Feeding the Beast

We’re well into 2020 now, and the writing scene is as frenetic as ever. Congratulations to my writing pals from Twitter and Facebook who have had debut novels come out in the last year, or who’ve been picked up for publication sometime in the coming months! All that hard work eventually pays off, doesn’t it?

But writers, we know that signing a book deal—or self-publishing a novel, or an accepted short story/stories in fiction magazines—does not mean the end of the work. Oh no. That’s just the beginning of a new phase. For those fortunate enough to find a publisher, that signature on the bottom line means a couple more rounds of revisions, not to mention the marketing involvement. Even zine contributors know that if your short story is accepted with no need for revisions, there’s the next story. And the one after that. And those characters who’ve been sitting on your shoulder, whispering into your dreams, remember them? You still have to write their stories, too.

Because the itch to write, that creative beast we all know so well, requires constant feeding. It never ends. Or at least, we hope it never does. Most writers I know live and breathe their craft. It’s what brings them joy. They don’t write because they want to. They write because they can’t not. (Grammar police – you know what I mean.) I’m fortunate to have a spousal unit who gets that writing is essential to my well-being. He makes it a point to keep me fed and watered, that I get plenty of sunshine and rest. Otherwise, I’d probably get lost in my stories and never been seen again.

You know from reading my past posts that I stay just that busy with projects. Here’s what I’ve been up to since last Fall.

When I last posted here, I’d gotten 45K words on a new WIP. That project is now coming into its second draft at just over 69K words. A little short of the ideal mark, probably, but at least I have room to fluff out the characters, give the reader a bit more depth of insight into each of the three POVs in the story. I’m about to enter another round of tweaks and revisions before finalizing this draft and handing it off to betas. Also, I’m signed up for a fiction workshop at The Muse, which starts later this month. I hope to let the first few chapters be my submissions to this class; classmates there usually show no mercy (nor should they), and I hope to get some great feedback there.

My other big project, the one I’ve been working on for years, has finally been submitted. Wish me luck on that front.

I also have another new novel project crowding its way into my already full brain. This one ought to be really fun, requiring research into the 1960s (because as they say, if you remember the 60s, you weren’t really there), hippie culture, and so many other exciting topics…I’m really looking forward to starting the actual narrative, but for now I’m working on characterizations and settings, filling in the numerous plot holes (hey, it’s still early in the process!), and fleshing out all the other structural details a plantser (three parts plotter/one part pantser) requires before diving in head-first.

The two short stories I still have on query are still hanging in limbo, but I haven’t had much time to give them of late. One other short piece, “Late December,” is not my usual spec-fic genre, but is more literary. That one is scheduled to come out in mid-March. Keep an eye on my “published works” list for the link when it’s released.

In-between the rest, I’m caught up in the eternal search for comps for my ready and up-and-coming WIPs, so that when asked, I can provide titles. I know I can’t be the only one for whom this is a challenge, right? Comment, writers, with how you find comps for your own works. Maybe there’s an easier way than flailing about on Google, Goodreads, or Amazon?

Anyway, #Writers, you are my tribe. I know you get it. You all have your own beasts to feed.

Write on.

Signature photo courtesy of Pexels

Woodstock artwork photo by Peter Kraayvanger