Thanksgiving comes to a close at last with a visit from my brother this weekend. I have so much to be thankful for this year, including the support of my Patrons and family and friends. So accordingly, I thought I would share a little gift.
I’ve pretty much only been talking about my NaNoWriMo goal of finishing the first Black Roses novella this month. Well, here we are, nearly at the end of NaNoWriMo, and while the novella is a bit longer than I thought I expect I will be finished very soon! Which means that, following some initial editing, I will be all set up for the roll out of the first Black Roses novella, All the Roses Black, a weekly installment of a creepy Bluebeard retelling. You can find out more about this project and support it for access at my Patreon.
But to sweeten the pot a little and encourage you to participate, I’ve put together this brief excerpt of my writing playlist with all of my favorite songs for this story. I’ve also made a Youtube version for those who want an easy link.
I hope you enjoy these songs! We are so close to the goal for this project to come alive, and I’m very excited.
To get this serial novella as it comes out, all you have to do is pledge! Check out my Patreon for more information.
It’s nearly the end of NaNoWriMo and the Thanksgiving season has begun. So far I have attended three Thanksgivings of one stripe or another, and I’m crazy behind on wordcount. I’m convinced that whoever placed NaNo in November did it specifically because they thought only children and college-aged folks would be interested. Adults spend far too much time in November cooking for other people to be able to summon the creative juices to write 50k.
Luckily, I am not writing that much. My NaNo goal was only 20k. I could conceivably do that in four (terrible) days if I had to, and I have already gotten pretty far along so I won’t have to do that to myself. And, despite being behind, there’s good news!
You may have seen this post, so let me explain what this means.
My writing process is sort of strange. As with most people, the process changes from book to book. However, with most stories I hit a moment when things start to cohere. Last weekend, as I was sitting in a restaurant waiting for a friend, I realized that I had finally discovery-written enough that things were starting to come together.
You see, I’m not a pantser, but I’m not a planner either. I’m more of a baker of stories, when it comes down to it. I plan out the ingredients according to the recipe I come up with, and then I start mixing things together. The end-goal remains consistent but sometimes the steps can be malleable. As any good baker knows, there’s usually a point part of the way through where you’re not sure if you’re doing it right. Maybe you didn’t add enough water or milk, and it needs a little more. Maybe you didn’t add enough flour. Whatever it was, you need intuition to take you in that direction, to get you to the perfect consistency of dough or batter.
And once you have that consistency right, the rest of it is just patting and rolling the story into shape.
Anyway, it’s an imperfect metaphor, but I’m living proof that you don’t need to outline 100% or to free-write 100%. I’m pretty sure if I did either the story that would come out would be dead, lacking the spark that makes it worth reading. For this story, I had a clear idea of the two main characters, parts of the setting, and the end I was working towards. I knew the bones. As I have written, I’ve been adding flesh and color in ways that, honestly, often surprise me. The story is beginning to take on a life of its own, and that means I’m doing something right.
This week I want to chat about what I’m working on currently, including my Patreon project.
I’ve had two goals for the past few months that I’ve been working on. One is to be on submission. This takes a lot more work than you probably think it does, and requires dusting up all the stories I’ve finished in the past few months, researching markets, and sending them out into the world. I have, tentatively, four or five short stories that I would like to find homes and have been finished in the past six months, which is a lot for me. I blame my new proclivity on a recent fascination with the form. Short stories are easier to read when I need a quick break during a busy day than novels, so I’ve been reading a lot more of them. I still don’t know if I’m a great short story writer, but I like to think that I’ve become a lot better in the past year if for no other reason than because my love for short stories has grown.
So anyway, that means I’ve spent a lot of time grooming stories, which can take several passes, and sending missives out into the metaphorical ether.
The other thing I’ve been doing, of course, is writing. Specifically, I’ve been working on the Patreon horror story I’ve wanted to do for some time now under the Black Roses header.
(Did I mention I made bookmarks? Possibly jumping the gun a bit but I love them so much I don’t care.)
For those unfamiliar, Patreon is a subscription service whereby you can support your favorite creators for as little as $1/month. You can even set up your payments through Paypal. At the moment, my Patreon is sort of fledgling and operates primarily to support my blog posts. I also post excerpts from things I’ve been working on, including the aforementioned short stories, with some explanation of what the story is about or why I particularly liked the excerpt in question. I’ve promised everyone dark poems at $20/month but we’re not quite there yet. If you’re interested, we’ve only got $8 to go to get there. You could be the lucky soul that unlocks this joy! (For a sample poem, click here.)
Anyway, the thing I’ve been writing the most on recently has been a draft of a serial horror story about a woman, her ghosts, and the man she thinks to bury them in. A writer I admire said to write ahead so I’ve been working on doing just that, but I can’t wait to share this story. We have to get to $30/month first, but as I get further in the draft I plan to post some fun bits to sweeten the pot. More on those to come!
I hope that you’ll forgive this shameless self-plugging and consider supporting this blog if it’s something that gives you joy. Thank you in advance if you choose to do so! Tune in next week for more Avatar discussions and a soccer reference.