Every so often I like to sit back and take stock of what I’m doing with my life. Sometimes you get surprised when you do this, because heck, who realizes that they’ve got 10 short stories lying around waiting for some TLC? And given that everything I’m working on right now is new, and really new, not a regurgitation of an idea I’ve started six times already, I figured it was time to do this again.
-The Novel (tentatively titled Life in Tights). I’ve been admittedly dragging my heels on this, because I’m frankly overwhelmed by the scope of things that have to be done. It’s about 10,000 words too long, and there’s tons of boring middle. But I like the overall idea–a pulp-esque, humorous, YA superhero story. Kick-Ass meets Juno, if you will. This week I’m going to try and set aside 30 minutes a day for editing, which hopefully will help get this thing going. Right now my focus is just reading through the book and picking out the bits that need changing.
-Short Story 1 (right now called “The Patron Saint of Blood and Smoke” which is just waaay too pretentious a title and must die). This got an honorable mention in Quarter 2 of Writer of the Future this year. It definitely has some problems, but I’ve got a soft spot for it and other people have said it has potential. It also touches on some things that I haven’t played with before, at least not seriously, namely Catholicism and the disconnect between your family’s identity and who you feel you are. Plus, it’s got a take-no-prisoners government assassin, which is a character type I take far too much pleasure in writing. I love the thing, but it’s not very sellable–it’s a story in ten parts, stretching over a couple hundred years, and at an awkward length (20k words).
-Short Story 2. This has no title. I don’t know what to title it, at all, which is weird. In my head it’s just “that story.” Personally, I think it might be one of the most accomplished things I’ve written. I just don’t know what the hell to call it. This one is almost done (and has been submitted in Q3 of Writers of the Future, because I’m the idiot who doesn’t like to edit before sending things off) but the mood needs to be deepened in places and there’s a couple of threads that need tidying up. The basic plot involves a woman whose job description is essentially “Event Planner for Orgies” (It’s LITERARY, I PROMISE) and it’s about sex and connection, and what people mean to each other.
-Short Story 3, “The Dyson Sphere.” This one sucks. I don’t know if it’s salvageable. It’s one of those talking heads stories that’s more philosophy than plot. I like the idea, but probably more on an intellectual level than anything else. This one might be in the Probably Dead folder, but it’s finished so I’m going to see what I can do with it.
-”All the Devil’s Girls Love Him Best” Now this title I like. I just don’t really know what the story is about yet. It’s more a vignette right now than something with a conflict and climax. I haven’t even typed it up yet; it’s all longhand in a spiral-bound notebook. In fact, I’ve decided I’m going to hold off typing it up until it’s all written out. I want to see where this one goes.
-”Janet Thorpe” (Not a real title. Sometimes a story just goes by the main character’s name until it’s time to submit). A wacky, funny, bad-day-at-the-office story about a bunch of pencil pushers whose job it is to figure out the best way to assassinate people. It’s sorta science fiction, I guess, in the fact that an office like this (hopefully) doesn’t actually exist.
I’m not even going to give these #@$%-ing things with paragraphs of their own. My “WIP” folder is full of things that are in various states of doneness that just seem to be…done, and not in a good way. One is the story of a planet about to go uninhabitable, with some Hindu mythology thrown in–I like the idea but somewhere it went off the rails. Another is the biopunk Ariel story I’ve tried to start three times–the idea is cool but there’s no plot yet. Another is a noir-esque thing about a demon deal gone wrong (hmm, I wonder what that idea was inspired by) that was just off by the second page.
I’ve got this novel that I wrote a few years back. It isn’t very good. I like the characters, and it’s something I don’t write often (a suspense police procedural). I’ve kept it in the back of my mind for this intervening seven-or-so years. I’d like to try it with some fantasy elements (just to be more in line with what I write in general, because who writes one cop book and that’s it?) and to be truer to the people and plot I had in my head.
-”it came swiftly, this apocalypse of bluejays.”
-”He didn’t have a face. Or else he did, and it was the sort of face that a sane person’s mind wouldn’t let them remember.”
*Phew* When it takes almost a thousand words to talk about everything you’re doing, you know you should probably scale back.