Monday, September 11, 2006

Goals and projects

Hey All,

I find that occasionally stating my goals helps me get more accomplished, especially if I put them up someplace public. So, here goes.

Front and center:

My current project is a historical fantasy trilogy set in an alternate World War II with most of the action of the first two books set in Edinburgh and the third traveling from there to Dachau. It's quite dark and it's YA. The Black School which is the first of them is my second YA novel so far, as cracking the YA market is my next major goal. I'm hoping to knock off six thousand or so words of that in the next couple of days. I'm really excited about this one.

Running Second:

Submission Novels: This is the stuff that's out looking for a home or waiting for a response, any of which could become my main project with no warning. That includes Cybermancy, the WebMage sequel, contracted and handed in but as yet unread by my editor. The Urbana and Uriel, both being held by my editor for further consideration. Winter of Discontent, out with another editor. Numismancer, likewise. And Chalice: Artbreak, the aforementioned other YA, on the desk of my agent who plans to get it in the mail shortly.

Complete Shorts: At the moment I've got exactly zero short stories out and I need to fix that, so some time in the next month or two I need to sit down, re-read all my shorts, make some adjustments, and figure out who might be interested in what. I'd like to have at least ten stories back in the mail by the end of October.

Unfinished Shorts: I've got about six shorts that need to be completed or rewritten, but I have no idea when I'm going to find the time.

Unfinished Novels: I have a several chapters of a contemporary fantasy novel, Outside In (a secret history of architecture), sitting and waiting for me to get back to it. Likewise a mystery, Ave Caesar, which is supposed to be the first of series of light murder mysteries set in theater and film productions with an actor as the detective.

Trunk Novels: Apprentice Assassin, book I of the Assassin Mage trilogy (written three years before the appearance of the Robin Hobb book of similar title and bearing no resemblance to same). This one is awaiting a rewrite to convert it from a high fantasy general market book into a YA and is my lowest priority at the moment since it's the first of a trilogy I'm not up for finishing at the moment. The Swine Prince, a high fantasy farce that's ninety percent rewritten. It just needs a new first three chapters to get it out the door, so maybe ten days worth of work counting reread and rewrite. I'm hoping to get to that one within the next year so it will stop giving me guilt-inducing looks whenever I pass it in my files.

What are y'all working on? What do you hope to get done soon? What's sitting in your trunk making rude noises and inducing writer's guilt?


Erik Buchanan said...

Not a member of the group, but just so you know you're not alone in having much to do...

Waiting for Small Magics (fantasy novel to be published by Dragon Moon Press 2007) to come back from editor for one last draft before heading in to the publisher.

Cold Magics (sequel) half-written, needs to get finished. DMP already expressing interest (yay). Got put aside to do editing for Small Magics (not enough hours in the day for both) and will get picked up as soon as the other is wrapped up.

The King Below (fantasy novel) is written and needs a rewrite. The story is good but now it is time to flush out all the little details and correct the technical mistakes on the archeology sections and build consistency and individuality in all the characters, etc. (you know, the usual thing)

Have to finish an adaptation of a 19th century novel for the stage (last draft before workshopping).

Have a pantomime that needs to get written for next Christmas season (which means ASAP if we're going to find backers).

Have to figure out the premise for my next novel once Cold Magics is finished.

And that's what I'm up to.

Kelly McCullough said...

Cool. Sounds like a good sort of busy. And, we're always open to comments from anyone who stops by.

Anonymous said...

On the advice of a couple of Wyrdsmiths, I am "not" working on novels at the moment, instead focusing on writing short stories--the "short" element of which seems to be eluding me, for the most part. I'm shopping "UnderMind" and "Cloverleaf One" at the moment, and I've got a few others in the works, half-written, or in for Wyrdsmiths review, etc. I've got to find time, along about November, to rewrite "The Seduction of Ashtonville" and get that out, too.

Novels, though, are my primary form, and of the ones I am "not" working on at the moment, I am working on Magi, a rewriting of the magical nature of Jesus's life and miracles; Glimmerfolk, a modern fantasy of lightning beings who get "stuck" in people when they accidentally strike them, thereby imparting various abilities and powers to those people; and The Mendarin Revolution, first in a classic SF trilogy about a group of people who become psychic, and how they stop a subtle coup from happening in the moments it is about to suceed.

Trunk novels would include The Life of Sylvi, which I had started to rewrite and then decided to hold off for a while for other projects (this still gives me a doleful glance from time to time), and Children of Adelin, a high fantasy about the differing nature of sorcery (emotive) and wizardry (intellectual), a la Guy Gavriel Kay.

There are plenty of other book ideas I've got stashed away here and there, including some plot outlines, but that's all I've got going at the moment.

Stephanie Zvan said...

Boy, there's a topic to inspire a very short comment and a return to work.

On the front burner is In the Shadow of the Mountain, a YA science fiction novel (my first, gulp) with two stories about kids living at the base of the same volcano, linked by the only kind of time-travel device that Kelly would approve of--one that isn't. About 40% done and obsessing me completely.

On the back burner are 4 or 5 short stories that need non-major rewrites. Once those are done, I need to get them somewhere for editors to look at. I need to go through my backlog of unsold stories, because I've apparently hit another breakthrough in my writing and I can no longer stand the language in most of them. Then they go out.

I also have a stack of stories to be critiqued for a friend that suddenly sound as though they need to move way up on my priority list.

Kelly McCullough said...

Steph, I wouldn't bump them too high just yet. I've a suspicion that ambition and actuality may take a while to meet up.

Anonymous said...

Scraping, sanding repainting all the interior doors.
Replace missing shingles on roof.
Install base shoe in kitchen.
Paint kitchen/sunroom.
Mow lawn.
Get squirrel nest out of interior cavity of our porch roof.
Patch hole in fascia chewed by squirrel to access nest in porch roof.
Replace broken storm window left in garage since I broke it throwing a snowball at the fucking squirrel living in our porch roof.

...uhh? Did you mean writing projects?

Writing goal is to ignore all the above and write every day. That's working pretty good for me. I'm just about done with a series of shorts called "101 things to do with a dead squirrel." It's epic fantasy.

oh yeah, and I should have a novel done by year-end.

Dave HD

Anonymous said...

Wow I am impressed with the long lists of projects!

I have to finish editing my first novel and get back to throwing words at the pages of my second novel to see if they stick(writing temporarily derailed by minor surgery. Ow.) I wouldn't know what to do with a dozen projects piled up around me.

Kelly McCullough said...

Steph, haven't gotten to Shadow yet, but am hoping to sometime tomorrow.

Dave, glad to hear the novel's going to be done by the end of the year. I'm really looking forward to reading the rest of it.

Muneraven, sounds like you're going great. I'd really rather not have quite so much in the air at the moment. Unfortunately, it took me a fair bit of start-up time to get that first book sold and things kind of piled up.

Erik Buchanan said...

On the advice of a couple of Wyrdsmiths, I am "not" working on novels at the moment, instead focusing on writing short stories--

It's funny, I have never been big on writing short stories. I mean, I've done a few, and I even have a rejection slip for one somewhere, but I found that the novel was my perferred format, with ventures into theatre on occasion.

On some other posting, I'd like to hear the reasons why it was suggested you work on your short stories.

And now, back to...


(Yeah, I know I should be writing but I'm treasurer of a not-for-profit and the AGM is coming up. Sigh)