Writing Report, June 15, 2016
Where we at?
The “WWII-era Lord Of The Flies with Catholic schoolgirls” is ready to go, has been ready to go for quite some time.
I don’t want to upload it prematurely, however, because that runs the danger of squandering the work. The plan is to launch it as the first of three books, all coming out within a short period of time to one another (I’m aiming for three books in as many months).
The modern Western with teen girls saving horses is in first draft, with one pass through on the editing. I want to spend at least a couple of weeks going over it before making it ready to upload, but when I can devote full time to it I should see it complete in three to four weeks.
“The Most Dangerous Man In The World: The Lost G.I. Joe Episode” is nearing completion, I’m at the start of the climactic battle.
But it’s slow going, a tough slog. I’ve been out of the Joe world / mindset for quite some time, and while some of the characters come back readily as old friends, for the most part I’ve had to do a lot of research and double checking.
If I’m going to pitch this to readers as an authentic G.I. Joe story by an authentic G.I. Joe writer, I’ve got to do my homework and make it as accurate as possible.
I have no illusions that I’ll pull it off 100%. I’m sure there will be lots of details I’ll miss or garble up.
Back when we were doing the series, I didn’t have to know the proper name and nomenclature for every vehicle and weapon; I could just write “The Joe tanks fire at the Cobra tanks” and let the animators and storyboard departments worry about what it looked like.
Not this time. This time I have to maintain a patina of consistency. (Though I’ve got to say Hasbro themselves were never sticklers for consistency, and frequently the same vehicle or weapon would have radically different capabilities from toy to TV show to comic book to card game.)
Once “The Most Dangerous Man In The World” is completed, it’ll sit aside for a few weeks as I go over the Western, then as the Western is with beta readers, I’ll do my re-write on the Joe book.
It will be extensive because I am writing this one large, throwing everything in and often creating some redundancies that will have to be attended to.
The plot isn’t going to change but beats will be tightened.
Once the first draft of “The Most Dangerous Man In The World” is complete, things will start to move quite rapidly. God willing and the crick don’t rise, I may have all three for download available by mid-September.
Well, I’ve actually been enjoying quite a creative spell. Since the first of the year I’ve written six short stories of varying length, and am about halfway through another. I’ve also got several short stories I wrote last year that I’ve polished and have started on the rounds.*
I’ll give them five or six chances to find a paying home then post them here if nobody buys them.
On top of that, several poems (mostly short) and a handful of essays.
The short story I’m writing currently (parallel to “The Most Dangerous Man In The World”, one by collegiate composition notebook, the other on my iMac) is expanding as I write it. I first thought of it as a short story in the 3,000 word range, but now I’ve reached the 6,400 word mark and am still adding stuff.
It’s expanding because the world it’s set in is getting richer, more complex. It’s a heroic fantasy story but one that’s sufficiently different from most stories in the genre to stand out.
It features a very dark protagonist (dark in more than one sense of the word) and its hard to reconcile their actions with any sort of conventional heroic morality, which I think is what makes them so interesting.
It’s not going to have a happy ending. Evil will be vanquished, but it will still not be a happy ending.
And for those anxious to read “The Most Dangerous Man In The World”, I’m making progress. But the short stories are flashes of fire, not a long slog, and as such I can complete them in just a few days (typically; this one is running longer but through no fault of its own).
I’ve got a big novel planed, dozens if not potentially hundreds of characters (most small walk-ons, but still crucial to the story; it’s similar to The Simpsons insofar as the support cast builds the reality of the premise). It’s not going to be a science fiction or fantasy story, but I think most people will enjoy it as a pretty broad farce and satire on small town morality.
And past that?
I’ve got tons of stuff in the hopper. I have books where I have started on them years ago, hit a good stride, then slammed into a wall.
I’ve learned for me that when that happens it’s foolish to attempt to force anything; it will only ring false and have to be thrown out and redone. So when the next book is done (i.e., book #4, the small town farce) then I’m going to go back through these stalled out stories and see if my subconscious has come up with any ideas.
Right now I have enough ideas on tap to keep me occupied for the next decade, if not longer.
* If you’re wondering how I’ve managed to increase my creative productivity, it’s because I am under one helluva lot of stress in my personal life and writing is the only safe outlet. My books tend to be upbeat and optimistic since I don’t want to spend all that time with a downer story, but the short stories have been very heavy and dark recently. I cannot relax and I find myself getting constantly bombarded by new squalls and pressures. It’s coming out in the short fiction, and even when the stories read light, the core tends to be rather heavy.