Tuesday, April 1, 2014

March Writing Contest Results

My monthly writing contest with some of my writer friends (with lunch out as the prize) continues apace. I've managed to produce 7,225 words on my various personal writing projects.

Here's the breakdown:

Leading the pack is a new space-opera entitled The War of 2512 that I've written 2,504 words for. My friend Chris Nuttall is one of the top military SF sellers with his independently-published Empire's Corps space operas, ahead of professionally-published authors like John Scalzi in terms of Amazon rankings at the moment. And the fact Scalzi's Old Man's War series is doing so well right now means there's a good market for space opera among presses big and small. Not going to go into a lot of detail at the moment, but I'd describe the milieu as a cross between Star Trek and Warhammer 40,000. And it could possibly turn into a generational saga in the vein of James Michener.

Next is The Atlanta Incursion, the sequel to The Thing in the Woods, with 2,352 words. A lot of it was spent developing two particular characters, one of whom will have surprisingly political views for one of the Men in Black. I've already got one spinoff story planned for that character and since he was in the know far longer than the protagonist, he could be main character for any prequels.

For the collection I'm working on with my friend James R. Tuck, 1,201 words. These are all preexisting stories, so the actual content written consists mostly of introductions to each tale. I might have to edit the actual stories--I realized one of the original stories (and it was professionally published no less!) contains very little physical description of the cast--but that won't be too terribly much in terms of numbers. The collection is tentatively titled Flashing Steel, Flashing Fire and my plan is to have ten stories. It'll be through Kindle (e-book) and CreateSpace (print books). I imagine I'll bust out the latter primarily for book signings for future "real" books.

I've been editing Battle for the Wastelands, trying to cut it down as much as possible based on the recommendation of an agent who said she'd take a second look if I "tightened it some." It turns out she wasn't talking about straight-up word count, but about some "interchangeable" characters and "dead" scenes. I'll need to work on that too, but I did find a lot of fat in the manuscript that needed to be cut. In the process of cutting, I've added 1,087 words even though I've cut a net 2,500 thus far. I got a bit hyper about editing a couple times so this number might be a bit off. To err on the side of not potentially cheating anybody I'd gladly lop a few words off this one. About 1/3 of the manuscript left to edit. The plan is to send this one off to the agent again and then focus on the final graduate school paper for the rest of the semester.

I'm going to be busy with my final paper for the next month, but it looks like I got a good bit accomplished this one.

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