Monday, March 5, 2012

Free Expressions (my new gig) and other things


Why hello out there! I'm filled with exciting news!

I recently accepted a position with Free Expressions as a part-time marketing assistant/minion. Now, I know a second job (third if you count novel-ing, hah!) might not sound exciting, but this really is an awesome opportunity. Not only is my boss super awesome, but I'm working for a company that I'm really passionate about. Free Expressions runs the Breakout Novel Intensives that I raved like a crazy woman about, so it's a natural fit to help promote things I've enjoyed. Not to mention, Lorin is a stellar editor. I'd recommend her to anyone! (And not just because she's paying me to do just that!)

So, if you feel so inclined, check out the Free Expressions site. If you're on Facebook, you can like us here.

In addition, Erik and I should be closing on our first house this month! All that's really left is some paperwork. I'm also taking a work trip (day job related) in March back east and visiting the family while I'm there. When I get back, it's time to move, all before the end of the month.

Also, I should hear back from Clarion West in March. I'm doing my best not to fret about it, but it didn't help to read that they go a record number of submissions this year! No surprise there, really, not with G.R.R. Martin as an instructor and his huge popularity right now.

Beyond that, I've been enjoying a relaxed writing schedule this last month (which means I've done a little brainstorming and little writing, but no hard writing deadlines) but the longer I go without really writing, the stronger the itch.

But first, the most important thing happening in March: Mass Effect 3.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

ASHFALL IS DONE!

Wooties! :D

Here are some stats on ASHFALL:

· The basic idea was born back in like 2003. Over the course of like a year I fiddled around and wrote maybe 30k?

· I pulled the idea out of the trunk for 2010 NaNoWriMo, and after re-reading and editing, got the draft up to around 75k during that month. I stopped working on it because I was bouncing between projects.

· In July 2011, I committed to Ashfall as my next project, the next manuscript I was going to finish and send to my agent. I gave myself a goal of January 2012 to finish.

· I finished the first draft August 30, 2011, which came in at 123k.

· On September 7, 2011, I finished a rough edit, cutting the draft down to 119k, and sent it off to my betas. I gave them a month to read, and since they’re so wonderful, they all got back to me by October 11!

· I spent about two weeks organizing my notes for my betas, asking questions, brainstorming, and plotting out a revision plan.

· I created my draft 3 doc on October 24, 2011 and started working. Most of this work was rewriting almost EVERYTHING. I think maybe 20k survived from the original draft.

· November 11, 2011 – Skyrim released, and I’m ashamed to admit it, but I played for about three weeks straight, and didn’t do hardly anything on Ashfall.

· December 1, 2011 – I realized that playing Skyrim is not going to finish the book. (Crazy right?) So I did some hard math, and set aggressive goals to get myself back on track for my January goals.

· I finished the rewrite during the first week of January 2012, except for the last couple chapters. For most of January, I’ve been line editing, consistency checking, etc – which I did on paper. Then, I spent lots of hours keying these changes.

· Last week I finished line edit inputting, and yesterday I finished the ending rewrite.

· Today, January 29, 2012, I finished my third manuscript, which clocks in at 125,038 words.

This is good. I know this manuscript isn’t quite a perfect example because I started the idea like a decade ago. So, not counting that brainstorming/concept work/little bit of words in 2003, it took me about eight months to finish ASHFALL. And since Skyrim won’t ever be coming out again, I think I can safely say I’m capable of writing a book in about seven months. ;)

My goal is to do the next one in six months.

Now, if I know myself, I’m going to spend today super excited, tomorrow super anxious, and start working on my next book the day after that!

Other fun facts:

· Before my line edits, ASHFALL’s highest word count was close to 150k.

· My main character’s name was originally Alacrity, and is now Caylix. Changing her name was super therapeutic, and helped me change her character as the novel required.

· My first draft had one POV. The current draft has three.

· I had seven beta readers for the entire draft this time, the most I’ve ever used. I’ve learned that number is too high, and I don’t think I’ll use more than five in the future.

· I’ve rewritten my synopsis for ASHFALL at least 15 times. I think I like my current one…

· ASHFALL was my Clarion West submission material. I’ve haven’t looked at the first two chapters since sending my application in, and I don’t plan on it!

· The first two chapters have been read by like 16 people. Some multiple times!

· Don’t tell my other characters, but I think Dust is my new favorite character.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone out there had a great holiday season!

While the holidays where pretty quiet for me, I did get a wonderful Christmas present. Erik and I are now engaged! Very very exciting news, and happy holidays to us!

Needless to say, suddenly I feel busy now that I'm planning an August wedding. Beyond that, the day job has picked back up now that the holidays are over, and it looks like I'll be travelling for an article in March, along with visiting my family and friends back east. I'm also applying for Clarion West and finishing up Ashfall so I can send it to my agent, both by the end of January.

Between writing and editing, I'll be trying on dresses and tasting fancy cupcakes! I'll let you guess which one I'm more excited about...

So last year went out with a ring (get it?) and this is year is off with a bang.

Now I just need to rewrite these last few chapters, and pick out invitations...and taste cupcakes. Lots of cupcakes.