>So what to work on now

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Now that I have (gratefully) taken my post-NaNo break, I’m ready to start writing again; however, this is the first time in many a year I desire to write with a purpose. You see, I posted a list the Year of Doing Big, Fun, Scary things forum, and on this list involves two primary goals:

Completing my 2009 novel, and completing my 2008 novel. I’d like to complete the 2008 novel for CreateSpace’s free proof offer for NaNo winners. I’ve missed this offer (or the similar one from Lulu) every year, and dangit, I want this book in my hands, even if not published yet, for sheer vanity’s sake.

Now, I’m struggling with the desire to finish my2007 novel, Heaven’s Bounty. It’s such a GOOD story, and now I’ve finally figured out where I want to go with it, after letting it sit for a year or two.

This is why I’m not a published author yet. It has nothing to do with the quality of my work; I’m convinced that my prose is as good or better than anything you’ll see in Barnes and Noble. It’s the fact that I don’t finish novels, and therefore am unable to submit them for consideration.

So that’s my goal for the coming year: to complete a minimum of one manuscript, and polish it well enough for submission to agents.

Not a publisher, mind you; Like Editorial Ass, I believe firmly in the power of agents to help authors in more ways than just finding a good editor.

But to do this, I have to not only finish a novel, but polish it well enough to put through my critique group, and then polish is MORE into perfection.

But now my dilemma is I have multiple novels that I want to work on. I’m going to finish them all, but in what order?

What I have:

1) My first love, my original. The Story that Had to be Written. I’m currently working on handwriting the second draft, which I’ll then transcribe into the computer. This is the one I’d like to have for the CreateSpace offer.

2) The sequel to the previous one; I know, I know. In all fairness, I HAVE finished the first one, when I was 15 or 16… I know how the first one ends.

3) This year’s. This one is the one about the widow who ends up as a Queen, and then has to take her husband’s assassinated soul, memory, and skills and avenge his death and take back his kingdom. It’s FUN, but it’s lying fallow again, victim of 50k disease. Mortos Rex.

4) 2007’s novel, Heaven’s Bounty. It’s a sci-fi piece about a winged bounty hunter who is captured, wing-clipped, and raped (dark stuff) and set free by her friends, then seeks to find the source of her deceased captor’s freakish shapeshifting powers, powers her love also seems to possess. This one is so much fun, and the voices for all those characters have started up in my head.

5) Of course, Double Edged Sword, though a good chunk of it has gone missing. That’s a hard one to write though, and when I get back to it, it’s going to be like pulling teeth. Good story, just delicate work.

I dunno. I’m going to work on them all… but which first? My bones tell me I need to finish this year’s novel FIRST. It’s what’s most recent in my mind, and dammit, it would be nice to finish a NaNo novel the same year I started it.

But Heaven is calling…

>You know, it’s funny

>When you finish a novel, I mean really finish it to the point where no more changes can be made before you send it off to the printer (for the critique group, in my case… I don’t do that self-publishing crap), its a strange feeling. I’m done, and have been working frantically to BE done for the last week, but now, I really am. No more changes before handing it off to someone to be READ.

It’s scary, exhilarating, and now I’m feeling a little bereft. Now don’t get me wrong, I still have plenty of other projects to work on, including one I just started typing up a few minutes ago. It’s just that this one has been taking up so much of my mind that it’s weird to not be worrying over it.

And it also energizes me to want to finish ANOTHER project. It feels really good to finally be done.

I mean, I’ve written novels before, but never for someone else to critique, and this is a big step towards publication. It feels good to have a ‘finished’ product that I’m not too shy to hand to someone else to read!

Final word count: 60,546
Final Page Count: 220

It feels right, lengthwise. Lean and mean, with few frills. I like it. I was shooting for around 80k, but to make it larger at this point will be adding unnecessary bloat. It’s possible that post-critique it will make it to that size, but for now, I’m pleased.

>Blargh… I am ded

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Okay, not really “ded”, but definitely not at my best.

I’ve got the evil block. I take that back. I know what needs to be written. I know how to write it, and what about. But I don’t WANT to. I’ve got the first critique group meeting Saturday, and I haven’t written a word in a month.

This is not an efficient way to write.

Hopefully, the critique group will get the juices flowing again. I’m going second, not first, so hopefully that’ll give me the kick in the pants I need to get it moving.