WIP Wednesday #23: Author Rank

A bit of wisdom for this Wednesday. Amazon author rankings are the devil. If you stare at them too long, they’ll claim your soul. Look at pictures of kittens instead. Much easier on the soul, kittens. Unless they’re evil kittens. Which, come to think of it, is every kitten ever. Scratch that. Look at pictures of fruit bats instead.

The Sea-Leopard is this week’s project primus. After a wholesale restructure and shakedown, the draft is still going to be a 120-130,000 word beast. But it’ll be a tighter 120k, if that makes sense. I know it doesn’t, but pretend for my sake. Despite the restructuring, none of the characters have changed much. Some of them are getting more page-time, however. Bad guys, mostly.

I like to give the antagonists some time on stage, if only to humanize them a bit. A one dimensional villain might as well be one of those themed goons Adam West used to punch in Batman. Show what they want and why they want it, and get the reader to understand, if not empathize, just a bit. Not exactly a deep cut regarding my writing process, but it’s free, and you’re welcome.

I’m still arguing with myself regarding magic and monsters and such. Originally, this was a historical with the serial numbers filed off. Then it got a bit weirder. Now there’re magic storms, sea monsters and the like. On the second pass at the draft, I might prune those elements or just go all in on them. It’s a fantasy novel, so I feel like there should be a monster or two, if only to keep things interesting.

Besides work on the amazing, ever-expanding novel, I’ve spent the past few days working on a variety of pitches for a publisher I’ve worked with before. Only one of them will end up becoming a full novel, but all of them are fairly exciting. Whichever one I end up working on will be a lot of fun to write, I suspect.

I’ve also outlined what I hope will be a submission for 18thWall Productions’ Speakeasies and Spiritualists anthology. It’ll be a Royal Occultist story, involving a seance, the skull of a man hanged at the Tyburn Tree, and a buried treasure. Nothing fancy, just a nice, creepy story, full of ectenic manifestations and ghostly black dogs.

With those out of the way, I need to commence edits on The Divine Drowned. This might take anywhere from an hour to a few days, depending on what I decide to do at this stage. Sometimes I like to rip things apart before I send them off to the editor, other times I decide to hold off until I see what they say. With this one, it could go either way. Hopefully I’ll get it done before the weekend.

Oh, and speaking of the weekend, you have until June 12th to preorder Phileas Fogg and the Heart of OsraDo me a favor and maybe check that out, drop a few bucks on a copy.