The other big milestone, in terms of what I've been writing, that I hit in 2013 was getting solidly underway on Banshee.
Banshee is a project that's been stewing in the back of my mind for a long, long time, and has gone through several permutations in that slow cooking process.
Part of the reason I took such a long time to get around to this is the little promise I made to myself to finish the first books of my four "Maradaine" series before I really moved on to a new major writing project. I'm not entirely sure why I felt I had to do them first, but that's how I felt, but on some level it was probably a good thing.
Because the Banshee I would have written several years ago is not the work I'm writing now. Not even remotely. Essentially everything except the central character (Lt. Samantha Kengle) and the name of the ship (and only tangentially) is different now. And in the older versions, Lt. Kengle was more the nominal lead in an ensemble, and now she's in the central spotlight, the only POV character.
Part of that had to do with the worldbuilding. I started the Space Opera setting that Banshee lives in way back in 2002, but it's evolved and grown a lot in the past eleven years. As have my writing skills. My first attempts at Banshee, some of which reached nearly 50,000 words, were all wrong. Essentially fanfic for a universe that only existed in my head. It was only after I really started to interrogate what the story was, and who it was about, and why it was about them, that the pieces really came together.
When I shipped Way of the Shield off to the agent, Banshee was really ready to go like gangbusters. And in about three months, it's about two-thirds to three-quarters done. Not too shabby.
So that was 2013, which turned out to be a pretty good year for my writing. And I have a very good feeling that 2014 will turn out even better.
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