At this point, I’m just working on revising short stories for the Patreon project. It’s neither fun nor exciting, I’m afraid, but very much a necessary part of the writer life.
I’ve finished four stories of the initial five that I want to have set up as my buffer for my Patreon project. Then I need to revise these stories until they shine, and do some research on Patreon in general, and I’ll be ready to launch. To reiterate, this is the short story project cataloguing the rise, misuse, and fall of a magic system in a secondary-world fantasy setting.
Cue (more) heavy breathing.
This entire thing is making me apprehensive, much more so than my usual querying apprehension. I think it’s because it’s such an unknown. I have to keep reminding myself that this is an experiment, and it’s okay if it doesn’t work out, even if I’m not entirely sure what ‘working out’ looks like.
Since I’ve made progress to the point where I feel like I should be setting a deadline to be done with editing and so on, my personal, non-binding goal to launch is April 1.
Thanks to a writer-friend inviting me to write once a week at a coffee shop, and another writer-friend having a February writing sprint, I’m now done with three short-story rough drafts for the Tattoo Magic Patreon project. Whee!
I’m currently embroiled in a writing sprint, which is exactly where I need to be in terms of getting stuff ready for my Tattoo Magic Universe project. I’m mostly working on rough-drafting the first few stories, so that I can revise those and get going on the project. I’m torn between being anxious that it won’t be successful and having no idea how to define to myself what successful will look like.
It’s just something I want to do to show myself that I can do it: my little adventure into self-pub. But I want to make money on it to validate to myself that my art has value. And then I want to give some of that money to other queer artists because we need all the support we can get right now.
So far, I’ve modified one entire story to fit into the universe. It always wanted to be in the universe, but it lacked that little extra kick of connection. I’ve moved two stories over (both of which were already set in this setting, but before I had a firm idea of what the setting really WAS), and I’m about 2/3 through drafting the first or second story.
I figure when I have the first four or five stories in the arc good to go, it will be time to actually seriously start that Patreon thing. That would give me four or five months of buffer, which should be good enough to keep the project going even if I don’t have everything drafted out in advance.
I’m also looking at revamping my website and turning it into more of an author website with a blog than a blog about writing. I might do that today or Sunday, or I might push it back until next week. Stay tuned!
It’s been a hard week to focus on writing, but I did make some progress worldbuilding and thinking on my (probably) Patreon short-story project. Namely, I’ve worked on the magic system, created a syllabary and some language/grammar rules that were necessary for naming conventions, and drawn a preliminary setting map.
I’m not yet decided on whether I’ll post finished but unrelated stories in the meanwhile. That’s kind of a tougher decision than I thought it would be.
This weekend will be busy with real-life stuff, but I intend to take the time to draw a more official setting map with my Wacom tablet. Then comes the fun part of creating borders and the notes that go along with them.
I’ve also decided on the project format. Instead of just doing an array of short stories in this setting, as I initially planned, I’d like the stories to themselves tell the story of the setting. Think World War Z. So I will have to invest some initial time into loosely plotting out the stories and how I’d like them to connect.
The result will be that the Patreon project will have a delayed launch, but I think in the end, it will be more satisfying this way.
As well as being utterly down and out from the flu while having to work my day job from home because Things Are Due And I’m The Only One Who Can Do Them, I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about writing.
I have a lot of short stories in my stable, and a lot more that I want to write. But the time and energy I put into shopping them around to an ever-decreasing supply of professionally paying magazines is really not paying off. Even doing a simple numbers crunch, if I sold one of my stories at a market rate (rather than accepting the below-market rate that many ‘but you get exposure and you’re published!’ places offer), I’d be making less than a dollar an hour in most cases.
I honestly think I could do better self-publishing these stories on something like a Patreon. Because I love writing short stories, and I have so many other short story ideas floating around in my head, but the amount of energy I put into marketing them is not only not worth the payoff, but it detracts from the amount of energy I have to market my novels. Which, honestly, that energy is at a premium right now.
