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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. 31st, 2014 09:02 pm (UTC)
Wow, that course sounds wonderful! (Also, summer in Vancouver: yay!)

Cutting-and-chopping is a huge issue, for me and for every other long-winded writer. Not only is it very hard for the writer to see what can/should be cut, but there's a fine line there somewhere, where "better storytelling" moves into "cheaper printing." I've been told several times that Restraint is too long, but mostly as an instant reaction to its word count before the person has read it.

It is, indeed, indulgently long and I'm very willing to cut it, but at its heart it's just an epic romance, and cutting it to the bare bones of some A plot, while possibly making it salable as a print book, would turn it into an entirely different novel, one that I'm not much interested in writing.

However, one great suggestion the pro editor made was to consider cutting it into two or three volumes and making a series of it. I'm mulling that one over. Would love your now highly-trained thoughts!

(Also, if you're setting up in the editing business, keep me in mind. After this re-revision is done, I will probably be looking for an editor again.)

Edited at 2014-07-31 09:03 pm (UTC)
Aug. 1st, 2014 02:07 pm (UTC)
I agree that "better writing" sometimes is actually "cheaper printing." A good way to put it! After the course, it is no surprise to me that so many books coming out now are between 200 and 300 pages.

I would be happy to read your MS once you've finished your edit, and work on it with you. I would be willing to do it for a lower rate because I'm in the process of learning my craft as a literary editor.

Aug. 1st, 2014 06:49 pm (UTC)
It's not hard to understand why print publishers are leery of handling long novels from untried authors, but what used to be the fundamental limitation of print-bind-store-ship-and-get-retail-shelf-space is disappearing fast. I want to behave and write in a professional way, but neither my income nor my ego is dependent on pleasing traditional print publishers.

Which is a long-winded way of saying "ebook publishing seems like a good avenue for me."

Thank you for your reduced-rate offer! You're in the absolutely unique position of knowing the original work really well AND being trained to make it better!
Aug. 1st, 2014 08:13 pm (UTC)
I am honoured that you think so. :)



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