Tag Archives: novel

Insomniatic Writings

Insomniatic Writings (click to enlarge)

So Mary Robinette Kowal posted about her writing space and asked about ours and C.N.Holmberg posted about the need for writers to meditate and ponder over their stories. So I thought I’d share my most recent write-space and meditation time:  In bed, in the dark, at an insomniatic (I know that’s not a word but work with me*) hour. Anywhere between 2 and 5 AM.   I went to bed at 9:30 because I was so absolutely dead.  This time I was able to use my insomniatic hours relatively well.  I have 7 of the above pages with “ahah!” moments of plot coming together for both my novel and my short story and bits of dialogue. The above is dialogue between three characters. Ajige, Red Dog, and Ilha.

Well, I thought it was funny. :p  (Also, note the misspelling. D’oh!)

Anyway! I’m going to pass the question along for those who want to play the game. Where do you write?

– – –

*It’s a replacement for “ungodly” since I don’t think there are “ungodly” hours, though insomniatic ones are surely on the top of the list.



Yes, I updated The Storybox again.  This time with a historical fiction novel idea that has been popping in and out of my head since 2007.  I figured I now have a good reason to take it seriously. I won’t go into all the details about why, but there you have it.  I have officially added “historical fiction sans fantasie” to my list of genres I write in.  Oh? You didn’t know I write historical fiction without fantastic elements? Well, I do! Just not very often.

I also updated The Storybox with a brief description of what my as-of-yet-coolly-unnamed Armenian fantasy will be about.

The thing is, The Storybox isn’t even a complete list of all the things swarming my head, either.  I printed out the book I translated in 2008 and I’m currently working on English-to-English edits, also.  It’s going really well, and it’s remarkably fun, now that the stress of deadlines  is long past.  I’m hoping to finish this batch of edits before I get to Utah where I have the rest of my materials.  There I’ll compare these edits with my French-to-English edits, the original manuscript, and… Okay, so this is the wrong audience for translation talk, so I’ll spare you.  I do have hopes to publish it, though.

In any case, for my own sake, I need to organize the chaos of storylines and characters clawing for my attention.  Pretend I’m in the principal’s office with a gaggle of wayward children.

So! THE WITCH’S TOWER and OF GODS & WITCHES are set in the same world and are highly interconnected.  It’d be to my advantage to write them one after another and do the final edits at the same time.   Each can stand alone, however, so it won’t hurt to try to publish either of them separately.  Doing them together has some disadvantages: namely it pushes back potential publication of the first one.  But it has the great advantage of cohesion and gives me a greater flex time for potential editor-deadlines. I really hate deadlines with CFS.

Otherwise, of everything and everyone bustling about in my head, THE WITCH’S TOWER, OF GODS & WITCHES, and OTHERSIDE have the most meta-work and progress done on them, so they’re easiest to finish.  My sister also keeps wondering when I’ll get back to finishing OTHERSIDE. (I agree, I absolutely love the story!)

ARMENIAN TALE and THE SCHEMER I’m a little worried about because ARMENIAN TALE depends largely on my ability to remember a lot of details about my year living in Armenia, so I need to do it fairly soon.  THE SCHEMER depends on my French and French history&culture knowledge, so it also is time- and memory-sensitive.

You see the chaos’ whyfor, don’t you.  I can’t possibly write four novels at once.   To combat my failing memory, I’ve written a 5k document on Armenian culture…which still barely scratches the surface, of course, but I’m chipping away at it. But that can’t make up for the feel or memory of something.

I’m also tentatively considering a non-fiction project.

Not to mention all my short story ideas. Oy! Ah! Crowded! Spinning! Can’t think!

So! Order to chaos, here we go:

  1. Priority #1 – Finish THE WITCH’S TOWER. Remember? You need to finish something first!  And the natural act of finishing this project will mean that its prequel will get more work done on it, as well.
  2. Finish The Harvest Mask before October 1st.
  3. Finish English-English edits for ANDROMEDA.
  4. Tell all the other characters and stories to wait their turn, like well-behaved children.

See, self? Work on finishing what you’ve started before starting lots of other new shiny projects!

News! And some long-term goals

As of last week–Two things of import!

  1. Meg and I have decided we’re going to WorldCon together in August. Woot! The timing and location work out really well, so I think it’s a go!
  2. My novel THE WITCH’S TOWER now has an ending I’m happy with!  I’m also passed my block of uncertainty on what should happen in the upcoming scenes. All because of insomnia.  Sometimes unpleasant things have good outcomes.

