Oh yeah! I write things. Bet you forgot about that, didn't you?
Last Saturday was the deadline for Black Library's latest submissions window. This was the last one they were accepting novels for - from now on, it's short stories or bust. So I figured it was about time I got off my ass and put together a novel pitch I felt proud of.
And I did! One novel pitch, and three short story pitches. I'm proud of all of them - less so by the day, granted, but I'm a neurotic. I do think my writing is getting better. I don't know if it's getting consistently worthy of publication, but I'll find that out in three months or so, hey?
I'm not going to go into problems I still have to get over right now, because that's shooting myself in the foot and I don't want that. But I will say that I'm getting better at planning out my work. Outlines, random notes, character sketches - all of this is seriously helpful.
I can recommend two books that are great primers on the subject of planning a book:
Nail Your Novel: Why Writers Abandon Books and How You Can Draft, Fix and Finish With Confidence by Roz Morris. Roz is very big on planning and walks you through all the prep work you need to do for a book.
Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Way to Success by K.M. Weiland. This book is entirely focused on outlining, so don't expect full novel-writing advice, but it does have useful tips for putting an outline together. And they aren't the same tips Roz documents, so it's worth reading.
I've read both of these myself and they were both worth my while.
So... what am I doing now?
I am not resting on my dubious laurels. I've got a plan for a novel about fairies and the people who kill them that has been rattling around in my head for... Jesus, five years now. It's high time I got the bastard on paper, even if it sucks (again). I think I'm up to writing it properly this time, though - by which I mean last time it was a NaNoNovel I didn't plan properly, and this time I intend to outline and plan and make sure I know exactly what I'm doing when I sit down to start writing prose.
And oh my God, would Breaking Bad mind keeping a consistent volume level for its dialogue? I get that there's power in soft-spoken menacing words, but it's kind of lost if I can't hear what anybody is saying without waking my wife up with gunshots...
Sorry. This got a little stream of consciousness there, didn't it? I'm trying to catch up on the show so I'll be ready to watch it's fifth season as it happens. Fantastic writing on this thing. It got my best friend to quit watching it halfway through season two, and I dropped it for awhile at the start of season three because it made me so uncomfortable. And then I started watching it again. That's quality, folks!
So yeah. I'm also dealing with a plumbing problem that is on its fourth visit by a repairman and hasn't been resolved. My home warranty company just loooves me, no doubt. I certainly love them. Why shouldn't I? I burned through my deductible two visits ago and they haven't cut me off. Take that, leaky pipe!
...I may have been mildly intoxicated while writing this post. Which I suppose I shouldn't encourage. Drunk authors are already practically a stereotype. So here's a picture that'll get you all jumping on the latest version of Firefox.