Writing Update-August

So far I’ve themed my posts around science and my observations on the writing process. But that’s not why I started this blog. I am an author, with no shortage of writing projects, and I owe it to my current and future readers, to keep them informed. So I’ve decided to dedicate a monthly post to the status of my current novels. For this first post, I will give a bit of my writing history.

I began to write fiction when I was ten years old, but it didn’t really stick. Despite several unexpected twists and a happy ending, something about my hand-bound and poorly edited story about an elf and a bear fighting for living space on an island, didn’t generate much of a following.

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I wrote poetry for a few years after that, but my first serious attempt at fiction was in a Senior English class in high school. Our school printed a literary journal for the first time that year, but it only had room for one short story. After a class vote, my story was picked. That was when I caught the writing bug. I have been seeking a preferred genre and finding my voice ever since. I wrote short stories about a sniper during war, a farm boy that goes blind, a paraplegic surviving a train wreck, viruses that make people lose control of their impulses, a novella about a space voyage to another planet, and many more.

I distinctly remember when I started my first novel. I was 18 years old and an avid reader. I can remember thinking that no book had all of the elements I craved; no story was told the way I would have told it. My solution? To sit down on the couch in my living room, notebook in hand, and to write the story I wanted to read. My first novel, Agony’s fire, took about eight years to write and was approximately 200k words in length. I got my BS and was halfway through my Ph.D. by the time I finished. I could see my writing evolve over the course of that book, as did my definition of “the book I wanted to read”. Writing that first book was a great learning experience, and the second book in the series only took two years to write. Both are still awaiting edits. Eventually I will get back to that story, finish the series, and seek publication, but right now, I do not have the time or budget to make it readable. Still there is something immensely satisfying about having created an entire world, entire societies and religions, and a comprehensive magical system, and set them all in motion.

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Map of Umbra in Agony’s Fire by P. A. Kramer

About two years ago I had an idea for a book that I couldn’t get out of my head. I mentioned it to a couple of friends and they seemed very interested and enthusiastic. By that time, I had joined several writers’ groups and learned much more about the craft. I was eager to put all of that knowledge to work and get something published. It was a genre I had never written before, not a fantasy or sci-fi book, but dystopian. So one day I just started writing. It was quite an ambitious project, with complex characters, settings, and events, but I outlined, researched, and just kept writing.  In February of this year, I typed THE END on Quotidian (working title). But writing is not even half of what it takes to get something published. Since then I have been going through my first round of edits. When I finish each chapter, I post it on Critique Circle to a group of dedicated critters (critiquers). Consolidating and implementing their comments and edits will result in my second draft, which I hope to complete in the next few months. By the end of the year I want to finish a third draft, focusing on grammar and word choice, and just general polishing. Then I will have some copies printed and sent out to beta readers. It would be nice to have this all completed before I turn 30 next January. Then comes the laborious process of querying to agents. The crow currently staring at me from outside my window is an omen of good things to come, right?IMG_20160805_165235

I don’t intend to give up writing while I edit. I am currently in the process of outlining two other novels, one a fantasy, and one a sci-fi. I haven’t quite decided which one I will start writing first, but once I decide, I will be sure to post a synopsis along with the blurbs of my other books on the BOOKS page. I don’t intend to be a multi-genre author forever, but I enjoy the process of seeing where my voice fits in.

I am hoping that by post this, it will hold me accountable. Knowing that I have even just a few people rooting for me will make all the difference to my motivation and productivity.

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