If I did that, would I only publish short stories on it, or would I move my blog over there as a ‘perk’ of supporting me in my writing? And what about my idea to pass a part of the proceeds on to other deserving artists? These are all things I’d have to think about before doing an official Patreon launch.
But the seed has been planted. And I think I might water it and see what it grows into.
The lack of progress update last weekend was due to an emergency at the day job infringing on my weekend. So today I’ll have to give two weeks’ worth of updates!
I finished NaNoWriMo at 78,923 words. While that’s an impressive amount of words, I barely wrote during the final week and I didn’t finish my novel. I got stuck trying to get from Where The Characters Are to The End.
I spent some time working on the problem, and I now have an outline that should get me there. I’m hoping to finish the book by the end of December.
I have a mass of writing-related plans for when I get there. In approximate order:
- apply for the Lambda Literary writers’ retreat in August 2017, applications are due in January
- research agents for submitting the Plague Novel and work on new submissions
- research creating a Patreon for self-publishing my short stories
- revise the Flight novel
- research sites seeking essay submissions and consider submitting essays
You’ll note that resubmitting my short stories to web-magazines is not on that list. The amount of time that I invest there doesn’t seem worth the possible rewards at this point.
Besides, I have a Web serial idea kicking around in my head and I think I would much rather look into the Patreon aspect for publishing short fiction, since I think that might be a good platform for publishing something like that.
To make a long story short, despite rejections and setbacks, writing progress continues.
This week I’ve been playing around with poetry. I’m not a trained poet, but there is a story I want to tell that has decided it wants to be a poem, so what else can I do. I’ll probably just end up posting that here eventually, since I don’t feel accomplished enough as a poet to try to shop that around.
I’ve also been catching up on my YA reading. I’m not really sure whether I’ll get around to doing some Book Thoughts posts, but I’ve blown through a couple of books and I still have two more to go.
I know that I should be submitting my short stories around again. I have zero in circulation right now, and six stories that could be in rotation. But between my depression and anxiety issues flaring up, the motivation to set myself up for possible disappointment just isn’t there. I’m focusing on cleaning those stories up instead. I’m also engaging in the process of writing, which is the fun part.
A thunderstorm-related power outage made it difficult to post last night (but made for a lovely reading might). I’m presently working on short stories, updating them and researching markets. I intend to submit them around again later tomorrow, or possibly Monday.
Meanwhile, the Flight novel is back in my imagination, and I intend to start revising that soon. That should take me through NaNoWriMo, when I’ll resume work on the Touchdown novel. Big plans!
This week has been a little crazy. The early week was spent finishing the first draft of a short story, another short set in the tattoo magic world, in which the story I posted a few weeks ago was set.
Then something amazing happened on Tuesday. I received a “revise and resubmit” email from one of the agents who requested a full manuscript of the Plague Novel. This is kind of a big deal, since it was really the best thing I was expecting as an unpublished, untested writer. Especially from an agent as strongly promotional of diverse and LGBTQ+ books as this agent is (we’re talking the top of my short list, guys). After reading the email five or six times, I found that I agreed with the deficiencies that she identified in my story, and I let her know that I would be revising with her suggestions in mind.
Cue hard gear change. The rest of the week has been devoted to re-familiarizing myself with the plague novel, taking notes, and noting where I might make changes to address the concerns. Keeping in mind that I’ve written one full and a second partial novel with completely different characters and settings since I finished the Plague Novel, it has kind of been a process. I’m also spotting an embarrassing amount of typos and things that I really should have caught before sending it out on submission. Oh well, it’s too late to beat myself up about that now.
I’m hoping to get this revision done within the month, have a new round of betas, and do a second revision based on the betas before sending it back. I want to get this done in a timely way but without rushing. My goal is to have it ready to send back to the agent after two months, but definitely within three. Wish me luck!