March Progress + April Goals

Haven’t done one of these in a long ol’ while!

Last month was really productive. I mean, just this alone:

Yay. I got through the whole entire thing with purple highlighter + pen (not red pen though: blue pen).

I also started a revision of… The Spice Merchant’s Wife! I haven’t talked much about this project online. Originally drafted for NaNo 2010, this (…and its sequel, and its sequel) has been sitting on my ‘to-edit’ folder for years. What’s it about? Well, on a ~mysterious island~ populated only by women, down-on-her-luck gentlewoman Ciara is forced to marry brash spice merchant Ene despite desperate curiosity to explore beyond the shores. Why are there only women? What happened to the men? Will Ciara like the adventure she’s been hoping for when she finally gets it?

Right now I’m just doing a basic structure-and-grammar edit, because it’s in rusty shape (my first drafts ten years ago were nothing like the first drafts I put out now). I’ve got three about-50k-word manuscripts that I’m probably going to collapse into two parts, and add considerably to (they’re skinny lil things). Of course, that’ll take a bit longer than April, but progress is progress.

Sacrifice now has a release date of May 1. During April, I’m going to give Identity a bit of a facelift–I’ve been working on a slightly updated cover (see below), and I’ll go through again for stray words and general prettiness (and glossary-izing. Identity doesn’t even have a glossary… yet).

As always, I’ll keep puttering around the edges of Into the Grey. This monster now weighs 87 853 words. I’d still like to enhance the third section of it–it’s the least well described, at the moment. I’m thinking this draft is going to end at about 150 000, which is heavy even for high fantasy, unfortunately. There’s just a heck of a plot of plot there, what with Riann, Elisabetta, Damon, Sierra, Morley, the fae, the high court…

April wrap-up

I cannot believe it’s the end of April already.

Seriously… what a month. Mostly in personal things–it was an extremely trying month. But! Looking at what I did get accomplished, I’m pretty impressed with myself! The biggest one, of course: condo is sold. Signed, sealed, delivered! It’s off our hands. After three months of reno-ing on the weekends with a three year old trailing along, it’s hard to express what a relief this is. Now we’re looking for a new place and 👻

Anyway, on to the actually pertinent stuff. Y’know, writing!

As you can see from the summary below–this month was focused heavily on two projects: Loyalty (which has moved into beta-reading) and Into the Grey (to which I managed to add 24k words). No real progress on other projects, unfortunately.

PROGRESS in April

DRAFTING/EDITING PROJECTS

  1. Bolfenn: beta reading (no updates. Is it OK to nudge a beta reader if there’s like no progress? I don’t want to irritate anyone but…)
  2. Into the Grey: drafting, 26k/100k target (broke 50k last night!)
  3. Loyalty: alpha reading (beta reading)
  4. Sacrifice: currently at 58k/90k target (no progress this month)

QUERYING PROJECTS

  1. Bootstrap_: Sent three queries:
    1. Another two rejections this month. Also submitted a couple more places.

IN THE SOMEDAY-QUEUE

No updates from last month 😭

  1. Lesbian Island actual title The Spicer’s Wife, historical spec-fic: needs a from-the-ground-up rewrite
  2. Sad Valkyrie, historical fantasy: also needs a from-the-ground-up rewrite
  3. That Sequel to Bolfenn, sci-fi/new-adult
    I am tentatively combining this with another prequel story on the history of the Ala’pr and the Niptae. Combined 5500/100k words.
  4. The Dreamers and the Dying, hard sci-fi: 2300 words, on pause
  5. The Vernacular of the Regency Romance, LGBTQ historical romance, not even started but I this idea so much ugh

And as for goals… it was a pretty successful month!

GOALS for April

Writing

  1. Get all the Loren-POV chapters in Loyalty in their own doc, read this story, and revise so it is a satisfying narrative
    if it’s satisfying or not, I don’t know, but it’s reasonably coherent.
  2. Commission character artwork of Casey+Norah in the Ll’Amh bay and begin offering this as a freebie for physical sales
  3. Add at least another 20k words to Into The Grey
  4. Sell five copies (or complete KENP reads) of Identity
    As of today–four. Sooooo close 😭
  5. Add at least 5k words to Sacrifice
    Haha nope.

Blogging

  1. People liked the post on Print Formatting! So I’ll publish Part Two this month
    Nope.
  2. Collate links and publish the initial Megapost of Online Writing Tools

Social Media

  1. I’d like to increase from 1400ish followers on Twitter to about 2400
    Another close one. I’m at about 2150 right now! 1000 per month was probably a bit too ambitious.
  2. Get another review!
    THREE new reviews. Blasted past this one.

