Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Still making some progress

I wrote another scene tonight in Baptism for the Dead and revised an existing scene. I think it's coming along nicely. the book is at almost 37,000 words and I've got a complete first draft of Part 4. (Parts 1 - 3 are on, oh, probably a third draft by now.) There are two more parts to go in the book. I'm not sure exactly how long each one will be, but my best guess is that this book will finish at a little over 50,000 words. That is a short-ass novel. I hope this won't be a problem in selling it.

I would be lying if I told you that my writing is just that concise. My writing is anything but concise. I am the wordiest motherfucker you'll ever meet -- I am prone to overadjectivizing like angry dads in the 1960s were prone to oversalting their food. I never let too many paragraphs go by without writing one paragraph that's actually just one really long sentence. I never miss an opportunity to add in some really weird, memorable sensory images. I do not write tight.

I could go in and "pad," but I don't like the idea of padding for padding's sake. This is just not a long story. It takes place over the course of maybe a couple of months, and a lot of the characters' time is spent traveling by car -- time that can be summed up in a paragraph or two of pretty scenic description before moving back to relevant stuff.

I am taking some comfort in the fact that it's a literary novel, clearly and undisputedly, and short novels that aren't quite short enough to be novellas are not that uncommon in literary fiction. So hopefully it won't be a deal-breaker that my book is shorter than your average YA novel.

We'll see, I guess. No sense worrying about all that until I've finished the damn thing anyway.

Saturday, November 5, 2011


Just worked on Baptism for the Dead for five straight hours. Most of it was revision, so I could re-acquaint myself with the existing 35,000 words, but I was really pleased to note that after a long absence from it, I think this book is fucking kickass. Like, more kickass than I suspected it was.

Feeling very motivated to put in at least five more hours tomorrow, probably a lot more. I guess that's the nice thing about not having a job.

The self-published book is going fairly well, too. I'm spending a little time expanding my network of historical fiction readers and writers on Goodreads. I am really starting to believe that Goodreads is a powerful tool for authors to promote, and plus, it's just fun. I have sold something like 50 copies at last count, and reviews are starting to creep in, all of them positive so far. I have a feeling I just need to make some kind of breakthrough somewhere...getting an online book club interested in reading it, getting a review from a very popular reader on Goodreads, etc. -- and then it should start to take off. As much as a self-published book can be expected to take off.