a big sigh of relief!

I finally did it.  I finally completed the first draft of Dreamwalkers!!

It’s a pretty big accomplishment for me.  Not only is it the first novel I’ve completed outside of Nanowrimo since Hitchhikers (3 years ago!) but it is also the first sequel I’ve ever completed.  You’ll find the Dreamwalkers page now under Novels instead of Works-in-Progress.

Let the editing commence!

And also the writing of The Beast of Gevaudan!  This story is going to be a bloodbath.  Seriously – a body count of over 100.  I’m excited!

I find that spring is a time of year when I get a lot of projects finished.  Aside from my Nanowrimo novels, most of my other novels were completed in the spring.  Do any of you find that there is a particular time of year that is most productive for you?

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the weather is too nice for writing…

It must be the weather. Either that, or I’m so close to finishing Hitchhikers that I’m delaying it. It’s hard to end something I’ve worked on for so long… unlike during Nanowrimo, when I am usually so ready to finish it and put it away and not look at it for a few months. I like Daniel, the main character and I ended up with a new character now towards the end. I’m up over 50,000 words and I feel like it will be at least another 10,000 to finish off the story. In my head I’m already dreaming up a sequel from Kayla’s point of view, called Dreamwalkers. But I will not allow myself to write a single word of it until Hitchhikers is finished! (I might allow myself to work on a short story. BUT THAT IS IT).

In other news, I finally finished a short story, “Seventh Son,” and submitted it to one of the anthologies over at Pill Hill Press. They have a lot of interesting anthologies over there, so if you are a writer of horror, fantasy, or sci-fi it might be a good market for you. I also got a request from an agent to see more of the manuscript for Seven Minutes to Midnight, so I’ve been hoping and waiting to hear back… I’d just like to hear SOMETHING back, because the number of rejections on my wall is far less than the number of queries I’ve sent out, because so many agents only respond if they’re interested. How am I supposed to get to 100 rejections that way? I should probably focus on the snail mail only agents, as they seem more likely to respond.

word counting

A few posts ago I mentioned that I was compelled to write longhand as inspiration had dried up and there were too many distractions… but I’ve slid back into my old type-ster ways.  It’s all because of word count.

The new Microsoft Word 2007 has a feature that displays the word count as you type at the bottom of the screen.  During Nanowrimo, of course, I am constantly keeping track of how many words I’ve typed to meet my quota for the day.  Lately I’ve been doing the same thing, although I have set myself a more reasonable goal.  1,000 words per day.  It’s about 4 pages, so it’s quite a bit but not as much as in November.  Plus I don’t always have a chance to write every day. 

It’s fun to write write write and look down and see that the word count has crossed over that 1,000 word mark.  If I started the writing session with just over 13,000 words and I find that I now have over 14,000, it’s a nice feeling of accomplishment.  Four handwritten pages, on the other hand, leave you with writing cramps, and then you type it up and it’s only two pages or something.  Disappointment all around.

I’ve been so excited with my current work-in-progress, Hitchhikers, that I’ve lost track a teensy bit with my New Year’s Resolution mission to submit like crazy to editors and agents and get something published this year.  Hopefully this long weekend will give me a chance to get some submission packages ready to mail out.

sequel

I’ve had quite a few ideas for series.  The Wolven is meant to be a trilogy, although I’ve rewritten the first novel three times and haven’t gotten around to more than a skeletal idea of the other two books.  So even though I had planned for Seven Minutes to Midnight to be a trilogy as well, or at least have a sequel, and I went so far as to write a variety of first lines and let my test readers decide which sequel they’d like (all of them picking the same one), I’ve had a hard time actually sitting down to write the actual sequel.

I had started a few pages, but it felt like I was rambling… so I did something I very rarely do.  I wrote an outline.  Not a very detailed one.  I just had to sit down and ask myself, Where is this story going?  Where am I going to end this?  Then I also had to think about subplots.  Most of the time I just sit down and I have an idea and I know how I want the story to end, and the subplots just come.  It’s much more difficult, however, when you’ve already got characters and backstory that needs to be explained somehow. 

It also doesn’t help when it’s finally sunny after weeks of rain!

Found it!

Yes, two months later, I found a secret stash of discs in my desk drawer, and happily, one of them contained several drafts of The Wolven: Animal Nature, as well as a few novellas and novels I had nearly forgotten about, or thought I’d lost to the computer gods. Of course, my new computer does not have a disc drive, so I had to power up my old computer and transfer all the files to a flash drive, then to my new computer, which doesn’t understand the old MS Word programming and changed all the fonts to some weird Lucida Handwriting or something.

In other news, I finally finished a draft of The Abandoned! I have a list of readers for this draft and a couple on a list for the final draft (after I’ve made the changes from this draft). I had hoped to have finished a draft for Blood Countess, but it’s slightly easier now that I only have one fictional world going…

Hopefully I can finish it before Nanowrimo/the end of October, but what with now working full time, taking my final grad school class, and studying for comps, I’m not sure I’ll be able to do it, and plan for the novel I’ll write in November! Unless I decide to cheat and write an additional 50,000 words onto the roughly 12,000 words I already have… But I really want to write something set in medieval times / a fantasy novel. I’m having a hard time with Blood Countess because of all the research involved (I’ll write something, then have to double check to see if it’s historically accurate).