Progress has slowed on my WIPs, but my freelance work is picking up. There is a direct relationship between the latter event and the former. I still have three primary personal projects on my desk, with a growing amount of editorial work. On the plus side, the editorial work comes with guaranteed paydays! Let’s take a look at the personal manuscripts first.
Novella #1. This is a complete hundred-page manuscript still in the mark-up process with the red pen. This latest draft is a substantial rewrite of the previous version, turning it from a first-person narrative with lots of exposition (think H. P. Lovecraft) to a more traditional and accessible third-person story with dialogue. The red-pen review is using a lot of ink. I’m starting to think about doing another pass in the word processor instead, and then printing a new hard copy to go under the pen.
Novella #2. This complete fifty-page manuscript was revised after the previous draft got feedback from my partner in crime Bill Leisner. After a few bumps in the plot got smoothed and the final scenes got restructured, it’s in pretty solid shape (or so I like to think). I’ve been letting it sit for a while before I print the hard copy and unleash the aforementioned red pen on it.
Novella #3. Some progress has been made on this incomplete manuscript. When I stopped working on this long ago, that draft only had a couple scenes left to be written. However, as I thought about it over time, I realized there were some serious structural problems with the story, as well as a few fairly large plot holes. So as I work on it now, I’m not just going to the end of the Word file and starting up again, this is a page one rewrite. As I move forward, I’m reordering scenes to fix the structural issues, and I’m adding in new scenes to clarify the plot. I’m working on some of those new scenes at the moment. I’m liking where this revised manuscript is going, but it’s going to take longer than I thought to finish since it’s growing into a novella from being a longish short story.
Miscellaneous. My new work scheme is supposed to be limited to one unfinished manuscript in progress plus whatever revisions I’m making on completed manuscripts, but I got distracted by one of my upcoming projects. I’ve been putting together a collection of all my humorous stories, some previously published, others that have been around but not published, and some new for the collection. The project is on my to-do list of incomplete manuscripts to be finished, but it’s not supposed to be the current WIP. In fact, it’s third on the list. Last week when I was banging my head against Novella #3, however, I peaked at it and made some notes. I also found myself making a couple notes on my fantasy trilogy, which has been in my head in various forms for—wait for it—thirty-five years. But this weekend it’s back to Novella #3.
The beginning of the month saw some momentum building on these personal projects, but then my freelance work picked up. I’ve finished up my current round of supplemental material for the Star Trek Adventures role-playing game as I started copyediting a novel for Baen Books. Then I picked up a proofread for an indie author, and I may have another copyedit coming in soon from a different traditional publisher, making three overlapping projects. And production continues on the space documentary Touch the Stars, which may require script revisions, so I’m suddenly up to my eyeballs in work.
Blog news: Going forward, I’m going to try to do monthly updates like this, hoping it will help keep me focused on my writing in 2018 and beyond. If anyone has been following my previous posts on my Epic Trek Comic Book Read, those will now be exclusive to the blog for the podcast I do with my daughter, Generations Geek. The last one I did on this site was #6, but #7 and #8 are now up on the other site, which was recently redesigned from top to bottom!