Thursday, January 19, 2017

The State of Z

I'm feeling reflective this afternoon. Things are heavy on my mind. The hangover-esque haze of 2016 still hasn't worn off and on the eve of the Inauguration, I find myself listless. I swore I wasn't going to let it affect me, but it has and I'm sort bummed about it all. I'm trying to fight it but it's difficult to do so in light of all that's going on around me. Social networks haven't helped. But I'm trying and for the first time in a few months, writing has helped.

I set out to write 350k words this year. So far, not including today, I've written 17,811 words in 2017. I'm very happy about this. I'm clearly on pace to hit that mark and then some. Part of the plan was to average 1,000 words a day and factor 15 non-writing days in there. I've written 17 out of the 18 days this year. I already wrote a little today and will write more later with a vague goal of hitting 20k by tonight. We'll see. I'm not panicked about not hitting it, but we'll see. I'm happy with the writing even though it's not writing I'm going to be able to do anything with it.

What does that mean, you ask? Well, I'll tell you.

This project I'm working on started life as a novelette. But as I wrote, it demanded to do things with the story and, as I'm wont to do, I listened to the story. And it's turned into something entirely different. I've been tweeting a lot about it and how frustrated I am by what it is doing and the fact that it is highly unlikely I'll ever be able to do anything with it. I toyed with the idea of making it middle grade, but I don't know if that's the answer. It might require a little padding to get it closer to a 45-50k word count. As of right now, it should clock in about the 31-33k word count. Not quite long enough for a MG novel and far closer to a novella in length.

If anything ever comes of THE LOST SCIONS, it could be a prequel novella, which is what it started out as in the first place. If I had an agent, I probably could submit it to, but I don't, so that's not on the table. I just don't know. But I'm sort of okay with it. I found my mojo again. I'm being disciplined about writing again. And it feels good. Not the false feeling of good that I had with my many failed starts from last year, but a feeling of genuine accomplishment in writing. And it's something I can build on.

I've got two ideas in the hopper for "what's next" and I'm actually going to commit some time to planning them along with a couple of loose ends here and there. The plan is to be able to dive into one of the new projects right away. One is a Harry Potter/Great Gatsby, roaring 20s set fantasy and the other is a coming of age story set in the 1990s to the drop back of skiing and stand up comedy. The former is a recent project and the latter is a project that's been kicking around forever that I think I'm getting my legs under me.

As for what's done, THE LOST SCIONS didn't get the traction I would've liked. It's still out in a few places, but I think that it may still be a little too traditional right now. I'm not sure. I'll revisit it again. I have to, I'm writing the prequel novella and I have about 10k of the sequel written.

WINTER'S DISCORD is still breathing. I'd say more, but not now. Maybe later I'll be able to celebrate it. But not yet. There's actually a few potential things I could be celebrating about, but, again, I don't want to talk about it yet.

I'm doing some research reading for HP/GG (no title yet, but I'm leaning towards something with MARVELOUS in the title) and plodding through THE DIVINERS with a few other books involving magic and the 1920s. The problem I'm having is do I make MARVELOUS YA or adult. I'm leaning towards adult, but we'll see. This is where not having an agent is really bad. I'm then wading back into some heavy fantasy work since down the line I want to return to the genre I love with a new project, which means I'll be worldbuilding a lot in the coming months. My friend Neil and I are talking about doing a Wheel of Time blogfest or something like that. I'm one book behind him and y'all know how big those books are, so stay tuned for that.

I've even managed to carve out some gym time. I'm going to do a blog post on this in a few weeks because I'm on a new program that is completely outside my comfort zone. I've felt really, really, really weak for a long time and decided that I wanted to do some old school strength training. I did my research and settled on the StrongLifts 5x5 program. And I love it. I'll talk more about this in a month when I've been doing it for that long.

School is school. We've entered project season for my seniors. It's good writing time for me....until projects are due, which is next week for the first batch!

So, that's the State of Z as of right now. I'll leave you with this: write like you are running out of time and remember to love one another.

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