So, beyond the inconveniences associated with sheltering in place and only making a weekly trip out for supplies, the COVID19 shutdown in Ontario has offered me the chance to catch up on a few things and even get ahead in certain areas of my life.
One of those is creative work.
I’ve written several times that I didn’t plan to do a lot of drafting of new material for the first half of 2020. There are too many things that are in various stages of editing that I need to get to readable so I can either publish independently or look for markets for.
The second piece of that is harder than the first these days. Aside from the natural market tightening when something society altering happens, a lot of the publishing industry still works at a very slow pace. It can be the work of months or years to place a novel with an agent or publisher and then months more before it’s actually published. I’m taking this route with a couple of “finished” novels in the background, so you won’t see a lot of progress there unless there’s something big to announce, so it looks like all my efforts are on the indie publishing side of things.
Since my last day of work before COVID made my industry a ghost town, I have made some significant progress there.
- “Mummy Powder” – 6.7k words that I could call either Dark Fantasy or Mild Horror
- “Trollsign” – 13,000 words of Urban Noir
- “Behind False Doors” – 8,300 words long and starring a vampire who takes a job as a high school night custodian
- “Natural Order” – 7.2k playing with the myth of the Green Man
- Hero’s Life – the second novel in my superhero trilogy
- “OCS Bound” – Star Trek TOS fan fiction starring Chief Kyle
- “Subsolar Whispers” – Star Trek TOS fan fiction starring Lieutenant Commander Uhura
Prepping/planned for publishing:
- The Undead – a collection of forty stories that range in length from just shy of 200 words to a little over 8,000 and total 100k of weird Fantasy and SF reading. In spite of the undead theme, there’s not a lot of horror here.
- Universal Destiny – the first book in what I’ve been referring to as the Lords of Creation trilogy. This is military SF set a few hundred years from now.
- “For Whom the Gnome Tolls” –
- “Common Ground” – a SF monster story. Sort of.
- “Bits of Metal and Footprints in the Dust” –
Progress in the background at novel-length
- Big Hair Day 2nd and 3rd – my first foray into Historical Fiction, a coming of age story set in the 1980s. The second draft (fixing the things identified in the revision notes phase) was the first project I dove into when I realized I was going to have a few weeks without work. The third draft, where I make sure everything says what I want it to say, is currently in progress and I hope to have it complete in another week or so. Sometimes, it’s a little slower going here as I need to make sure it ties to the real world 1980s and not just my memories.
- Warforge: Caledonia 2nd – a little more involved, my major editing project for April, spanning March 30th to April 25th. This is actually a set of three shorter novels that each stand well on their own, but together tell a larger story.
- A Matter of Honour 3rd – my second TOS fanfic novel, starring a young Lieutenant Chekov. As I did most of the dictation clean up in the second draft, this was actually pretty clean, so I blew through the third draft fairly quickly with really only minor touch ups overall.
- Fallen Heroes revision notes – this is the third book in the Heroes Inc. trilogy, and I’ll be moving into the true second draft as soon as I’ve finished the third draft of Big Hair Day. There are fewer things to adjust than I expected but a lot of dictation clean up, so this draft may not be quick.
- Strewn Across the Stars plotting – this is a sequel to something I’ll mention below. It’s probably the next thing to be drafted, but I don’t have a specific plan to start significant raw word production again yet. Still a huge amount of editing to do.
I actually have three novels I consider fully edited that I’m beginning to try to find more traditional publishing routes for
- Ancient Runes – SF set on a colony world a couple of thousand years from now with a thousand years of planned slow-growth stability and deliberately limited technological advancement, and an AI-driven conspiracy.
- Scattered On the Wind – near-ish future YA SF. Something on a colony world is slowly introducing mental health issues to the entire population of 50,000 colonists.
- Draugr Rising – Fantasy set in the world as we currently know it. A single dad recruited by the Norse gods to stop a necromancer from running amok.
And there’s where I’ve been spending my writing time for the last few weeks. While it’s a bit frustrating to outwait a pandemic, I’m grateful for the time I’m able to spend on creative endeavours.
Which I should probably get back to. Or maybe I should be doing yard work today since leaf pick up is tomorrow. We’ll see.
Stay safe and be well, everyone.by