Writing Wednesday: I finished a book!
It always strikes me, when I use that phrase, “I finished a book,” that I usually mean something different than 99% of other people do when they say it. Possibly 99.7%. I, of course, generally mean I finished writing a book, as opposed to reading one. (Although let me tell you, there are times anymore when finishing reading one seems like as much of a triumph…)
Anyway, so on Monday I finished the (oh my god so very) rough draft of REDEEMER, which has been hanging over me for what feels like forever. It came in at 104K, which is about where–in the past couple weeks, anyway–I thought it would land (previous to that, 120K still didn’t seem out of the bounds of possibility). It needs more work than my manuscripts usually do when I finish the draft, which is sad, but that’ll teach me to try to do like three different difficult things in one manuscript. @.@
On one hand it’s a huge relief to have the book done. On the other, finishing it triggers the rest of the production to-do list, and that looks like this:
Redeemer Wars (Redeemer) To Do:
get cover art done
– revise manuscript to fix notes, descriptions, language, etc
-submit to editor
– revise to editorial specs
– resubmit to editor
– do line edits
– submit to copyeditor
– submit for cover design
– submit for page layouts
– get ISBNs
– submit for econversion
– deliver to kickstarter backers
– submit for possible audio book
– submit for reviews
– submit for self-publication
Obviously this does not all happen at once, but it’s a REALLY LONG LIST and I’m almost certainly forgetting things. So I’m glad to have the book done but AUGH SO MUCH TO DO NEXT. This is why writers like traditional publishing. @>@
Anyway, none of that is happening this week. It’d be nice if none of it was happening even in February, but I’m already horribly late with the book and need to move on it more quickly than not. Still, I need a few days away from it, at least.
In the meantime I’ve reached 41.4K words written for the month of January and it seems like sort of a pity to not push it up to 50K. Sadly, the thing I really kinda wanna to work on isn’t likely to give me that kind of wordcount, not unless I do a great deal more of it than I could reasonably expect in the next five days (so what am I doing instead of working hard on it right now? Writing this blog post!), whereas writing a new Old Races short story would give me close to the wordcount AND get a new story ready for the Patreon crew and is therefore what I obviously *should* be doing.
I’m prolly gonna do the other thing anyway. :) I have a–well, let’s face it, an unrealistic–goal of getting a book out every other month this year, and getting going on this thing might make that possible. Yeah. YEAH. So THERE. SEE?!?!
…or something. :)
2016 work schedule
Want to know what I’m doing this year? Or at least, what I’m trying to do? Here. Let me tell you!
Publishing MAGIC & MANNERS
I’m in the very last stages of getting MAGIC & MANNERS out into the world–the last bits (the ISBN bar code, mostly) are being generated for the cover, it’ll be handed off to a professional to convert it into e-books, and it’s the first book I’ll be publishing through the Ingram self publishing system, which will theoretically make it order-able in bookstores all around the country/world. Official pub date is February 16, 2016, and the audio book will be out right around then too! And I can’t STAND not showing off the cover, so this post is also a Cover Reveal!
(SQUEE!!!! Cover art by the magnificent Tara O’Shea at Fringe Element!)
That means finishing the draft, revising it to get fix all the NOTE:s left in it (which include things like description, slang, word repetition, just all sorts of things), then sending it to my editor, who will tell me everything that’s wrong with it. Then I’ll fix it, send it back to her, give it to my parents to beta-read, get line edits/polishing details, do THOSE, send the manuscript to the copy editor, do THOSE, get the book laid out and e-files made for it, get the cover art finished, get ISBNs, get it out to the Kickstarter backers, perhaps see about submitting it for proper reviews, and finally get it out into the reading public’s hands.
Revising BEWITCHING BENEDICT
which involves everything listed above from “fix it, send it back to her” and goes on pretty well through the end of that paragraph. Perhaps not review copies for that. Maybe not even print copies right away, IDK.
Revising IMMORTAL BELOVED
closer to REDEEMER than BENEDICT, except it needs to go through two pre-editorial revision passes, for Reasons. With luck, the revision process on both of these books will be something I can do while REDEEMER is with Matrice.
which is the last of the YA quadrology I’m writing for my nephew, and which may turn out to be a Kickstarter project, which entails everything under the ‘Redeemer’ header except for for FOUR BOOKS AT ONCE.
