.  It's the bog.

But there's only one way to get to the magical city of Complete Second Draft, and that's to slog through the bog until you come out the other side.  So that's where I am.  Slogging through the bog, knowing there's a good story in here somewhere, taking it one step at a time.

And admiring the majesty of the Goblin King's trousers...

Friday, 1 January 2016

In which we arbitrarily mark the completion of another orbit of the sun

New Year, New... Books?  Yeah, let's go with that, I got some very fine books for Christmas.

2015 was the year I finally got a story published.  2016 needs to top that, clearly.  And it's the time of year for making rash declarations, so I have Rashly Declared that I'll do everything I can to have something suitable for querying agents by the end of the year.

There are, essentially, two possible contenders for this.  The first, Shadows in the Nursery, is the gothic horror I wrote for NaNo 2014.  It's already had two further drafts in the intervening time, but there's more work to be done.  I'm currently gathering responses from beta readers for that, though, which leaves me open to do some work on the other option.

Iron and Gold is the fantasy novel I wrote during the most recent NaNo.  It's a number of things already; a complete rework of the story I wrote for NaNo 2010; the first novel of mine to run to over 100,000 words; and hopefully the start of a trilogy.  I intend to write book 2, Truth and Consequences, this coming November and that means I need to get the finer points of book 1 firmly nailed down before that.  I'm quite pleased with the first draft as it stands, but I have a list as long as my arm of things that need doing to improve it.  Everything from simple things like making sure character descriptions remain consistent throughout to bigger things like an entire subplot I want to add in.  No beta readers, as yet, because I have too many changes of my own to deal with.  They'll get the next draft, if they're lucky.

So, two big projects ongoing.  With luck I can alternate between the two, working on a draft of one while the other is percolating.  Plenty to keep me busy, and maybe I'll get around to submitting a few more short stories along the way.