Yes, it's the final countdown, the final few days. I'm almost there and will likely finish it tonight, or else tomorrow, at least a little ahead of the November 30th midnight deadline.
The story, JACK & JILL: THE UNTOLD STORY, is turning out to be an amazing ride. It's only a first draft, and at times it feels to me like it's all over the place, but when I let it sit a while then read back over it, I find generally that it does make sense, is coherent, and very absorbing. It's certainly interesting.
I have no idea when this story is finished whether it'll be something to edit and polish to send out or not. I was thinking yes, but now with some of the things going on in the story, I really have to wonder. Still, I'm not writing it for commercial reasons but for the practice of it. If it has no commercial value, I may still eventually post it online for free because it is a very intriguing story and I think others would enjoy it, too. Even so, I won't give up on the possibility that this might be one to send out once polished. We'll see!
Over the past few days I worked very hard at coming up with a new feature for my website. It's called the GAY MAN'S GUIDE TO WRITING FANTASY FICTION. It's an illustrated guide to the basics of plotting in three acts with a focus on fantasy novels. There is a great Resources page with lots of useful links for fantasy writers. There is also a free download of the "Plot to Draft" section, which helps visitors to the site to develop an idea of their own, resulting in a working outline.
Take a few minutes and check it out. It's fun and worthwhile. Feel free to link to the new part of my site!
Just wanted to wish everyone a HAPPY THANKSGIVING. This is one holiday I truly believe in for reasons other than having a holiday: we should all take time every now and again to think about what we have to be thankful for.
Since this is my writing blog, I'll keep my thanks focused on writing. I am thankful that I have been able to sustain a significant effort on my writing over the past couple of years. I am happy that I have made real and tangible progress. I am happy that I finally learned to bridge the middle, complete a manuscript, play the external and internal conflicts off each other (something I'm still working on, but I did learn to do it in a meaningful way). I am happy that I have no shortage of ideas, that I choose to see the world as full of them, billions and billions of them all around us at every moment. I am happy that I do not suffer from Writer's Block like some others do. I am happy that I can type 100+ wpm and churn out large quantities of prose when I'm in writing mode (it saves time). I am happy for what each of the stories I've worked on these past two years has taught me.
I am happy about these things, and grateful.
Now, when I get my first publishing contract, I'll be really grateful!
Best wishes to other writers and aspiring writers for their continued progress and success,
As you have hopefully noticed, I am sharing the Prologue and first few chapters of my 2007 nanovel on my new blog, ADRIAN'S FIX.
I have finally also joined the Nano forums and have rejoined the LGBT forum that Athildur maintains, something I helped start two years ago. Athildur has done a great job of keeping it going. It would be great if more LGBT writers would get involved, and keep it going throughout the year.
Anyway, back to the topic....
I was thinking to share the entire nanovel online as it is written, essentially foregoing any chance of paid publication. I was thinking to do this in order to share some work, get some feedback, and then edit it and release it as a free ebook, essentially as a promotional tool. I still like that idea, but every time I try to think of a story I'd be willing to give away ... well, let's just say I feel the story has potential and I hate to just throw it away in commercial terms.
I don't know whether this nanovel will have a chance at getting published or not, but I think it is worth keeping under wraps and finding out. I am happy to share the Prologue and first few chapters, though, and feel that this should hopefully not hinder possible future publication.
So, what to do now that I've maxed out that portion I can reasonably share?
Aha! I have a Plan B, and it's not from outer space.
I will try to set up a members only blog, where I can then post the remainder of the novel so it is readily available, but I can then limit the access to it so that only those individuals who would be willing to read it and share some helpful comments would be able to access it. This does not qualify as self-publishing or otherwise making it publicly available online -- writers can share their work with a select group of readers for feedback and still seek publication.
As I mentioned in my last posting, I also plan to make the text available in ebook format using Mobipocket. Beta Readers could read it online in the members-only blog, or could download from there the ebook version and then read it at their convenience in that format.
So, if you would be interested in reading my novel and offering helpful comments, please let me know! You can post a comment to this posting, or you can email me at:
americanauthor [AT] yahoo [DOT] com
I would be most grateful for the opportunity to receive some feedback, which would mean a chance to work outside the vacuum I've been working in for the past two years. Yes, your feedback would be most appreciated!
I've discovered the wonderful world of ebooks (duh ... 'bout time!). I am using Mobipocket(tm), which is available as a free download and is very versatile. You can use it to read books on your PC or PDA or smart phone or whatever. It will even turn the pages for you, a cool feature I discovered with Adobe Acrobat Reader(tm) for those days when clicking a mouse is just too much. (haha ... how lazy will technology make us in the future?).
