Monthly Archives: November 2012

Doing what?

Well, I don’t do everything Kelly tells me. But I’ll do this, because it makes an easy post.

Plus, I doubt it will go well if I start riffing on the swimsuit thing…

1. What is the title of your book?

The current working title is- The First Alchemist

2. Where did the idea come from for the book?

I did about half of a short story about a virgin sacrifice to a dragon in a victorian setting. The story ended up not working out, but thinking about it lead to more ambitious things.

3. What genre does your book fall under?

Fantasy.

4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

If the contract allows me to choose the actors, I’ve signed with the wrong studio.

5. What is a one-sentence synopsis of the book?

Hmm. I’m not far enough along to have a good elevator pitch yet. Something along the lines of not fitting into the world, so they broke it. If I can make that work without seeming too goofily pretentious.

6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

It’s going to be published exclusively on my hard drive until it’s done.

7.  How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

Well it’s not done yet, so hard to say. Around six months, if everything goes like usual.

8. What other books would you compare this story to in your genre?

Let’s stay broad and just go with styles now– New Weird + Paranormal Romance + Epic Fantasy.

9.  Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I’ll blame Jaleigh and her “Try romance” comment. Although it’s not really romance anymore.
10. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Pirates, disease, evil elves, dragons and guns. What more do you want? Bestiality?

(Don’t worry, it’s very tastefully done of course.)

 

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Editing and swimsuits

In a few months I’ll be able to add “editor” to my credentials.

Well, I already can in my day job, but you know. Fiction editor.

I’m running the Library at the Origins Game Fair in 2013, and one of my responsibilities is assembling an anthology that includes all the Library’s participants. I’ve been writing professionally since 2006 and I’ve critiqued probably hundreds of stories for a variety of writers since then. But you know what? Turns out that editing is a different beast entirely than critiquing. When I agree to crit a story, it means a) the author knows me well enough to trust me with his work, b) I know the author well enough to be completely honest about said work, and c) there’s an unspoken agreement between us: I can suggest everything from tweaking a character’s motivation to massive, sweeping rewrites and he can ignore any or all of my suggestions. It’s sort of like swimsuit shopping with your friends; you trust them to not let you look like an idiot in public, and you promise you’ll do the same. They won’t let you walk out of the dressing room in a speedo and you won’t let them buy polka-dots.

Not so much with editing. By the time the story gets to me, it’s been through the wringer. It’s been written, rewritten, self-edited, and passed through a few crit partners. In an ideal world, by the time a story gets to me, it’s the best an author can do. My job’s not to change their story; my job as an editor is to strengthen the story while maintaining their vision. They’re wearing the cutest fucking swimsuit in the whole store, the one that flatters them the most, the one that makes them look spectacular. It’s not my job to tell them they should have stayed away from orange or that maybe, just maybe, a one-piece would be a better idea than a string bikini. My job is to take that swimsuit to the next level. Yeah, they look good. I try to make them look better … while staying out of the way. Suggest a new phrasing here. Change up the punctuation here. Point out a section or concept I want strengthened or tightened. I don’t tell them they can’t wear a bikini. I tell them the waistband on their bottoms needs to come up an inch and the straps should be tied like a halter.

It’s a fine line to walk. I’m looking forward to working on my balance in the coming years.

;

;

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Current project meme

Kelly gave us homework. I do everything she tells me to, so:

1. What is the title of your book?

Out of Time

2. Where did the idea come from for the book?

I think it started when I was wondering what you do if you live in a world where nearly everyone has magic and an evil sorcerer steals yours. Also, huge, old university libraries.

3. What genre does your book fall under?

The best one–secondary world fantasy.

4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Good ones. Seriously, I don’t watch much tv or see many movies, and I rarely recognize an actor in a new role.

5. What is a one-sentence synopsis of the book?

While I enjoy writing blurb type things, the short summary I have right now is to help me write it, rather than market it, and I don’t want to share. Ask again next year.

6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

With luck, represented by an agency.

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

About 4.5 months so far. I’ve probably got another 4-6 weeks to go. I have a bad habit of taking long breaks to work on short stories. *looks innocently at this week’s plan*

8. What other books would you compare this story to in your genre?

Have to admit I haven’t done the research on that yet. I’m good at pointing out how it’s different from other books. No quests or enigmatic old wizards who could solve a lot of problems if they’d just spit out everything they know.

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?

For me that’s the same as question 2.

10. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Magical laboratories! Romance! Secrets! Complicated spells that go wrong in the worst way!

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What I’m up to now

I promised a response to Kelly, who tagged me in “The Next Big Thing” meme, so here goes.

1. What is the title of your book?

It’s been “that YA steampunk book I’m working on” for so long, it’s hard not to think of that as the title.  😉

2. Where did the idea come from for the book?

I think it came from me wondering where all the lost and forgotten things from our world (or other worlds) end up.

3. What genre does your book fall under?

Young adult second-world steampunk fantasy.

4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

I’ll leave that to the casting director.

5. What is a one-sentence synopsis of the book?

A sixteen-year-old scrapper discovers that her gift for fixing machines may be the only thing that can save her best friend.

6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Hopefully represented by an agency.

7.  How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

About four months.

8. What other books would you compare this story to in your genre?

The adventure elements may appeal to fans of Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan series.

9.  Who or what inspired you to write this book?

My protagonist.  Once I had her in my head, I had to write her story.

10. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

There are trains, and sky raiders, and poisonous dust…and some kissing.

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What I want

Caught between a con and a turkey coma, I’m just going to say this–

If I could write something as cool as that song, I would be very happy.

 

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Thankful

It’s been a good year. I have a lot to be thankful for. In no particular order:
* Today isn’t Monday
* I’m healthy and fit enough to do anything I want, as long as I don’t want to drink caffeine or finish better than the last couple of places in any given sports competition
* No traveling for Thanksgiving
* Living in this day and age gives me so many opportunities for learning about writing, meeting other writers, etc.
* Being an adult means I can do things I utterly suck at and no one tells me to quit
* My wonderful crit group

I could make this list longer, but then I’d be late for work. Happy Thanksgiving!

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Turkey ‘n stuff

It’s Thanksgiving this week, and though I don’t really have a blog post, I do have a couple of dinners to attend, my birthday to celebrate, a book to continue promoting (Spider and Stone on sale now!), a convention to go to with Chambanacon being on the 23-25th, and probably Christmas decorations to eventually put up.  I turned my back for one second and bam! the holidays are here.

Everyone have a safe and satisfying Turkey Day if you’re celebrating, and tune in next Monday when I answer Kelly’s meme with details on my “Next Big Thing.”

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