March wrap-up and April Goals

Well, as I said in my very first ever post “hello,” I’m going to use this blog in part to track my writing progress & goals.

And boy did I make some progress this month!

PROGRESS in March

DRAFTING/EDITING PROJECTS

  1. Bolfenn: beta reading (beta 1 of 3 completed this month)
  2. Into the Grey: drafting, 10k/100k (drafting, 26k/100k target!)
  3. Bootstrap_: alpha reading; ending needs significant re-write (Finished revision & off this list)
  4. Loyalty: alpha reading
    Entirely re-working Loren’s chapters based on alpha feedback. But, I also got a beta read done, and she loved Anutea–so I’m taking that as a good sign for the non-Loren chapters. He’s such a tricky character. I think I’ll do his character sheet next. Tricky. 🤔
  5. Sacrifice: revising & adding scenes still, currently at 58k/90k target

QUERYING PROJECTS

  1. Bootstrap_: Sent three queries:
    1. One rejection to date. Very kind.
      Thank you for querying me with BOOTSTRAP.  I think you have an interesting project here, but I’m afraid I’m not connecting with it on the whole in a way that makes me think I’d be the best champion for it, so I am going to have to pass.

IN THE SOMEDAY-QUEUE

  1. Lesbian Island actual title The Spicer’s Wife, historical spec-fic: needs a from-the-ground-up rewrite
  2. Sad Valkyrie, historical fantasy: also needs a from-the-ground-up rewrite
  3. That Sequel to Bolfenn, sci-fi/new-adult
    I am tentatively combining this with another prequel story on the history of the Ala’pr and the Niptae. Combined 5500/100k words.
  4. The Dreamers and the Dying, hard sci-fi: 2300 words, on pause
  5. The Vernacular of the Regency Romance, LGBTQ historical romance, not even started but I this idea so much ugh

OTHER

@crownyami was super super kind and did a full revision of Identity, which I then incorporated and re-published. It looks so good now guys seriously! Also I’m never ever touching it again, so.

(Until next month… probably).

GOALS for April

Writing

  1. Get all the Loren-POV chapters in Loyalty in their own doc, read this story, and revise so it is a satisfying narrative
  2. Commission character artwork of Casey+Norah in the Ll’Amh bay and begin offering this as a freebie for physical sales
  3. Add at least another 20k words to Into The Grey
  4. Sell five copies (or complete KENP reads) of Identity
    This was last month’s goal too and I did it! 💪 Actually I managed eleven
  5. Add at least 5k words to Sacrifice

Blogging

  1. People liked the post on Print Formatting! So I’ll publish Part Two this month
  2. Collate links and publish the initial Megapost of Online Writing Tools
    I think people will find this one useful too

Social Media

  1. I’d like to increase from 1400ish followers on Twitter to about 2400
  2. Get another review!
    I’d like to complete the year with 10 reviews

Loyalty progress

March is the month of endless revisions, apparently: Identity (which I actually had the gall to think I was done with) and now I have beta feedback on Loyalty.

Actually it’s not bad. I’d planned to dedicate the entire month of April to fixing whatever structural problems came up, and… drum roll please… there don’t appear to be any!

At least, not in the opinion of one person.

My alpha reader still thinks it doesn’t pack the same punch Identity did, and obviously I don’t want it to be a let-down, so I think I’m going to let it simmer a bit. I’ll dedicate April to it by not even looking at it, then return in May and hopefully have a bit of distance to be able to evaluate it properly and figure out what secret spice is still missing.

It needs that zing.

Criticism:

  • I use too many ellipses (guilty)
  • Same but for semi-colons (definitely guilty)
  • Paragraphs could do with being longer to create better flow
    • Actually this one is funny because Identity has the exact opposite problem
  • Cut a little dialogue–“be careful, or the reader might feel a bit tired”

And positive remarks:

  • “I definitely can see that Anutéa has matured during the whole book, in fact she is my favourite character. But at the same time, she is really courageous and badass, something that I am not, but I know every reader wants to be”
    • YAY
  • “I also enjoyed how this book is fast paced, but at the same time it is not rushed as some novels tend to be”
    • DOUBLE YAY

And a really great idea:

  • “I enjoyed also how the book is structured!  It would also be cool to have a glossary on how to pronounce the names and a map! A map would be awesome”

Well, off I toddle to go Google the best way to create glossaries for entirely imaginary worlds which exist in my mind.

(The trouble with maps, of course, is that right now my jumpgate travel system is entirely non-falsifiable. I can say RE-ytri is a two-days’ journey from AA-olea, and who can argue? Once there’s a map though…

I foresee trouble ahead)