Hey, look, I’m still alive!
Briefly, to get everyone up to speed:
- In January, I announced that Michael Bailey and Written Backwards/Dark Regions Press were publishing my first story collection, Bones Are Made to be Broken, which will have 15 stories–13 reprints, one story written and sold to an anthology that imploded, one all-new piece, and a title novella, which at the time wasn’t written yet. (Bailey also wrote a nice little write-up.) The book will be available in hardcover, paperback, and eBook (I think) and come out in the fall of 2016.
- A week or so later, I posted an update–kinda rambling working-my-thoughts through–on the actual mechanics of putting a book together from the author’s standpoint (like a really low-rent version of what Neil Gaiman did when he wrote American Gods).
…which is about where we came in.
So, in the time between then and now, I wrote the novella and, um…well, look:
So we’re all on the same page, a novella is typically under 40,000 words. Just for future reference.
In a month’s time, I locked down a short novel’s worth of words. The experience was exhilarating and exciting, driving me further and harder than any project up-to-this-point, even if the actual story led me down darker mental territory than I ever really wanted to go. Every night was 90 minutes of Foo Fighters-infused awesome (I write to a mix of the Wasting Light album and the St. Cecilia EP, the latter of which you can get here), putting up roughly 3,000 words each night, which is roughly 50% more than I typically do. In less than 30 days, it was done and I was exhausted. It was the first time, really, I had ever just put the pedal down and ran as fast and as hard as I could (I usually tend to edit as I go in the first draft, meaning I tend to only do around 1,500 words a night of fresh copy) on something.
And I had a novel. Not an anchor story, but a fucking novel.
Now, actually, I don’t fret too much about this. I’m a notorious first-draft-over-writer. When I picture a scene, I see it like a movie, as if I’m writing a screenplay, and capture as many details, putting them all in; when I go back and edit, I take out any details that don’t specifically push the plot forward or details I find fit better elsewhere; so if I have 5 details, the second draft will most likely have 1, if that. This is why my difference between drafts is sometimes a 30%-40% loss from the original word count, a number that goes down further when I send it off to beta-readers.
Which is what I’m doing right now:
And, you know something? Editing really is like writing, I know this, but it’s like the difference between masturbation and having sex, if you’ll allow the comparison. Except, for once, even the editing is a balling-good time. Ahem.
Now, we just have to hope it’s any good.
Game plan from here: Finish the hard copy read and cut, incorporate the changes, and then go to beta-readers. I have three solid people I use routinely, but I’m going to try and get even more (I’m thinking seven but it’s not like we’re talking the Supreme Court here). I want this to be the best little heartbreak I can manage.
The anthology Savage Beasts from Grey Matter Press editors Anthony Rivera and Sharon Lawson, which includes my short story “Crawling Back to You”, got some love from John Boden and Shock Totem. I typically don’t post reviews, but it was nice to be called out–and to be called out accurately. Boden nailed the themes I was shooting for. (Also, I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve tried, off and on, to get into ST for years but never found that right combination for the readers/editors; it was nice for them to like something I did.) So, yay on that!
[unapologetic plea for pre-orders here, whenever pre-orders become a thing.]