So, the final Deadgirl book is taking a long time to come out, you may have noticed. And believe me, it’s weighing on me pretty near-constantly. But for the tiny group of Constant Readers, I figured you deserved an explanation before I started drifting into George R.R. Martin territory.Continue reading
Posts Tagged With: writing
So, what have I been up to lately? This:
What I’m Reading
I just plowed through the entire Dark Tower series by Stephen King for the second time, and I have some shocking and terrible news for you: it’s still incredible. I first started reading the series when I was around 15 years old, and was forced to wait painfully for the last four books to come out.
Being able to read them all back-to-back provided a slightly different experience. But, overall, yeah. I think it’s still my favorite book series of all time. It’s so epic and surreal and strange, with a truly unique world (well, worlds) that feel 100% real. Even the weirder meta elements in the last few books work really well for me.
Because I suck.
END OF BLOGPOST
Okay, But Seriously Why is “Deadgirl: Daybreak” Delayed?
At the end of “Deadgirl: Goneward,” which is also the last book, there’s a little tag saying “Deadgirl: Daybreak” will drop in Spring 2018. As you may or may not be aware, it’s Spring 2018. And as you also may or may not be aware, you don’t own “Deadgirl: Daybreak” because it’s not possible to own it. Why? Well, mostly because I failed.
Last time: Solin walked down a single street. No, seriously. Also he vaulted over a cow, I guess?
The Morali land was large, but Solin was soon at his destination (passive – watch those “was”es). A copse of trees rose up in the middle of the plains, following the course of a wide stream that broke off of the Sabrienne river to the east. As he got closer he slowed down, both for fear of disturbing his friend and simple exhaustion. He slowed to a jog, and finally a brisk walk (unnecessary comma, the sequel), allowing his muscles to stretch out and his blood to slow down. (Okay. This is a common move I still have to try hard to keep out of my writing. So first I said “he slowed down.” Then, in the next sentence, I DESCRIBE what slowing down is. In case you don’t know. It’s partially my tendency to over-explain, and partially an artifact from the first draft. This kind of thing is okay in a first draft because it’s really just telling the story to yourself. Later drafts need to be leaner. Take out the tell “he slowed down” and leave a punchier remnant of the show, like “His run decayed into a jog, then a leisurely stroll.”) It felt good to be tired, properly exhausted. Solin didn’t fear toil; he was just terrible at it. (STAHP. We get it. We all get it.)
Just a completely altruistic, non self-serving reminder that the sequel to a book I wrote is coming out in one month. Which I also wrote. I wrote both, is what I’m saying.
Last time: Solin tried to help the blacksmith, taught an adjunct class on how to use a dolly in excruciating detail, broke some shit, and then ran down the street.
I took a week off because the Walking Dead finale broke my shit, but I’m back.
A block or two later, his heart calmed, and he was sure Jayne wasn’t following. (“Heart calmed” is a nothing phrase – we’re here to evoke emotion. Even a cliché like “his heart stopped pounding” is at least evocative and descriptive. I’d also reorder this sentence – “His heart calmed a block or two later when he was sure Jayne wasn’t following.” Get rid of a few unnecessary commas and bring the action out front.
However, what I’d really do is reorder the sentence as above, getting the subject and verb out front, AND I’d give it more active language with an amusing voice – it was supposed to be a funny scene, after all.
So, something like this: “His heart found its old familiar rhythm three blocks later when he was sure Jayne wasn’t chasing him with a rake.”)
Still, he’d done enough harm to the populace for today. Time to go see ‘ole long face. (The voice is a MESS here. Thinking something like “he’d done enough harm to the populace” is something a robot or a snarky college professor might say. But then in the next sentence it’s “time to go see ‘ole long face.” Folksy language. Voice is important, and this neophyte writer didn’t spare one moment to even think about it).
Last time: Solin woke up and left his house, which took 1,000 boring words.
“Blacksmith!” Solin shouted. (Good thing Solin said this. I hadn’t mentioned this new character’s profession in at least one (1) seconds).
Jayne raised an eyebrow and leaned across his workbench, “Layabout!” (This is just a good opportunity to point at that “raising an eyebrow and leaning across a workbench” is not a dialogue tag. Turn that comma into a period).
“Don’t fret,” Jayne said, “Nothing personal. Sure could use a bit of help, though.”
(While we’re on dialogue attribution and formatting, apparently I didn’t know how to do it. This is an actual draft I sent to people, too, which is a real shame. “Don’t fret” is a sentence, so “Jayne said” ends with a period. The rest of his dialogue is a new sentence. The only reason to cram that comma in there is if the dialogue tag is breaking a sentence, as in, “We could go outside,” Mister Roboto said, “if we want to get eaten by giant space frogs.”)
It’s just three days until the new Deadgirl cover is revealed to the Universe and the Spaces Beyond. That’s September 25th, if you’re reading this from the future or even the past. Whatever your deal is.
Anyway, Deadgirl is my YA love letter to Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I’m not big on the self-promotion, but I thought I ought to mention it, because it’s my first novel.
If you like quippy chicks who don’t take sass, high school wackiness, and teenagers getting in supernatural undeathy adventures, you might dig it. It comes out beginning of November, but you can judge it by its cover in three short days.
Okay, peace out!