Category: pawn of the dead

Writing Update

It’s been a while since I’ve updated ya’ll on how my writing is going, and I’m sure you’ve been waiting, wondering–dying to know. Well, wait no more. It’s going okay. I’ll be honest: I can’t seem to write as much these days as I could back before I had a full time job. That’s not likely to surprise anyone, I know, but I still wish it were different. These days, what with work, family, Elders Quorum and house chores, I’m pretty booked each day. What time I have left to myself, I’m pretty drained. Not exactly Prime Writing Conditions. I’ve been getting a half hour in each day, but some days it’s been a pretty pitiful half hour.

That changed this morning. I woke up early so that I could get the writing done first, and I was overjoyed with how well it went. The house was quiet, my brain was rested, and I churned out 650 words that I’m pretty pleased with. Hopefully this is a new approach I can stick to–and hopefully it gets the chapters out of me faster.

What am I working on? It’s the rebooting of Pawn of the Dead, which was itself a fusion of two other books. I’d call it a revision, but the character isn’t even wholly the same, the setting has changed, the villain is different, the magic system is completely overhauled . . . At this point, the only connection between this book and the one it’s “based” on is the fact that some of the characters share the same names. (It’s like the reverse of the old “only the names have changed” concept.) I’m okay with this, mainly because it means I can continue shopping around Pawn of the Dead, but “revise” it at the same time. This version is zanier, or at least that’s what I plan it to be. Sort of like Parker meets some of the whimsy of Buttersby, but with a bit more reality and a lot less alpaca. (That statement only makes sense if you’ve read all my books to date, but . . . it’s the only way I can think of to describe it.)

Every now and then, I’ve considered giving up writing. Taking a long break from it. But in the end, I write because it’s what I enjoy doing. I’m not writing to make thousands of dollars, or to have legions of adoring fans. I’m writing to have fun. As long as I can remember that, it makes everything oh so much more enjoyable.

In any case, that’s what I have for now. Hope you all have an enjoyable weekend. Remember–Groundhog Day is coming, so get those decorations out now, and make sure you’ve written the Groundhog to tell him what you want. 🙂

Life without Television Thus Far (and a Writing Observation)

So it’s been a week and a half since I ditched satellite, and I thought I’d report back on the experience. Honestly, it’s felt very freeing. Some of the shows I watch regularly have started up in the meantime, and . . . I’m not watching them. No Chuck. No American Idol. No 30 Rock (well, I have watched 30 Rock online–some things shouldn’t be lived without). I even missed the Golden Globes on Sunday, probably the hardest thing I’ve passed on to this point. But it’s not like it’s felt very difficult. It doesn’t even feel like that big of a lifestyle change. The only real difference is that there’s one less time-sink temptation in my life. With abundant TV available, I could always just sit there and channel surf if I wanted to. Now, the surfboard’s been burned.

I like it.

And the promised writing observation? On an entirely different note, I heard back from the agent who had requested the full manuscript of Pawn of the Dead. It was a no, which was disappointing. How could it not be? At the same time, it’s all just part of the process. The second I heard the request for the full, I was very happy–but in that same moment, the probability of being disappointed in the future shot up. Interesting how the more joy something brings you, the more potential you give it to bring you sorrow.

And that’s all the metathinking I’m going to do today. Promise.

Rquest for a Full Manuscript

I had other things to blog about today, but they just got superseded by another request for the full manuscript of Pawn of the Dead. Don’t really want to share more than that with you all at this point, and I realize it’s not a book deal or anything, but when you’re a WWA (Writer With Aspirations), any news of that sort is good news. A bit of positive reinforcement never hurt anyone.

Oh–and GO BYU!!!

Writing Update

Not a whole lot of time today (too busy trying to dig out from the pile of Work Still to be Done), but I figured I’d give you all an update on what I’m working on right now, writing-wise. Over my vacation, I had the chance to have a long talk with an agent about my writing. (Yes, the agent I’ve been waiting to hear back from for so long.) It was a no on Pawn of the Dead, alas–for a variety of reasons. His critique of the book was, like his others, fairly deep–meaning that the problems he identified were much more than surface level fixes. He concluded that it wasn’t really fair of him to ask for a rewrite of the book, since that might not be the best use of my time. I already have a new book plotted out and ready to write, and I was tempted to just dive into that and see how things looked after I finished it.

I’m not going to do that.

This is the third or fourth time I’ve gotten suggestions from this agent on such a deep level. Each other time, I’ve just written a new book. This time, I’m actually going to try to rewrite the old book. At the same time, I’m sticking to my guns and continuing to shop the old book around (as well as two other of my books). I no longer have the desire to pin all my hopes on one “yes,” but I also want to be listening to the critiques I’m getting. The rewrite to this book will be extensive enough that I don’t think it’ll look much like its current form once I’m done rewriting, which makes me feel confident that I could shop both around at the same time, if I decide to.

Plus, I’ve got some really good ideas that were spawned by his critiques–ideas that I think could make the book much stronger. In a lot of my works, I’ve tried to fuse a humorous tone with a macabre tone–and I don’t think I ever pull it off as well as I need to. In this rewrite, I’m going to try to embrace the humor. Go for wacky zany fun and see what happens. I’ve already worked out a new magic system for the book, as well as a new villain. The setting and most of the characters will stay the same, as will the voice. It’ll be interesting to see how it turns out. It will be something different, at any rate–and I want to keep trying different things so that I keep getting better as a writer.

Anyway–that’s what I’ll be up to for the next while. I’ll try to keep you updated as I go. Right now, I’m working on hammering out the new plot.

Wish me luck.

Writing Update

I realized I haven’t given a good update on where I am writing wise in a while. Not too terribly much has changed, I’m afraid. I have yet to hear back on the screenplay for Ichabod, or on the copy of Pawn of the Dead that’s been at the agent’s for a while. (Four months and change waiting so far on Ichabod, six and change on Pawn–but I’m a patient fellow.) In the meantime, I had been flitting from project to project, not really staying with any one long enough to make real headway–just wasn’t feeling it. I’m happy to say that I’ve now settled on my next book–it’s going to be another Middle Grade–my first return to that age group since Buttersby. It’s a contemporary fantasy that is set around holidays that are going awry. I’ve been plotting now for quite some time, but it’s starting to all come together well, and I don’t think it’ll be too terribly long before I’m writing again. That will be a happy day–I like to feel productive.

In any case–the short answer is that I’m still working on writing, but it’s taken me a while to get the next book in gear. Hopefully it writes more smoothly once I’m going at last.

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