There are Those Who Have the Stars (Audiobook-style Podcast Redux)
Monday, March 04, 2013 8:11 PM
The folks over at Every Day Fiction have done up my story "There are Those Who Have the Stars" audiobook style in their weekly podcast. A big thanks to Folly Blaine for digging this one up and giving it an absolutely amazing reading. Truly, a great performance. I'm honored and very proud.

by DMI | with no comments
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The Latest Push
Saturday, January 19, 2013 10:33 AM
I just scanned through my last real post to this blog and can't belief that so much time has past. The girls were six weeks old and I was trying to keep the book going by writing during my planning period. It was a good idea, worth a try at least. At least I was trying to intend to do something. Of course, that didn't work. I heard of a writer once who had his first book under contract, he only needed to make some changes for it to be published, and one baby derailed him completely - and he was almost there! I have two babies, a full-time job and I'm a graduate student. Anyone could safely assume, and be totally right, that next to nothing has happened in my book for the past six months. Yep, Rosie and Jules are six months old in just a few days, growing so fast you can sit there and just about watch, starting to eat solid foods and working real hard on crawling. It's a blast around here.  But I have to write. It nags at me if I don't.

So I have a new plan and I've even waited a few weeks to write about it here so that I know it's working a little bit and worth reporting. Writing during my planning period is a no go. There's too many ways to get distracted by all the work around me that needs doing and kids coming in to see me and appointments and classes that need covering and who knows what else. Even on days where I could block it all out, by the time I really got going, the bell would ring. I realized that larger blocks of time were needed, even if they were fewer, but they had to be on a regular basis, an even schedule because writing has to be part of the routine. A book won't get written in the scraps of time in a busy schedule. So my plan is this: every Sunday morning I will get up at the time when I would normally go to work, head out to a coffee shop and write for a good three hours before I go home and help with the babies and we head off to church. So far, I've done this twice. Additionally, on Saturdays where I don't have classes (like today) or days off (like Monday) I will do the same. Thus, my sleep schedule remains the same (wholly inadequate) and I carve out of my hectic schedule at least three solid, continuous hours of writing a week and sometimes much more.

So far, it's working. I'm doing a reboot on draft 3. I was only what, six? eight? chapter in and I really was having difficulty starting in the middle, where I left off. So far I've gone through chapters 1 and 2, which were pretty easy, and now I'm looking at 3 and maybe 4 at the same time, because the major events of each chapter might be switching places. It looks to be some work but I'm hoping that I can finish both of them up by Late Jan, early Feb. I've always tried to be ambitious with my goal setting, to push myself, but the fact is, trying to write a book with all this other stuff going on is ambitious enough. I'd like to be about halfway through the novel by the time school ends. I will be taking a graduate class this summer, but if I can carry this morning writing through June and July, everyday, I should be able to finally have draft 3 complete by the time next school year starts and the girls are one year old. That only puts me a year behind schedule. Whatever that means.

Until next time, I'm Eric and I'm an unpublished novelist.
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Quittin' Time
Friday, September 07, 2012 6:10 PM
My latest story, "Quittin Time" is live today on Every Day Fiction. Give it a read!
by DMI | with no comments
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Babies and Publications
Sunday, September 02, 2012 4:02 PM
I am a father to six week old twins. Rosemary Luna and Juliette Aurora are gorgeous beyond belief, but as you can imagine, I have not done much writing since my last post. When I last posted, I was hoping to knock out another four chapters before the end of the summer, but my wife gave birth only 6 days after that. I'm now halfway through the next chapter, and that's from starting to finally write again in this last week.

Progress is excruciatingly slow, slower than I've ever written before while not being at a complete standstill. The fact is, I don't have time to write at home any more and the only way I can avoid spending the next year (or more) at a complete standstill is to write during my planning period at school. It's taken some getting used to. In the past, I'd devote a whole evening or afternoon to writing (if not a whole day); I would take 30 minutes to an hour to get settled: reading over what I've already read, looking at my notes, my planning, and doing other things to get myself perfectly in the mood and place to write. Then I could write for a very productive and very long time.

