Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Second Draft—Complete!

It feels good to be able to say I just finished the second draft of my first novel, Never Upon A Time. If you're curious (and how could you not be?) now I'm waiting for my wife to finish reading through the book. Once she does that, I'll take her suggestions and gramatical/spelling corrections into consideration and fix the second draft. After that is complete, I plan to send the book to a friend of mine who is an English teacher and works with students who are in the age range my book is directed toward. After I get suggestions from her, I will then work on getting an agent/publisher. And if that fails, after a while, I'll self publish. Which I am almost more excited to do, because I love working with photoshop and I have some good ideas for a cover. (But getting published would be cool too.)

Anyway, I'm pretty pumped about finishing the second draft. I found the task to be much more arduous and painstakingly slower than writing the first draft. When I wrote the first draft, I would realize there were problems, but just keep writing anyway because I've been told you just need to hammer out a draft to start. On the second draft, however, I was much more nit-picky, and I often spent a half hour or more working on a paragraph, trying to get it just right. 

There were also gaps I recognized with the first draft and parts that I didn't like at all, so I cut a lot of writing from the first half of the novel to make the begininning not as cumbersome, and added a decent chunk of writing (about 9000 words) to the second half so it'd make more sense. In total, the book stands around 75,000 words (about the length of the first Harry Potter book).

Like I said, I'm pretty pumped to finish the second draft. It was a big step. Now I just need to go to sleep, because I need to go to work in a few hours pipetting piss into test tubes so we can figure out if people are using illegal drugs or not . . . the life of a hobby author hoping to be published!

-Daniel

Thursday, March 14, 2013

News from the Wicked East

As I've mentioned before, my first story to be published, Winter's Sirens, will be in the anthology Down the Rabbit Hole by Wicked East Press. I discovered last December that my story had been accepted, and since then I haven't heard much about the book's progress. I recently got an email though, so I thought I'd post a short update. 



Right now the friendly editor, Jessica Weiss, has the first draft of the anthology together. She sent all the authors in the anthology the draft so we could look through and do final tweaks/edits to our stories. In all, it looks like there will be about 18 stories in the anthology, and it will be around 100,000 words (word count is a much more accurate way to measure length than number of pages, if you're wondering. For reference, To Kill a Mocking Bird is about 100k words). I've read some of the other author's work and each one I've read has been pretty good, so I'll definitely be able to recommend this anthology with good conscience when it comes out—although I'm not entirely sure when that will be. 
(Here is the cover for the anthology, although I am not sure if this is a final rendition)

One of the things I'm a little embarrassed about is the number of errors in my story. This was one of my first short stories, so it was uplifting when I saw it was getting published, but still . . . there were a lot of errors. Mainly they had to do with writing style rather than grammer, though. For example, I now put spaces in my elipses (( . . . ) instead of (...)) and I figured out how to write with en and em dashes ((—) instead of (-)). I ironed most of those writing style points out when working on my novel (which is about 70k words).

Also, while I had been thinking about the plot for a while, I didn't actually write the story until the day of the anthology's deadline, so I didn't have much time to edit. I furiously spun my yarn, read through it once, and sent it away. I told Annie (my wife) I was embarrassed  that my story had so many more problems than the other stories, and she pointed out that my tale must be pretty good if the editor accepted it despite the errors, and I guess that's true (she's pretty smart). Also, the editor let me know there were over 200 story submissions, so maybe I'm being a little hard on myself. 

Needless to say, I'm excited to see this thing published. Also, here is the link to Wicked East Press, although the editor told me the website has been neglected for some time (I think the person who manages the website had a baby or something) and it will soon be revamped. Currently, it makes no mention of the Down the Rabbit Hole anthology.

That's all for now. I hope to get some writing done tomorrow on my off day. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel for the second draft of my first novel, Never Upon A Time, and that light looks warm and welcoming!  

-Daniel

Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Migraine Prophecies

The Migraine Prophecies is another short story I recently wrote. I'm currently trying to get it published, so I can't reveal too much about it here, but I am excited to have finished it. 

I like the way it turned out. It has a subtle horror/speculative fiction element that isn't too strong and yet is interesting. I didn't think it was that scary when I wrote it, but when my wife was reading it, I walked into the room unannounced and farted, and she was really startled and got mad at me. Later she told me it was because she was scared. 

So if that doesn't make you want to read it (if it gets published) I don't know what will!

-Daniel