The Long Road to Here

If you’ve seen my doing panels at cons or followed me closely enough on Twitter, you might have heard me mention that I am working on a novel. The setting for this book is something I started developing back in 2010 with the first words that went into the novel being written in 2011. Originally, this was meant to be a side project to a different project so I could better understand the world. I had already written one story in the setting, based on characters for a book I intended to write, but I wrote a second story with new characters as a way to get a better understanding of how the setting worked. Instead, this story has turned into both the largest project I have completed to date and the most delayed project I have undertaken.

The original draft for the book, Scars of the Golden Dancer, was completed back in 2015. At the time, I felt I was closing in on being done with the book, but when I got into first round edits, I got a bit lost. There were gaps in the thinking of the characters and flaws in the way the plot worked. My critical mistake I feel with this project is I never had an outline for it. Part of that is because this started as a short story, and I originally completed it as a short story, and I submitted it for publication, where it was thankfully rejected. Even before I got the rejection, I knew there was more to the story, so it became two short stories, that I then decided would work as a novella of 40,000 words. During the course of writing this, it grew into a novel length work. The entire back half of the book was written during a 30-day challenge where I wrote 30,000 words.

This haphazard first draft of course left a lot of work to be done during the editing as I’ve had to smooth things out. I have grossly underestimated at points how far along I am to being done. Things have also seriously changed from the draft I completed in 2015. What was eighteen chapters became sixteen chapters. The first complete draft was about 68,000 words. Currently the project is 88,000 words, after gaining 20,000 words during the editing process. The finished product might break 90,000.

This isn’t the only thing I’ve done in that time period either. The anthology I did with Slip-Wolf, Dissident Signals, was announced, edited, and published while I have been working on this book. I attended RAWR. I have written two dozen short stories while this project has sat and languished, ignored for months, sometimes even a year at a time. I have even written two additional stories in the setting. Having put it off for so long, you would think I did not plan to complete it, but I’m committed to seeing this done and published. It is time to finally finish this, and to this end I am dedicating the next four months to finally completing it. I will be undertaking no new projects until this is done, although I do have some editing to do for stories that will be coming out this year.

I do finally feel though that what is left to do is also an increasingly smaller amount of work. Major structural edits were completed last fall. While additional structural work may and likely will be required by an editor, I feel things now are close to where they will be for the final book. I’m at least now comfortable with what I have on the page. A friend has been beta reading the chapters as I have finished edits on them, and currently I am looking to pass them chapter ten in the next few days.

I’ve also turned my attention to book two. While I haven’t started on that yet, there does exist an exploratory scene I’ve written down that could become a critical moment in the book. I will not be repeating the pantsing process I undertook for Scars of the Golden Dancer. This time there will be a full outline before I begin writing large chunks of the book. I’m not sure on the plot of the second book yet, but I have left questions and connect points to build upon in the first. I know who the major characters are, but I don’t know yet what their end goals are.

I’m not sure who yet I can get to publish this, but I’m optimistic that Scars of the Golden Dancer will see the light of day as a printed book sometime in 2020. First though I have more work to do before I can make that a reality.

Midwest FurFest 2018

This is just a quick update, but I’ll be attending Midwest FurFest this weekend. I’ve been packing tonight, but I want to give everyone an update on what I’ve been up to.

For starters, I’ll be doing panels of course. One of those is the new release reading on Friday. Unfortunately, Fang 9 got pushed back, the book I was hoping to see come out at FurFest, so I’m a little torn on what piece to read. I might read a sample from that as a teaser, but I also might read from my story in Dissident Signals. When we did the Dissident Signals reading at Anthrocon, I actually let the authors do the reading, so this would be my first chance to share that piece. I’m still trying to decide.

