Saturday, May 9, 2009

Writing projects ongoing

I need to get back into the habit of updating this blog with progress reports on my own personal writing (even if no one is particularly interested in hearing about it). I find that I am more productive if I am publicly proclaiming what I am doing. It seems to put some pressure on me to actually do something. The magazine is an obvious expression of that: I committed to doing it monthly, told the whole world and, by gods, it comes out monthly. If I had said that it would appear on an "irregular" or "occasional" schedule, as some zines do, there probably wouldn't have been a second issue yet, much less a third and a fourth.

My own writing progress has been generally good, at least in fits and starts, during the past year, but I have a lot of unfinished stuff that needs to start getting finished. I have submitted nothing for publication in ages and have published nothing in two years (last thing was a horror short called "Incarnation" in the long-since-defunct webzine Sinister City). My newer and newest work that I want to see done and out in the world pretty soon is as follows:

1) A short story called "Fracture," a sort of "day that everything changed somehow" type tale, which I prepared for M-Brane publication as a chapbook "extra" to go out with some print-eds of the zine back when I was doing that in-house, but I haven't actually released it. I am considering sending it elsewhere, but just never seem to do it. I think it's done save for maybe another minor revision. It was inspired by a dream that I had in which J had amnesia and couldn't remember anything more recent than his tenth birthday.

2) A recently-written short story called "The Robbie," an android story set in some strange future. I think this one is basically done, but I might read it over and tweak it some more as with the one above. The problem with it, however, is that it ended up being so balls-out sexually explicit, almost from the first paragraph to the last, that I am not sure if there is a single market that I could send it to. Also, the sex is so integral to it that it really can't be cut out or cranked down that much without defeating the whole thing. It may end up in the "Q" anthology, if I can't find another home for it.

3) A very much unfinished new short story, as yet untitled, which is supposed to be my attempt at a submission for that female pirate anthology that's coming up soon. It's set in the far future and deals with a pirate in space and also, somehow, dark matter lifeforms. Anyway, she's on a big vendetta and tearing up the space-lanes. This one needs completion soon. I think I had a breakthrough on it last night.

4) The fabled novel-in-progress, code-name Neglected Project, which stands at a bit over 60000 words right now, and probably needs at least 30K more. This been slooooow-going the last few months. The first 40K of it sprang into being almost intact in a furious burst of productivity over just a few days last fall. Then it slowed down. I know the entire plot-line from beginning to end, but have been having trouble making myself write some scenes that need to happen. Which makes me think I need to reconsider if they are the right scenes. I skipped ahead in the story from time to time during its writing, so there are big holes that need filling and backfilling one way or another. I need to set a reasonable daily or weekly word-count goal for this one, I think, and then stick to it.

And I guess that's enough for now. I have folders full of files representing dozens of other unfinished projects, but I think these are the ones that I need to stick with and see through to completion and publication.

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Jamie Eyberg said...

the amnesia story sounds fascinating. As writers we should constantly be thinking 'what if. . .'

Christopher Fletcher said...

Yeah the amnesia story was first-drafted in pretty much one sitting that morning when I woke up from the dream. The dream was really quite scary and very, very sad, and I felt like I needed to write about it somehow right away. I seem to get a lot of useful material out of dreams. My novel-in-progress started that way, too. It was intended to be a short story derived from a vivid dream, but I quickly blew it out into a much bigger story. Now the original dream-inspired sequence of it doesn't even happen until over halfway into the book.

Christopher Fletcher said...

Hey I use it to remind myself of the very same thing!

Anonymous said...

'More productive if I am publicly proclaiming what I am doing' - me too! The difference is that you have some people who will notice if your proclamations come to nothing. ;0)

Bounced here from Twitter. Looks interesting...

Maus is an excellent cat name. Who's Jack named for? I once met a cat called Biggles - cos he wasn't Ginger. (Aagh.)

Christopher Fletcher said...

Yeah, the downside is that I do have to occasionally issue a retraction when things come to nothing. I've come to accept that I am occasionally going to make an ass of myself, but I work to minimize the frequency of such. Glad you liked the cats' names...I'm not quite sure how we arrived at Jack for his name. It just sort of popped into my head when I met him and stuck there all day until I finally settled upon as it his name. It also amuses me that it is a common human name--sort of funny when applied to animals.

Merc said...

*finally starts catching up, in theory*

Well, I enjoy hearing about people's writing projects so I definitely think you should update occasionally (i.e. more often). :P

I agree sometimes publicly stating goals and what's going on "encourages" one to work on them. %-) How goes the pirate story?

Christopher Fletcher said...

The pirate story is still causing me trouble. I think I am close to unraveling its confusion, however!


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