Writing Life

Which WiP?

I need to start using terms such as, “The one on my desk” or “The current one,” or stating, “The one I’m focused on right now is…” because the term WiP (Work in Progress) in my writing life is a bit complex.  There are times I talk about one of the books, and people get confused.  I sometimes have to wonder, Which WiP?  I am always working on more than one project—even if one is a priority. Currently there are two books on my desk: The one I’m writing, and the one I’m about to revise and get ready for publication—but they are not the only ones, by far!

There’s a queue of works in progress, in various stages of completion.  (This is one way to combat writer’s block, but for sanity sake, it’s not one I recommend). There’s a schedule too, for what it’s worth, that completely breaks down when something intriguing shows up—like it did with The Wyvern.

So here’s my “schedule” (which in some ways only shows that I ought never be bored, nor ever despair running out of ideas, but till these are published, might only show you that sometimes my brain is an uneasy place to be with so many ideas taking space in my brain, sometimes uneasily… but the schedule…), barring some new book dropping into my mental lap:

  • Current: The Wyvern first draft, to be sent to experts for commentary prior to revision.
  • Next: Fate of the Red Queen The deadline is for end of the academic year, when my copy editor might have a window, plus get a proof reader on board, schedule the book cover art—getting it ready for publication!  (It is the second stand alone book in the Humna Arc, after The Red Khemeresh).
  • Following Fate: Write Sen of the Woods book 2. (And maybe 3, depending on how good the writing gets going), and then revise book 1—to reflect changes made with the series. .
  • After that: Completing Icandecka, with info from experts about science, and which has loose ties to The Wyvern (much to my surprise, but both books are stand alone); then typing up ideas for the third solo book in the canon.
  • And then: Sen of the Woods book 3 (if there is a 3, and I haven’t written it already) OR a revision of the whole series (an actual series!  Woot!)
  • At this point: The Wyvern revisions?
  • Hopefully after that: Another Bone Reader Fantasy Mystery.
  • And then come Revisions for Forgotten Gods, and plotting out the ideas for subsequent books (there’s a tricky plot device I may or may not have written to completion in this one book).
  • If all goes well, I can start looking to review Seek the Monster, to get it ready for publication, (so all the books in the Humna arc are out).
  • Start plotting out plans for publishing Bone Reader Fantasy Mystery series—if there’s a good plot for #3. Otherwise shift focus to Sen, and…

All this planning goes to… well….  I’d be revising Fate at the moment, or already onto the next Sen of the Woods if the bones of The Wyvern’s plot hadn’t downloaded into my brain overnight.  I could not help but start writing it, it was too good, and far too fun to let it sit and wait.

The thing is: These are ALL in progress.  For the unwritten drafts, or incomplete drafts, there’s an idea good enough to work with.  For the complete drafts, revised drafts, I generally take a step back so I can look at them with fresh eyes.  Sometimes the pressure of those various book and story ideas gets too much and I have to remember to take a breath, make a note, and return to what’s on my desk, to the book I’ve decided is the priority.  One thing I’m learning, within that terrible long time I take with my writing, is that the only way to be done with them is to get them ready, off my desk, either for sending out to agents and editors, or in publication, and into your hands.

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I put notes about books on my walls–mainly priorities. Here are the Sen of the Woods inspirations, and The Bone Reader’s idea notes. Sen of the Woods has pictures helping me feel parts of the culture I’m building–landscapes of both the Tuscan landscape, and Great Zimbabwe. Yes, they really do come together in my head, and bring something to each idea to grow the setting for the series.
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Here are the notes for Icandecka, as well as Forgotten Gods. To the far left, hidden a bit, are a serial I’ve thought about doing called The Electric Tunnel. It’s a dream that I could try that to get out of my comfort zone. What I’m learning with The Wyvern might actually help me do more with it.