getting the momentum rolling

Keep an eye out for some changes coming up soon.

The first round of critiques is done on the short story, and we’re all hard at work doing our first revisions based on the suggestions we received.  I got a lot of great feedback from the guys in my group which is going to make my story better.  Now I’m in the process of trying to work it all in.  In addition to going back to add some extra description or to fix some logical errors, I’ve got a couple of scenes which I need to completely rework.  One of them just needs to be rewritten to fix the flow.  The other is going to involve a fairly extensive change to the actual story line.

The whole theme of the story is sacrifice.  I thought I could write a story about it without actually having to do it, but it’s just not working.  Several of my reviewers picked up on it, and I think I’m going to have to kill one of my darlings.  I actually listened to a Writing Excuses podcast about that once, and I thought I wouldn’t have a problem with doing it (for those interested, you can listen to it here).  Evidently I do.  It’s harder than you think to kill off a character that you’ve created and invested time with.  I know them all, and even the bad guys are important to me.  So, to kill a good one is, well, tough.

As an aside, if you haven’t listened to the Writing Excuses podcast, you really should.  Brandon Sanderson, Howard Tayler, Dan Wells and Mary Robinette Kowal (recent addition) are all well-established authors who give outstanding practical writing advice.  I’m guessing that if you’re a wannabe writer like me, you’ve heard of them.  But if not, give it a go.  You’ll be glad you did.  Most, if not all, of their past episodes are available to listen to on the website, and the last couple seasons are available for download directly from iTunes.

Getting back on track, I’m excited to give this a good solid revision.  I think I’ll probably add several thousand words to my story which will be welcome because it currently sits at just under 11,000 words.  I wanted to be closer to the 13,000 – 15,000 range.  The longest story of the group is in at about 18,000+ which is long, but the story was very good.

All in all, the stories which have been submitted are all great.  I am fortunate to be grouped with the writers I am because they all bring a great aspect to the group.  The anthology is going to be outstanding.  I can’t wait until we get closer to release.

I’m still trying to decide what to name the story.  I don’t have any front-runners right now.  I’m also trying to decide whether I’m going to publish it under my real name or whether I’m going to use a pseudo.  I wonder if it would be too presumptuous to use something like: “Supreme Commander,” or “Greatest Author Ever.”  I’ll have to mull that over a little more.  🙂

Check back for more updates.  I’m hoping to have some more for you soon.  I’m also hoping to have some more blog posts up on a more consistent basis.

new project!

One of the online writing groups I’m a member of has decided to put together a short story anthology and e-publish it.  The short stories will all be fantasy based and follow a freedom/sacrifice theme.

I’m excited about the project but a little nervous.  I’ve never really written short stories before.  In my epic fantasy I’m already having a hard time figuring out what to cut because the story is on track to be far too long.  With the short story I only have 15,000 words.  But, it’ll give us all a chance to experiment a bit with the e-pub marketplace and gain a little experience and exposure along the way.

I’m still trying to decide if I’m going to write under my real name or use a pseudonym for this first foray into the publishing world.  We’ll see.  Any thoughts?

In any event, I’ve been percolating on an idea for a while and started writing today.  It took a drastically different direction from what I thought I was going to do, but I quite like it.  Keep an eye on the progress bar on the home page.  Those numbers should increase rapidly.  And, hopefully, now that I’m getting back into the swing of things, once this project is complete I’ll just refocus my writing momentum back to Moonstones.

In the meantime, the working title of the short story is “Operation Sacrifice.”  I have NO idea what I’ll call it when it’s done.

More to come soon!

JSE