Monday, October 28, 2013

A slight break with tradition

Normally for NaNoWriMo I try to finish whatever novel I happen to be in the middle of. That means that I should be preparing to race to the end of F&F. Well...I'm not. In fact, I haven't worked on it in about a month. Why? I decided that I needed to stop sitting on my manuscripts.

Typically after I've finished drafting and editing a novel I'll send it out to whatever venue I think is the best fit for it. While I wait for the inevitable rejection I work on another story, finish said story, read the expected rejection, and start the process all over again. In theory it's a sound system since it means I usually have one in the slush, one in process, and a lot more in the queue. The trouble with it is that because I have a new a wonderful story to send out, the earlier pieces never get sent to the next venue. In addition, when I take part in an online class or short term writing group I have to start a new story for that (personal choice) which also postpones the editing and sending of the other manuscripts.

I'm putting an end to that cycle by putting off F&F for a while so I can edit and submit all the things. As I said a few weeks ago I've already sent out one and I'm working on the first editing pass on the Cyberfunk. I'm eight chapters in and I know I have to fix a pacing problem later on by writing a new chapter so I figure that completing the full edit and getting it out to my beta readers by the end of NaNo is a worthy goal. It's certainly going to be a sizable, yet attainable goal. I will eventually get back to writing F&F. But I feel it's important to do this for my career. I can't make a sale by sitting on manuscripts.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Curse you technology!

I'm not a tech head by any definition. However, since the Cyberfunk is set in the near future I've done a lot of research into devices and technology that are in development so that I can speculate what the tenth or even fifteenth generation device will be able to do. Unfortunately setting it that close to the now means that commercials like this give me a panic attack.

Curse you Samsung! I shake my mighty fist of doom in your direction.

Okay, I do have to give them props for creating a long awaited device. Every nerd on the planet will want one because, as the advert shows, it's a freaking wrist communicator. My first thought when I was "this is frakking cool!" My second was I need to rethink some of my tech because it's not that advanced anymore. It's really hard to stay ten steps ahead of tech since new devices come out every few months and new discoveries change the potential of devices.

After looking at the specs I realized that I'm actually okay (ah ha! Behold the power of research!). My device is different and advanced enough that I can leave it as it is without anyone crying fowl. Huzzah! In some ways I regret choosing a near future setting but it's too late to turn back now. It just gives me more reason to find an interested agent and/or editor so it can be printed before someone really does create what I wrote.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Binging on Brandon's Books, A.K.A., the Bingerson

I binged on Brandon Sanderson this past week. I finished reading The Rithmatist, I saw Brandon at the PNBA (Pacific Northwest Bookseller's Association) trade show, went to his Powell's signing, Started reading Steelheart, and oh yeah, I had lunch with Brandon too. Good times, that.

It's always great to see Brandon and the Cedar Hills Powell's does such a wonderful job running their events. But I bet what you really want to hear about is the books.

The Rithmatist was a good read. I'm a bit surprised that it was released as a YA because the story felt more middle grade to me. It didn't diminish the story, it's just one of those weird publishing moves that I can't find a reasonable explanation for other than price point. I said, it's a good read. Even though it's been out for a few months I won't post any spoilers. Brandon did an excellent job, as usual, of explaining the magic system so that the reader doesn't need a geometry degree and the names of the various defenses are fun. The diagram of the Shoaff defense made me laugh out loud. I'm still trying to figure out how I feel about the revelation of the villain. It wasn't who I expected (even though it was foreshadowed). Normally that's a good thing because I'm well read enough that I can pick up on those clues. However, I still felt a bit cheated because it was like watching a new episode of Scooby Doo only to find out that the special guest was Harry Potter's muggle neighbour's former roommate.

What I found really interesting were the changes he made from the original. No, I haven't read the original draft, but I did read the first three chapters when he posted them on his website. I don't know if they're still there or if they were removed during the site's redesign. If they're not then check out 17th shard. If anyone has them they will. Anyhoo, the reason I bring up Scribbler (the original draft) is that it was fascinating being able to compare the two. The opening chapters were very different and I can see why he changed what he did. It made me sad that I don't have access to the full draft of Scribbler so I could compare and contrast the rest of the book. I'm really curious about what else he changed.

Steelheart is a very different book and I'm enjoying it a lot. I've only read the first half and I'm curious as to where he's going to take this series. Again, I'm not going to give out any spoilers. Since I haven't finished it that's pretty easy to do. In fact I'll hold off reviewing Steelheart until I've finished it. However, I will say that out of these two books I'd recommend Steelheart over The Rithmatist because it has some excellent violence and a Japanese supervillain. That's two happy buttons right there.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Waiting for the Rejection Carp

I sent off another submission last night. I don't feel as anxious about this one as I have in the past and I'm not entirely sure why. Perhaps it's because I feel better about this book than I did last year. I've thoroughly edited it (again) and it's so much better than the previous draft. I can honestly say that this book, despite being my first finished novel, doesn't suck.

My lack of nerves might also be because I've been visited by the Rejection Carp before. What is the Rejection Carp, you may ask? The best comparison I can think of is that he's your least favorite relative. You're not excited to see him again because he never has anything nice to say and he kinda smells, but you know that encounters with him are inevitable. He is family, after all.

Either way, if the Carp glubs more bad news I can honestly say that it's not because my manuscript is covered with food pellets. I made sure it was pellet free before I e-mailed it. Sooner or later someone out there will like it enough to buy it so I can hire a sexy guy to feed me mochi and Tim Tams while I write my next book. (What? I can be productive and live out a fantasy at the same time.)

(Note: I'm posting this a bit early because I'll be at a trade show with my boss and while I might find a few minutes to post this during my customary timeframe, I'm not counting on it. The show is also why this post is shorter than normal. I'm writing this in the hotel room before I meet up with her.)