Writing Report, July 2016

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photo_2164_20070217It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these (or a blog post at all, actually – I should fix that), but now that I’ve moved back into a writing groove, I remember these were a good way to keep me updated and honest. If no one else reads these posts, it doesn’t change anything, and it really doesn’t matter.

My efforts are still a bit scattered, though I have definite targets, just a lot of them. The idea right now is that I’m mostly picking up stories and threads I’ve already started and finishing or polishing them. There are some new things intruding, especially in the short fiction area, and that’s okay, too.

 

Novel-Length Fiction

Drafting: Heros Life, 16,069 words

This is a sequel to a story I first drafted way back in late 2008, Heroes Inc.. It’s outlined to the chapter level and I started working on it longhand even before I finished the outline. Picking up the narrative a year after the first one ends, and the hero in question is way too secure in his abilities.

Revision Notes: Arena

This was my NaNoWriMo project in 2010, and when I opened it up this month to have a look it, the prose didn’t read nearly as badly as it should have, and the story isn’t nearly as broken as I remember. It’s also not nearly as exciting. Fixing the broken is second draft, though. Exciting and pretty is for third. I finished the revision notes for this on the last day of the month, and I’ve decided I’m going to try making it work.

Second Draft: Universal Destiny

A novel length story I drafted in 2013 and promptly set aside as too horrible for human eyes. The story itself, while having some internal consistency and timing issues, actually seems to work okay. Lots of revision notes, but most of them easy fixes. I started the second draft a few days before the end of June and hope to finish it by the middle of August. The second draft has added 6,000 words so far, most of them in July.

 

Short Fiction

I wrote six stories from scratch this month, all for the Undead Project, and using five different species of corporeal undead. They range in length from an 855-word flash piece to a 2644-word short. Simple ideas, mostly. Slightly (or very) different treatments of traditional undead.

Also one story picking up a previous idea. Two-thirds finished when I picked it up, with just the in between scenes to write (which makes more sense if you read the story), the first draft of “Life’s Advocate” finished at 3820 words.

No submissions this month, but they’re on the list.

 

Year of Trek Fiction

Yes, I’m trying to revive this, though in slightly altered form. Picked up my outline for the novelette featuring Scotty, and while I still like the concept, there’s not enough there to break 7,500 words, so I’m trimming it back a bit. Edited, it’s probably going to break 4k, but not get too much over than that.

 

Other Writing

A handful of reviews and a little bit of poetry transcription makes for another 6,031 words. And I’m behind on both.

 

Total for the Month

Counting word count changes due to editing, the total for the month comes to 43,561 words for July, not at all bad for my first full month back in the saddle. Are the all good words? By no means, but I think I’ve mostly put them in at least a half-decent order. And I think the order will improve over time in most cases.

Goals for August:

  1. Heros Life: looking for about 30,000 words here, which will probably put me somewhere past the ¾ mark of the story overall.
  2. Universal Destiny: second draft complete, at which point I’ll put it away for a couple of weeks before starting on the Make it Pretty draft.
  3. Arena: if time allows, I intend to start the second draft here, though I doubt I’ll get even a quarter of the way through the story.
  4. Shrine: this is the sequel to Arena, and the second in what I envision as a quartet of stories. I have the basic plot concept, but it needs a lot of fleshing out before I can write it. August will, hopefully, see some of that fleshing out. It won’t surprise me if I start the first chapter or two long hand before I finish the actual plotting. That’s what I did with Heros Life in June.
  5. 15,000 words or so of short fiction, mostly on the Undead, but there are a few other incomplete stories I’d like to turn into complete ones, and perhaps a little Star Trek fanfic in here, too.

Sounds like a lot, but I want to push my writing into a career, and I’m not getting younger.

For the rest of the year, the plan is intense. Working through completion levels from Final Read Through down to basic outline:

Read through complete for Heroes Inc, Skip to My Luu, and Graceland.

Final Draft: none expected.

Third drafts complete for: Arena, and Universal Destiny.

Second draft complete for: Scattered on the Wind. This was my NaNoWriMo project in 2014, and I think it’s got a lot of potential, if I can fix all of the broken things in it.

Revision notes complete for Heros Life and Draugr Rising.

First draft complete for Shrine and all stories for The Undead.

Plotting: Fallen Heroes. This is the third book in the Hero Trilogy. I already have the ending in mind.

Basic Outline: story ideas for Speculative Emotion.

Yes, I’m crazy. But it’s a combination of finishing old work and starting new, and the plan is what I need. How much I actually accomplish will depend on a lot of things, but it will be more in any case than if I had no plan.

Be well, everyone.

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Lance
Lance Schonberg is an eclectic genre fiction author with more than two dozen stories published or on the way. 2019 is the year he dives into independent publishing, starting with "Thorvald's Wyrd", "Skip To My Luu", and "Turn the World Around". And he needs a more exciting short bio.

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