Writing/Editing Update, September Edition

I’m endeavoring to get back in the swing of things following August’s detour into heart-attack country, and there has been movement on my various works in progress.

Novella #1. Although I list it as number one, that is not indicative of its priority on my to-do list. At a hundred manuscript pages, and also being a substantial new draft, my red-pen read through promises to be a time-consuming effort. It waits on the back burner still.

Novella #2. Did my red-pen markup, then took a pass through the electronic file and made those tweaks, wrote two new scenes, and restructured a couple of the existing scenes. This is finally ready to move on to a beta reader. The only person to have read it so far is my partner in crime, Bill Leisner, with whom I’m collaborating on this project. We both have been writing novellas in a shared world. Whatever shall come of this world? That’s yet to be seen.

Novella #3. As major work on #2 winds down, #3 is finally getting some attention. When last I was doing some writing on this unfinished manuscript, an unexpected new scene came out of nowhere and complicated the circumstances of my characters. That made me realize that the expanded new draft was not entirely under control. Rather than fly by the seat of my pants, I’ve decided to do some work on a new outline, and work has begun on that in Scrivener. I’m using virtual 3×5 index cards to list scenes, move them around, and generally figure out what the hell’s going on.

Project TBD. As noted in a previous blog post, “On Writing, Editing, and Hard Copies,” my current strategy is to be writing on one unfinished manuscript while doing revisions on whatever completed manuscripts remain in the queue. As I have a solid bit of work left on #3, I can’t yet be writing #4, but I have started a short list for what that manuscript will be. Could be a short story I need to complete a humor collection I plan on self-publishing. Could be any of a number of sci-fi ideas that have been in my head for a while. Could be a new draft of a steampunk short story. Could be the next story for my shared-world project. Or perhaps I will finally get back to my steampunkish novel. Hmmm.

Editing/Work for Hire. I finished a novel copyedit for Baen and am currently between gigs from Baen and Simon & Schuster. As October begins, I will be brainstorming with director/producer Luke Ployhar at Afterglow Studios as we put the final polish on the full-length Touch the Stars screenplay. A short version of the film just premiered at the Giant Screen Cinema Association’s 2018 conference. Once Touch the Stars is in the can, we’ll immediately get back to work on Afterglow’s next movie, the screenplay for which I’ve already started.

All in all, I think I’ve gotten back on track, although, as always, the train is moving far more slowly than I would like!

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