So Which Story Won?

If you recall, squiders, I said I had four stories that were sitting in the incomplete first draft stage, and that I hate having unfinished drafts and it was a goal of mine to get them all done sometime this year.

They are, in order that I started them:

  • The sequel to City of Hope and Ruin, being co-written with Siri, like the first book (at about 18K, but may need serious revisions on the beginning once we finalize the plot)
  • The changeling novel that I’m using to take How to Think Sideways (a writing course by Holly Lisle that I bought forever ago and have never gotten all the way through) (at about 5K)
  • The scifi horror novella I started for Seven-Day Novel in August (at ~20K)
  • World’s Edge, my Nano novel (at ~55K)

In a perfect world, they will all get done in a timely fashion, and I will be able to move onto other or new projects.

But experience has taught me that I cannot write more than one major work at a time (unless they’re wildly different, such as nonfiction and fiction, or a collection of shorts and a novel, or editing one and writing another, etc.), so I cannot work on them all at once.

And I picked the scifi horror novella to work on first.


A couple of different reasons. One, it’s the shortest, at a projected 30K, so it’s mostly done (admittedly I have already written 5K on it this month). Second, I didn’t stop working on it because it was having problems, but because Nano rolled up and I needed to switch to another project.

And three, it feels really solid. I read back through it, and I really like the story. I’ve never written a dedicated novella before (I either go full novel or hang out around 10-12K) but I’m digging the length. It feels really natural to me.

So, fingers crossed, I’ll have the novella’s first draft done by the end of the month, and then I can peruse the other options for February and beyond.

(That being said, I’m not sure the CoHaR sequel will ever be my primary project. Since it’s co-written, I don’t have full control over when I can work on it, and from my experience with CoHaR and the sequel so far, there’s periods of intense work on my part followed by periods of no or little effort on my side.)

Other things are also going well thus far; the fifth of the Writer’s Motivation books is up for pre-sale (this one is Writing Around Life). I, after much finagling, got a secret gallery up here on the website for when I start submitting my picture book to agents. I’ve written two short stories this month, and looked at the shorts I wrote for the flash fiction class last year to see if they are worth trying to get published.

Of course, there’s still the medical issue to deal with; that’ll come to a head next Thursday. I think I may post a Landsquid that day for my own sanity, but maybe not.

How is January going for you, squiders? Getting what you wanted to done?

2 responses to this post.

  1. I love the novella format. You’ve got enough space to tell a deep story, but can get it done in a fraction of the time. It also forces you to be efficient with both your prose and your narrative structure, which just makes you a better writer. If I wasn’t committed to two full length books right now, with no time to write, I’d be doing novellas. I have a couple ideas percolating.


    • This is the first one I’ve done, but I think I’ll do more in the future. It is a nice combo of the richness of a novel and the efficiency of a short story.


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