Writing KISS OF ANGELS
the Grace O’Malley novella, & another 8 or so Old Races short stories (get them HERE first!), and overseeing production on one, possibly two (depending on how the short story project goes) Old Races short story collections.
the 2nd Walker Papers/Skinwalker crossover novella with Faith Hunter
the epic fantasy proposal
the climate change series proposal.
if I have _time_ after all that a sequel to either REDEEMER or MAGIC & MANNERS or BEWITCHING BENEDICT ahahahahahaha
rage machine murder bot
Yesterday I woke up a rage machine murder bot. Ted suggested I stay home from the thing I was supposed to do and work instead, as the combination of the thing I was supposed to do and having done *no work* lately were the basic components of my rage, and although I should have done the thing I had a giant hot chocolate with a lot of whipped cream and wrote instead, and by noon I had mostly (mostly) thrown off the desire to murder absolutely everything.
I had to delete a chunk of REDEEMER and revise some and write new material. The good news is that it worked and I’m no longer completely stalled out. The bad news is it took me six weeks to figure out that was what I needed to do. The other good news is that I’ve reached 75K, which…is a milestone, anyway.
Excitingly (no, seriously), I’ve been given carte blanche for leaving the house Saturday morning and checking into a hotel and not returning until Sunday night so that I can do some Serious Writing. That should help a lot, both in terms of wordcount and my mental health. @.@
writer alarm: engage!
So I’ve been looking into what’s necessary for submitting self-published books to major review sites (RT, PW, etc) and the answer is primarily “a long lead time.” Several months. Four, for RT, ideally four but 3 is bearable, for PW.
Which means if I want to get REDEEMER in for a late October launch, just post-Octocon, I have to have it written and edited by 21 June.
Written, yes, it will be written. But *edited*? Like to the editor, returned to me, and revised? That seems…unlikely!
I mean, I’m gonna go for it, obviously. I’ll try to do it. And it struck me that of course I can always *delay the general release*, it doesn’t *have* to come out immediately following Octocon, it’d just be *nice*, and it’ll obviously be out to backers well before that, but holy beans, this is a side to Official Self Publishing I hadn’t wrangled with before.
I’m pretty sure I could get the whole thing done by 21 June if I didn’t also have MAGIC & MANNERS revisions to do and the rest of Easter break to deal with (not to mention this Amazingly Snotty Cold), but since the start date for writing REDEEMER is around the 20th or the 27th, it would take some truly amazing work to get it done *that* fast. And it’s true that I’m amazing, but I don’t know if I’m *that* amazing. :)
I guess we’ll see how that whole Thorough Synopsis thing goes. :)
Speaking of MAGIC & MANNERS, I have great hopes of getting the *completed*, revised, copyedited, etc, book to backers at the end of the month, although that may be…a little ambitious. Mid-May is probably more likely, but again, I’m gonna go for May 1. Because that would be satisfying and they have been patient and yeah.
I love all you guys. <3 :)
We have synopsis!
I *just* about finished up the REDEEMER synopsis last night. In fact, I called it done even though I knew there was more I could put in. I thought it was primarily emotional storyline stuff and probably wouldn’t make *that* much difference to the synopsis as a whole, but in a fit of Covering All Bases (I guess) this morning I decided to go ahead and put those bits in.
Somewhat to my surprise, what happened with the addition of those 400 words was the whole thing suddenly came together in an unexpectedly cohesive manner. I’ve pulled all the plot threads together, and I think I’m actively happy with the shape it’s all turned out to be. There are a lot of seeds for future plot lines, assuming this does well enough to justify writing more in the Redeemer Wars, and I’m really looking forward to plunging into the actual writing.
I’m really *interested* to see how the longer, more exhaustive synopsis pays off. I’ve spent about 15-20 hours on this and ended up with a Proper Synopsis of 7400 words. Last year I spent about 10-12 hours on a 3K synopsis for a 75K book; the entire project, including the synopsis, took about 70 hours to write. (It was, granted, a *particularly* frothy book.) So I’m very very curious to see how this goes, and will keep you posted. Because I know you’re as interested in the gritty details as I am… O.O :)
In the meantime I’ve been talking with cover artist Lindsey Look about the cover, which has been LOTS of fun. It’s up on her docket in the relatively near future, so, well, frankly I’m basically already dying to do a cover reveal, and it’s not even in sketches yet! :)
ytd wordcount: 93,200