Sunday, August 14, 2011

Productivity Update, Including Possible Future Anthology

Current projects:

*Battle for the Wastelands

*First story featuring Andrew Patel, tentatively titled "Ubermensch."

*Second story featuring Andrew Patel, tentatively titled "Needs Must."

Awhile back, I sent out a suggestion to members of my writing group that we put together an anthology of short fiction we could sell for our own profit or to make money for a charity.  After a lengthy chain of e-mails and Facebook discussions, we decided to create an anthology of superhero stories.  Yesterday at my writing group, we set a deadline for Nov. 1 for the first drafts to be submitted, with Nov. 15 as the secondary deadline.  The theme is "Southern Superheroes."  The stories thus far (mine and another writer who doesn't have a blog or non-personal Facebook page I can link to) are set in Atlanta and Mobile.

Originally we were going to use Amazon publishing to sell this, since Matt Schafer had attempted to sell a short story entitled "Heroic Times" some years ago and was told superhero stories were impossible to sell.  However, at Saturday's meeting, both James Tuck and Alex Hughes, who have book deals right now, said that this is no longer the case.  We decided to get the anthology as good as we could make it and seek out a "real" publisher for it.

My contribution will be two villain-protagonist stories starring Andrew Patel, a half-Indian biomedical engineer who lives by the creed of the German philosopher Nietzsche.  He seeks to transcend humanity using technological means and funds this by alternatively working for and preying on members of Atlanta's criminal class.  "Ubermensch" is completed; "Needs Must" is perhaps a fifth done.

"Ubermensch" is on draft four now.  I am in the process of incorporating suggestions from this writing group, such as working in more Nietzschean philosophy and emphasizing Patel's struggle with his own envy in his battle with the hero Silverbolt--Nietzsche wrote extensively about how (according to him) the weak envy the strong and seek to tear them down rather than improve themselves.  I should be able to finish this fairly quickly--the most extreme suggestion would involve adding some additional content at the beginning of a scene.

Today has been a very productive day as far as "Needs Must" is concerned.  Last night, I plugged in the title and contact information (per Standard Manuscript Format) and marked off the different sections.  Today I wrote 1,600-odd words, just under half during my aggravating experiment with taking MARTA to do some chores at my church (I ended up missing the chores and there were delays in the northbound train so it took awhile to get home too) and the rest this afternoon.

Due to the November deadline, chances are I'll be focusing on my two stories and additional anthology work rather than Battle for the Wastelands.  However, I have been able to write some material from the points of view of the tyrant Grendel and the rebel chief Alonzo Merrill that takes place later in the story.  Unfortunately, the next unfinished chapter doesn't have a whole lot to it yet, so I won't be taking Battle to the writing group anytime soon.

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