Adding to the Process

With most of my stories, I don’t make notes after I’ve finished them. There’s really no need to since most of them are one-shot stories. This is a good thing because I don’t have reams and reams of notes I’ll never use again. It’s a bad thing because I do have a series building up and the only notes I have are on the individual stories.

There’s a simple solution – take a time out from writing those stories and create a story “bible.”  Television shows and existing fiction franchises keep story bibles so that important facts, events, and characters are portrayed accurately no matter who the author is who is writing a particular story. It’s something I have to add to my existing process.

So that’s what I’m doing right now. My Double Helix series started out as one book. Then I had an idea for another one, and a collection of short stories about how each of the members joined Helix. Now the series notes are up to six novels and six short story collections.  There are too many details to keep straight without a little help.

So characters, locations, organizations, timeline notes, and other details for the entire series are going into one place. I can update it when a new detail comes up. I can refer to it when I’m not certain about something. I can give my beta readers the relevant parts of it so they can make sure I’m consistent with descriptions and motivations.

It does take time away from writing the actual stories, but it will also make things quicker when I need to remember details. Here’s to learning and using new information.

Changing Gears

Now that the work is mostly done on the anthology (other than marketing), I’m having to change gears. I’m finding it a more difficult thing to do than I’d expected.

It’s not just moving past the anthology to the next project. It’s figuring out what that next project is. It’s determining just how much havoc the anthology caused to my plan for the year. Because it was completely unplanned and unexpected, I had to drop things I was working on.

Where do I pick up? Where do I start trying to get back on track?

I also have some major decisions to make about what method of publishing I want to pursue with some of my stories. Do I still want to pursue traditional publishing for some of them? Or do I want to self-publish all of them?

How do I market them? How do I build up an audience? A mailing list? What can I offer readers to sign up for my mailing list or visit my site?

How do get back in the right mindset to work on the projects I put aside?

These are some of the things I’m struggling with right now. It may take some time, but I will figure them out.

Post Reveal Letdown 

This Friday was a whirlwind. A lot of the posts, tweets, and things about the Queens & Courtesans anthology happened during the day while I was at work. That meant I had to catch up on everything when I got home. And there was a lot to catch up on!

The plan for the weekend was to get some writing done on some projects that were close to ready for publication.  I did get some work done but not as much as I wanted to.

I did have to spend some time tweaking some of the pre-sale settings on the anthology.  And to be honest, I needed to refill my creative well. So the weekend including some reading for fun and some knitting. 

Despite a lack of caffeine due to the shortcomings of my work cafeteria,  I’m recharged and ready to hit the keyboard when I get home this evening.

Wish me luck!

Cover Reveal, Pre-Sales, and Release Date!

The 2015 Sirens conference was my first. It made a rather large impression. I found part of my tribe. And out of a writing related post on Facebook back in February, something astounding grew.

Two characters, a queen and courtesan from completely different stories, were being very loud in my head. Neither was from the story I was working on at the time, but both were insistent. One of my fellow Sirens thought that would be an interesting conversation to hear. Not something I could write, since their stories are centuries and worlds apart – but her thought sparked another story idea in my mind. And in other Sirens’ minds as well. Within two weeks, the first real work on creating the anthology started.

I am extremely proud to be able to reveal the anthology cover, announce the release date, and announce that the e-version is available for pre-sale now.

Title: Queens & Courtesans: A Sirens Benefit Anthology
Release Date: Thursday, October 6, 2016

Queens & Courtesans Anthology Cover

Queens & Courtesans Anthology Cover

Description:

Women have long wielded power in various ways. This collection explores two prominent archetypes, the Queen and the Courtesan, in memorable stories that cross speculative genres. Whether finding love, or finding themselves, coming into their magic or other strengths, these complex women rise above the roles that confine them to ask: who will you be?

E-Book available for pre-sale at:

Decisions, Decisions

The benefit anthology that I wrote a story for is coming out soon.  As the US “publisher” I’ve been very involved in getting it set up with several different distribution channels. It hasn’t been too difficult, though they’re all just a little different.

But there’s a problem.

That book, sitting there all by itself on each distribution page, looks lonely.

My name is on the book, if I had other stories published – traditionally, or self-published – I could take advantage of any sales on the anthology.  There won’t be any “By the same author” links for any of my writing.  Some of my fellow contributors probably will see links like that with their names in them.

I’ve always intended to self-publish some of my writing. But I’ve been concentrating on a couple of novels that I was planning to submit for traditional publishing. I don’t have anything ready, polished enough, to self-publish right now. And a month probably isn’t long enough when I’m working on promoting the anthology.

So, do I pause the projects I’m working on? Self-publish them instead of going the traditional route? Or do I pull out some of the story ideas I haven’t written yet, finish and polish them with the intention of self-publishing them as soon as possible?

Decisions, decisions…

Early September Progress Report

We’re five days into September and so far I’ve been pretty productive.

I have:

  • posted over at Wandering at the Shadows’ Edge
  • posted over at Find the Soul
  • written 567 words on a new short story
  • set up the charity anthology on Amazon, CreateSpace, and Digital2Draft
  • tracked my word count for each day
  • got the email list fixed!
  • updated the Publisher and payment information on all the publishing accounts
  • input all my current story ideas in Scrivener – most are just notecards right now, but they’re all consolidated. There are over 100 ideas that I’ve either got notes or beginnings for.

September 2016 Planning

Well – This year has certainly gotten off track!  I have been writing, just not very much on the stories I’d planned on working on!  I’m keeping September’s planning really simple.

Other Writing Work

  • Reconnect the mailing list to the site
  • Submit the Queens & Courtesans anthology for publication and set release dates
  • Start marketing Queens & Courtesans
  • Blog posts – here, Wandering at the Shadow’s Edge, and Find the Soul
  • Tracking submissions, queries, etc.

Revision

Shadows and Secrets

Zero/First Drafts

  • Dark and Light
  • 1-2 short stories (Maybe)