So! Anyone else going to WorldCon this year?

Other than that, I’ve been thinking about long-term goals recently. Using spreadsheets, I’ve mapped out the next months until the end of the year.

I still really want to have THE WITCH’S TOWER done by the end of July. That will hopefully give me enough time to fix the chapters I wrote without all the backstory I now know  and will give me about a month’s leeway before WorldCon at the end of August.  I’m penciling in September as a month of edits as well, and we’ll reevaluate from there.

I also have decided I want to write a short story, novelette, or novella every month.  The novel comes first in priority, of course, but it’s nice having a side project to take breaks on.  Also, I think it is a nice pace to go on, considering the short story writing markets’ typical response times. I’m going to stay organized and I’m going to keep my stories on submission. They don’t do any good just sitting on my hard drive, and even if they’re getting rejected–at least someone besides me is reading them!

As for the e-book publishing world vs. the traditional publishing world question, after much inward debating, I’ve decided that I still love Tor-Forge and DAW books too much not to try to become a part of their book community.  You don’t need an agent to submit to them, either, so I will definitely make submitting to them and doing my best to present myself and my novels well to them a top priority.

There are a few more things I should mention about possible projects in the future.  When I get to Utah, perhaps in July, a couple of things will happen. First, I will have my Maze of Mirrors script again, so that will add itself to my projects.  Second, I will have access to all of my translation materials and resources–including Pierre Corneille’s machine play Andromède, which I translated and compiled in 2008.  I am still hoping to review it, edit it some more, translate some additional materials and try to get it published.  We will see if I can end up publishing it traditionally…but really there is not a huge market for translated books in America that aren’t somehow textbook related.  Now I am beginning to wonder if I can’t release it as an e-book for the Kindle or Nook, etc.  There might be a market for it? If only as a sort of curiosity piece?  It really is a brilliant play, and I did a poetry to prose translation so it’s more approachable and I don’t think my writing is half bad, either.  My good friend and artist Niki Smith has already done the cover art for it and she did a gorgeous job with the design.

Other goals include going to ComicCon or TCAF next year. I’ve decided. I love art so, so much. And really, I can’t stay broke forever. New adventures must be had!

So long, folks! This entry brought to you by randomosity!

Short stories, novellas, hmmm thinking aloud

So, I have lots of story ideas swimming around in my muddy, murky mind.  One thing I am noticing about CFS is that I have a really hard time holding onto big pictures and keeping details in my head, problem-solving and…just a lot of things that make it difficult to work on something novel-sized.   Even outlining I forget what I’ve outlined.

So I’m considering readapting my writing schedule a bit, and cutting down on the scope of things.  In other words, just writing short stories and novellas for a while.  I hit 12k on one project and am finding even its size a bit discouraging.

So I’m going to babble about projects and goals to adapt to this. The ones in bold are what I’m currently writing.  List of short stories/novellas goes like this –

  • The Ghost of Heaven’s Garden. 1k. Finished & edited twice through.
  • A Cautionary Tale of Love and War. 12k & ongoing.
  • Aji Dobi: Little Fox.  (Idea stage.) Possible prequel story to The Harvest Mask, set hundreds of years into the past. The story of a little farm girl among the Hu people who becomes a famous historical figure.
  • The Harvest Mask. (Planning & research stage, adapted from novel-size) About Iris, a slave girl who stops a political coup set in an alternate Manchurian China.
  • The Miller’s Daughter. 1k & ongoing.  About a girl who is confronted with a whole new future and chooses love instead.  DUE as a GreyJournal prompt on April 10!
  • Armenian Tale. (planning & research stage.)  – I’m adapting this novel to novella size, as well.

I think…these are enough short stories to work on. Lol.  I still feel THE WITCH’S TOWER novel hanging on me.  I do want to finish it, but I’m not sure if it’d be the most productive project to work on, considering the things I’m struggling with.  I mean, I do rather feel guilty? Because I have 3 novels started but unfinished.

So…how’s this for goals?

  1. Daily writing goal: 500-1k words.  But more realistically, spend ONE HOUR at least each day. So that includes days I need for brainstorming and research.
  2. I’m allowed to alternate between ONE short story and ONE novel.  For sake of variety and if I get stuck on something.  For now, A Cautionary Tale of Love and War counts as a novel because it’s an interior story in one.
  3. Finish The Miller’s Daughter by April 10. Finish A Cautionary Tale of Love and War by the end of May.

(x-posted from TheGreyJournal)