Sunday, November 29, 2009

Adding muscle and bone.

I've been relatively quiet this month due to intense work, but I'm feeling very good about it.

Thorn of Dentonhill has gone from a light-weight 70,000 words to a lean-but-strong fighting weight of 90,000. I feel pretty good about the additions.

I should probably give it a read-through for spelling, grammar, making sure I didn't screw up the timeline, etc. But that's not the point. The point is I got the task done. And I'm pretty damn proud of that.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

I've quite pleased with how the expansion of Thorn of Dentonhill is going. So far I've found a lot of good things to mine for new material. I'm also over halfway to my final goal, and with any luck I'll be done with the rough draft of it by the end of the month.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I took a brief respite from my add-20k-to-Thorn of Dentonhill project to write a ten-minute play over the weekend for Austin Scriptworks. I've been a frequent participant in the 10-Minute Play Weekend Fling... in fact, I think I'm the most frequent participant. Over the years I've done it nine times, missing only the first two (before I was a Scriptworks member) and in 2005 when the project was to do a five-minute radio script instead of a ten-minute play. Of my previous eight scripts, five were chosen for the showcase production: Last Train Out of Illinois (which I still hope to expand into a full-length show someday), Freaks of Nature and Acts of God (what I would consider the weakest of my "winning" scripts), Danger Girl's Night Off (a personal favorite, and soon to be made into a short film by a friend of mine), Hourglass (my wife's favorite) and Ten Minutes Ago.

This year's entry, "The Q"... it's hard to gauge it off the bat, since I'm still "close" to it. But I like it, and I'd certainly put it up there with the two most recent as a strong piece.

But we'll see in February or so if it's chosen.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Writing as a business

Last week, in one of my writers' groups, one of the members railed against the nature of the two-book deal. His complaints were not along the lines of, "I'd rather it was five" or such, but that two were too many. Or rather, too much too soon.

His theory was along the lines of this: the first book took you years to write, and in finishing it, getting an agent, getting published, etc., you now have to produce the second book on a much tighter timeline. This means the quality will suffer in the second book, and with the lower quality, the sales will be low, and the publishers will have reason to drop you.

His basis for these comments were in reaction to a former member's two books, that came out within a year of each other. He spoke of the second one as if it was a rush job, and thus of lower quality. But then he admitted he hadn't actually read either one, so he didn't know about its quality, and I'm not sure what his point was. Though he strikes me as a person who looks at things in strange absolutes; a novel takes a certain amount of time to write, just like a chicken takes a certain amount of time to roast, and you can't change that without sabotaging the quality.

I, personally, think this is all a load of crap.

However, I think his point about two-book deals isn't entirely wrong, but he's wrong about it being a bad thing. Namely, it's a very good tool for publishers to tell if they've got a potential career writer on their hands, or if they have someone who's only got one great book in them. Are you the kind of writer who can work under a deadline, craft what they need with skill and competence, and thus be someone whom they should invest further in? That's something the publishers need to know.

I'd like to think that I'm that kind of writer.

So, my only problem with two-book deals is I don't have one yet.


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

2,500 down, 17.5K to go.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Good news/still good news, but a challenge

The good news is an agent seems to really like Thorn of Dentonhill.

However, it needs to be longer. I kind of knew that, but thought I was within right range. So, I've got to find a way to make it longer, without just fluffing it up. A challenge, but I can do it. Especially with a really good reason. Which I have.

So, back to work