The power of coffee and doughnuts

I finally finished editing my weird western novel, now with a brand spanking new title of: One Way Down. It’s still the same western adventures, still the same empathetic werewolf, and the same saucy vampire; but just a new title. Like a new wrapper color for your favorite deodorant, you won’t really notice much has changed. This is truly my final draft before I start shipping it around, and I’m excited to see where my baby goes. Here are a few statistics…

  • Total word count: 86,500 – a hefty increase from the 60,000 it had on the first draft
  • First written in Summer 2012
  • Lost track of how many editing passes I made…
  • Many werewolves were harmed in the making of this book
  • Many people too
  • …and a horse

I still have to figure out the query letter and the synopsis. Those are arguably the most daunting parts right next to deciding on character names, city names, and book titles. For now though I’m just happy to be finished. It’s amazing how coffee and doughnuts can boost your Saturday writing performance.

Oh and if you’re curious, here’s the Pitch Madness tag I used a few months back:

Werewolf and Vampire buddy cop detectives must solve a string of disappearances & murders in the Old West.

 

My Muse is Demanding

You all are going to get sick of these updates, I just know it. When the muse hits you though, you’re a fool to just ignore her. It’s not like she comes everyday when you call on her or anything.

After picking up a pair of horses, Colton and Rennick are finally off on their assignment. It looks like for once, things are going smoothly for them. You know that can’t possibly last though. Rennick spies something he shouldn’t and spends the rest of the evening jumping at shadows. Colton tries to figure out what he saw, but Rennick won’t utter a word.

Today’s updates. Writing taken from my lunch break and some bleary-eyed mashing of the keyboard this evening. If only every day was the weekend, I might be able to keep this pace going.

Project: Ghosts of Pikes Peak (working title)

Summary: An old abandoned shack just outside the bustling city of Pikes Peak is riddled with malicious spirits. Werewolf detective Colton Fen has been assigned to a half-vampire partner, Rennick Dalton, to handle the troublesome ghosts, but even their combined strength may not be enough to dissuade the poltergeists from plucking victims from the outskirts of town. On top of that, there may be far more dangerous creatures lurking within the caverns outside the city.

Current total words: 11,743
New words written: 2,227

Total Words for 2012: 21,324

 

Pressbooks

In other news, I’m subscribed to a newsletter by Jane Friedman who mentioned a bit about Pressbooks. Apparently this is a new online collaborative writing environment that looks pretty darn promising. Me being the paranoid techie that I am, the first thing I did was go out and look up a few reviews. A publishing website that claims to allow collaborative writing, access control for editing & reviews, eBook publishing options, and even a print publishing format? This simply seemed too multi-faceted to be accurate, but the reviews are pretty impressive.

Thought I’d share and see what you all thought. Here’s one that goes into quite a bit of detail on all the features from start to finish. The layout is based off of the WordPress design (WordPress.org, not WordPress.com – though I’m sure it’s still similar). These are a few other reviews that gave some interesting information here and here.

It’s still a new system so it’s likely to have bugs, but it looks promising. I’ll probably be getting an account at some point just to see what I think of it. I have to admit, it would be nice to have a one-stop shop for all your self-publishing format conversion needs. 😉

Not Used to Being Dumped, Are You?

The last few days have been pretty darn productive, I’m happy to say. Even with going to a LAN party yesterday, I was still able to squeeze in a good amount of writing time. So far Ghosts of Pikes Peak is flying. One of the benefits of figuring out the plot while I write is that I get a lot of amusing scenes. Getting out of town is proving more difficult for these two than they expected. Rennick gets ambushed, then he has to deal with a very bitter Mary Silva, a wronged ex-lover. Colton is beginning to wonder if this mission would be faster if he was doing it solo instead of having to help his partner leave town.

At first I really had no plans for Mary to be anything more than a minor character in the grand scheme of things, but she actually turned out quite entertaining. I may decide on bringing her back in later depending on how the plot unravels. Although it takes them forever to get out of the city, it certainly isn’t all humor. Colton is faced with a very bleak view of life and death, and finds himself questioning his role in the agency and on this mission. A lot of soul-searching is scheduled to come up as our duo hits the road, as well as some explanations for Rennick’s hectic love life. When you’re on the road, difficult topics are bound to come up.

Here are a few updates for the day:

Project: Ghosts of Pikes Peak (working title)
This is a working sequel for Night Feeders, and will be continuing Colton Fen’s adventures as he works for the mysterious “agency out East”.

Summary: An old abandoned shack just outside the bustling city of Pikes Peak is riddled with malicious spirits. Werewolf detective Colton Fen has been assigned a vampire partner this time to handle the troublesome ghosts, but even their combined strength may not be enough to dissuade the poltergeists from plucking victims from the outskirts of town.

Current total words: 9,516
New words written: 4,555

Total Words for 2012: 19.097

Snippet: Here’s a bit from Mary’s tongue-lashing, though truth be told, Rennick deserved it and then some. She turned into a regular firecracker.

