Skipping Ahead

Well, now it’s almost Christmas, and now it’s almost time to reminisce in time for New Year’s. NaNoWriMo is over and I’m sorry that I haven’t updated at least one more time, but I’ve kept putting it off and then stuff happened in life and now… I’ve written 32,330 words this NaNo which is about 2,000 more than last year. So while it wasn’t a complete success, I’m not disappointed.

savingdanvers1This year’s NaNo was mostly about fanfiction for me. Fanfiction and Supergirl (or Supergays, as I tend to lovingly call it). I’m neck-deep in the evolution of Alex Danvers’ character, I just love that tiny gay bean. And I’m so close to watching again from the beginning, just to be able to explore her more thoroughly. She’s one of the few aspects of tv that didn’t disappoint (so far) and I hope Supergirl will keep up the good work. I watched a lot of Arrow this year, some The Flash, the pilot of Legends of Tomorrow, but Supergirl is my favorite DC show to date. And I may have jumped the Marvel ship completely, because they don’t invest enough time or money in their female heroes (cancelling Agent Carter, seriously?).

I’m a fan, I tend to get invested. And it affects my writing as well. At the moment, writing fanfiction is a sanctuary, a safe place.

But, of course, I’m always trying to find my own characters and story lines. I’m currently thinking about another YA series I’d like to write. It’s post-apocalyptic stuff and I guess it fits well into current times, with political leaders showing how little they care about people… and I’m prone to seeing all the bad stuff and imagine how it all will end. Also, I love the genre. Aside from horror, it might be my favorite. I’m rereading Legend by Marie Lu and The Hunger Games series might be next.

Apart from that, I also started revisions on Halfway Home. It’s been lying around for a year now and Halfway Home.altcoming back to it is strange and wonderful. I still love the characters so much and I think it’s a great story. It’s all romance and fluff, but it makes me hopeful at the end of a year which saw little of that. I hope I’ll be able to finish it mid-January.

Today’s winter solstice – the shortest day of the year. I’ve been awake since three a.m., so it won’t really be a short day for me, but I like sitting and working when nobody else is awake and by 8 p.m. I’m usually pooped enough to go to bed. The next two weeks will see a lot of family time and food, but I hope I’ll get some work done – probably in the form of fanfiction. I haven’t decided on anything I want to write next year, but hopefully it will be more productive than 2016. Hopefully, it will be more of anything good than 2016.

What’s happening?

I guess I took the title of my last post too literally; I took an unselfconscious break from blogging here. Books have been read since, hardly any words written, though. I’ve worked a little, helped others out, painted and drew. I feel creative, stuff is happening.

As far as writing goes, yeah well. I haven’t done much, but I feel that I’m on my way to remedy that. I’ll be doing some rewriting these next two months, also some editing.

Let me tell you about that: my short story Wrote Trip has been accepted for publication in the anthology Finding Ms. Write by Ylva Publishing. I’m so proud. Look at the beautiful Finding Ms. Write500x800cover! Anyway, that story needs some editing before the anthology’s going to come out in June. It’s the simply story of two women meeting as one of them hitchhikes a ride from the other. I like simple stories, I’m fascinated by the meeting of souls who cling to each other instinctively.

The rewriting project is a superhero story, or rather superheroine. Ghosts of Helltown is pretty old. It’s actually my first writing project that I wrote in English, hence the intensive rewriting! But I’ve started and it’s not entirely hopeless, though as of yet unfinished. I’m excited about this story. For once, it brought me back to drawing and painting, as I’m trying to figure out a costume for my superhero. That’s just a hobby, and I haven’t done any of it for far too long.ghost

And then, there’s of course the genre. I find myself a little obsessed with superheroes lately. As the billboards tell us, I’m not the only one. And as so many others, I’m more of a Marvel person than DC. I never liked Batman much and these days, all that comes out from DC seems to take itself far too seriously. That’s my take. Of course, both franchises are guilty of favoring white, straight dudes (yeah, I know Deadpool is pansexual, but obviously he’s the exception to the rule).

Well, this novella/novel series by Ylva will be all about female heroes who love other females, maybe heroes too, maybe sidekicks, maybe villains? Well, I’m looking forward to reading them all. But first I’ll be going down to Hell(town) and write my own. EXCITED!!!

