Posted by Nathan Major on Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at 12:31 AM
Holy cow, has it really been almost two months since my last post? What have I been doing all this time?
As you can see from the header, I made a faux e-book cover for Half, should I choose to go down that path. As of this moment I'm still not sure, as Death's Aria is currently being sent out to multiple people (to be followed shortly by Aeon), but it's looking pretty likely. It all depends, as always, on whether I get rejected or not. All in the cards. Again.
Something that's been bothering me this past year is my believed lack of productivity. Don't get me wrong: I've written a fair amount of the last year. Quarter was my last finished novel, in July of 2012. After that I started Empty Pages (which I didn't finish), Eighth (which I didn't finish), Morphiam (abandoned, retitled Night Terrors, and now being revitalized), and A War of Blood and Oil (which I didn't finish). Between all my abandoned projects is enough words for probably a book and a half, though if you mixed all three that would be a pretty weird book. The only project I completed was Aeon which, oddly enough, I abandoned and then returned to. Something's not right in the state of Denmark. And by Denmark I mean my writing ambitions.
I already made a whiny, bitchy post about how frustrated I was, but don't worry: this isn't that over again. This is me trying to bring back the spark. Am I frustrated? Yeah, a bit. You don't write twelve novels and almost two million words without feeling a little sting when you realize you're still no closer than you were before to getting traditionally published. It also's frustrating when you go from being able to write five to six thousand words in a sitting to barely pulling a thousand a day, which is still far from bad but the degradation of the level of output is pretty jarring. I'm fully aware I've improved as an author over the past half-decade, and I'm pleased with where I've gotten to. I'm just curious how many more half-decades it's gonna be.
On that regard, here is the current writing lineup for the next few months. I'm determined to keep up on this. Despite the incredible amount of popularity my game review blog has been having (it still gets over 1,000 unique hits daily), it's going to need to take a backseat for a little bit until I get this all straightened out.
The following is in order of my priority, though all must be done before the start of July or else I'll go crazy.
1. Finish submitting Death's Aria to everybody and their mom
Pretty straightforward. I've been sitting on this book for ages and it's driving me nuts that I haven't done anything with it. Mostly because I haven't gotten around to doing my massive "Version 2.0" edit yet. Oh hey, speaking of that...
2. Do the massive "Version 2.0" edit of Death's Aria
I did something for the first time in my life today. I made a huge editing timeline in Word. I broke the entire book down by chapter, stating what happens in the current chapter, and what I want to have happen in revised chapters. Then we're going to go, chapter by chapter, until we hit all 28. I'm hoping 3-4 chapters a day for easy one, but the entire third act is being rewritten here, so that last bit may take a while. This book needs it.
3. Submit Aeon to everybody and their mom
I think Aeon has the best chance out of anything so far to go somewhere. It's tight, it's emotional, and it's unique (not to toot my own horn too much here...). I honestly believe it's the best thing I've ever written, and after some very minor changes (and fixing spelling errors) I think it's already set to go.
4. Figure out of Aeon is a novel or a novella
Still can't figure this out. It's at 42k, which is 2k over novella but I feel it's too short (and cuts out too abruptly) to be a novel. Or maybe not; I don't know, I'm not the expert on selling books. In either case, if it is to become a novel, it'll need to be longer. If it's a Novella, it can stay or get shortened a bit.
5. Write every day regardless of how I feel. Finish Night Terrors
I used to be good at this. In 2012, I wrote every single day, not missing a day, for eight months straight. Even when I was submitting, review writing, or editing I still wrote at least 1,000 new words every single day. Maybe it was burnout or something, but it's been hard to do that again. I need to get back into the groove. It's been going well with Night Terrors as of late, though I'm afraid I still slack off from time to time.
6. Oh yeah, I'm going to Grad School in Irvine. I guess I didn't post that on here, huh?
I'm getting a Masters in CS with an emphasis on Informatics, basically it's UC Irvine's version of an HCI program. I start in September, so I'd imagine that'll keep me busy. I still fully intend to write, so long as I don't have to think about how much money I'm spending on schooling. Regardless, we'll have to figure out a move as well as a whole new life in a different state (I've been in Utah since 2007) so that should be an adventure.
Oh, and yes...I got into UC Irvine. Feel pretty good about myself for that.
Long post, not too interesting, point being I'm trying to make this count even if this summer is the "last hoorah" for this whole "writing" business. I think as a creative person one's greatest fear is not total, abrupt, jarring failure, but having something and losing it slowly. As Green Day put it, "I'm not growing up, I'm just burning out." Burning out is the worst thing that can happen creatively, and it's very easy to fall into the trap. Just don't be creative for long enough, and bam, it's over. Not good.
I'm not going to burn out, not yet. Though I dare say this might be my last chance at doing this. Though I intend to keep writing after leaving for school, there's a good chance I'll get my career out of this, and it isn't in writing. It hurts, because in truth being a published author was what I wanted more than anything, but I can once again quote another band in saying "you can't always get what you want." (Rolling Stones. Come on, don't be music philistines here)
Off we go!