PitchWars Update: November 2, 2017

I can’t believe I used to update my writing every day, for over six months even. Sheesh, that’s ridiculous.

Anyway, I busted my ass doing revisions on KINGDOM, now called IN THE SHADOW OF THE CAULDRON. You can see the agent showcase of it here. I think Hayley (@hayley_stone on Twitter) and I did great work on the pitch and the manuscript. Let me take a second to say how much Hayley did to help transform this novel.

She took what was, basically, a fucked up if nicely twisted story and slapped me around until I worked it into something that could be called “crafted”. Whether or not a reader enjoys it is, in the end, their preference. But, the damn thing has been revised with an eye toward craft, voice, and emotional resonance. I can’t say enough about her editor’s eye and her blunt directives. She was the perfect foil for my stubbornness and independent streak.

So now we see what comes next. Maybe some agents will take an interest in the showcase, maybe I will cold query.  Maybe I will get a publishing deal.  No matter, I will move on to the next phase and the next book.

I have ideas rambling in my head: the adult fairy tale about a man and his baby daughter at the end of the world; or, the fantasy thriller about the first female Navy SEAL now working for a tech company sent to an Arctic lab that’s gone silent; or a literary crime thriller retelling of the birth of the Minotaur set in the Philly underworld. I want to wait until early 2018 to get through this phase and start fresh.

Publishing a book would be nice. Or not. I’m just really excited to start writing again. Thanks to this process, and to Hayley, and to PitchWars, I’m a (much) better writer, and I can’t wait to dig into something new.


Day 179: June 27, 2017

I feel no better today. Well, the writing went more smoothly, but how I feel about writing and about the book is as depressing as it was yesterday. Sigh. Roll on and on and on. I jumped and fixed a bunch of question grammar in dialogue spots. Yay that.

Today’s chapter brought to you by a lifetime of grammar mistakes:

  • Levitte and Blue Time

More word shrinkage as well. In fact sort of massive today, though somewhat because I got sidetracked and dumped a frivolous scene from Chapter Two. (Because that’s what happens when I feel shitty about things.)

Word count yesterday: 124,044
Word count today: 123,419

Day 178: June 26, 2017

Yikes! Writing is not like riding a bike. Getting back on again is hard. My mind feels sloshy. I got some beta reader comments back on a few chapters and–shock–I couldn’t process the criticism. Combine that with having to do this revision work, and it’s like I’ve never written anything before.

I hate writing. This whole book sucks. It turns out I’ve been punctuating questions in dialogue wrong my whole life. At what point did I learn that wrong? And how did I learn that wrong? It’s amazing I’m good at anything.

Fine, whatever. I “revised”, if I can continue to use that word, considering how likely shitty this is all turning out.

  • Daron Chased and Sage’s Daughter.

I get the feeling the word count is going to drop dramatically because when I get pissy about writing I purge.

Word count yesterday: 124,044
Word count today: 123,846

Day 159: June 7, 2017

More easy work today. Had a bit of tricky dialogue that needed to be redone. But otherwise, there were only some pesky grammatical issues I found. The second part of the chapter, Aubrey’s part, had some subtle things happening. Kind of interesting, really. Maybe I’m getting interested in simply reading, rather than revising. Is that a good sign though? Hmm.

  • Chimdawn and the Power

Word count yesterday: 124,374
Word count today: 124, 218

Day 157: June 5, 2017

Started Part Two today, and the beginning of Act Two. Got through Chapter Six:

  • Waketee and Hanlon Caravan

Page count is going down! I think there will be some fantastic opportunities for pruning in these upcoming chapters, even if it’s bit by by, a hundred or so at a time.

Word count yesterday: 124,535
Word count today: 124, 426