Friday, August 12, 2016

August Update: Project timeline and publishing plans

I still haven't heard back about the 24-hour short story contest. I'm getting antsy about it. Should hear in another week or two, probably. I might do an interim post once I hear.

An interim post would be good, too, since that'll be right after MidAmericaConII. Which is less than a week away. I am completely overwhelmed and stressed out. But. My friend Dianne will be there with me. We've gotten to be good writing buddies lately. We're both very much on the same page as far as writing career, on the same trajectory, with her being maybe six months to a year behind where I'm at. We talk a lot about writing and ideas where with our other friends we talk about non-writing things more. I'm glad to have someone to trek through the wilderness with, because while having Rachel leaving us signs about the trail ahead on the path, she is sometimes so far ahead of me I can't hear her yelling back to me anymore, only see evidence of her passing.

Yeah. Weird analogy. I'm clearly deep within my right brain these days.

So, last month, I finished up the adventure novella. I'm not a hundred percent happy with it, but it is another adventure in that series written, so I am on track with that. It was also one I had been hung up on for awhile, so between that and ToK, I am in good shape as far as finishing my shit.

This month I'm working on editing my shit so it's not as, well, shitty. I spent the first week cleaning up some of the earlier adventure novellas and working out a more detailed series outline, and when I couldn't find anything else to do, I switched back to the MystWatch world about a week early.

No regrets, though.

I have ideas for a new opening for MoL. I haven't written it yet. I am having a hard time going back to book 1 with book 2 so fresh in my mind. So. I dove into ToK edits instead. That mostly consisted of a read-through taking detailed notes about all the things wrong with it. Now I am going to percolate for a few days before I dive in and start fixing it. And by a few days, I mean probably, like, a day or two. I'm actually really excited to start tearing it apart. I was overwhelmed a few times while reading, but there is a lot of really good stuff and the not as good stuff won't be too terrible to fix. I hope.

It's going to take some time. I will probably need all of next month, as I planned. But, with the rest of this month and all of next, I'm doing what is hopefully my final tweak on book 1 before sending it to be line edited and then doing my first extensive revision of book 2 to get it ready for beta readers.

Beta readers won't come until book 1 is clean, though. One or two of them have expressed desires to read book 1 in its edited form, so I want to be sure to have as clean a copy of that as I can.

And...once it's clean...I will probably start submitting it to publishers. I have a couple of smaller, hybrid presses in mind, and I will probably also kick it to the big ones: Tor, Daw, Baen. It will be nice if I can get on with Jolly Fish Press, which is one I found and just fell in love with, but if I don't, then putting it on submission with the bigger houses will give me more time to write book 3 and edit book 2. I'm in no hurry, really.

Except that I really am. I feel so far behind Rachel. And I only have four and change years left to reach my publishing goals. I'm on track to do that, still, so I know I need to relax. After really looking at my project timeline, and rearranging things a bit, if I follow it as well as I have been following it the last five months, it will be around summer of 2018 when I finally should start being able to reap rewards of the work I'm doing now.

Which seems like forever, but I know it'll go fast. The rest of this year is dedicated to final edit for book 1, first revision of book 2, and writing of book 3. Next year I should be done writing and editing all three and will have a complete trilogy on my hands.

Or rather, hopefully in someone elses hands. But if not, that's ok too. I will start self-publishing at that point.

Druid Wars will probably come next. That's what is on the list next as it currently stands. I also have Online Dating for Demons and Hero of Hunker City on deck. Those are both mostly written, unlike the first Druid Wars book, which is missing a huge chunk in the middle and probably a few connecting scenes, not to mention needing an entire rewrite of chapter 1 and maybe 2. It'll probably depend more on mood than size of editing project when the time comes, though. And somewhere in the hole, as the baseball analogy goes, are the Dante novels. But they are low down on the list for many reasons, first and foremost because the first book is not finished. That's a big project, when I finally clear my plate for it. I'd like to do it someday. It has the potential to be a five-book series. But that's for Future Sara to deal with.

In the meantime, I'm deeply entrenched in the MystWatch world with the occasional jaunt into my adventure series to give me a break. Fatigue is a real thing. So is utter revulsion at how terrible everything is sometimes. Thankfully it passes and my motivation to keep plugging comes back.

I'm like...this is HARD! It's too much! I'm so overwhelmed! And then I'll have a drink, joke around with the husband, go to bed, wake up and be like...oh hey! Puzzle! I wanna figure it out, now.

And then I do. Whether it's by letting my mind wander while I walk/drive/lie in bed or talking it out with friends and family, or just writing and rewriting stuff until it works, I know now that I will always figure stuff out. Sometimes all it takes is a few days thinking about something else, and the problem will solve itself. Sometimes it takes months for things to finally fit together in a way that makes sense.

I did actually read more since my last post. So that's good. I realized I hadn't had spent much time in input mode lately. It was all output. So, I am, as they say, breathing in. I'm reading books and watching Firefly again. Hopefully WorldCon will also give me a battery recharge.

All good things right now. Not saying it's easy, but I'm working hard so that things will continue to go well.

Although I think I'm going to need a long nap at some point. Maybe in October. So I can be ready for three months of writing book 3 starting in November!!