Monday, September 7, 2009

Tart's Plate

I've somehow have ended up over-filling my plate, as usual, so I thought I'd share...
CONFLUENCE: this is the completed work I am shopping around. I am STILL waiting on ten responses—four weeks tomorrow. Some agents say two to four weeks, some say four to six... guess it's time to see which are which and send kind questions on status, though I will give a few extra days to account for this being the end of summer and a typical vacation time.
I have a new PLAN for CONFLUENCE though... if I haven't found an agent by the end of November (one more round of tennish, methinks), I intend to get it REALLY under 150K (instead of exaggerated to only 150K) and enter the Amazon contest next winter. Why? Because this query process sucks the life out of me and I feel like three months is about what I can give to it without moving on. CONFLUENCE may just be a work I need to shop around after another success because of its length.

TEEN SERIES: This was a bizarre brain child about a geeky group of middle school girls who, in an attempt to cope, begin to refer to the various cliques and their behaviors in monster terms, and to develop a (purely imaginary) set of super-powers to cope with them. In each of five books however, the kids (all girls at first, but a boy joins them in book 2) have to use said superpowers (or the real life strength that inspired them) to cope with real world issues.
I have done a lot of character development and written four chapters centered on the first three girls becoming friends, but it is indefinitely on hold while I work on the OTHER two (keep reading).

MURDER MYSTERY: this was a back-up project—something I felt able to write even in absence of jolts of inspiration, and is coming along (on chapter 8 of maybe 24), though not with as much passion or enthusiasm as my other works. I suspect it is time for its simmering, fermenting period, because I like the idea, but am sort of at a loss on execution.  I don't want it to feel too forced.
It is about a young woman who comes to spend 'her last summer of freedom' before starting a post-doctoral fellowship intended to lead to a professor-track position. She is to stay with her childhood friend 'in the lap of luxery', as her friend is from a very wealthy family. She arrives, only to find her friend has been brutally killed in a random act of violence. The family asks her to stay to help them cope, and Nikki begins to suspect the violence wasn't so random after all...

SPY TRILOGY: Meet my current passion. This (like CONFLUENCE, oddly) was a great idea, eventually joined by what I thought was a separate great idea (two, two, two books in one!). But in this case, I think I really have three solid stories, separate enough to stand alone, but tied together by this 'spy thing'.
I've written seven chapters of the first novel (five in the last week)--I'm calling it LEGACY at the moment, and have finally worked out a semi-detailed outline for the rest of it (that old hammering out of villains thing). The first novel is from the PoV of eight-year-old Peter (who witnesses his father's murder in chapter one and goes into hiding with his brother and sister), and thirteen-year-old Athena, whose mother tries to prostitute her in exchange for drugs in chapter two, so she runs away from home. The action is in Portland, Oregon, the only city I probably know well enough to 'live on the streets', so to speak, and I am THRILLED to be there. It is probably why all these Athena chapters have practically spilled onto the page.
I figure if I neglect all my other pieces, job and family, I can be done by Thanksgiving.

The next two are working under the titles COINCIDENCE, and CONSPIRACY for now.  I love one word titles... COINCIDENCE has one chapter written, but the broad conspiracy underlying all three is coming together at last!
So I'm curious if I'm insane to have so many balls in the air, or if this is normal for writers. I'm also curious if any of these in progress sound interesting enough to 'buy' so to speak, though I know I would in reality need more solid hooks written to really test that... Anyway... that's my progress report...

9 comments:

scotticohn said...

I admire you, Hart! The only work I have "in the works" right now is my YA fantasy novel, which needs revision, and a new nonfiction title -- Chicago Curiosities (under contract with Globe Pequot Press). I do have a couple of new manuscripts under consideration by a publisher, but I'm not actually working on them at the moment.

Cruella Collett said...

You never cease to surprise me. Not so much in terms of creativity - I know that you're creative (and more importantly, I can relate to that). But the fact that you're actually working on all these projects - and working hard too - while still keeping the blog, the fanfics (I rediscovered HPANA the other day), the social life, the family AND the day job.... Makes me feel a little silly complaining about that “horribly time consuming” thesis (that I haven’t cast a single look for months)...

The grail-shaped bacon (yes, I know that's not how it's spelled, but that's how I always read it...) of “getting it done” has time and time again proved to be the actual golden cup for you, and may I tell you what an inspiration that is to someone like me? I need to get my digressionary behing down on that chair and WRITE the story…

I think your plan sounds like a good and sensible one, and I think the fact that you are a person able to stick to the plan makes it even more sensible.

Galen Kindley--Author said...

Startled, shocked, and in awe is my reaction. Wow. How can you possibly have so much funneled, channeled, and captured creativity flowing into these projects simultaneously? Not to mention your real, regular life. I tip my hat to you and bow deeply. Great job. As to buy? Sure, I particularly like the two books in one idea. Though the mystery sounds pretty good, too. I’m totally impressed. Keep it up.

Best Regards, Galen
Imagineering Fiction Blog

Chary Johnson said...

*jaw drops*

I am very impressed Hart. I am sending warm positive energy your way. Keep it up. Wish I could balance all that. :D

Watery Tart said...

So we've confirmed I'm insane? Because that is what I'm seeing *snort*

I think all this is because I only have a limited time to write, so there isn't time to work through issues... better just to have another work to grab that is flowing more easily.

Plus that simmering/fermenting thing I need to do... I don't have any idea how normal that is, but an idea STARTING and then taking some time to take shape... seems to fit with how my creativity flows. I've always been a marathoner, not a sprinter... baby steps, baby steps, baby steps...

Grail shaped bacon? BUWAHAHAHAHAHA! Anthrax castle will never be the same!

Scotti--a few under consideration to me means you HAD a couple under way at once, you've just moved on to a more reasonable pace! Hope I get there.

Mari--what social life? You people ARE my social life! (and my family is very clear: I am neglecting them badly) but i d seem able to pace myself toward goals, provided those goals don't involve cleaning large areas of my house.

I will keep everyone posted as to where these go. Thanks so much for all the support!

Joris said...

You have a little something winging its way towards you ;) -- the muse struck ;)

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Wow...that's a ton of projects, Hart! You've got a lot more going on than I do in the scope of your manuscripts. I'm also really impressed that you can write different genres with ease. My YA, children and fantasy books are in my manuscript graveyard....

Elizabeth
Mystery Writing is Murder

Watery Tart said...

Oh, Elizabeth, I wouldn't be so sure my YA won't end up in a graveyard too--haven't written much of it yet! Though my other books thus far have had prominent teen characters--just too dark of other content to be YA books overall.

And Joris---I love love LOVE my book covers!

Chary Johnson said...

Hart, you are not insane. You are a budding writer with a plethora of creativity flowing at he moment. I wish you luck and hope that your books get published. :D