Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Breaking the Habit

Last year I achieved a total of 100K words. I would have loved that to have been one novel. It wasn't. I had a batch of novellas and shorts stories, written from scratch or finished off from the previous year. That's okay. Right now, I want to have several things out to increase my visibility. I plan to go back to writing novels next year.

But one of the longest projects from last year is also the freakiest. Freaky because it's a genre I'd never written and rarely read, with a paranormal creature I said I'd never write, and written in first person POV which in general I dislike reading. (The moral of this story is never say never, BTW). As if that wasn't enough reason for a meltdown, it also has a request on it from a publisher.

But aside from all that, the thing that bothers me most is the time scale. Now, I would love to write and publish more than I currently do. I try. But it never works out. Generally it takes me a year to eighteen months from the moment I put down the first words until I consider the work ready for submission (short stories being the exception - that's usually three months tops). The recent freaky WIP was written as part of NaNoWriMo, though that finished with the story at around 36K. As of last Friday, it's 46K. But because it had a request on it, rather than setting it aside once the original draft was complete and coming back to it, I've pushed ahead nonstop. Apart from working on a couple of short stories and finishing off an older project, I've been revising, editing, researching and rewriting this since November. That isn't how I normally work. And once I got close to submission, I freaked out. Because even though I've probably put as much, if not more effort and hours into this, it still feels I haven't spent enough time and love on it compared to all the others. Submitting a novella after just three months?! Inconceivable! Lol.

I *could* have spent another month on it. I'm not convinced that it would have been any more ready. On Friday I hit send, just three and a bit months after starting the story in November. The problem is I feel like I've now set myself a precedent. If I can produce one 46K novella in three months, then I should be able to do four a year. Or two 90K novels. I'd love to do that. However, with other things that are currently going on behind the scenes, I can't commit to that. Not this year. And it feels like I've done NaNoWriMo all over again by working solidly and intensely on the same piece all this time. I'm exhausted! Hence the lack of blogging (sorry!)
So now the freaky story has gone, I feel relieved instead of the usual anxiety over submissions. It's been such an obsession over the past few weeks to hone this story and have it right and out that now it's like I've been released, lol.

Have you ever had a project that was totally out of your comfort zone? One that made you question your sanity?

Pippa's Journal

Gethyon was accorded Most Awesome Psychic Talent in the recent SFR Galaxy Awards! Woot! With Keir winning Best May to September Romance last year, I'm proud to call myself a double SFR Galaxy Award winner. :) To check out the other awesome winners, please visit the awards site HERE.

 Also this month I have set a new record for myself. I currently have four different pieces out on submission. FOUR! I've had the same piece subbed out to two or three different places before, but never different works. Admittedly one is a novella to my editor for her professional opinion on whether it's worthy to self publish, but still. That's just as nerve-wracking. I also have two shorts scheduled for self publishing in October and November. The PNR is with my editor, while the SFR is due for completion this month alongside another I plan to release next year. Potentially I could have six pieces out over the next year. That's pretty mind-blowing. Of course, most of those I have no control over. Watch this space! (Update - actually, I got a rejection yesterday. But within a few hours I'd had a request on something else, so I am STILL on four submissions. Publishing is just crazy!).

Keir is still currently unavailable as I wait for the new contract from Kensington, but you still have until the 14th February to enter the giveaways for either a now rare print edition or my one remaining digital version HERE. There's also an ultra-rare print edition of Tales from the SFR Brigade to be won. In fact, right now you could win my entire backlist in one format or another. My YA SciFi Gethyon is part of a huge giveaway sponsored by Champagne Books HERE, and it comes as one of forty titles with a Kindle paperwhite. Plus you have one more day to enter a SciFi romance giveaway run by Lyn Brittan which includes my short story Terms & Conditions Apply HERE.

Breathless Press are running a critique session from the 14th-16th February. Feedback is always helpful, and the freaky story I submitted got a full request as part of a similar event they ran for NaNoWriMo.

The SFR Galaxy Award winners were announced at the end of January, and you can check them all out HERE.

You still have until the 14th February to submit to the special Women Destroy SF edition of Lightspeed Magazine. Go HERE for details. C'mon girls, let's blow them away!

Ping Pong
Bad Boys and Redeemable Heroes. Laurie and Donna, I'm with you. Even the most evil of villains has to have a shot of redemption, even if they prove their villainy by refusing to take it. A non-redeemable hero? No. To me, that's a contradiction. And it does entirely depend on the story and circumstances as to whether I forgive infidelity. I can't explain that without giving away one of my own upcoming plots. I'm anxious to see how people take it because I struggled with it myself. How much are people willing to forgive in a certain situation?

Watching Star Wars Revenge of the Sith made me change my feelings over Darth Vader as a redeemed character. When we only had the original trilogy we knew he was evil, and although I always felt he was a bit slow in leaping to Luke's defence at the end of ROTJ, I felt he'd earned his salvation. However, after knowing he killed younglings in the Jedi temple through the prequels, I now can't forgive him. That was one step too far for me (I still don't buy his reason for turning to the Dark Side anyhow, but that's another discussion).

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