Saturday, April 21, 2012

New work knocking at the door

I cut a couple more thousand words from the Frankenstein chapter, and it's now down to around 13,000 from almost 18,000. I'm about halfway done arranging it. Like a sculpture, I'm chiseling away the excess rock to hopefully reveal a swan underneath, but who the fuck knows. The problem is, the closer I get to making this one a story, the more the ideas for the next thing I'll be working on battle in my head for attention. And I've got a shitload of work left to do on this one. I need a pill for this.

Barbara's working on a suspense thriller, and I've offered to give her some crits on it. It's a cool, slick novel, and even though it's about Russians, who I don't particularly have a fondness for, critting it has me in the mood to write a suspense of my own, and I've got notes on two that I'm considering doing. On the other hand, I'd love to write an urban fantasy in the spirit of Charles de Lint, but I don't have a good solid idea for that as of yet.

Choosing what's next is simple for some people, particularly those who write fast. But for someone like me, who is the proverbial tortoise, the next project has to be right, because if the next one takes five years like this one did, then it may be my last because as much as I drink, I expect to die of liver disease at an early age. Okay, I kid, but the books I'll get to write while still of a relatively sane mind will be limited. I'd like to write ten, but there's no telling whether I'll get that much time.

On a different subject, I was going to post my strategy on naming characters, then I had a conversation with my good friend Marie Dees. Marie has a degree or maybe even a masters in writing (I can't remember for sure) and she's published a bunch of stuff the old fashioned way, not the do-it-yourself Indie plan. We were discussing a writer's website on which the writer gives lessons. I don't remember if she said the writer charged for them, but even if the writer doesn't, the advice given by amateurs like myself can do more harm than good sometimes. So I decided to put up this disclaimer instead: don't listen to anything I say. It's all bullshit. I don't know what I'm doing, and if you follow any of the advice I've given, you're a fucking moron.

There, I feel better. (The name post was going to be my best one, too. I guarantee it was going to change the way writers think about names, but now I'll keep it to myself.)

Seriously, most writers' blogs are for the benefit of their friends. Nobody in their right mind peruses blogs like this, unless they know the person writing them. Generally, they're diaries. Anyone who's seen Avatar remembers the scenes in which the MC records his thoughts for science and posterity. That's what this is. A record of milestones and bullshit, half of it so cryptic because I can't bring myself to show any words from the WIP until it's done, that the posts probably don't make sense.

I actually started blogging about ten years ago over on AOL Journals, or J-Land, as it was known. They've since nuked that part of their services since it wasn't bringing in any money. At the time, there were writers on there who weren't published yet, but have published since. One of those authors I befriended on there was John Scalzi, the very talented author who has since hit the NYT bestseller list with one or two of his sci-fi books. Scalzi's blog on J-Land was riot. Now his website is boring as shit, but it's well designed to promote his novels and book signings. There's an innocence lost I think once one is published. A hesitation to show prospective clients a seedier or more amateurish side. I think that's a shame. Presenting a controlled persona just doesn't float my boat. If I'm ever lucky enough to land an agent, it'll be one of the more interesting conversations I think I'll have with him/her. Is showing one's true colors detrimental to sales? I'd like to hear how that is.


  1. At least your blog posts are cohesive, Fred. I know I just waffle. But luckily you're right - only friends read them so I'm safe from some snazzy agent deciding I'm a moron.
    That chapter sounds like a book in itself! Funny thing the way my chapters sort of come out at the same length - yet my WIP they are all much shorter. I have no idea why. When I say short - I mean less than 3,000 words. Usually that would be a minimum length for me.

  2. A 13k chapter? *faints*

    Bah, blogs should be fun. Websites can do the selling, but I like a little personality from writers themselves.