Nevertheless: the name of the game is #MyWritingProcess, and I am excited to play!
What am I working on?
The sequel to One Night in Sixes, enticingly titled Medicine for the Dead. It's already written, but I'm hoping to do a bit more spit-and-polish between now and August.
|100% unofficial sneak cover preview!|
Oh, golly. Well, if the genre is "epic fantasy", then I guess my books have an exceptionally high Stetson quotient. If the genre is "fantasy Western", then about the most I can say is that I'm less interested in black hats, white hats, six-guns and monsters than I am in using fantasy power (magic) as a way to think about real-world power (identity and culture, and how those can be used for good or evil.) And so we arrive at "rural fantasy": a sorcerous, dust-crusted tale in which we don't spend much time dancing with wolves or defending winsome ranchers' daughters, but still manage to have one hair-raising hell of a time.
Why do I write what I do?
Well, I love writing, and early reports indicate that it's even more fun when people like your writing and will even pay you for it!
But to be honest, what I'm really in love with is the idea that... you know, every plot device in the world has been used since Aristotle was a lad - but not so for people. Even in 2014, there are SO many people who see themselves in fiction very rarely, badly, or not at all. And the realization that there are still millions of readers who are desperately thirsty to see themselves as center-stage heroes and villains and romantic ideals is a tremendous shame - but also a stunning opportunity. It is a gold-filigree promise that there are LOTS of fresh new stories itching to be told - and the thought that I could contribute, even a little bit, to filling some of these huge gaping empty spaces on our bookshelves is such a powerful draw. It's the one thing that makes this what I'm doing feel bigger than me and my own ego - and if I manage to write something that brings even one new fan in to the fantasy aisle, I will know for a fact that I have Done Good.
How does my writing process work?
Well, I feel a bit unqualified to talk like I have some kind of System, because in a lot of ways, this still feels like my first-ever project. But if you want to follow the Tex Thompson Winning Formula for Writers™, here it is!
1. Spend last two years of high school (1999-2000) writing massive, 170,000-word fantasy novel, set in Vaguely Plastic Medieval Animeland. Draw and model characters in animation class.
|Seriously, guys - it was REALLY anime.|
|(But Elim was cute even way back when.)|
2. Four-year hiatus for college and Everquest. (2000-2004.)
|Sorry / not sorry.|
3. Take a year and a half to reboot the story in "started-as-outline-and-mutated-into-weirdly-crappy-screenplay" format. (2004-2005)
|INT. HOPELESS WORD DOC - PAGE 89.|
4. Two-year hiatus to finish grad school and attempt employment. (2005-2007)
5. Get the idea to ditch Vaguely Plastic Medieval Animeland and try setting the story in a world based on the American Southwest.
|Winter view from the Acoma Sky City in New Mexico. |
It's amazing what happens when you leave your hobbit-hole to see the world.
6. Take three and a half years to write a 314,309-word doorstopper of a tome, while working in food service. (2007-2010)
|Hair net optional. Smokes on the loading dock required.|
8. Break off first third, and spend two years rewriting and revising it in the Cave of Solitude. (2010-2012)
|Which occasionally doubles as the Cave of Obstructive Neediness.|
9. Make New Year's Resolution to grow a personality. (2012)
10. Join writers' workshop in January (2012), attend writers' conference in May, sign with Agent of Your Dreams in August, go out on submission in January (2013), sign with Fairy Godpublisher in July for release in July (2014). Commence building a massive vault for wallowing in future royalty checks.
|(work in progress)|
And that brings us to today, gentle friends. Medicine for the Dead is the second piece of that original 300,000-word monstrosity, completely rewritten and slated for release in March 2015. Lord willing and the creek don't rise, we'll be able to do the as-yet-unnamed Return of the Jedi the year after.
And while I imagine that all this above is of extraordinarily limited utility to anyone who isn't me, I would like to state for the record that:
- you totally can write a 300,000-word book and get it published (just maybe not all at once.)
- you totally can sell your first-ever story (just maybe not in its first-ever incarnation.)
- you totally can go from completely clueless newbie to reasonably bad-ass writer. (It just might take you ten or fifteen years to do it.)
Three of my great friends and fellow fantasians, who will be posting their own #MyWritingProcess entries soon. Beat the rush and check out their blogs: it's too late to say you knew them before they were cool, but you definitely want to be able to say you knew them before they were mainstream!
Born in 1987, Hackney, London, Shay suffered a major mishap at the age of two when she came across a pencil and sheet of paper. Twenty odd years later, you could say the result from that encounter was having her right hand replaced with a Bic Pen - blue if she can help it. (Hence her Blue Bic Blog and chic matching @bluebicblog)
As a stay at home mum raising a crazier reincarnation of herself, Shay often delves into the world of Young Adult/Adult Sci-Fi and Fantasy, but when escapism is compulsory, she’s not afraid to pen the wEiRd either…
Mom of 2, wife of 1 and aspiring writer of fiction. Veena loves writing about vampires, werewolves and female heroines who are kick-ass, flawed and always breaking the rules. Find her at VeenaKashyap.com and on Twitter as @VeenaKWriter and @AuthorVisitsVK
David Goodner’s life-long love of books has carried him through a degree in English from UTA and over a decade of cataloging in the Arlington Public Library. His love of storytelling has carried him through 30+ years of gaming and writing.
He writes speculative fiction that’s a little (okay, a lot) off kilter both for adults and for children. He’s on the board of the DFW Writers Workshop, which is not as impressive as it sounds.
Check him out at davidgoodner.com. Follow him on twitter @RDGoodner. He’ll probably follow you back.
When I first came here, this was all swamp. Everyone said I was daft to build a castle on a swamp, but I built it all the same, just to show them. It sank into the swamp. So I built a second one. That sank into the swamp. So I built a third. That burned down, fell over, then sank into the swamp. But the fourth one stayed up. And that's what you're going to get, lad: the strongest castle in all of England.