The Downside of Traditional or Epic Fantasy — October 8, 2012

The Downside of Traditional or Epic Fantasy

In re-evaluating the self-imposed deadlines I set for myself, I started thinking about the wisdom of writing the books sitting in my brain.

On the one hand, I feel like there are so many characters and stories in there right now there isn’t room for more, for different. That’s the biggest factor that makes writing these stories right now so appealing.

On the other hand, all these books hinge on Woven and its trilogy getting published. Events that are the crux of the story in Heirs of the Seven Realms inform the events of pretty much everything else. Characters sometimes cross over from book to book, and sometimes one story’s book will have a side or tertiary character whose offspring appears later.

Someone remind me not to ever come up with and entertain so many stories that cross each other again, okay?

If you have a question you’re dying to ask me, something you want me to address either here on my site or over at the Dojo, send it to info(at)stephanie-mcgee(dot)com 

Comments and other fun stuff can be sent to stephanie(at)stephanie-mcgee(dot)com

Update Tuesday 11/6-11/12 — November 15, 2011

Update Tuesday 11/6-11/12

Wow, is it Tuesday again already? Where does time go?

So, this past week was not so great for me, writing-wise. Why? I always struggle to get back to everything that I like to do, all the routines, when something new comes along that impacts my scheduling.

What impacted my scheduling? My job. I started last week and while I didn’t work a full week I still struggled to get to my writing/revising projects.  I did manage to get a little bit in though on Saturday night, finally.

I’ve started revising Mirror, Mirror and it’s going okay so far.  As I wrote the first draft there were definitely things that came up that I knew would need to be addressed in revisions.  At one point I entirely redesigned the geography of a city my MC starts out in and returns to several times throughout the book and the trilogy. But only after I’d written the opening scene where she sneaks a prisoner of the crown out of the city.

I made note on the inside of the cover of each notebook when there was something that came up to be addressed in revisions. These included noting where I needed to revamp to match the new city layout, ideas that came up that need to be foreshadowed throughout what came before that moment, etcetera.

I’m dealing with those right now on this first pass through the manuscript. Hopefully that will also help me beef up the word count since this one ended quite short of the mark of where it should be. I’m aiming to bump the count up to somewhere in the 70-75K range. We’ll see if people want it longer.

With what I started on Saturday night, and I didn’t get too far, I added 564 words to the story. It now is just shy (by about 160 words, give or take) of 56K. So I have a ways to go. But I’m okay with that. When this pass is done I’ll be going through and making a revision outline and then looking for beta readers.

How are your WiPs going?

Update Tuesday 10/30-11/5 — November 8, 2011

Update Tuesday 10/30-11/5

Well, let’s see.  I’ve totally lost all resolve for taking November off from anything writing-related.  I spent a couple of hours on Saturday figuring out some elements of the book that still needed filling in.  There were lots of places in the draft where I’d just put [Insert such-and-such here] and moved on.

That is what I spent my time Saturday worrying about.  And I finally figured out what I wanted there and am mostly satisfied with the results of such at this juncture.  Sure what was added might change in edits.  (I’m sure some betas will not like what I put in.)  But that’s what editing is for.  I just needed to get it in there so I could actually have words to edit.  After all, you can’t edit what isn’t on the page.

I really love this book and these characters.  Almost as much as I love the characters from the first book I ever set out to write.  (Which I’m still determined to save someday.)

How are your WiPs going?

Update Tuesday 10/9-10/15 — October 18, 2011

Update Tuesday 10/9-10/15

Okay, that time again!

Mirror, Mirror:


Ahem. Sorry. Just a little excited. I stayed up uber-late on Tuesday night and finished the book. Estimated word count for notebook 2 on this one brings me to just under 60K for a total word count. It’s okay, though, because there are lots of floating head scenes that need fleshing out after I finish transcribing everything.

NaNo Project:

Well, I’ve opted not to participate in NaNo this year.  So this is the last you’ll hear of NaNo for the year from me.  The reason for this is that some other things have come up that make drafting a new novel the lowest of my writing priorities right now.

Top Secret project:

This is what’s taken over.  It’s a project I’ve worked on before, but I’m not saying which one it is or what specifically is happening with this one.  I’ll tell you when I can.

How are your WiPs going?

Update Tuesday 10/2-10/8 — October 11, 2011

Update Tuesday 10/2-10/8

Another week gone by.  Another week closer to my goal.  And, yes, friends, I’m much closer to my goal.

I wrote two and a half chapters or so last week.  My characters have finally caught a break and the distractions/diversions from their goal have vanished.  Writing those chapters (I’d left off in mid-chapter the week before) left me with two chapters and an epilogue to write.

Which means that perhaps even as you’re reading this I’m writing the last period on this manuscript.  (I always put the epilogue after “The End” so it doesn’t really work to use those two words as the final touch on the draft.)

