>So what to work on now

>

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…

>The gauntlet is thrown

>As some of you have no doubt noticed, I am woefully behind. My deficit is such that I’m struggling to keep ahead… no motivation! NaNoing with two small children has proved more challenging than I thought. I haven’t written a word in days. In fact, the last increase in my count came from the validator, not writing more words!

So, my friend Lousy Writer 13 has challenged me. If either of us should fail to win this year’s NaNoWriMo, we get to publicly mock the loser in the Shoutouts forum. Notwithstanding family emergencies type stuff, naturally. Any such circumstances will officially call off the competition.

We are formally announcing this challenge so that we can’t back out for lack of accountability… public humiliation is the best motivator, from time to time.

And should we both fail? Well, that’s going to mean it’s up to YOU guys to mock us mercilessly, since it would be awfully hypocritical to mock each other for what we failed to do!

He’s got the lead… who do YOU think’ll get there first?

>Day 9 – behind

> Good lord, I suck. I’m behind, for the first time in what, three years? Something like that. As you can see, I’m working in fits and starts. Two or three days i’ve written nothing. I’ve got an hour and 15 minutes left in this day, and I haven’t written anything.

I think it comes from having beaten the challenge so often, and in record time, that it’s just not a big deal. I’m going to win… I know that, and it gives me no reason to rush.

I have nothing to prove.

With that said, I’m starting to enjoy this story. Characters are starting to come alive, and some of them are really taking on a life of their own. I have a mystery going, and I’m not sure where it’s going to end up– this is why I don’t like planning. Half of the fun is discovering where the story is going. I am really enjoying myself this year. I’m not as frantic, and I’m sure my husband is glad of that.

One thing I didn’t anticipate was how much harder it is to write with two small children. With one, I could just plop her in a playpen, or write during naps. Right now, there’s always something going on. Being forums moderator hasn’t taken much time away (I spent the same amount of time last year doing it on a volunteer basis without all the cool tools) . Doing write-ins is hard with a baby. Last year, Elisabeth was two, and the year before, one… so she wasn’t in the wiggly non-walker phase Rebekah’s in now. It’s definitely a challenge.

I’ll manage. Off to get in my word count before midnight (and I may fudge my time zones a bit to get it on my graph under the wire. Naughty Heather!

>Day three, much frustration

>As usual, the site is painfully slow. It hasn’t crashed, which is, I suppose an improvement, but honestly, I think I’m more easily annoyed by it these days.

My novel is coming out like pulling teeth. Not having a real plot does have its disadvantages. I’m spending so much time being annoyed at the site that I can’t really focus on my novel. Unlike most folks, I don’t have the option of not going to them. 🙂 Stupid paycheck, demanding I work for it!

Another part of it is that I’ve been doing this since 2002… I completed it in 10 days, one year. It’s not like I have anything to prove! If it weren’t for being staff, I’d really only be there for the people. That’s what makes it worthwhile.

I think I’ll get back in the groove soon. The story is starting to gel. I’m taking my time. Write-ins will probably help. I wasn’t able to go to Saturday’s because the baby had a stomach bug.

>NaNoWriMo 2008: Day 1

>Title: Edge of Sanity

Wow. This is the first time that I’ve really worked with LSB more than a few minutes. It’s a powerful program. I’m absolutely loving it! There’s so many neat tools. I really need to spend a little more time working on it, but not too much… I think once I get things settled, I’ll be able to really get a lot of inspiration from it.

I did some image hunting; I found a bunch of great steampunk stuff that’ll help. I also found what I want my cover art to be of.

I’ve established three characters. The truthsayer, the enforcer, and a weaponsmaster… I’m not quite sure who she’ll be, only that she’ll be a little bit crazy. I want her to be my foil for Morgan. His complete opposite. Not love; just a foil. His female negative image.

I’m a few words shy of my word count goal for the day, but I think I’ll have little trouble making it up. I mean, come on… I’m the super writer!

My current count for the day is only 1,491. Definitely under goal. I’ve got so much to gel in my head! I think once I get the bit in my teeth, I’ll be full steam ahead. Lord know if the site continues to be painfully slow, I’ll have plenty of writing time. I think my entire region is ahead of me in pure word count! I’ve spent a lot of time planning and thinking and plotting though… my caution will serve me well, methinks.

>More brainstorming

>I stayed up until 4 AM the other day reading Girl Genius… and the more I think about it, the more I think I’d like to try my hand at steampunk for this novel. The big ship that they use to ship off the poor people could be a steampunk-style airship/zeppelin sort of thing.

I think it would be fun to try, have some automatons, that sort of thing. I’ll need to research the whole steampunk think a bit more.