“Not hear it? — yes, I hear it, and have heard it. Long — long — long — many minutes, many hours, many days, have I heard it — yet I dared not — oh, pity me, miserable wretch that I am! — I dared not — I dared not speak! We have put her living in the tomb! Said I not that my senses were acute? I now tell you that I heard her first feeble movements in the hollow coffin. I heard them — many, many days ago — yet I dared not — I dared not speak! And now — to-night — Ethelred — ha! ha! — the breaking of the hermit’s door, and the death-cry of the dragon, and the clangour of the shield! — say, rather, the rending of her coffin, and the grating of the iron hinges of her prison, and her struggles within the coppered archway of the vault! Oh whither shall I fly? Will she not be here anon? Is she not hurrying to upbraid me for my haste? Have I not heard her footstep on the stair? Do I not distinguish that heavy and horrible beating of her heart? Madman!” — here he sprang furiously to his feet, and shrieked out his syllables, as if in the effort he were giving up his soul — “Madman! I tell you that she now stands without the door!”
- from “Fall of the House of Usher” by Edgar Allan Poe
After reluctantly filing away my in-stasis WIP, I dug out another unfinished piece that I can finally complete. It was technically going to be the third novella for The Book of Lost Princes, but the plot proved to be more complicated than what a 20K-word piece could realistically handle. So Grave’s End took care of that bit, and the then-unknown story (tentatively called Eve of St. Agnes) had to be relegated till the right moment came for me to resurrect it. Looks like this is doable. It’s going to be longer than any of the stories in The Book of Lost Princes, and I expect it to hit somewhere in the high 30K-word range but no more than 40K.
According to JMS Books’ policy for YA stories, anything over 30K will also be made available in print. Which makes me twenty billion shades of excited because it’ll almost be like publishing a chapbook – but longer. :) I can live with not having an anthology to offer you guys next year as long as I’m able to stick to my goal of mastering the novella form.
So welcome Ansel Tunnicliffe, the fifteen-year-old hero of a new historical fantasy (gothic, too!). The book’s title is Ansel of Pryor House. Yes, it is official. I actually have a title before the story’s finished, and it’s rather mind-blowing.
And why am I so obsessed with the novella, anyway, seeing as how I’ve been writing and publishing novel-length fiction almost consistently since 2008? By and large, it’s because the length is proving to be perfect for me. I used to believe that novels are the only way to go, being the clueless publishing noob that I was. There’s so much to say, so many crazy worlds to immerse the reader in, and that requires more words. A lot. A damned crazy lot – but without going the way of those even crazier Victorians or Augustans and especially Samuel Richardson and his Clarissa magnum opus. As of late, I’m realizing that the longer the piece and the more room I give myself for elaboration, the more I end up padding the story, and I always have the worst time figuring out which passages or scenes are really necessary to the story. Hell, I feel sorry for my editor.
Maybe it’s because I’ve hit peak production, and my recent burnout has changed things beyond, you know, the point of no return. I find that it’s easier for me to lose sight of my purpose when I’m writing now, and I end up lollygagging with scenes and plot points that need to move forward rather than linger. I had such a great time writing all three novellas for The Book of Lost Princes, and I’d love to keep doing it, mastering the skill of making every word count and zeroing in on what’s important while keeping extraneous stuff out. True, the learning curve was nuts, but I managed to get it, and I miraculously managed to keep within those important limits.
At any rate, that’s the gist of my new set of goals. You never really stop learning when you write and publish stories, no matter how long you’ve been in the business. And you shouldn’t.
Well, dag nab it. I’m currently drooping over the fact that I’ve lost all momentum – what little I had, anyway – with my WIP. I’ve set aside still-in-progress work in the past, the most drastic example being Wollstone, and I’ve managed to pick up and chip away now and then till I finally got the book done. Not so with this WIP, which is technically the last book of my Masks series.
I guess the problem really lies in the fact that so many things came together to subvert my progress with the book: extra hours at work, flagging energy levels, my side project. Now that things are starting to settle down, I’m having the damnedest time finding my place again. Truth be told, I had a difficult time writing it from the get-go. I didn’t feel much connection with the story, I dragged myself through page after page, and while there were a few scenes I’m quite proud of, the rest of what I have right now leaves a lot to be desired. Yeah, sure, that can be dealt with during revisions and edits, but at the moment, I can’t even get myself to care enough for the story to expend another ounce of energy on it.
Well, crap. I was hoping to get back into the swing of things next week, but things look a bit bleak at the moment. I hope I won’t end up going through what I went through with Wollstone and get this done after, oh, four years or so. ^^;;; That ain’t good. Chances are, I’ll have to set it aside YET AGAIN and wait till early next year to get back into it, when I’m finally done with the frame shop, and I’ve got more time to devote to writing and publishing. At the very least, I won’t be so physically exhausted that it’ll affect my creativity, which is what I’m currently experiencing (and patiently putting up with till the end of the year).
That said, now what? o__O I need to write something. Another installment of my side project, sure, but maybe I should also chance a gothic novella as I’ve originally planned? You know, get going with it at a much earlier time? Ugh and rawr. I wish I weren’t so drained from the current frenzy of RL. Nothing frustrates me more than the inability to focus because of outside factors.
I know, I know. Whine, whine, whine… *sporfle*
Happy birthday, Oscar Wilde! :) Oh, those good old golden days of litslash and The Picture of Dorian Gray fanfic…
Originally posted on Interesting Literature:
Oscar Wilde was born on this day in 1854, so we’ve looked through the literary library here at Interesting Literature to bring you our ten favourite Wildean one-liners!
I am so clever that sometimes I don’t understand a single word of what I am saying. – ‘The Remarkable Rocket’
The books that the world calls immoral are the books that show the world its own shame. – The Picture of Dorian Gray
To be really medieval one should have no body. To be really modern one should have no soul. To be really Greek one should have no clothes. – ‘A Few Maxims for the Instruction of the Over-Educated’
Hard work is simply the refuge of people who have nothing whatever to do. – ‘The Remarkable Rocket’
The final mystery is oneself. When one has weighed the sun in the balance, and measured the steps of the moon, and mapped…
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Ayup, got dragged back into Twitter kicking and screaming, but as I’ve noted, needs must. After tearing my hair out since, oh, last week over marketing and all that jazz, I’ve come to the conclusion that using Twitter as a hybrid promo machine would be the best. This blog will remain ground zero for me, and I’ve linked this with Twitter, so that my Twitter timeline will show updates for Hayden Thorne. At the same time, I’ll be tweeting over there to promote my self-published stuff since I’m not keen on opening another blog for it. I did use my Smashwords author page for my main URL over at Twitter, though.
Seeing as how Goodreads is taking so damned long getting me set up for an author account, I might as well just go the 140-character route for my other alter ego. Okay, now that’s done. Holy hell, this author promo racket is the pits. ^^;;; Once I’m all settled in, though, I’ll be okay.