I’m still debating which project to go with for NaNo.  (Also, I really must sign up on the official website for that one.)  I’ll keep you updated on that once I finish the draft of Mirror, Mirror.

How are your WiPs going?

Update Tuesday 9/25-10/1 — October 4, 2011

Update Tuesday 9/25-10/1

Hello, friends!  Another week gone.  And now we’re in October.  (Seriously, I think that some paranormal being sneaks into my life and steals days from my years.  How is it already this close to the end of the year?)

I got much writing done this week, friends.  Mirror, Mirror is coming along nicely.  I’m fairly certain at this point that I’m going to have to brainstorm more rug-pulling events for my characters to build out my word count.

But that is where beta readers will come in handy.  Because they’ll be able to tell me where they want more information/details/etcetera and I can use that to round out my word count.

I love writing longhand, though, because it forces me to focus on the story and not word count.  I’m telling the story as I see it in my head and not trying to throw in needless information just to reach a certain arbitrarily chosen number.

I’m aiming to finish this by mid-October as I’ve pretty much committed to participating in NaNoWriMo this year.  Keep your fingers crossed that life doesn’t blow up in my face, as it is wont to do, preventing me from accomplishing said goal.

How are your WiPs going?

Update Tuesday 9/18-9/24 — September 27, 2011

Update Tuesday 9/18-9/24

I can’t remember exactly where I left off at the end of the previous week.  I do know that I fell into this trap where every time I sat down to write, I ended up spending my writing time working out some niggling little detail of world-building that I didn’t think about when I did that initial push in that department.

This was both good and bad.  Good in the sense that going forward I have a clearer idea of some things, but bad in that it means some revision in what’s already been written.  But then good because that’ll actually beef up my word count some and really (I hope) make my world seem more vivid.

I’m pretty sure I wrote a couple of chapters last week.  How’s that for being accountable?  I need to keep better track of my work each week if I’m going to continue doing these update posts.  And I will track it more diligently.  After typing this I’ve gone and written out a sticky note for myself marking where I’m starting the next week at.

I figure I need to fill this spiral notebook and one other to have an appropriate word count; but then I remind myself that the point of writing longhand is so that I’m focused on story and not word count.  I can always find places to add in words.  (I am generally pretty spare in my descriptions and I know readers would like to see more scenery so my characters aren’t just talking heads.)

How are your WiPs going?

WiP Wednesday 9/11-9/17 — September 21, 2011

WiP Wednesday 9/11-9/17

So, yeah.

I probably only wrote like 1400 words in all of last week.  If I don’t step up my game I’m not going to finish this book before the end of the month.

Although, I did do something really important that will help me finish.  (Not necessarily finish by the end of the day September 30th.)  I realized I needed a little bit more going on in the book to flesh out a proper word count.  So I let that thought simmer and when I wasn’t looking the perfect idea struck me.  It’s not anything I have to weave into what’s already been written, just a couple more stumbling blocks to throw at my characters before we reach the end of book 1.

One night instead of writing I ended up re-outlining the rest of book 1 so that I have a framework to build from.  Which was important.  Unfortunately, I kept getting sidetracked and didn’t yet make it to sitting down and writing by the time the week was over.

How are your WiPs going?

WiP Wednesday 9/7 — September 7, 2011

WiP Wednesday 9/7

Well, it’s that time again.  This time I only have one project to update you on.

Mirror, Mirror (YA traditional fantasy)

I’ve made some progress.  Thanks to a temp job and a sudden move across state lines, August was a rather unproductive month for me.  I’m settling back into a semblance of normal and have been getting some writing done.  Usually this happens at night right before bed.  Which I’m fine with.

I filled the first notebook (I’m writing this one longhand) and moved into the second.  When that happened I also started to type out what’s already been written.  I’m probably sitting around 29K-30K words right now so I am probably going to end up adding a lot in when I go through and revise.  There is room for it as I tend to be pretty spare in my setting and action descriptions on the first draft.  Especially in dialogue passages.  The first revision usually largely addresses the floating head syndrome.

In all, I plan to be done with this book’s first draft by the end of the month.

How are your WiPs going?

WiP Wednesday 8/3 — August 3, 2011

WiP Wednesday 8/3

First off, I’m thinking of taking a new picture to use for the WiP Wednesday posts. What think ye, friends?

Secondly, you might not be getting a photo of me any time soon.  I’ve likely torn all my hair out over query package items.

On to the updates!

YA fantasy WiP:

I finally got the redesign of the capital city and the palace grounds and interior done so that meant I could actually go back to writing.  Which is going slow, but I think that this chapter is really coming alive thanks to the time I took in redesigning everything.  Plugging away at chapter 7 (there are currently 15 planned chapters) and trying to balance everything in my world right now.

How are your WiPs going?