Posted by on Nov 24, 2015 in On Writing: Craft and Commiseration, Pentamerone (Tale of Tales), The Green Bird, WoC, Word Count Updates and Writing Goals | 0 comments

I don’t usually share my To Do list because I assume no one cares but I’m in the weird position where I owe a lot of people various things and rather than try to email everyone an update, it seems simpler to just do one big pots of where I am right now and when you can expect what to be finished. to do list photo

  • I finished the Polar Twilight MG novel adaptation, henceforth referred to as WoC1 for simplicity, on November 14th. I raced to finish the whole book that early because I wanted to let it sit for at least a month before editing, something we’ll talk about more in a minute.
  • I had planned to use the rest of NaNoWriMo (which I “won” by passing 50,000 on the 12th if you were curious) to do some editing but, because I’m the ML and can’t really opt out of word wars and editing is slow, word count wise, I decided to hold off on that for a few more days. Instead, I’m back at work on that NaNoWriMo book. Instead of trying to get the whole thing out, I decided to chop it into four sections and release each as a solo short eBook, Kindle Singles style, with the aim of collecting them all into a single full book before November 2016 once every section’s done. Right now, I’m focused on what will ultimately be the final section of the book, the Post-NaNoWriMo section on editing, revising and making writing a habit in your life after November because it makes the most sense to publish first. While lots of it is comprised of old blog posts I did for my Wrimos as ML, there’s a fair amount of new material too and lots of parts need to be rewritten. I’m trying to get a rough draft of that done before the end of the month and I’m a bit over halfway there right now.
  • When the NaNo book is done, I’ll be doing some tweaks to The Green Bird based on the performances of it I saw last month for the benefit of the productions happening in the new year. Those tweaks will go live to the published versions and groups that already have scripts will get a list of what they are if they want to incorporate them into their productions.
  • After that, I’ll be trimming The Green Bird down to a one-act version and looking for a world premiere of that. I know it would have been more helpful to some of you for me to have had that out before the end of November but I really needed to see those productions before I could cut it down. Either way, the aim is to get this done as soon as possible, preferably before the end of the year.
  • Once I’ve pushed Bird out of the nest again, I’ll be revising the aforementioned Post-NaNo book with the aim of getting it out ideally before January 1st to take advantage of all those editing resolutions. Literally, as soon as it’s ready to go, I’ll publish it. In the meantime, I’ll also be blogging it bit by bit here as I finish sections.
  • Now, it’s impossible to say exactly how long any of this will take but somewhere in there, I’m hoping to have at least one more fairy tale adaptation play available before the end of the year. I know exactly which one and it’s nearly done, I just had to put it aside for a few weeks because of NaNoWriMo. If everything I just listed was the only stuff going on, I’d say I could get it done mid-month no problem, but there’s one final wrinkle in all of the above and that’s WoC1 aka the novel I just wrote for NaNoWriMo.

WoC1 is a Christmas book. It takes place on Christmas Eve and at least part of it happens at the North Pole. The main character is one of Santa’s elves (…sort of). The reason I raced to finish the first draft of this book so early in November is because I know it will be 9 million times easier to edit during the actual Christmas season when inspiration will literally be everywhere. I am also completely obsessed with this story as you probably guessed by the fact that I wrote the entire first draft of what is now the second book in a week last December and rewrote it about five times completely this year. My muse is screaming in my face that I need to write this story right now and it seems just plain stupid not to listen because I don’t know that I’ve EVER felt a book so strongly before.

But there’s no denying there’s a certain lack of logic in taking time away from working on plays and non-fiction books that there is currently a demand for, that would absolutely pay, to work on yet another novel there’s no guarantee I’ll ever be able to do anything with. It doesn’t make a bit of sense on paper but I’ve learned that instinct plays a big part in this writing game so I’m taking the gamble that work on this novel will be time well spent. I have doubt about it all the time, particularly because this whole story is so weird and controversial that I don’t know that anyone’s ever going to want to read it let alone pay money for it. But no matter how many times I think that, I find myself working on it again and thinking about it constantly and I just can’t ignore that impulse.

Anyway, I know it’s frustrating for those of you waiting on plays almost done that I’m putting aside while I do another pass on this ridiculous book but all I can do is remind you that I work like a madwoman and write a ludicrous amount so it’s still entirely possibly I’ll have the plays out pretty soon, even with the break to edit a novel. And, who knows, maybe the novel will turn into Something Decent and then I’ll adapt it into an awesome play too to make it up to you. It would be just like me to adapt a play into a novel and then adapt that novel back into a play, wouldn’t it?

So, that’s the plan for the rest of the year. It’s a lot and I’m not entirely convinced I’ll get it all done before I run out of 2015 but we’ll see how it goes! I’ve already written over 90,000 words this month and I’m on track to pass 100,000 before the end of the month so it’s not like I’m slacking off over here…

Photo by Mufidah Kassalias