Last week, while I was in NYC for sales conferences, I stole away time and finished the first draft of my novel, Geekomancy. I’ve been working on it off and on since Thanksgiving 2010, though it originally started as a weekend’s diversion during the break, a ‘this is a fun little idea so I’ll play with it a bit and then put it away’ to while away the weekend and get some perspective on my ‘real’ project, Children of Bladecraft, a YA fantasy novel which I will return to after Geekomancy is on the market.
The problem was, it was far too fun to write. For Geekomancy, I got to take my years of working at a game store, my time as a barista, and a young lifetime of geeky references and genre-mashing ideas and put them into one place to go crazy. It was at times the easiest and most difficult novel yet for me (fifth started, fourth completed), as I pushed myself to make it fun but also hit the emotional notes as hard as I could for the characters.
I’m very excited to get it in front of some discerning readers and get feedback on how to make my revisions as efficient as possible. I’d love to get the book on the market by the end of 2012, which is a much faster development cycle than I had for Shield & Crocus. I wrote S&C over one year, from 2007-2008, but have done at least one major revision a year since then, including this year, and it’s been on the market for about 18 months. I’ve put the project up on the writing community Book Country (www.bookcountry.com), as well as submitting it to the novel contest in my online writing group (www.codexwriters.com). I’ve had a very productive year in 2011, despite big seasonal chunks of no-writing thanks to work.
Between now and the end of the year, I’ll be focusing on my short fiction, returning to the pieces I wrote this summer for the Clarion West Write-a-Thon. I need to revise one piece, finish another, and finish expanding the third, which tried its best to be flash fiction but will end up being a 3-4K short story. One day I will write a functional flash piece, I swear.
I’m also hoping to hear back from one or both of the agents who currently have the fulls of Shield & Crocus, and maybe even the editor who has it as well (though that was sent off about three weeks later than to the agents).
Part of my ‘finished the novel’ celebration is that I’m reading Urban Fantasy again. I try not to read the subgenre that I’m writing while I’m in a first draft, so as to avoid too direct of an influence from work. But in the time I’ve been writing Geekomancy, there’s been a pile of UF novels that I’ve stacked up to read once my brain wasn’t in First Draft Mode. Right now I’m enjoying Seanan McGuire’s A Local Habitation, and I am going to do my best to plow through the Dresden Files before I dive fully into revisions on Geekomancy.
My writerly theme for this year seems to have been Building Momentum, and I hope that it leads to a 2012 of Things Happening (Big and/or Small).