2012 writing year

I will not be sad to see the back of 2012, for a number of reasons, including an exciting new repetitive strain injury. That little incident made it impossible to write new fiction wordage for some months. However, my various other medical issues were for once not such as to make it impossible to write, and I have been a lot more active as a writer than I had been for some years. In summary:

The existing fragments of the unfinished Syndicate story self-published on my website.

Short story A sparrow flies through accepted for The Mammoth Book of Erotic Quickies (forthcoming April 2012).

OOP short story And if I offered thee a bargain published by Musa Publishing.

First draft of co-authored novelette Circle of Glass finished.

Short story Naked re-released as a self-published ebook through SmashWords.

Some 15,000 words added to Taxman, the urban fantasy m/m romance novel, taking it to 40 kwords.

25,000 words on a new contemporary romance novel, Nice Tie.

I’d started writing again late in 2011, putting in some serious wordage and research reading for my urban fantasy romance “Taxman”. I said on 12 December 2011, when I’d just finished reading Purkiss, “I suspect it’s still going to take me at least a year to get a submission-quality draft though, even if I manage to keep up the pace I was hitting just before I stopped to sit down and re-read my research materials.” Well, yes. I was rudely interrupted by the aforementioned RSI. And then I was distracted by various other writing projects. Nevertheless, I took the word count from 25 kwords at the start of the year to 28 kwords before the the RSI kicked in.

Alex and I abandoned all hope of ever finishing the Syndicate honeymoon story, so in January I put the completed first two chapters and our notes on the rest of the story on my website. They’re not complete enough to make a story, but there’s enough there that it was worth making them available to Syndicate fans.

By March I was having to use Dragon Naturally Speaking to be able to use a computer at all. I was also at home on sick leave, which left me with not a lot to do. So I spent some time poking at my unpublished and out of print stories with a view to finding new markets, which proved useful later in the year.

I managed to make it to Eastercon in spite of RSI and stress fracture, although only thanks to the good offices of kalypso_v, who went with me and did a splendid job of portering when necessary. I’m very glad I made it, as I was able to catch up with various writer friends and discuss WIPs, markets, and general writing business stuff.

Sent off a short story submission the day after I got back from eastercon, which has been accepted for the Mammoth Book of Erotic Quickies, to be published in April 2013 (and apparently with a title change to The Mammoth Book of Quick & Dirty Erotica (Mammoth Books), going by the cover and Amazon entry).

The following week I sent off another short story submission, this time to Musa and also successful. And if I offered thee a bargain was published later in the year.

Two more short story submissions before the end of the month, both unsuccessful, although one made it almost to final cut. But it was good to get them out to new markets.

Starting writing again at the end of May, by using Alex as a dictation device. As a result one of our unfinished stories, Circle of Glass, was finished in first draft a couple of weeks later, although it’s going to need some heavy duty work to get it to second draft.

By July I was able to type for short periods, and started working on Taxman again, in between editing and promo tasks on Bargain. I spent some time experimenting with using Dragon to type up some material from my old story idea notebooks, so I at least have them in electronic form. I also experimented with using Dragon to write a very rough draft of the initial scene for a new story idea I’d had. It *was* rough, and I wouldn’t care to do it on anything but a chunk of text I already had in my head, but it does indicate that I can at least jot down notes in Dragon if I have to.

The work on Taxman and Bargain continued up until October, when I finally carried out a project I’d had in mind for some time — self-publish one of my old stories that was no longer in print. I picked Naked, which had been previously published in a print anthology, and then on a fundraiser ebsite and my own website. I put it out as a free read through Smashwords, largely as an experiment in putting together a self-published ebook.

I got Taxman to 40 Kwords, and what feels like the halfway point of the novel.

And then this story idea followed me home… Various things suddenly gelled into a complete story idea, just in time for PicoWrimo. I thought it felt like a novelette, which was just right for a project to try to write 300 words every day for a month. By the end of a month it had grown some more plot and was obviously a novel, but I’d written 20 kwords of contemporary m/m romance Nice Tie (and got in another 5 kwords by the end of the year).

And finally, the Loose Id anthology A Kiss At Midnight is being withdrawn from sale, but my novella First Footer will be re-released as a standalone ebook, with a shiny new cover.

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5 thoughts on “2012 writing year

  1. Ultimate torture= not being able to write! Akk! It’s wonderful to hear about your novella though. Are you self published or publishing through an publisher? A friend and I have both finished our first novels. She is self publishing and I’m going the query route. I love to hear publishing stories!

    1. I’m mainly published through erotic romance publisher Loose Id. For most fiction writers a good publisher is still a better option than self-publishing. (Most, not all, and there are some writing niches where self-publishing is the way to go.) For YA fantasy you’re still generally better off finding a reputable publisher.

      Whether you’re looking for an agent, a publisher, or a self-publishing facility, check them out at the Absolute Write forum. There are a lot of sharks out there. Best place to start is with the sticky threads at the top of Bewares and Background Checks.

      And start writing the next book as soon as the current one hits the submit/reject/send out again cycle. :-)

      1. Wonderful advice, thank you. Can I ask did you query to get your publisher? I’m in the query process now but I’ve heard of so many authors meeting their agents at conferences or through contests instead.

      2. I’m in the slightly unusual position of having been asked by my now editor at Loose Id to submit something because she read one of my short stories on a webzine and liked it enough to click through to my website to find some more. If something like this happens to you I strongly recommend that you check them out before replying (which I did).

        But I was going through the query process before that happened, and if I switched away from erotic romance to mainstream sf&f, I’d be querying again. First thing — there are a *lot* of scam agents out there, and a lot more incompetent ones, so check their background and history before querying them. Ditto publishers. You can do that at the Absolute Write sub-forum I linked to. Be aware that some of the places that claim to offer agent information will take listings without vetting them, so may have listings from scam agents, and even the good sites like Absolute Write may have poor information to start with on a new listing. (Usually one of the more experienced members will come along after a few days and check for red flags.)

        Ways of getting an agent or publisher vary by market sector. For example, it’s quite common in romance for authors to get their work in front of agents and editors through conferences and contests, and contests run by RWA chapters are generally legitimate opportunities even where there’s an entry fee. But in sf&f, a contest that charges an entry fee is highly likely to be useless or even actively harmful to your quest to find a legitimate publisher.

        You *can* query some publishers direct without an agent. Some publishers will in general only accept submissions from an agent. Some will accept submissions direct from authors, but will always give priority to agented submissions (and this means that an unagented manuscript may languish in the slushpile for a couple of years before anyone looks at it). Some publishers (and this includes many romance publishers) publish so much material that they’re happy to take submissions with or without an agent, and don’t necessarily give priority to agented submissions.

        And don’t give up. Most of us can paper our offices with rejection slips, and it’s not uncommon to send out fifty or even a hundred queries before finally making a connection with someone.

      3. Thank you so much for the info and encouragement!!! I am in the middle of a move right now but still take time to write every day. When things settle down I’d love to subscribe to Writer’s Market.com and get a list of publishers who accept unsolicited queries. NOT GIVING UP!

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