I’m also doing a fantasy panel on Saturday with Jess E. Owen. Jess is an amazing author and it’s an honor to get to panel with her. We’ve got an entire presentation we’ve put together and I’m super excited to share this with you. It’s an updated version of the slide deck I used at Emerald Fur Summit, but with tweaks and improvements suggest by Jess.. She isn’t the only amazing writer I’ve been paired with this con on panels, though. I’m also on panels with Kyell Gold, Teiran, Robert Baird, Sasuke, and Skunkbomb, all very talented writers

My schedule for panels at this con is:

Friday, November 30th, 2018

  • 12:00pm — New Release Reading
  • 3:30pm — Setting and World Building

Saturday, December 1st, 2018

  • 12:30pm — Get Published
  • 3:00pm — So You Want to Write Fantasy
  • 8:30pm — Erotica: Basic Adult Writing (18+)

All in all, this should be a great con, so I’m really looking forward to it.

Emerald Fur Summit, Season 1

As a quick note, I’ll be at Emerald Fur Summit this weekend. As it comes as a shock to no one who follows my con attendances, I’ll be doing panels! Emerald Fur Summit is a small con, so I’m just doing two to help them out. They are both scheduled for Saturday, September 22nd. The first is Fantasy Writing at 11:30 AM and then I’ll be doing Writing for Publication after that at 1:00 PM. If you’re at this event and want to see me talk writing come on by! Each panel is scheduled for an hour.

In general writing news, I’ve been working in a new short story, and a major project I’ll talk about next month that clocks in at just under 86,000 words.

Attending Megaplex 2018 This Weekend

It’s Megaplex time down in Orlando, and I’ll be there. Megaplex is a smaller con then some of the others I go to, so I expect to have more down time. I did sign up to do some writing panels there, so if you’re at Megaplex, and want to hear me talk writing, I’m doing four panels. I kind of expected when I put these in the con would not take all four, but they did. The panels I’m doing are:

Friday, August 3rd, 2018

  • Sci-Fi Writing — 2:30pm – 3:30pm
  • Writing for Publication — 4:00pm – 5:00pm
  • Erotic Writing (18+) — 10:30pm – 11:30pm

Saturday, August 4

  • Plot and Characters — 4:30pm – 5:30pm

Besides that, I’ll mostly be floating around the con and helping out with Rysingson Accessories booth. I hope to see you in Orlando!

Dissident Signals Releasing at Anthrocon

Anthrocon is this weekend and I am happy to announce the dystopia anthology I have been working on, Dissident Signals, will be releasing at the con! This project with Slip Wolf has been a long, challenging, but rewarding project. It’s awesome that is also has finally reached completion and in a few days it will be in people’s hands. We have fifteen amazing stories in this thing by very talented writers. Slip wrote the overall narrative and I have a story in this, but it is really the writers who are making this thing shine. It’s available from FurPlanet now.

To help support the book, we’ll be doing a reading at the con, Saturday July 7th at 4pm, from four authors who will be there. Slip and I will introduce the book, and then TJ Minde, Mog Moogle, Thurston Howl, and Joseph Vandehey will read excerpts from their pieces. T.D. Coltraine will also be in attendance, but didn’t want to read.

Besides the reading, my Anthrocon is going to pretty relaxing. I am doing one other panel at the con, Historical Fiction, Sunday at 11:30 AM. This should be fun since the awesome Tempe O’Kun is also on the panel along with Jaden Drackus, a newer but raising star of furry writing. If you are at the con, definitely come to the panels and pick up a copy of Dissident Signals. I’ll be happy to sign it, if you want.

I also have a story that came out a few weeks ago in BREEDS: Wolves by Thurston Howl Press called Unsatisfied. It’s a sequel to my story that appeared in Knotted, and revisits the two protagonists from that piece. I’m really proud of this story, so if your looking for something steamy, check it out.

Furry Weekend Atlanta 2018

I’ll be attending Furry Weekend Atlanta (FWA) this weekend. FWA was the first con I ever got to attend, so it’s been existing to watch how it’s grown from a small event out by the airport to being a much bigger con. The changes have really been existing to see.

FWA continues to develop a better writing track at the hands of JelliQal. As part of that, I’m doing some panels at the con.

Friday, April 6th

  • Out of this World Fur Fiction, 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
  • World Building in Furry Literature,12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

Saturday, April 7th

  • Traditional Publishing, 9:00 PM – 10:00 PM
  • Adult Writing, 10:30 PM – 11:30 PM

Sunday, April 8th

  • Improving your Fiction, 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

All writing panels will be in Panels Dock 7. I hope to see you in Atlanta.