Blog No 125
I’ve done a novel update this year, but I have to admit, I haven’t done any work on it since then. I really want to, but I have so much other work that has to be done now (or a few weeks ago) that I’ve had to put it on hold and focus. The one project that is sucking up the most time is currently The Collection. The fabled collection is a set of short stories that Christian and I have been working on since before this time last year. I know that seems like a long time, but since they are short stories, there seemed to be lots of little things that would get in the way (like the first Zine, Finders, updating the website, Christian putting out his book and many others). They were just short stories, we had tons of time. Now it’s a year later and we are still working on edits.
Originally the idea came when we were first attempting out novels and were struggling to break the fourth or fifth chapters. We were ahead on the stories for the Adventure Worlds blog and thought that if we did a couple more, the four of us (that there was at the time) could put together a solid collection. We would get out our first book and learn lot on the way, that way we would be ready when the novels were done. As it happened, only Christian and I were ready for the challenge, which meant that the challenge would end up being that much tougher. Instead of writing a couple extra stories for about four each, we had to have at least six or more to meet a reasonable word count for a book. With a bit of perseverance and a lot of slacking, we each wrote seven stories. We actually finished the first drafts last fall, but editing them turned out to be more difficult that we though.
There is a big difference editing a story for a free weekly blog and when you are going print a book and expect people to pay for it. The standards were suddenly too high and I forgot that the second draft is not the final draft, sending me into the kind of shock that got in the way of writing first drafts before we started Adventure Worlds. It was though and with all we were learning by going to WOW writers group, nothing we wrote seemed to be good enough (at least that was my perspective). We plodded along, reworking our stories based on the comments we received and all that stuff we learned. Second drafts were really second-and-a-half, or even third drafts. A lot of it is rewriting, with adds more things to be edited, but makes for better stories. At the time I was still writing everything by hand so I had to type it all out. It was a chaos of hand edited stories, dozens of comments in piles to review, and all the regular work that goes into Adventure Worlds. Nothing seemed to get finished.
As of now, we are both working on our last story’s second draft. Some of the stories have had other work and still have some corrections to collate, but that last story is the crux. Christian learned that his second draft tends to double (or in one case nearly triple) the length of his stories, so he may end up cutting a story or two to save for a future project. I added some length to most of my stories too, but I also did a lot of cutting, so the book will be longer than planned but in a good way.
When the second drafts are finished, they will be sent off to a third party for another look (generously offered and drastically necessary) then we will see if a local publisher is interested. We expect not, but it’s worth a try. If it doesn’t work out, we find a professional editor and start compiling the book into a print copy. Either way there is a lot of work left to go, but thankfully, most of it is actual editing a not tons of rewriting (Christian, are you reading this? Stop adding to your stories now). It’s exciting, but not as much fun as writing (even though it’s an integral part). With luck I’ll be back at my novel in a couple weeks while the stories get their next critiques, then, hopefully, I’ll manage to keep it going while I make the corrections. That’s the plan at least. Then I get to do it all again when the first draft of the novel is finished.