“Don’t do this, Mary. Come on, don’t treat me like this.” He was getting angry, and he wasn’t entirely sure why. This wasn’t how it was supposed to end. She was supposed to believe him, to trust him, so that he could leave and feel comfortable while he traveled to the next town. As it was he felt an increasing sense of guilt, and he didn’t like it in the least.

“Get out of my house. I don’t want to have to get the Sheriff out here, but I will if you make me.”

“Damn it, Mary!” He growled making her jump. “You can’t – you can’t leave me!”

She laughed, “That’s more like it. Not used to being the one dumped, I take it. Not too nice, is it?”

“This is not funny. Quit laughing!”

“Oh Ren,” she chuckled. “You’re nothing more than a boy, are you?”

Too Busy Having a Good Time

For some reason this story is just flying along. I don’t know if it’s because I like writing these kinds of characters or what, but I’m not complaining. I’m doing this in complete pantser style, even though I have a general idea of where it’s headed. These characters are fleshing out much more than I expected, which is certainly fine by me. By the way, I can already tell this is going to be a long piece, so I’ve upped the max word count with high hopes.

In other news I’ve signed up over at the HP Friendship ficathon for one of their prompts. The minimum requirement is low enough that I might actually be able to finish it this time (unlike the Werewolf Big Bang piece I was hoping to start earlier this year *sigh*).

Here’s the prompt I’ve been given. I think I’m going to enjoy this one. Need to spend some time brainstorming it though.

Characters: Marauders (mainly Remus Lupin and Sirius Black)
Prompt: “I could bear, though not without pain, that all my loves had died… but I’d go mad if all my friends died.” – Vinicius de Moraes (this is a free translation of an excerpt from a bigger text, so if someone does pick this prompt and they want the bigger text, I’d be happy to translate the rest!)
Likes: Marauders era, Severus Snape, HeadBoy!Remus, Halloween.

Some interesting items I ended up having to Google today for research included:
Format of 1800s style telegram – Wanted to put the full details of a telegram into the letter. I was surprised that not all of them had STOP in them at the end of every sentence, though I’m sure this is just a time period issue. I can imagine earlier telegrams needing a system like that.
Listing of Federal Agencies – Came to a point where the agency really needed a name, so I had to come up with one. This provided a good starting point for generating ideas.

Project: Ghosts of Pikes Peak (working title)
This is a working sequel of Night Feeders, and will be continuing Colton Fen’s adventures as he works for the mysterious “agency out East”.

Summary: An old abandoned shack just outside the bustling city of Pikes Peak is riddled with malicious spirits. Werewolf detective Colton Fen has been assigned a vampire partner this time to handle the troublesome ghosts, but even their combined strength may not be enough to dissuade the poltergeists from plucking victims from the outskirts of town.

Current total words: 4,961
New words written: 2,688

Total Words for 2012: 14,542

Snippet:

He frowned, noting the codes tagged on at the end. Two to three casualties and two missing persons, that may or may not be related to the incident. One of them, he’d neglected to see before, was a young girl. Colton cringed. Here he’d been having drinks and brawling with his new partner instead of paying attention to the details. It hadn’t even been a full day since his partnership had begun, and already he’d made a massive mistake.

“Rennick!” He roared, pocketing the letter and heading in his direction. “You better be dressed, we’re heading out!”

And no, this scene isn’t what you’re thinking. 😉

Sequel to Night Feeders in the Works

Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve posted any new writing up here. I’ve been cleaning up my final edit of Suzie’s Nightmare in preparation for shipping around to agents in a few weeks. I tell you what, no matter how many times I go through edits, they’re always a hassle. Motivation is my biggest enemy when edits are involved.

I’ve been posting in a few areas trying to get some more notice for Night Feeders lately, over on Reddit and in the Amazon forums. Hopefully something will come of it. Self-promotion is definitely not easy – don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!

This is a working sequel of Night Feeders, and will be continuing Colton Fen’s adventures as he works for the mysterious “agency out East”. I’m planning on this being a series of self-published stories that I may end up collecting into a book later. I’m kind of thinking of them as episodes.

Summary: An old abandoned shack just outside the bustling city of Pikes Peak is riddled with malicious spirits. Werewolf detective Colton Fen has been assigned a vampire partner this time to handle the troublesome ghosts, but even their combined strength may not be enough to dissuade the poltergeists from plucking victims from the outskirts of town.

Project: Ghosts of Pikes Peak (working title)
Current total words: 2,273

Total Words for 2012: 11,854

Snippet:

An hour or so later the shadows were long outside, and Colton was on his third drink. Normally he wasn’t one for drinking with a high priority mission on the table, but considering he was going to be waiting for a while, and who he was going to be stuck working with, he didn’t give a damn. Most of the celebrators had slunk out to be replaced with the much quieter saloon regulars, and Rennick was singing along with a group of girls around the piano, eying each of them up and down. Colton couldn’t decide if he thought they were attractive as a date or a meal.