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Projects Brewing, Projects Done

I got my copy of Dragon 352 yesterday, and the articles I wrote with input from China Mieville turned out even better than hoped. Lots of meat there, plus a cool cover by the artist who did the cover for The Scar. I'm shocked (shocked!) at the page count involved. May have to post some of the extra bits that didn't see print (assuming China has no objections). I think there's two and a half monsters and a bit of Runagate Rampant that didn't make the final cut, which I'd say is a shame but for the fact that the New Crobuzon coverage is already something like 40 pages of the magazine. Check it out; I think fans of the setting will be pleased, and I hope newcomers will be intrigued.

What else? Oh, a bunch of interesting conversations with New York editors and Bellevue editors lately, making me rethink my writing goals a little bit. In 2006 I wanted to launch a lot of projects, and I did. This year I have more projects than time to write them all; I'll have to be picky about which ones I choose to do. And so, I turn to you, o wise and all-knowing intertubes, for a simple poll.

Poll #909489 What's Next for the Monkey King?

In my wisdom, I think you should write....

More magazine goodness! Columns, features, goodies.
6(15.4%)
Another Open Design project: Impress me with adventure.
11(28.2%)
Your next novel: something to astound the NY publishers.
10(25.6%)
Short stories: quick payoff.
5(12.8%)
Screenplay, baby; sell out to Hollywood!
6(15.4%)
Poetry feeds the Eurotrash soul. Dig it.
0(0.0%)
Something else: see comments.
1(2.6%)


Actually, it may be none of the above for a while in February. Gotta catch my breath.

Comments

( 10 sutras — Your wisdom )
(Deleted comment)
the_monkey_king
Jan. 19th, 2007 02:46 am (UTC)
I'd send the old one around, but I'm already starting to think of it as my "trunk book".

Wouldn't you rather read shiny new chapters of the new book? :)
bdkellmer
Jan. 19th, 2007 03:24 am (UTC)
I'm inclined to say your next novel because it can push you further along the fiction path than most of the other options. Do what you want, of course, but the other options (except for short stories) seem to be more treading water where you are now. Shorts can push you, but it sounds as if novels may be more your style...
And I'd agree with haetmunky -- the public (well, that is, me) wants to see your old one. Especially as it deals with Italy, the subject of my master's. (albeit a little later in time).
the_monkey_king
Jan. 19th, 2007 04:54 am (UTC)
I'm actually keen to do shorts because I've learned a lot from them so far, and they're not such a massive commitment.

The first novel was, in retrospective, much more painful than it had to be.

I had no idea your master's was on Italy. What was the subject? I may have questions for you...
bdkellmer
Jan. 19th, 2007 05:11 am (UTC)
If you learn from shorts and enjoy them, I'd say go for it. I tend to shy away from them, but that's because I don't tend to think in terms of short stories very easily (probably at least in part because I rarely read them growing up). But everyone's different, and you're right -- they're not a massive commitment.

The novel was painful in what way?

My masters was in medieval history, with a lot of emphasis on pre-renaissance Italy. My thesis was 67 mind-numbing pages on a germanic aspect of 7th and 8th century Italian legal documents, but I'm good up to about 1400 or so, and then it starts getting fuzzy...
the_monkey_king
Jan. 19th, 2007 08:39 pm (UTC)
I think of short stories fairly readily, though I'm not exactly turning them out in huge numbers yet, either.

The novel was painful in that it took years longer than it should have: I rewrote the first four chapters instead of finishing, and it just kept getting bumped down the priority queue, so there were a lot of startup cycles wasted. And I think I made an error in trying for two POV characters rather than a single narrator: slightly beyond my abilities, though parts of it turned out well. Lots of rookie mistakes.

And I learned that outlines strangle me more than they help. The second novel has a villain and a hero and an arc and a setting (oooh, boy, have I got a setting!). But I'm not plotting out every last scene, because my prose turns leaden and mechanical when I'm just slogging from milestone to milestone. Which is strange, because I can keep much tighter control of my prose when I'm writing to an outline for a games project...
shellyinseattle
Jan. 19th, 2007 04:18 am (UTC)
Spend time with supercuties! Maybe a trip to the ocean?
the_monkey_king
Jan. 19th, 2007 04:52 am (UTC)
That's already at the top of the list: no votes required!
neutronjockey
Jan. 19th, 2007 11:40 pm (UTC)
You will join me in Hollywood script writing heaven hell!
the_monkey_king
Jan. 20th, 2007 12:05 am (UTC)
Yeah, I'm really curious how it's been going for you; I've gotten some cool hints from your posts, but I guess I'm missing the big picture.

Do you have a complete draft? What's the submission process like for screenplays? And would you do it again?
neutronjockey
Jan. 20th, 2007 01:57 am (UTC)
It's going very well. Better than the last novel I tossed together.
I guess partly because of novel format, a few exchanges in dialogue and another page is done. Other than getting over the standard novel writer whining about script format--- I hate to say it but I like it a lot better.
I'm nearing first draft. I don't intend to spend a lot of time doing revisions either. In fact, I intend to jump into the next screenplay as soon as that one hits the (e)mailbox.
Submission process for screenplays is very much like the publishing industry. I think, at least from what I've seen that having an agent is much more important to getting a script sold.
The largest downside I see that even if someone buys your script rights...it doesn't mean it'll necessarily get a green light. Scripts get sold all the time that never see the silver screen.
Would I do it again... I think I already kinda answered that. For some reason my writer brain works better. I typically write from the scene first. Chapters are generally scene derived etc... so this makes a lot more sense and has a better flow to it---or to me rather.
It kinda feels like cheating a little bit. I mean, I'm not writing page after page of scene, background, or mood stuff...and yet it happens because the screenplay says it does. (THEY FIGHT)<--- that's it for a fight scene.
Cheating.
Totally.
;)
-=Jeff=-
( 10 sutras — Your wisdom )

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