Friday, April 29, 2011

Quick! A Writing Update

I should probably mention that I'm up to my earlobes in work-work-problems-work-solutions-firestobeputout-work right now. So I haven't been the best blogger or blog-friend, and for that I sincerely apologize. The end of next week marks the end of my most insane time of year. I'll be a better bloggist, promise.

Plus, I've been writing. Like, a lot. Like, sit down and plow through 1.5K after work and chow down another 1K as an after-dinner snack whenever my schedule lets me. Which, given I've been running out of time to shower lately, is doing pretty well. So I've been following the inspiration and feeding the muse as much as she'll stomach, because you don't always feel like this--sometimes inspiration is dry and it's harder to chug out your word count goals. But of course, this all means I've had less time for interacting with all of you who also inspire me and keep me going.

So--a short update and general ramble over how writing is going. Secret Departure project is going really well--I feel excited about it, I feel, even, mildly confident in it. I'm at 45K (a bit of a slower pace since the first few frenzied weeks, but still respectable for me, for a project I started in February!) and am beginning to pore back over the earlier parts of the book to see what I still need to flesh out. (Consensus so far: A lot.) I'm also trying to decide exactly how to end it, because we're getting to those scenes that will set up a slam-bang ending. See, I know what happens...but not the details. And the details are the most fun, aren't they?

But--I've been feeling really squishy about the project, even though I feel that the plot and characters and concept are all rock-solid. Why? It's not historical fiction, as I shared last time I talked about it. And that's what I do...right? It shakes my identity as a writer to be attempting something different from what I first believed I had a niche in.

Then I read this post on the Guide to Literary Agents blog. Nothing the writer says quite addresses my concern, but a couple pieces hint at it. One is point #1--about writing to market. Here's the deal--the kind of HistFic I write and want to write? It's not the hottest thing right now. If it was snapping, sparkling good, could it sell? I'm sure--but compared to what's in vogue, it's an uphill battle. It's ok to acknowledge that, I finally realize. And it's ok to write something that sings to me but might have a slightly better stab at selling, just by nature of what people are buying. The other is point #3--about branching out. Sometimes it's ok to branch out--yes, most people can't do a career as a Historical/Urban Fantasy/Sci-Fi/Prescriptive Nonfiction writer. You have to settle down eventually. But you learn from everything--and you never know what might emerge as your new love.

I love historical fiction. But I love what I'm writing now, too.

And, for anyone still hanging on and wondering what the heck I'm working on: It's post-apocalyptic / rather edging toward dystopian young adult.

And it's a blast!


anachronist said...

Oooh a dystopia, I love them! Do not think too much about what is selling now, think about the future.

Anonymous said...

I'm behind on what's selling in hist.fict at the moment. What is?

In addition, I think you write at anytime what really presses your buttons. You start writing for a 'market' and that's dangerous, because the market can change on a whim. Your novel necessarily can't. I'm currently writing a thirteenth century romance. If that's not in the marketplace then its too bad because I can't stop. I'm totally committed to the plot and my characters, I MUST finish the tale.

Carrie C said...

That's awesome that you're writing so much! I hope the inspiration continues and wish you lots of luck!

Maybelle said...

! Your WIP sounds fascinating. And I would agree, a little unexpected considering your interests in Historical Fiction. I do think i's great to explore different genres, just to work with different ideas - even if they end up as experiments as opposed to published work. Though, marketing-wise, I know what you mean - it's hard. It seems a lot easier for writers of speculative fiction to cross genres - because they ultimately fit under the same "umbrella". Some authors fixed this by using pen names.

Good luck with the writing, though. *Is excited*

Rowenna said...

Thanks all for your kind support! Anachronist and Mesmered--so true, and I hope I didn't imply that I am writing to market. I may write a full post expanding on my ideas about this :)


Maybelle--the crossing genres thing is one element that I'm getting more interested in--I love HF, but I also have a lot of other, expanding, exciting interests! It's fun to experiment, too--not everything has to be super-serious publication attempts.

Jill said...

I go through periods of being a bad blogger myself, so no worries.

p.s. Question for the clothing expert--one of my children wants to know whether stockings in the 18th C means long socks or full tights as we know them today. Do you have any idea?

Rowenna said...

Thanks, Jill :) As for stockings--they're just really long socks, generally speaking. Until panty hose came along, stocking meant a finely-woven, long sock--even up through the mid 20th century. And even now--to some people "stockings" are something that must be worn with a garter belt :P Photo example: Queen Victoria's stockings: Ha! Queen V's underthings!