Tuesday, January 19, 2010
I have a couple news items this week. I'm psyched to report that Christopher Pike's second Last Vampire compendium, Thirst 2, hit #1 on the New York Times bestseller list for children's paperbacks! Being a selfish person, the reason I'm psyched is because the volume has a sample chapter of Shade at the end.
Of course, my immediate thought when I saw the list wasn't, "How wonderful! Loads of readers will be introduced to Aura and her friends."
My immediate thought was, "Oh no! People will be coming by the website, and it's a mess!" Actually, the site itself is lovely (thanks, honey!), but some of the information was out of date. So I spent Sunday making it "company ready" so as not to embarrass myself in front of the two or three new visitors. Not that my loyal readers aren't worth a clean website. But you know how you don't clean your house as well for your mom and your best friend as you do for first-time visitors? It's kinda like that.
For instance, the home page and news page no longer say that my next appearance is Windycon, November 13-15. That is SO last year! (Literally.) The news page now even has my complete panel schedule for the RT Booklovers Convention in Columbus, Ohio, April 28-May 2.
The other news item can be found subtly listed on the books page. Book Four of the WVMP Radio series (tentatively titled Lust for Life) is now firmly scheduled for August 2011. Since the sequel to Shade, titled Shift, will be out in May 2011, that means I'll have the exact same release schedule two years in a row. Makes it easy for me to remember.
Speaking of Lust for Life, I'm not sure if that's going to be the title. I might save it for Book Five (if there ever is a Book Five--that's up to my publisher, or more precisely, up to readers to buy Bring on the Night in sufficiently large quantities this August). But it doesn't really fit Book Four anymore, now that I'm figuring out what the story is all about.
A couple weeks ago I wrote that I was going to try this new work scheme where I write 3,000 words a day five days a week and then took weekends off. It went swimmingly for about ten days, then I realized that I'd reached the point where I didn't really know what was going to happen next, I was just coughing up words like so many hairballs. The story was careening out of control.
I also realized I had one too many antagonists. In the process of yanking out the antagonist who belongs in the final book and not this one, I extracted more than 8,000 words. Clearly I was not going to make my word count goal ("-8,138" looks really bad on the spreadsheet.)
So I decided to take a step back, do some scene-by scene outlining for the first quarter of the book, and now I'm writing one scene a day (or two, if they're short simple scenes). That way I don't bloat up the book with endless dialogue just to make my word count.
I'll use this method until it stops working, and then I'll try something else. I envy writers who are able to follow the same process every time. Heck, I can't even sit in the same place in my house more than a week or two at a time before I need a change of scenery.
That's all for this week. I'm still grumpy from the Ravens game, so we're lucky I've gotten through this entire post without profanity.