stephaniecain
18 September 2011 @ 07:00 pm
To give myself some motivation to keep working on the revision, I'm posting an excerpt of the novel I'm currently revising (again) to try to get it ready to query agents. Any and all critiques are welcome. This is the first eight pages of my novel Maze of Moments, a modern faerie story.

***



Forget writer's block, artist's block was the real bitch. Zeva Couran shut the door of her house and studio, locked the deadbolt with her key, and took a deep breath. She'd spent the past hour and a half staring at the clay and feeling like she was suffocating. Maybe a walk would get the creative juices flowing...or release some frustration. The sun set late during June in Illinois, and the neighborhood she lived in was down at the heels, but not truly dangerous.

The Rottweiler at the yellow house down the street barked. A crow answered from the maple tree in front of her house. Zeva pocketed her keys and walked west on the sidewalk. After a block her stride lengthened as her muscles stretched. The air was sultry but comfortable, and she could see stars beginning to struggle out past the street lights.

Four blocks and two sets of train tracks later, there were fewer street lights, and half of those were burnt out or flickering on and off in drunken rhythms. No one stood around on front porches. No cars drove past. As she tried to pick up her speed, her boots clumped louder on the cracked pavement. Her arms, bared by her tank top, prickled as if something had brushed against her. Refusing to glance over her shoulder, she rubbed her arms and tried not to think about why she didn't want to look.

Read more... )
 
 
Current Mood: determined
Current Music: Donna Lewis - Agenais
 
 
stephaniecain
26 April 2010 @ 10:55 pm
After a frustrating start, I've managed to be pretty productive tonight. I cleaned off my desk so I'd have a lot of space to spread out the manuscript printout that I'd scribbled all over...and then couldn't find the first 27 pages. After a while I remembered (vaguely) that I had done some revising on the novel back in September, so it was possible that I'd recycled the first 27 pages after making all the changes I had marked.

Of course, that was before the Writers' Digest Editors' Intensive, where I decided to eliminate one character entirely from the novel (she can be introduced better in book two anyway), and make my main character live alone in her dodgy neighborhood. Plus I'm trying to make good use of the critique I got there, so I'm doing some tweaking on the opening scene in general.

So despite the slow start this evening, I moved forward another 1650 words, so I'm 1820 words total into the revision. Just 98k to go!
 
 
Current Mood: pleased
Current Music: Mychael & Jeff Danna - The Blood of Cu Chulainn
 
 
stephaniecain
18 October 2009 @ 01:00 pm
So I had been planning to write the fourth book in the Regent's Castle series this year for NaNo. This would involve lots of research into Illinois history, because I'm planning to weave in white settlement, Native American threads, and European ideas of Faerie, and hopefully along the way come up with a reason the Fae agreed to sign a treaty with the mortals in the first place.

Which would be great, if I had the time and money to go live at [livejournal.com profile] slightlyjillian's for a week while I did research. I know, you can learn a lot from books and the internet, but I need to go places and see them as well. I've discovered that greatly enhances my writing.

I've also, of course, been working on the revising of Shaper. Not a big deal, except that one edit I'm making will change a relationship that develops in Come Ye Back and the unnamed third novel. Still not a big deal, except that in writing book four I would have to make some assumptions of where that relationship would go. Again, not a super big deal.

But I haven't reread CYB or the third novel in a long time. >.> I have 12 days. I could do it. Except I'm also going out of town Oct 28-30.

*sigh*

Last year, the idea I discarded for NaNo was to take my short story Hungry (f-locked link) and expand on the mythology and maybe even make it a Truthseekers, Inc., novel. Not that I quite finished Truthseekers, Inc. beyond the climax. *sigh* But anyway. I like the setting (which is a very loose adaptation of the town my grandmother lived in when I was a girl) and the characters. I haven't worked it all out, but I did start plotting it before I decided to put it on hold last year.

Thoughts? Questions? Ideas? Anyone?
 
