Anagama draft sent for critique

I just sent a draft of Anagama to my writing critique team (all members not currently travelling overseas, that is). It clocks in at 32,560 words, so it is short for a novel, but then I don’t see the point of writing double that just to add extra word-padding.  This noticeably detracted from Tolstoy’s works (he was paid per word), and while I may not be Tolstoy, I figure it would also detract from mine.

I haven’t yet thought of a good pitch for Anagama– but basically, it focuses on the question of what it means to be human. It is set on a future Earth in which humans are classified as having genomes 99.5% similar to a “standard” human genome, and anyone different enough- by birth or after infection by DNA-altering retroviruses- is considered non-human, and therefore potential property. The story follows the adventures of two such mutant humans and their efforts to take down Zurvan Corporation, a company which kidnaps and profits from the DNA of unfortunate mutants.

There are a few small edits that need to be done, which I will probably take care of tomorrow (things like adding in song lyrics or artist names to certain sections, fixing en and em dashes, fixing incongruities in UK vs US English spelling, that sort of thing).

But it feels good to have a working draft out there.

Happy 2016! And if you are an agent or editor and would like to see the first few chapters, write to me at bent dot elizabeth at gmail dot com.

Anagama is finished!

As of December 23, 2015 I finished the first working draft of my novel, Anagama! I still need to proofread, polish and edit, and check the draft for inconsistencies, potential plot holes, that sort of thing.  Even so, it is finished!

I’m very happy- I’ve beaten my self-imposed deadline by eight days! The time I set aside for writing next week I will use to edit and polish, and hopefully have a really good draft ready for criticism by December 31, 2015.

Merry Christmas to me! And to you, dear readers, if you celebrate (and I hope you enjoy the day even if you do not).



Writer’s block

So I have been struggling with writer’s block this past fall. I actually do not find it hard to write words, but to write good words and to stick to the complex plot I envisioned instead of taking the tired way out and wrapping up scenes too quickly. So I’ve written, but I need to rip out and rewrite. I am still having trouble with the tricky section I mentioned in my last post.

On the happy side, I do have over a week of vacation days left to use this year, and I may use up 5 of them and take that extra week of vacation to just write, write, write.

Unless, of course, I am derailed yet again, but I find I have enough energy during the day to do things- it’s just by the weekend I’m exhausted from the week/insomnia. If I didn’t have to worry about waking up early, and if I could sit in my PJs and scribble or tap away in my kitchen for a week straight, I feel like I would be able to beat this thing.

As I said in my other post, I have two hours left today to try to write. Time to scribble and type. Even if all of it is crap.

Hope you are enjoying December,


[UPDATE: “butt in chair” works! I managed to revise the outline of a bunch of chapters, threw a bunch more away, and wrote two chapters that I actually like. Now I am trying to deal with spambots trying to hijack this and other blogs of mine. ]