Journey’s End, Journey’s Beginning

And a bittersweet milestone has been reached tonight. My final revisions to The Sword of Fate are finished. Need to run this past my wife for review one last time and then it’s off to the editor.

This wraps up the tenth story to feature my “Rogue with No Name” and that brings this particular collection to a close. It’s going to be tough to put him out to pasture for a while. He’s been a big part of my life for the past four years, ever since I first began developing this character. I can’t say every story wound up working out like I initially envisioned them, but it’s been a great deal of fun going through folktales, fairy tales, and legends to find just the right story that would work with this guy.

So, I suspect at the end of the weekend, my 16,000+ word short story, (O.K.,, that’s probably a short novella for you purists out there), will be en route to my more than patient editor for this series of stories and eventually, it’ll be available for purchase or review.

Now, it’s time to turn my attention to other things that need to be written.

What? You thought I was going to take the weekend off and do something fun like play Guild Wars or Mage Wars or go to the RenFest?

O.K., well, maybe a bit.

Writer Miscellanea

Let’s see, what all can a writer do when he doesn’t add to his word count?

1) Sent off two contracts to a publisher for work coming out late 2014/early 2015

2) Sent off a newly revised proposal for Secret Project #1. (Keeping fingers crossed.)

3) Submitted a proposal to another publisher for Secret Project #2. Don’t expect any movement on that for a while, but keeping other fingers crossed there.

4) Made my hotel reserved for Archon.

4a) To do soonest: make my plane reservations for FenCon and Archon.

This is the home stretch for my four “out-of-area” conventions for the year. After this, everything I’m going to in 2014 is either in the Washington D.C. or Baltimore area so that’s just a short drive or light rail trip away. It’s nice sometimes to go to new towns and find cool shops and restaurants, but it’s tough to beat going to a convention and still getting to sleep in your own bed.

5) Pro Se Productions released the cover to my novella (formerly known as Murder in Monaco, now known as Mouse Trap), featuring The Original Black Cat

From their FB post:

The cover below features the Golden Age Comic Heroine The Black Cat! Author Richard White breathes prose life into this classic character in his upcoming story- MOUSE TRAP- to be a part of an imprint to debut from Pro Se later this year entitled….

Well, we think that’s enough announcement for now…:)

Black Cat Proposed Cover_color

I had to add, “I have to thank Rock Baker, Jeff Austin, and Marc Haines for this fabulous cover. Great job, guys. Here’s hoping my story is up to this incredible cover.”

“The stuff dreams are made of . . .”

The Pearls of Darkness Affair has been edited, re-edited, re-formatted, and sent off to the publisher. Hopefully, we’ll be seeing it and The Full Moon Affair released later this fall. (crossing fingers)

Plus, I added another thousand words to Crossed Swords today, so there was some progress there too.

Also, I’ve revised the proposal for the secret project, did the page breakdowns, and I’m ready to submit the pitch to the new publisher once he gets back from vacation.

That might be enough for tonight. I think hitting the sack early might be on tap for tonight. Time to curl up with a good book and relax.

One down, too many to go.

Success!

Tonight, I finished the line edits for The Pearls of Darkness Affair. The second story of my Theron Chase duology is finished. All I have left to do it type the changes into the computer, make a few more edits (because, I always do), and then get this shipped off to Tommy Hancock and Pro Se Productions.

Also, wrote about 750 words on the secret project. How many of them will survive when I get back to it tomorrow? Not sure yet. Again, I’m not always the most comfortable when it comes to writing short, especially when I’m introducing a new story and characters. Got to get right into the story, but still have some character development too. It’s a balancing act, but one I hope to get better at as this project comes along.

Now, it’s back to Crossed Swords tomorrow.

*looks around* Now where the heck did I leave that time-turner?

Giving a story a breath test

We’re making progress on several fronts. Plotted out the next section of Crossed Swords and worked up a plot for the secret project while I was at work today. So, while no “words”, there is now forward movement on both projects.