Once Upon a Time…Editing

firstdraft

There comes a time in a writer’s life when they have finished their first draft. And they’re happy. The sun is shining a little brighter, food tastes better and the stress of finishing a project is gone. Congratulations, the writer has fulfilled their destiny.

Or have they?

Because there’s the first draft, lying there in the sunshine of pride for two weeks, maybe 2 months. And from a certain time onward, the sunshine fades, the manuscript takes a big leap and lands on the writer’s shoulders, whispering: “I’m not finished. I’m just a first draft.”

The writer’s eyes water, but they’re fighting tears because…this is, after all, the moment they’ve been waiting for. And yet, there’s a whole lotta work yet to be done. Editing their own work.

This is necessary, of course, because when you’ve finished your first draft you have no idea if it’s even any good. We cannot evaluate our own work, it’s impossible. Even a manuscript we’ve worked on for years, sweat over, almost despaired over, can be shite, not printable, a total bust. It’s sad and it’s true.

But…even though we cannot evaluate, we can still make it better. And that first draft, yeah, that needs to be bettered desperately.

Halfway Home.altThat’s the kind of point where I’m at with Halfway Home. That is, I’ve just read the complete first draft and am devastated. Because there’s simply so much work to do. What I did while reading it, I added commentaries on what I need to consider. It’s stuff like: “Yeah, you have this in another convo, take it out.” or “Dude, what’s with all this exposition? Nobody cares!” or “You might wanna add that scene and not just tell people about it.”

Yeah, a lotta work. But also: fun work. No, seriously, editing can be fun and not just for geeks like me. Think about it: you get to eradicate all your mistakes without anyone ever seeing them. You have a whole thing and now you only have to make it shine a little bit more, make it as close to perfect as you possibly can. And nobody will ever see the trainwreck you just read. That’s good, that’s very good.

Because, let’s be honest, writing is only part of the job. And you knew that. Instantly, when you sat down to write and maybe weren’t one hundred per cent satisfied with what you just wrote, you thought: “I’ll polish that later.” Maybe you even made a note, wrote a comment to that effect. Because you knew there’s a later.

For me, later has arrived. Today, I’m gonna start translating those comments into my text, delete dialogue tags, do whatever I need to do to make Halfway Home the story I wanted to  read to begin with. And I’m happy for that chance, because really, that first draft – it’s between me, myself and I.

Done [in November]

doneinnovember

I’m aware that November isn’t quite over yet but I’m trying to put my stories into order, to see what I’ve done, what I’m going to do next month and next year. And since I have pretty much given up on NaNoWriMo (I’m gonna write more about that on Sunday), this is a good moment to make an evaluation of some sort.

While I completely failed NaNo, I’m not in the least disappointed with how November (and October too) went. Even Nano itself was a positive experience and I put Carpe Tempus on my writing projects for 2015-list.

I already wrote in October that I finished The Affair. So, I sent it to a publisher and have now signed a contract. Work on this story is not over yet, I’m going to have to make revisions now and then there will be the editing process. I’m going to keep you updated on this story but that’s where it’s at.

I have written another short story for a German publication. It’s called Unser erster-letzter Tanz [transl. Our First Last Dance] and it’s been accepted for an anthology that comes out in June or July. The story is about a transgender person who falls for a waitress at his cousin’s engagement party. So far, my German stories have all taken place in the U.S., but this one takes place in Germany with a very German setting. I feel that family functions differ a lot between Germany and USA, and it was very interesting to put a little of my own experiences into this story. (There will probably be a German post next year about this anthology.)

November last is another deadline and I’ve written a short story for another German anthology that comes out around Valentine’s Day next year. It’s called Versch(l)ossen and I’ve started wriiting it in 2007 – it’s been a long time coming. It’s now at around 6,500 words and it’s about two women meeting because one of them locks their bikes together by accident. They fall for each other, of course – I mean, it’s for Valentine’s Day so that was kind of a given, yes? I will have to do a quick edit, but that’s a lot easier in German than in English.

That was November (despite the two days left). I’m going to tell you more about NaNo and what I’ve planned for next year in my next posts.

Carpe tempus, lovelies.