Anyway, I've been posting chapters of my current WIP, my nanovel, titled JACK & JILL: THE UNTOLD STORY, on my new blog, Adrian's Fix. Soon I'll put a link at the top of that blog so you can download the current version of the novel, through whatever chapter has been posted most recently. That way, you can just click, download, and read it in a better format at your convenience.
I've discovered writing my manuscripts in Word(tm) works well, and then loading them into Mobipocket(tm) to read them back helps since it seems like a new view of the document. It's almost like printing something out, has the same effect for me. I get a new perspective, think of it as if it were finished, which then helps me spot more things to change than I can see in Word(tm) after editing the text there repeatedly ("familiarity breeds contempt"?).
Hope everyone's work is coming along. This is the good time of year for me to write, so I'm taking full advantage of it. Although I'm busy now, I'm sure the pace will pick up even more. I'm still just warming up, getting on a roll . . . .
I was hoping to avoid it altogether, but somehow the Nano bug got me. I've decided to start a new blog and post my nanovel on it as it is written. It'll be a rough first-draft and I won't go back to fix things. It'll be fun, I'm sure, and a little frustrating at times, but overall it's a challenge that I find quite intriguing.
I had a very productive session last night and was able to work my way through most of what had been troubling me about Chapters 8 and 9. I'm still finishing Chapter 9, but the key transition points that I had been missing are now in place. I'll be able to borrow a key scene from my "Outtakes" file and reuse it, then I'll only need to add the conclusion to Chapter 9 and I'm finished.
Chapter 8 runs long and will need to be pared down later, but it's not long in a bad or loose way, but in a good way. It all reads well and fits together, I simply have too much of it and so I'll have to edit simply for length. I'll save that for another time, so that I can continue making forward progress at this time. I want to build momentum!
It feels good to finally have the right pieces for these two chapters. I had played with various versions, ways of handling the plot issues, but none of them "rang true". What I have now does. The key to solving the riddle was to go back to how I set this sequence of chapters into motion: a key event back in Chapter 6 that leads directly to the events of Chapters 7, 8 and 9. It is only by focusing on that event, and what it means, that I was able to see a more direct through-line for the MC. There is now "harmony" between the various issues and events, something that was lacking before.
I love it when I stick with it and get the results I've been seeking! It's nice to have Chapter 9 focus on a more serious dramatic moment, bringing this sequence to an end, where this same moment is directly in line with and the result of other events that began back in Chapter 6 at the start of this sequence. Previously I was off course, starting with one event and ending with an event that looked right on the surface, but which was not really in keeping with the real issues here. Like a new vase on your table that seems to belong there, but something tells you it just doesn't quite fit in the room. You finally realize it clashes with other items in some way that was not obvious at first.
Tonight I'll finish Chapter 9. I'll look before I leap, then start moving forward with the next sequence of chapters. I know the main intent, but there is still much to discover along the way. The adventure continues!
I'm finally getting my high-speed internet connection up and running. Feels good after having stayed with dial-up far longer than any person reasonably ought to. Of course, by the time I've done this, the internet has advanced so far I'm sort of confused about everything all over again, but that's the way it goes. There are so many new things people can do with this technology now, and web sites are so much more "enriched" these days. That's okay...I'm patient, and I'll keep at it, and eventually I'll learn what I need to know to keep up, more or less.
There were a number of non-writing things that came up in the past week. I did put in a lot of time last week, but the past few days have been less productive. I'm getting back into the swing of things again now.
I'm still going back and forth with Chapters 8 and 9. I've rewritten them a few times by now and am still working on them. I had to find the real heart of the matter, the essential things that are true to the characters. These chapters mark an important transition. They bring the story to the mid-point. I need to clearly establish the MC's mindset and emotions, goals, etc. I've had to do a bit of searching to draw these out in a truly authentic manner, and then also find the right way to dramatize them.
I finally got it "right" but the way one of the chapters was written focused too much on individual introspection. I am now rewriting that chapter yet again to have the character arrive at these understandings through interaction with other characters, in a way that would make sense for him to interact with them. I'm throwing in some conflict as well, in order to heighten the tension, so that he doesn't simply figure out what he needs to do, but has to wrestle with it (quite literally). I don't mind longer passages of introspection when I'm reading someone else's novel, and find they often add a lot of insight, but I want to avoid that sort of thing for this novel, which needs to move forward with an absolute minimum of exposition or other asides.
With any luck I'll finally finish this delicate part of the story and then will be able to resume breaking new ground on new chapters by the end of the week. I look forward to getting some momentum going with that, to make some more rapid progress.
Best wishes to others as they work on their novels,