Writer’s Desk

Hello again, dreamers.

Two consecutive weeks making these posts. It feels good to be back. I have a busy month ahead of me, but I’d like to think I’m off to a good start. Nonetheless, much remains to be done in the week ahead. That said, there’s no time to waste. Here’s what I’ll be up to this week:

Wide Horizon

I have to admit, it feels good to be working with Wide Horizon again…better than I thought it would. It almost feels like catching up with an old friend, and remembering everything you liked about them. That’s not to say I haven’t been making changes, however.

While I’ve yet to make any major structural changes to the story (and likely will not), I feel very good about what I’ve been doing. One of the benefits of coming back to a story after a while is objectivity. For some time, I’d been a bit insecure about the style and language of Wide Horizon, but every time I went to make changes, I stopped myself. I feared that by starting to change the style and wording, I’d end up making Wide Horizon more like most of the science fiction I’ve written since then, and the story would lose something that made it feel unique.

Having been away for a while (and, I’d like to think, grown a bit as a writer), I’ve found much of the language…stilted, for lack of a better term. It’s verbose, at times excessively so. So, much of what I’ve been doing amounts to “tightening up” the story: shortening sentences, breaking them up, using more eloquent wording, removing excess adjectives. The end result thus far has been the same basic story, but more readable, which is precisely what I was hoping for.

As of this writing, I’m roughly halfway through the 148k-odd word manuscript. This means I’m behind schedule, but given that I got off to a slow (and late) start, I’m pleased with my pace. Now, of course, comes the hard part: I’m heading into the relatively long climax of the story. Through my original revisions and editing, this was a portion that caused a lot of problems. Hopefully I’ll be able to wade through it by Wednesday, which would put me only a half a week behind my original timetable, and free me up to move on to my next task…

The Pioneer

Once my pass through Wide Horizon is complete (ideally by Wednesday night), I will begin my full revisions of The Pioneer. The day is not arbitrary; as of Thursday, it will be precisely two months until the submission window for Pitch Wars 2019 opens. I have a lot to do in that time.

The good news is that The Pioneer has already been written. The bad news is that it has, to this point, only been lightly revised. Looking back, I can’t help but feel this is owed to a longer period of creative exhaustion than I’d anticipated. I wrote The Pioneer in only six months. In retrospect, that took a lot more out of me than I’d realized. Now, however, I feel like I’m back on my feet, and for that reason I’m almost dreading this.

My recollection of the last few times I went through The Pioneer was of it being pretty much what I wanted to be. Given my experience in writing Wide Horizon, that worries me. It would be an understatement to say that Wide Horizon is a very different story now than it was when I completed the first draft, and that was after most of the first two parts of the story had already been heavily revised. I can’t help but think that creative exhaustion led to my resigned satisfaction with The Pioneer the last few times I tried to revise it. That means I probably have a lot of work ahead of me.

I already have some ideas of where I can improve the story, to be sure. But I know that I won’t really see the problems until I start working through it again. I have a feeling that, once I start getting back into it, I’ll have a much better idea of what’s good and what needs changing.

I have two months to get The Pioneer to where I want it to be. I’ll be elated if I manage to get it done in half that time.

The Pioneers

It’s starting to feel like Pathfinder is headed back to the back burner. The more I work on the plotting for the eventual sequel to The Pioneer, the more I can see it…and the more I like it. Already, I’m getting a better idea of how the story will progress, tightening up the plot, seeing which elements I’d originally planned will work and which ones should be omitted. I have the opening scene worked out fairly well.

I still have a lot to do with regards to my notes, but I can’t help feeling I only have a week or so left before I can no longer resist the urge to start writing. That’s how much the story has been absorbing my thoughts.

Currently, this plays well into what I’ve been calling my “road map” for the remainder of 2019: rewrite my query letter and synopsis for Wide Horizon and resume querying by the end of the month, submit The Pioneer to Pitch Wars in September, and write The Pioneers this year for NaNoWriMo.

Wish me luck.

Short Fiction

In case I start feeling like I don’t have enough to do already, I’m hoping to get back to my short fiction sometime this week, possibly reviving Short Story Saturday. I have a few projects I’d really like to work on, most notably a recent story, The Envoy. I may also try to send out a few more manuscripts for publication. We shall see.

Another busy week ahead, but I have to admit, it feels great to be back. Keep reading, keep commenting, and as always, dare to dream. – MK

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