Yes, an achievement, a moment to reflect, than then on to the next project. I love what I do, which requires doing it. I also have a vision of what I want to accomplish, and while I don’t have a lot of resources, what I do have is time. Lots of time. The kind of time most people would envy. Well, maybe too much time for some.
Less than a week ago, I finished revising Case of the Deadly Stroll, which I drafted in November 2020. It was the first revision so there was a lot to do in certain places, none more so than the ending. In a general sense it’s the same, but the details changed, including the addition of a new twist.
A completed revision is a common enough milestone. More significant is that since mid January I’ve revised every novel. That’s eight novels in five months, allowing for spending the month of May drafting Following the Essence Stone. I’m proud of the numerical accomplishment, but I’m prouder still of the commitment it required.In past years, my goal was the same, but I’d be lucky to revise three, maybe four novels in nine months.
The effort required on each novel was different. On five of them I was finally able to target specific improvements that were needed. Two of them were the first ever edits, Case of the Deadly Stroll and So Others Might Remember, Riparia’s Bk3. Stealing Light was the novel I thought would either require a rewrite or being split into two books. I was wrong on both counts. After diving into it I realized the solution was cutting the excess.
Meanwhile, it remains my intention to draft Riparia’s Bk4 & Bk5 at the end of the year, and back to back. Those projects are always on my mind, but I won’t apply myself to them full-time until September. In the meantime, I have six weeks for the project I’ve been shoving to the end of the line year after year.
For now, I’m calling it Anthology1 – The Techquanmic Age, Historic Tales of Pannulus. It’s the first of the 3-4 anthologies that I have in mind, all of which will take place in Pannulus. The reason for that decision is because almost all my short stories and all of my novella’s are set in Pannulus (simple, right?).
What constitutes historic?
The first novels take place in Ontyre year 4162. The historical anthology will span 4101 to 4145. Basically, most of the Technomysquanic Age, which opened with women’s suffrage. This decision led to me having to put in a lot more time on the Pannulus history, which I’ve been lax about detailing.
I also had a slight problem. It’s my intention that any anthology would be at least 60K. Maybe it’s just me, but I wanted any reader to have plenty of stories to read. My historical short stories, though, numbered seven and only added up to about 35K. None of the novellas are historical.
Ah, but I’ve been (hopefully) hiding an ace. There was one short story, Shadow in Winter, that I’d crammed into a short story format when it needed to be longer. For several years I’ve seen where it could be expanded to at least a short novella. That gets me close to where I want to be.
The other issue was that I wanted them to appear in order of year since they kind of show the evolution of modern Pannulus society and it’d be fun for the reader to see that evolve. The only thing was, I wanted a snappy, adventurous story to lead off with rather than one that was more heartfelt and thoughtful. Thus, over the last two days I drafted a longish short story, The Suffragette Discovers. Just like that, the anthology has exceeded 60K.
*BONUS! The Suffragette Discovers is indirectly linked to Stealing Light.
A different, smaller issue is that three of the stories weren’t written for Pannulus because they were drafted before my Pannulus worldbuilding. Thus, some fixes and relocating will be necessary. It’s a minor inconvenience since they fit seamlessly into the timeline.
The stories are a varied lot. A couple are adventures. A couple quite gothic. Several are deeply heartfelt. There’s even a holiday tale and one that still makes me laugh.
The existing stories have been revised multiple times so I’m going to do a quick revision of The Suffragette Discovers since it’s kind of clunky at the moment. Then, I’ll expand Shadow in Winter to the story it deserves to be. The last step will be converting three stories to a Pannulus setting. I’ll then rotate through the five altered/new stories again. My goal is for the revision progress to become consistent across the anthology.
This is such a different beast from novels. After all, the drafting of the anthology tales spans from 2015 to 2021. For this writer, that’s a lot of time. In 2015 I was just starting to learn Deep 3rd POV and, as mentioned, hadn’t yet developed Pannulus. My word, it wasn’t even fully formed on the map yet. In contrast, when I think of any of my novels I think of the specific month and year when they were written.
Yes, I never lack for projects, and this one, by September, will stand as another milestone. I’ll be pleased. I’ll be proud. I’ll then set to work planning the end of Riparia’s series. That’ll be its own milestone given Bk1 was drafted in April 2016.