jana_denardo: (kept tears)
No I'm not going to break out into the Frozen soundtrack but this post is about letting it go.





It is very hard sometimes to let your novel/novella/short story go. You keep fine tuning it. Sometimes you outright ignore it. Sometimes things spin out of your control. But finally I have let Soldiers of the Sun go. A full ten months behind schedule. Some of it I have a good reason for. The spring was taken up by promoting my novel, Kept Tears and novella, If Two of Them Are Dead and finishing a professional paper for work.

Then I had rotator cuff surgery and my mom's health took a downswing. It was a hard, pain-filled summer and for months I couldn't sit up at the computer for long and I was staying with my parents for my recovery and frankly that didn't leave a lot of time. Also I had to spent what computer time my arm could endure remaking a class I haven't taught in five years. If anyone thinks teaching is easy, they're wrong. It's suprisingly time-intensive.

A new horrible schedule at the college ate away more time and frankly so did my own foolishness (looking at you computer games) played a role but finally I got it to where holding onto it no longer made sense. Yes I'm insecure about parts of it (Maybe I should have cut more sex scenes. Maybe I should have done this and not that with my villains etc) but I think it's a good, solid novel and I hope everyone else likes it.

I couldn't have gotten it to where I did without my friends. They know who they are. Thank you. If Dreamspinner picks up Soldiers of the Sun it is in no small part thanks to you.

And since this is about demon hunters, maybe instead of luck, I can borrow a line from Buffy Summers 'Wish me monsters.'
jana_denardo: (darkest midnight)
In my case it looks a lot like the hippos in Fantasia but it's being done. I have a lot of reasons to be doing it tonight. Check it out:

100 Things #73- The Author Happy dance )
jana_denardo: (darkest midnight)



I've had my ten days to edit my novel Kept Tears which would be fine without, you know that day job (which I'm highly unlikely to quit) and the idea they wanted a few things that meant adding scenes. I definitely felt the push but in a good way. I'm grateful that ninety-percent of the edits were mostly cosmetic or simple fixes. I had to remove one scene but that was mostly painless, if touch ego bruising.

But what about editing isn't ego bruising? I swear part of DSP's method of editing reminds me of being back in class. They highlight the superfluous words. Now they made many many of the little wording changes themselves but those they highlighted. It was like being hit on the nose with a rolled up newspaper. See these? DON'T DO THAT! And trust me I deserved that newspaper to the nose.

Did I REALLY just put the word 'just' 6 times in three paragraphs?!? Look I just stuck in that sentence AND this one. I TALK this way. I think this way. Great, my brain is superfluous. I also overuse the word 'that.' I don't know where a damn comma goes but if you want someone to come sprinkle the word 'just' through your manuscript like a mad fairy, come talk to me. Head desk.

Ego bruising, yes. Eye opening, you bet. And in the two scenes I added in, I did a damn search for those words even though I was consciously not typing them and sure enough, at least a dozen of them. Blinks. Wow. I'm blind to it but at least now, I know to look chapter by chapter as I get them done and tighten them up before they even get to the first reader so it was a lesson well learned.

I did talk the edits over with my friends at the university. We have a strange mash up of coworker/friends, half English dept and half School of Science (me). The writing professors were very surprised by the autonomous body part thing. They've never heard it was not right to use things like his hips writhed or his fingers tapped out a drum cadence. I wish the two younger English profs were there since I'm thinking it might be a newer thing. I'll be honest, I made the changes DSP asked for but to me, it looks wrong and sounds clunky.

And not only do I have the novel done, I've sent in If Two of Them Are Dead, the Steampunk mystery. I'm still more than a little happy that DSP liked it so much when I sent it in for the Steamed Up anthology that they asked for it once I made it into a novella. It actually nosed into long novella territory, so that's twice as long as it was when they first saw it. Part of me is still afraid they'll see what I did and change their mind. On the other hand, I love Victor and Abraham and I think the story is SO much better now than it was. WHY do I always try to write a damn mystery for short stories?? I don't know how the writers for Ellery Queen did it because I can not write a short mystery to save my soul. So it's off to enter the editing queue. Wish me luck.
jana_denardo: (darkest midnight)
Because I'm sure everyone is fascinated by my writing process. Just by removing some non-essential sentences and tightening more than a few others up, I knocked off 500 words. By taking out some paragraphs that I didn't want to lose but could and still maintain the flow of the story, I got down another 600 words so I'm about 400 over.

I decided I could live with that. Any more and I'll be sacrificing all description and characterization. I could wipe out at least one or two more scenes to get all the way down to 12K but decided, what's 400 words? THey're willing to look at higher so it's a bit of a mushy upper limit and if I take too much more away it won't be an interesting story to anyone.

And if it isn't picked up, well, it's easy to move it into novella range and I have no problems with that. Hope to get it out of here in a day or two. Let it fly or plummet.
jana_denardo: (Default)
I get them every time. This time it's for a short story about an incubus titled A Wolf in the Fold (yes yes not the least bit original). I sent it to the Bump in the Night open call at Riptide Publishing. They're new to me and invitation only (unless you do the open call). Am I particularly hopeful?

I don't know. My beta reader really likes this one but is it right for the anthology? that's harder to say. Well, if it's not then I'll just hold on to it until I see another one it might fit. That's how this game works.
jana_denardo: (Default)
Too long really. I finally sent something out to a publisher. This year was meant to be the year of editing longer works, getting them more publisher ready but it also meant almost falling off the radar for a year. It feels weird trying to promo the same few things (not that I'd turn away readers for things like The Darkest Midnight in December, no not at all).

It's a holiday short story about a werewolf that doubles as a search and rescue 'dog' and his lover. Do I think it has a chance? Honestly, I always seem to miss the mark with these but maybe. We shall see. There are more than once place to try with submission times staggered enough that I should get a rejection/acceptance from the one I sent it to tonight and still have time to try it else where.

I think it's a fairly sweet story, sweeter and easier than many of mine. Is hoping, however, that the publishers I look at most often, have more non-contemporary open calls next year.
jana_denardo: (Default)
My poor nano so close and yet so far but I took most of the night off to a) finish work stuff b) cyber monday deals c) submitting a story.

I sent my story Haunted into the Dreamspinner Anthology Two Tickets to Paradise. This is one of the closest to everyday life fiction I've ever written. It's drawn entirely from my trip to Victoria this year (barring the Ledge though that is a real gay club).

Trestan was named by my [livejournal.com profile] help_japan winner so I really hope the story is picked up.

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