There is an end to this tunnel!

A few days ago I realized I’d passed a mysterious, and previously unknown, transition point with the novel. All of a sudden I could see that it will actually be finished soon! 🙂

This was a more momentous moment than it sounds. I’d been working super hard on the manuscript, but I kept feeling like no matter how much I did, there was a never-ending list of things left to do. Now I feel like it’s a finite list! Hooray!

I think this change in perspective was caused by two things.

  • I’d changed a few things as I went through the manuscript, but hadn’t gone back to the earlier chapters to update them. That’s now done.
  • There were a few sections in the first five or six chapters that were written quickly and needed some revision to make them fit with the rest of the book. My first drafts often contain sections like this because I find if I write fast I’ll stay in creative voice and get the gist of the story, then I cycle back later to refine what I’ve written. These sections have now been refined!

I also added more sensory details and description, but that didn’t seem to be part of my change in perspective. There’s plenty more left to do, but now it feels like I’m working on an almost-done novel. I should have an editing contract – with a delivery date on my part – within a week or so.

In other news, I signed a contract with an editor for Bewitchery, a novella about – surprise! – a witch. The handoff date is in mid-August. I have a first draft complete, and will jump on this as soon as I hand Entangled by Midsummer over to my beta readers. The novella should be relatively quick to wrap up, especially in comparison to the novel.

I’m wrapping up two online classes, and started two more – because why work on only one thing at a time? 🙂 Seriously, I’ve found it’s nice to switch up what I’m working on. If I’ve been writing for a while I might want to read about writing/publishing, or work on an outline for a different story, or design a book cover. I can write for a big chunk of the day, but eventually my brain needs a break. Having other types of tasks on my to do list means I can be productive even when I’m not actually writing.

The point of mentioning the classes was that I used one of the four homework assignments I just completed as a way to get started on the short story I’ll have in the upcoming BundleRabbit short story bundle Fantasy in the City. There will be 20 stories in the bundle, by 20 different authors, and all of the stories will be urban/contemporary fantasy. The protagonist in my story is a dryad (a tree nymph/spirit) who is living in a city.

If you’re wondering what the difference is between urban and contemporary fantasy, join the club! 🙂 I spent some time googling this a few months ago, and while I found quite a few different definitions, most of them boiled down to this:

Contemporary fantasy takes place in the modern world, but a version of our world in which magical creatures are hidden amongst us.

Urban fantasy is a subset of contemporary fantasy where stories are set in an urban environment.

One of the tasks on my to do list is to do more research on fantasy that is considered contemporary but not urban; once I get to that (don’t hold your breath) I will write about it in another blog post.

2016-05-03 Dakota Ridge

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