I set myself a challenge last night to write three flash fictions* and a novella before Camp NaNoWriMo starts on April 1. It seems like kind of a lot, considering that I'm also deeply into the revision process with Chosen of Azara and planning my Camp project, Book 3 of Daughter of the Wildings. But Dean Wesley Smith, one of my indie writing gurus, encourages writers to produce new words each day, to stay in practice and improve their skills, and to have more stuff to release. I figure he knows what he's talking about and he's got a point, so I'm doing it. Having smaller things to release in between the big novels will keep my writing and book-production skills sharp and getting sharper, and it can only raise my visibility.
So, anyway, how's the challenge going? Good so far. Last night I wrote flash fiction #1, "The Midnight's Brilliance," which clocks in at 1,524 words, and today I wrote "A Familiar Face," short and sweet at 828 words. I've got one more planned, which I'll write tomorrow. Then I'll take a day or two to de-suckify (yes that's a word, I'm a writer and I used it so that means it's a word) all three and then post them here on the site for a while. Eventually they'll go into another collection, but in the meantime they'll be here for free and you can get a peek into how my mind works when I'm writing on a weird prompt in a hurry.
In the meantime, I anticipate finishing Stage 1 of the Chosen of Azara revision next week, and hope to have Stage 2 done by the end of March. I use a four-stage revision process, which I've adapted (or am still adapting, it kind of evolves as I go) from Holly Lisle's How To Revise Your Novel course (which, I'm telling you, if you write and want to publish your writing, either independently or with a publisher, is the best $250--for a 22-week course--you can ever spend). Stage 1 is assessing what I have right now, identifying the problems with the story; Stage 2 is planning the revision based on my notes from Stage 1, Stage 3 is actually marking up the changes in the manuscript, and Stage 4 is typing it all in. This process saves me a lot of revision passes, and gets me a lot deeper into the novel problems with plot, structure, conflict, character development, world-building, etc., than anything else I've tried. Anyway, still hoping for a May release of Chosen, but not ready to make any promises yet.
Now to go do some planning for Book 3 and the Estelend novella. Onward!
*If you're not familiar with the idea behind flash fiction, basically it's very short stories written quickly with a minimum of planning. Just like it sounds.
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