 
Current Mood: confused
 
 
stephaniecain
24 January 2008 @ 07:55 am
I'm in crisis over TLF. It is such a bloody mess right now. Last week I was trying to work out plotting on it and stuff, because I've decided to go back in time from where I started the last draft, and I think it needs to be two books, actually, rather than one, and...well, frankly, it's a MESS. When I started writing this novel, EIGHTEEN YEARS AGO, it was a story about Bria. Now the main characters of the first novel are Brandon and Justin, and Bria is really going to be only an off-screen character until Book Two.

*tears hair*

So at this point, I'm going to go back to work revising FTGGI (and retitling it) and getting it ready to submit somewhere by the end of February. (This is the novel that didn't make it to the ABNA semi-finals.) I have fantastic notes from [livejournal.com profile] slightlyjillian and [livejournal.com profile] krycek_chick for revision, so it's a matter of knuckling down to work on it.

I hate that I keep putting off work on TLF, but as much as I love my other novels, TLF is the one closest to my heart, with characters I care most about. I made a huge mistake in trying to work on it for NaNo this past year, and until I work out the plotlines I want to braid together, and the ones I need to winnow out, I'm not going to be able to do it justice.


So these are my goals:
  • Submit "Trade All My Tomorrows" to a professional-rate market by Feb 1.

  • Complete a first draft of my [livejournal.com profile] castlewriters Winter Challenge story by Feb 29.

  • Submit FTGGI to either an agent or a publisher by March 1.

  • Commit to working on TLF daily come March 1.

 
 
Current Mood: determined
 
 
stephaniecain
12 November 2007 @ 08:14 pm
SQUEE!!

I just got this email:

Congratulations! We are emailing to notify you that your entry is eligible for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award.

We take the contest review process very seriously, and are working diligently to consider each submission carefully. Submissions are now being reviewed by a team of Amazon editors and Amazon top reviewers. You should expect to be notified no later than January 15, 2008 if your entry will advance to the semi-final round.



*jumps around* I made it into the first 5,000 submissions. *grin*
 
 
Current Mood: yay
 
 
stephaniecain
31 October 2005 @ 04:50 pm
So I have some opportunities here.  And as it is the last day before NaNoWriMo begins, I feel it is time to confront these matters.  I have to decide what I'm going to write.

Until a week and a half ago I was wibbling over lack of plottiness in my Regent's series, the first two of which are also NaNovels.  I have the characters, but they weren't agreeing on what they wanted to do.  During conversation with [livejournal.com profile] slightlyjillian while I was visiting her, I decided perhaps it was time to invoke the Zokotou Clause for NaNo, which states that if a writer has already successfully completed ("won") NaNoWriMo, said winner is allowed to spend the month working on a project that has already begun.  My epic fantasy novel has been languishing for over a year now, and it really needs my attention.

Then, in the days following my visit to Illinois, The Slightly One read the now-unnamed first Regent's novel, and made comments on it (and wrote a fanfic for it) that validated a plot bunny that had been quietly nibbling the clover in the back of my mind, and until that point had been ignored in the name of avoidance, denial, and non-confrontation.  BUT.  Now that [livejournal.com profile] slightlyjillian brought it up...I am tempted to give blood to that lovely little Bunnicula and turn it into the next novel.

Which would be a ghost story.

Yep.  A modern-faerie-cum-ghost novel.  (Slashy subtext included free of charge.)

So.

Now.

Ghost!Barnabas: PICK ME PICK ME!!!
Michael-and-Justin: Woe! We languish! You have neglected us!
Steph: *waffles*
 
 
Current Music: Where Is Everybody - Nine Inch Nails
Current Mood: grumpy
 
 
stephaniecain
23 September 2005 @ 09:11 am
Yesterday I sent out my first agent query letter. The agency in question promises to respond in two weeks or less from receipt of the letter. I also bought the 2006 Guide to Literary Agents (though that may not be the exact title).

Tonight I'm going to update my submission database to include agents, since I've decided that's the route to take.
 
 
Current Mood: hopeful
Current Music: Make Your Own Kind of Music - Cass Elliott