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Where the hell have I been?

[personal profile] lycomingst pinged me yesterday to inquire after my continued existence--very kind!--and caused me to face the ridiculously wide gap in my posting history around here.

I continue to exist. My long absence is the result of a constellation of non-catastrophic things: diligent, daily writing on Novel A and Novel B; guilt over the unfaceable backlog of friendslist reading; and that ever more encroaching bugaboo of multiple social platforms (Twitter, mostly--it's quick).

Also: a dying computer and a comedy of errors in getting it replaced, and some obsessively self-soothing SPN rewatching.

Novel A is Restraint 2.0: The Non-Fanfic Version. My first comprehensive revision didn't meet with pro-editor favor, and the computer-replacement fiasco ate up the funds for further paid editorial help. But both paid-for and free comments I've solicited agree that significant restructuring is necessary if Baby is to be marketable. It's emotionally and intellectually hard work. But I'm doing it.

Novel B is nothing but research (I'm reading a fascinating new biography of Aleister Crowley) and character sketches so far.

The setting is roughly 1910; maybe Glasgow, maybe Southern California, probably both. It's about a Golden-Dawn-like secret society, belief in magic, actual magic, lost-wax casting, mind-rape, actual asexuality, steamship travel, hypnotism, the Arts and Crafts movement, architecture...

...well, as you can see, it's still pretty loosely defined. The central working idea is to take one character's statement, "I no longer believe that the magic ever happened," and let the story change that character's mind. The main character is a silversmith called Eleanora Burne, and she's making me cry. Mostly because she's me. You know. Kind of a Eusyram. (Eventually I'll file that off, too.)

So, yes. Still existing. Chipping away at this thing called life. How's everyone doing?

Crossposted from Dreamwidth, where there are comment count unavailable comments.


Jul. 30th, 2014 09:44 pm (UTC)
O HAI your ownself! Glad all is well--I gather as much from your active Twitter life. (Much though I do love Twitter, it's not really a social platform, is it?)

I was strongly advised to go for professional editing, though I've since learned that lots of pro authors use critique partners prior to submission (and publishing-house editors after acceptance). I think I had some idea of greater expense = greater value, and it's probably true, but my manuscript wasn't really ready for a pro. Now I know. (One thing I learned for my money is that the gulf between fanfic and a pro novel is considerably wider than I thought.)

I am indeed lucky to know some fine writers here in my online community who can give (and have already given) very valuable feedback on Restraint, some of it highly targeted and all of it constructive. And the beauty of it is, I can "pay" by reciprocating, which helps me hone my own writing.
Aug. 7th, 2014 10:09 pm (UTC)
Twitter is such a different animal. My editors love it when I have retweets for the stories they run; and I got some commissions out of it. When you reach 4,000 or 5,000 followers, colleagues & eds see you as someone with social media clout, which needless to say is A Good Thing. In so many ways it couldn't be more different from LJ...

I'm fascinated to know what your pro editor said on bringing Restraint up to publishable standards. I realise there's a big gap from fanfic to pro fic, because you can't rely on the characters being established for you in the minds of the readers:0; but all the same, I've never watched Supernatural or its stars, and the book worked for me.
Aug. 8th, 2014 07:15 am (UTC)
I would imagine that 4000 or 5000 followers would put you in the upper echelon of Twitter users. That's a lot of influence!

My pro editor hinted that Restraint has a lot of fanfic indulgences--long passages of the two characters essentially just gazing at and admiring each other (a reflection of the way fans gaze at the characters/actors). A little of that goes a long way in non-fandom storytelling. The explicit sex scenes could be a problem in pitching the novel to an agent, too.

Mostly, though, it's a question of pacing. As serially-posted fanfic, it had very forgiving readers who were eager for the next chapter. They were willing to overlook the slow/boring/flabby bits, and didn't mind that it ran to 900 pages. That won't work in New York. So I'm thinking of making it into a trilogy. Not sure I can pull it off, but it would be cool if I could. Just started outlining the three volumes today!



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