In spite of the title of this post, I’ll try not to get too emo. Not sure how well I’ll succeed, but at least I’ll try.
Worldcon was great, but it put me into something of a writing slump and I’m not sure where to go next. I was planning on writing the as-yet untitled New Rigel novel, but I want to get Desert Stars published before Christmas, and that would involve doing another major draft before sending it off for edits.
The trouble is, it typically takes me at least two months to do a rough draft. I can probably finish Desert Stars in about a month, but I’d still want to start that project somewhere around the end of September. Since I don’t expect for my first readers to get back to me until then, that leaves me with a single month to fill.
To further complicate matters, the place I’ve been temping at for the last two months wants to hire me full time. In some ways, that’s awesome; work is work, after all, and even though I won’t exactly be saving the world, it’s not a bad job either. On the other hand, 40 hours of warehouse labor per week is going to make it very difficult to do everything I want with my writing career.
Now, don’t get me wrong–I’m not complaining. This seems to be the dilemma that every aspiring writer faces at one point or another, and most of my friends have understandably chosen the stable paycheck over the ever-elusive lucky break. But with where I’m at–young and single, without any debt or obligations to pay off–and my long term career goals, I worry that I’ll end up settling if I take that path. Besides, I’ve gotten used to “starving” over the last year and a half, and it’s actually not that bad.
What would REALLY be awesome is if they would hire me part time, and I think I might be able to negotiate that. In the meantime, I’ve got to figure out what I’m going to write in September. Here are my options:
Untitled (New Rigel)
This is the project I was most excited about before Worldcon, but now…well, I’m still excited, but post-convention ennui is not a pretty thing. Basically, it’s a full-length novel set within the Gaia Nova universe, and an indirect sequel to Bringing Stella Home.
I’ve already written the prologue and I like where it’s going, but I’d have to really bust my butt to get it done before October. Then again, I usually drop the first draft somewhere in the middle, so allowing for that, it might still be good to go ahead. However, it’s generally a bad idea to plan on screwing things up.
This is the sequel to Genesis Earth, and the second book in a planned trilogy. Since it’s YA, I could probably pull it off in a month–YA is generally shorter than adult fiction, and Genesis Earth took me about a month to pound out once I knew what I was doing. I’ve already got the story outlined and ready to go, so no problems there.
The big reason to do this project is that the first book is starting to have some success, and that’s naturally going to drive reader interest in the sequel. I’ve already gotten some scattered emails and comments about it, asking when it’s going to come out. Also, since there’s less pressure on me right now, bumping it up the queue might be a good idea. There’s a reason some people are afraid of success.
Desert Stars Companion Novella
Now here’s an interesting idea: I could spend the next month working on a companion novel to Desert Stars, much like I spent the last month working on Sholpan. The advantages to this plan are obvious: not only would I have another full-length novel ready before Christmas, but a $.99 novella to go with it–that is, if all goes well.
This is a project I haven’t given much thought to, but it wouldn’t be too hard to come up with something. It would also get me excited for the revision of Desert Stars in October. The main disadvantage is that I don’t know how well this “companion novella” concept will work out in the market–if Sholpan tanks, I might have to scrap it altogether. But as Dean told me at Worldcon, you can’t let thoughts of the commerciality of a project get in the way of the creative process.
That’s what’s on my plate right now. Preferably, I want to choose something I can finish within a month, while juggling work and the publication process for Sholpan. Oh, and I also want to throw in a blog tour for Bringing Stella Home–more on that later.
So, to open it up to my super-awesome hardcore fans (all three or four of you), what do you think? Of these projects, what do you most want to see?