Friday, September 28, 2012

Order of Operations

So I'm in the middle of first-drafting a sci fi series, and I'm pretty sure it's going to end up being five or six books.  Each book is a romance, so each book features a different couple.  Some of the characters are secondary characters introduced in earlier books, and some of them are entirely new, and each book is complete, in terms of the romance.  There is a definite over-arching sci fi plotline that moves forward with each book, but I don't intend to leave any of the books on a cliff-hanger ending (because as a reader, I really hate having to wait months or even years for the next installment). 

And what I'm trying to figure out is whether or not it's best to first draft the entire series before trying to revise anything, or if I should be trying to draft a book and rewrite/edit the previous book at the same time, or if I should work on one book at a time, alternating between first drafting and rewriting. 

One thing I do know is that I can't do a first draft of one thing and a second draft of something else at the same time.  I tend to get so focused on the first draft that it's really hard to switch gears.  And if the two stories are in the same universe, it's hard to pull my head completely out of one and focus on the other, and keep all my facts and histories straight.

So I really think I should do one thing at a time, and my gut feeling is that I probably ought to first draft the whole dang thing before I invest too much time in revising, because I might come up with some fantastic idea for book 5 that requires some groundwork to be laid in book 1.

Unfortunately, the part of my Brain that tries (with varying degrees of success) to keep me organized and on track is now looking down at me with those ridiculous glasses perched precariously at the tip of its nose, and I'm trying really hard not to laugh as it asks me if this is just another example of Creative Procrastination.  Because, you know, if I don't ever finish anything, I don't have to submit anything, thus avoiding rejection, devastation, and feelings of inadequacy.

"Why, no," I say earnestly.  "If this was Creative Procrastination, I would be researching the mating habits of the stick insect, or hopping in the car for a trip to my favorite yarn shop, or scrubbing the toilet with a toothbrush (not mine, of course), or scouring the mall in search of Shiny Things with which to decorate The Swamp."

Neither of us is really satisfied with this answer, but I suppose time will tell.  For now, as long as the creative fire is burning so brightly, I will dig in and take the first drafts as far as I can.  Then, we shall see. 

The good thing about this venture is that I'm not actually under any sort of financial pressure—Husband Beast is doing well enough that we are able to pay the bills and there's even enough left over for pizza and beer now and then.  And books.  There must always be books.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Why Write Slash (M/M) Stories?

Back in January of 2011, a couple of guys from a fantasy world that exists only in my imagination came storming into The Swamp and demanded that I write their story.  They were very loud and very insistent, and the things they said painted vivid pictures in my mind. 

So I dropped everything.  Well—everything I could—laundry and cooking cannot simply be dropped, as that sort of wanton irresponsibility sparks snarky comments at best, and full scale riots at worst.  (Ask me how I know.)  I wrote every day from mid-January to mid-May, and eventually, I had something I could call a first draft.

But there was something wrong with it.  The romance element I'd wanted was completely missing. I'd been trying throughout the writing process to find a romantic interest for my viewpoint character.  I auditioned a number of female characters, from warriors to wizards to tavern wenches, wrote a bunch of scenes trying to get the romance going, but my main character refused to cooperate, and I couldn't make any of them work.  He just wasn't interested. 

And then it occurred to me why.  He didn't want any of that.  He wanted his best friend, the guy who had taught him sword-play, and taught him how to survive in the world he'd been thrown into.  So I wrote a few scenes to that end. 

And it worked.  The chemistry between the two guys was amazing, and the scenes practically wrote themselves (doesn't happen that often, but it's a kicker when it does). 

And once that happened, oh, man, you should have seen the party that went on in my head when they realized that I was going to let them have what they'd been wanting all along.  So I rewrote the whole thing, working that romance between the two guys into the plot, and I love the way the relationship slowly develops through the story from strangers to best friends to lovers and life partners.     

So I guess the easy answer to the question "Why Write Slash Stories?" is that my characters made me do it.  But the other answer is that I really like it, and after drafting two more novels (the start of a sci fi series) and getting the first one ready to submit, I think I've finally found my niche and my passion. 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Some Random Things About the Swamp

  1. I'm not really sure why I'm here, except it has something to do with big scary things like Marketing and Publicity and Putting Myself Out There.
  2. I have sort of a short attention span for stuff like this.
  3. No, really, it scares the crap out of me sounds about as much fun as a tax audit like it could be horizon broadening good to put on a resume...
  4. And I can't tell you about the series of novels I'm working on because I will go on and on and on about it and then there won't be any reason for anyone to buy it.
  5. But I can tell you it has a bunch of hot guys who have the hots for each other in it, and some swords and some magic and some space ships and some guns...
  6. And my mother would Definitely Not Approve.
  7. And there's a cat in it.
  8. But I can't tell you about that.
  9. But I can tell you about writing... and that might be fun, because I can go on and on and on about that until someone shoots me...
  10. So maybe it'll be mostly about that.
  11. And if I'm going to the grocery store, I'll let y'all know so you can follow me around and ask for autographs.
  12. I'll wear my mink stole so you'll recognize me.  You know, the one with the fluffy tail and the beady glass eyes and the tiny sharp teeth and the little pink tongue hanging out?
  13. Yeah, that one.
  14. Is this thing turned on?  Can anybody hear me?
  15. ...ooh, look... shiny things...

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Dragged, Kicking and Screaming, into the Tech

Welcome to The Swamp, which is where I will blog about writing and publishing attempting to publish and all that good stuff, because, apparently, in order to be viewed as a success at my chosen passion, I have to be tech-savvy and put it out there.  Which is totally not easy for a small creature that is shy and introverted, and spends most of its time hiding out in a dark corner of The Swamp cutting funky shapes out of coloured construction paper with a pair of dull scissors. 

But here I am anyway. 

The Scribbling is the passion here, and has been for a really long time, like, since I was five and announced to my bemused mother that I wanted to be an "arthur".  Little did we know, this was not just a passing fancy.  Apparently, it is an obsession, an affliction, and a life calling, all in one neat little package.  Unfortunately, it has thus far not paid the mortgage.  Not even close.  But we're about to have a go at changing that. 

Which is why we are here, sitting at the keyboard and trying to figure out why the world would even care about The Swamp and the scissors and the construction paper, or any of the people in my head, who, even though they are mostly really cool, still don't think I am interesting enough to invite to their parties.