Then came home and edited the first 36 pages of Pearls of Darkness Affair. Hopefully, I’ll have all the edits done by Friday and then I can spend Sat/Sun getting them retyped and do one last “vocal” pass before sending it off.

With my short stories/novellas, I definitely like to read them out loud as a form of editing. If sentences sound stilted, if you have trouble getting phrases out, if you simply run out of breath between periods, then you may want to find a better way to present that thought. I learned that the first time I tried to do a reading in public and realized maybe pearl divers had enough oxygen in their lungs to say a couple of my early sentences, but I didn’t. Ever since then, I try to ensure my stories are readable vocally as well as visually.

Onward and upward!

The other things a writer does besides write

Ah, the joys of finishing a story . . . that means it’s time to start editing. Printed out a couple of copies of The Pearls of Darkness Affair. I’m editing one and my wife, Joni is editing the other. By the end of the week, I hope to collect up both edits, merge them together and then send this puppy in to the publisher to get assigned to their editor.

On top of that, I’ve been chatting with another editor about a project that I can’t wait to officially announce. I’m really excited about this, since it’s a project I’ve been developing sine 1985. I’m going to have a lot of fun with this one.

Plus, just finished signing a couple of contracts which will get mailed out tomorrow for projects that’ll be coming out later this year.

So, maybe no new words on the “official word count”, but lots of good words. Lots of good words.

Finishing and Starting

And the first draft of The Pearls of Darkness Affair is finished. Now, it’s time to print out a copy and take the red pen to it.

This story took way too long to write, but given this summer, everything’s taken too long to write.

I need to concentrate on getting Crossed Swords done and I need to finish the edits and retype Sword of Fate and get both of those off to the editor. Then we can consider some of the other stuff to come.

Wow, it feels good getting some of the stuff off of my plate.

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Something I have to tell myself from time to time:Remember the first rule of writing:”The first draft of anything sucks. That’s why they invented editing.”

And the second rule:

“You can’t edit a blank page.”

Just let it rip. Write, edit, and then write more.

Even if you don’t sell it, you learn something from the act of writing. You have to simply keep going, even when it sounds horrible. Probably because it may be. But, once you have it, then you can go back and say, “this isn’t too bad, just needs polishing,” or “Self, you were right, this sucks” and edit it out of the book.

But, you can’t edit yourself into not writing. That’s getting the cart before the horse.

 

Playing catch-up here

1) Shore Leave was a lot of fun for Friday and Saturday. Really enjoyed Meet the Pros, met some new people, sold some books, signed some stuff. The get together in the bar afterwards was fantastic and stayed up with friends way too late swapping “No fooling, there I was” war stories until 3am.

Saturday’s panels went very well. The Writing Historical Fiction panel was overrun and overshort. We had so many attendees, we couldn’t even finish our portion much less answer all the questions. We’re hoping to get a two-hour block next year. Howard Weinstein did a great job setting this up. The Writer Beware panel went well. We had both Michael Capabianco and me from the Writer Beware committee and David Wilson who sat in to give not only another writer’s POV but also a small publisher’s.

2) Sunday? Not so hot. Apparently I picked up a screw in my tire coming home Saturday evening, so I spent what should have been the third day of Shore Leave at the tire store. 4 new tires and a brake job later, I decided it was time to punt.

3) Sunday – good: Watched Guardians of the Galaxy. Going to see it again tomorrow night. Yeah, it’s that good.

4) Wrote 1400 new words on Crossed Swords this week. Almost ready to put that story to bed.

5) Spent Tues/Weds working with some artists to get everything coordinated for the cover to Murder in Monaco. Can’t wait until the publisher gives me the green light to tell you more about this project.

6) Talking with a publisher about pitching a comic series to them as well as writing some other stuff for them. More to come.

7) Went on a writer’s walk-about today. Spent the day at Macha Time Cafe in Ellicott City. Knocked out 4700+ words on The Pearls of Darkness and will be getting back to work on it as soon as I post this. Hopefully, I can finish this up tonight. *crosses fingers*

And that’s the week in a snapshot.