Monday, February 16, 2015

30 Week Writing Survey - Week 23: Time for Completion

Now Playing: Spacehog - In The Meantime

My vampire fiction class is officially the funniest thing in the world. My soft-spoken, polite professor has already been forced to explain what oral-fixation and pre-oedipal complexes are to the class, but last week, he was trying to make a modern connection to The Vampire and Fragment of a Novel. In both of those stories, a slightly older man (think 27) meets a young man (20) and they go off adventuring together and vacationing and stuff. There's some sexual subtext of bisexuality and promiscuity, etc, etc. The point is, it lead to my professor asking the guys in the class who's a modern, young-ish celebrity they have a "man crush" on to try and get them on the perspective of the stories' narrators.

It. Was. Glorious. Especially because the girls offered Chris Evans as an example, of Captain America fame. He's very worthy of all fantasy bromances :P I saw so many guys get red in the face. Lana and I could not stop laughing that day. The class notes she wrote down just kept getting funnier, especially when my professor summarized The Vampyre as, "virgin is totally enthralled by guy who has a lot of sex." (That seems about right, actually).

Also had fun at the creative writing class. We did "Boot Camp Remixes" as my professor called them, which was basically taking lines from our stories and reworking them to fit the style of a certain author. It was a combined effort--she put us into groups of threes and told us which of our stories were to be remixed in the style of different authors we'd already read. I brought in Oculus that day, and we got assigned to remix a line from it in Katherine Mansfield's style. It actually turned out really good. After I finished reading it, our professor broke into a "YEAHHH D:<" It turned to be easier than the other two styles we had to do. And our professor is so enthusiastic. It makes the class quite fun~

Back to the survey!

QUESTION 23: How long does it usually take you to complete an entire story—from planning to writing to posting/submitting for publication (if you post/submit)?

Uhm. Forever.

I've yet to submit anything for publication or querying. I've managed to get lengthy drafts done in around six months. Either I start off really quickly and then inevitably slow down, or the opposite happens. I think hypothetically I could finish first drafts in two months or less because I can average 10k words a week if I'm concentrating, but I pause or slow down often. And while I hate taking long breaks, I've had to delete lengthy sections before because I wrote them when I wasn't feeling the story or I was distracted, so they read really awkwardly and either don't lead anywhere or shove me into a dead end.

I've yet to really rewrite something enough times to have it ready for querying and publication. But so far, this is sort of the plan--it's how I'm feeling things start to unfold:
  1. Begin planning for Manuscript #1. Research, character sketches, world building. 
  2. Start writing first draft of Manuscript #1. 
  3. This happens whether or not I want to--start getting ideas for Manuscript #2. 
  4. Finish Manuscript #1's first draft in less than a year.
  5. Put Manuscript #1 aside, rest for a bit.
  6. Start research Manuscript #2
  7. Write Manuscript #2
  8. Start getting ideas for Manuscript #3.
  9. Finish Manuscript #2.
  10. Rest for a while.
  11. Go back and fully edit and rewrite and beta Manuscript #1.
  12. Take a break.
  13. Go back to work on Manuscript #1--querying or more beta reading.
  14. Research/plan for Manuscript #3
  15. Rewrite, edit, revise Manuscript #2.
  16. Take a break.
  17. (Possibly) write Manuscript #3.

Yeah, it's partially a plan, partially what I think will happen, but, as stated, I may totally wing it. It's all subject to change. Like I can either start writing Manuscript #3 or start editing Manuscript #2. I can probably completely put aside even the research of Manuscript #3 until the other two are done. I can abandon one for some time at random and jump on the other.

Honestlyyyyy, it'll depend what I'm feeling up to.

So it's going to be a lengthy process. But I want to start writing more complicated sci-fi and fantasy, tons more world building to have a solid foundation for my characters and even have it integrate into the plot a lot. It's only natural it takes a while, and I really don't want to rush out too many pieces.

Especially Vanguard's Exodus. There's...there's so much I gotta fix. I wouldn't be surprised if I somehow wrote, edited, and beta'd another novel while VE is still in like the second draft. But I'll love it all the same, even when it stresses me out :P I hit 70k sometime last week, and there's still sooo much to do. It better not pass the 130k word mark >.< (I say and then I'll probably end up with a 150k word document in desperate need of editing. Ughhhh).

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"Science and science fiction have done a kind of dance over the last century... The scientists make a finding. It inspires science fiction writers to write about it, and a host of young people read the science fiction and are excited, and inspired to become scientists...which they do, which then feeds again into another generation of science fiction and science..."
- Carl Sagan, in his message to future explorers of Mars.