Tag Archives: writing progress

This and that

I wound up having more decent writing days over the holiday weekend, but none that matched my 8000 word day. I jumped from Lizzie and the hat back to Mari’s swamp story.

I’m faced with a problem in Goodbye Old Paint. I’m at 25,000 words, but Lizzie and the hat are aimed back at their main problem. If I want this MS to come in around 45K, I need to think about how I’m going to add to the tale. There’s no guarantee they can solve the gremlin problem in one swoop, but I don’t need things getting repetitive on me either. This can only mean one thing… time to switch stories.

Mari and her new friend/rescuer/mentor, Kililah wound up trying to return the coonhound to her rightful owner. Turns out this pup revealed herself to be a cull. Meaning she fled from a wild hog, and the owner intended to shoot her.

Mari wound up buying her from him with the promise that she’d leave the area so the pup wouldn’t taint the bloodline. I had some fun moments with Mari and the pup, and she named her Worthless as a jab at the man who was going to shoot her.

I might go back and flesh some of this out, but Mari and the pup learned a little from each other by hunting squirrels and trailing rabbits. Mari is still getting used to her enhanced sense of smell. Can a dog be a kind of mentor? Maybe I should play that up. Hmmm.

Poor Mari got chewed up again when the ox panicked at the sight of a bobcat. I had some fun with her yelling at him that he takes a bigger crap than that puny bobcat. This led to what I thought was an emotional epiphany for Mari. She wasn’t the only one who lost everything. The ox lost his brother and life long partner, too, on that fateful day.

Wounded and bleeding, she discovered an old cabin in the swamp, complete with the skeleton of the owner. She spent some fevered nights haunted by things she’s not taken proper time to dwell on. She also spent plenty of time talking to the skeleton, then scavenging whatever she could to help her on her journey.

I stopped today with a scene I often use. I like to call it the Hero Revealed scene. Mari’s been treated pretty poorly in life, she’s been beaten, raped, had her entire family murdered, taken some hard falls, and kept coming back. Some of the salvage provided a new look for her, and I kind of like the way it roughed out. Kind of a no-nonsense post apocalyptic fashion statement.

At just over 31K words Mari has a lot left to her tale. I have one more mentor for her to meet, then she has to use her enhanced skills and lessons without benefit of mentors to reach her goals.

Right now, getting Mari’s story to novel length looks easier than getting Lizzie’s tale to the noveloid length I prefer for Hat stories.

I’m bagging it early today. Old What’s Her Face and I have some errands to take care of, and we might even wrangle date night out of the deal.


Filed under Writing

The power of a trunk novel

I have two trunk novels that no one will ever see. The first one is a futuristic steampunk story. It involves a world coming back from a medical disaster. It also involved genetic research gone wild, because two back stories are better than one. The second one is a sequel of the first. Neither one of them is any good.

They still have value though – to me. I managed to work in kings and queens, cowboys, and even a new chapter of the Bible (To explain the backstory). They are filled with backstory, ly adverbs, head hopping, and a multitude of other shortcomings.

The very idea that it would be a “save the princess” story didn’t even occur to me until twelve chapters in. I even changed it into a “save the prince” story, because I’m clever that way.

So where’s the value? They taught me a lot. None of us are ready for prime time, until we are. We only get there by putting words on paper. There are dues to pay in writing, just like anywhere else.

My sequel involved a Pope vs an Anti-Pope, and a group of nuns who kicked ass like a team of Angelina Jolies. My main characters deviated from the story to go on side missions, and by God they even made stew. Stew has become a bad cliche in fantasy, because someone usually whips it up like opening a package of Pop Tarts. I know how to make stew, and can produce a pretty good one if called upon.

These two stories also brought me a lot of joy. I absolutely loved writing them. I didn’t know anything about plotting, character arch, and never even heard of the hero’s journey. It was all similar to giving my grandchildren a new toy, then watching them play with it the wrong way. They don’t care that a toy car isn’t supposed to fly.

I love and respect my trunk novels. I bound the trunk in chains and placed in a cave near the Writing Cabin. Then I set a hydra to guard it from prying eyes. I still know where it is if I ever need them. They helped make me who I am today as a writer. Years from now, I wonder how I’ll look back at my current projects.

All writers have at least one. What’s hidden in your closet? Do you love them or hate them? Do you feel a sense of accomplishment when you look back at them? Are your trunk novels just a paving stone on your journey?

I’ve let you look up my skirt, now spill the goods and tell me about your early works.


Filed under Writing