Scribble Scapple

So another is in the books, for yesterday I finished the Final Draft for Couples Dance.  The short novel now stands at fifty-three thousand and change for the word count, and that’s not bad for a short story of erotic horror.  How erotic and horrifying it is I won’t know until it sells, but then if it sells as well as my other stories, I’ll never know how well it is doing.

This time the editing went with little drama and strain.  If it seems as if I was driving myself crazy editing Her Demonic Majesty, this time the editing went off as orderly and easy.  I’d sit and do a thousand, two thousand words in a sitting with little problem.  There was one time when I put down about six thousand words and didn’t think anything of the matter.  Maybe I’m getting better at this, or maybe I came into the editing with a different set of eyes and a different mind set.  Whatever the reason, Couples Dance was actually a pleasure to fix.  And I do mean fix:  there were parts that were messed up, that didn’t make sense, that were simply wrong.

Now time to find readers and get their feedback.  Find more errors and fix things up.  Get a cover and bang!  I’m ready for big time publishing once more.  Yay me.  If this is the breakthrough, then next up:  gnome porn!  I know there’s an untapped market there . . .

I know the question that’s being asked:  what’s next?  Good question.  I could edit another story, for I don’t intend to start another original story until November–at least that’s the plan at the moment.  But one never knows with me.  I’m thinking Fantasies in Harmonie would be a good one to clean up:  follow up one erotic story with another.  Why not?  I have nothing to lose and everything to gain.  I’ll make up my mind in the next few days, because with nothing to do I’ll begin getting crazy by Wednesday.

Not that I need any help there . . .

Since I’d finished editing my novel by seven-thirty PM, I had plenty of time to play with Scapple.  There’s a story idea that’s been floating about in my head for the better part of a month, and I figured, “Hey, what better to lay out, huh?”  I’m the sort of person who likes to flowchart, because that’s what comes of being a computer programmer for a long time.  I wasn’t putting notes all over the place; I wanted to see if the plot flowed well, and if things made sense.

I managed the first couple of chapters and realized the program is great.  Does it do what I want?  Yes.  Does it do it well, with a short learning curve?  Yes.  Are there problems with the beta?  Yeah, but that’s why it’s a beta:  you have people play with it and then tell the developers what you’ve found that’s wrong or not working.  I’ve found one problem in particular that bugs the hell out of me, so I’ll see about leaving feedback so the issue will get fixed.

Will I buy this program?  You know it.

A girl and her software shall never be parted . . .

Onward to the Lost Planet

Yesterday I wasn’t in the mood to write.  Yes, I know:  it always seems as if I’m in the mood to write, but that’s not always true.  Yesterday was one of those days when the words were stuck in the back of my mind, and the urge to get them out on a page was ranking somewhere below scrubbing the sleep from my eyes.

It happens.  You get off somewhere in the ether, you find your mind wandering to other things, other stories, and the urge to write sort of vanishes.  With the things that have been happening to me the last couple of weeks I don’t find it all that unusual that getting back into my stories has been a bit difficult.

I sort of found myself putting around, therefore, and when I came time to get into Fantasies in Harmonie, it was a tough slog.  Write a little, then a distraction.  Write a little, then I’d see something shiny.  Write a little, then think of another story to work on.

On and on, into the night it went.

Here’s the thing, thought:  I kept writing.  Though I didn’t feel like writing, I kept at the story.  I’d do a paragraph, then something else for a few minutes, then back in to do two or three paragraphs.  Though there wasn’t any grand “Write Like a Madwoman for Hours” feel, it kept going–

Until I finally reached a point where I said, “It’s late, and this seems like a good place to stop the story.”  Once I checked out what I’d written for the night, the final word count was almost twelve hundred words.  As I told some people later, it wasn’t bad for someone who wasn’t in the mood to write.

I want to get back into the swing of writing like I mean it.  Sure, it sounds like I’m working hard, but the last year has seen me struggling through my writing.  A year of steady writing, and it seems like I have to kick myself in the butt to get it going.  I could point to several things happening in my life that make it that way, but a big part is that I’m wanting a lot, and I’m not getting there the way I want to get there.  I want it all, and I want it now.

I’m being impatient.

I’m looking for that lost planet, the one called Success, the one that says, “Okay, you can write, and you can even enjoy it, and you can spend the rest of your life doing it, and you won’t have to worry about editors and ISBNs and publication platforms.  We gotcha covered, chickie.”  And I get up in the morning and pull up my Scrivener files, and I drink my coffee and look over what it is I want to do for the day–

And I write.

That planet is out there; I just have to find the place.  It would help if my ship were ready to go–

Maybe I should write on up.

Never Small and Simple

I fool myself a lot, I really do.  I do what I can, I work hard, and I strive to get ahead.  I set goals for myself that some say are ambitious, others says may be a little foolish, but they are my goals, and I do my best to get them done.

There are some thing, though, I just can’t do.  I’m not talking about being able to read minds:  I do believe I’ll get that talent licked one of these days.  No, I’m talking about something else–

I’m talking about being able to write a short story.

When I set out doing Fantasies in Harmonie, I told people, a few people, a number of people, that I was going to “keep it short”.  It’s fantasy erotica, and if you want people to be interested, you gotta get right to the sex.  Most of the stuff out there–by which I mean, “The tentacle sex stories on Smashwords“–seem to be between five thousand and eight thousand words, so if you’re doing it sexy, you’re doing it short.

I’ve mentioned that writing short can sometimes be a problem for me.  The shortest thing I’ve published is just short of ten thousand words–the maximum for what most people consider a short story–and the longest . . . well, it was so long I decided to cut it into three novels.  As my ex would say of Stephen King, “He’s too wordy,” and I seem to have the same problem.  Not that I consider it a problem, but there are some who have told me I’m a good writer if I can’t do a short story. (To which I had a rather choice reply, but that’s another story . . .)

Therefor, when writing Fantasies in Harmonie, I knew I was going to keep it short, keep it simple, make it all about the smut and put a fake name on the sucker–

Yeah, right.

I finished my eight hundred words last night–I was feeling down, didn’t really feel like writing, but I got it in–and I looked at where I am in the tale.  I’m eight hundred and twenty-three words into the current scene–which happens to be the second scene of the second part, which is–lemme see . . . sixty-two hundred words into the story.

And no sex at all.  Hell, I just now got to the fantasy transformations!

Issac Asimov once said that short stories were probably the hardest thing to write.  Yeah, I know:  he wrote like two hundred of them, so how hard can it be?  If you look at that another way, he knew how hard it was, because he’d taught himself to become good in that form, and that took a lot of work to develop that talent.  There are a lot of reasons why shorts are not that prevalent today, number one of which seems to be a lack of markets for writers to peddle their wares.

Back in the day of the Golden Age of Science Fiction there were hundreds of markets for shorts, and not only could one sell a three thousand word story for a penny a word, but actually live on that, writers went for that gold.  Today, you want to do a short story, you’ll probably post it to an internet board and not see a dime for you effort–you’ll be lucky to get one comment.

This isn’t about markets with me, however:  this is about what I do.  And I do novelettes, novellas, and novels.  I don’t have a problem with that–

I do hope people like my long form erotica, though.

I’m telling you, it’s gonna be hot.