Transitioning to writing in a 45-50 minute block every day has been a challenge to say the least. But maybe it's good for me. I'm adapting, becoming more efficient. Everyday it's a bummer to have to stop and go back to teaching, especially after only writing such a small portion, but the fact is I am writing and progress, however small, is being made. My schedule is potentially very conducive to writing at school. With the girls waking up in the wee hours of the morn, I'm already awake and able to get to work very early to get all my planning done. That opens up my lunch and my planning period to free time and allows me to leave right after school to get home. With 4th lunch, 5th creative writing (that's right, I teach High School Creative Writing now), and 6th period planning, I could potentially write for three straight periods if I'm giving my writing students a day to just work on their own stuff. We're building up to that and hopefully it will happen soon. Then there are the weekends, and long weekends like this one, where writing is made possible by the fact that I'm not at a complete stand still.

I guess you could say I'm doing the best I can. I'm not happy with it but it's all I've got. Grad classes will start soon and we'll see how that affects my schedule. On a high note, I have another story, "Quittin' Time," being published at Every Day Fiction on the 7th. Be sure to check that out!

Until next time, I'm Eric and I'm a published short story writer, unpublished novelist, husband, father of two, full-time teacher, and part-time graduate student.
by DMI | with no comments
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Shapes and Subjects
Sunday, July 15, 2012 12:16 PM
Novel update: Finished that section earlier this week. Pseudo-finished it anyway. I'm letting Mary get a first read on it and I'm going to at some point run back through and clean it up a little bit before really calling it the third draft. As I've said on here many times, my approach to this draft is different than others in one huge way: I'm not banging out a chapter at a time and calling it done; I'm working on sections. Overall, I'm not sure if it's the nature of this revision and it's process that requires me to think at once both globally (moving around huge pieces of the novel, changing how events take place, etc.) and on the smallest of scales (is this the right verb? How would this character really say this?), or if it's the fact that I'm caring for my SUPER-PREGNANT wife through the whole thing, but this draft is going very slow. However, I think quality is definitely on the rise, even if my frustration is going with it. As for the section I've sort-of just finished, the goal was to reduce it from 42,750 words in 7 chapters to somewhere in the ballpark of 30,000-35,000 in five chapters. The five chapters was accomplished and a lot of cutting took place, but it still weighed in at 36,400. (It's worth nothing that the changes here also make it possible to delete two chapters later on, so there was significant streamlining.) We'll see if that can come down a bit when I return and give it a once-over. My goal for the rest of the summer, four-five weeks, is to finish one more section of four chapters and get a chance to go through everything up to this point and make sure it's all up to par. When I think back to my original plans of trying to knock out the whole book this summer I think they were pretty naive, but I had no way of knowing how much I'd need to be there for Mary, and I'm happy to. I do know, or think I know, how much work is ahead of me with these babies coming (A LOT) and don't think it'll be pushing too hard to ask myself to get this small amount of writing and revising done before I go back to work. Even with a week or more where I won't even think about writing, I'm sure I'll be able to squeeze a tiny bit of novel-time in during naps and what-not. Finish this next bit will take me up through what was the half-way point in the book, though now it'll be more like the 3/7ths points or something.


I've been reading a lot of newer scifi novels lately. Newer meaning written in the last two decades. Most of the novel-length science fiction I've read in my life has been the classics from "the gold age" of science fiction. I'm a big Heinlein fan. Most of my contemporary scifi reading has come in short form thanks to magazine subscriptions and what's free on the internet. I'm a huge fan of the short story form and would like to write more and work on the many ideas I have for stories, as I feel that genre gives a writer more flexibility to experiment with form and subject. I'm not just talking about the flash fiction I've had some success with, but longer works in the 2,500-10,000 word range. One reason I'm devoting so much time to the novel, though, is that it at least has a possibility of generating some income and possibly at some point (even if it's after sequels and everything) allow me to devote more of my time to writing and free myself to write more short fiction.

But even in reading these new(ish) scifi novels, I've discovered the wealth of diversity in the genre, particularly in style of writing, but in subject matter as well. From a short humorous novel that takes place in present day Key West and Boston to what I'm currently reading which takes place tens of thousands of years in the future and so overflows with aliens that even the humans are alien, having evolved slightly from thousands of years spent on alien worlds. Then there's some of the other books I've been making my way through which take place only several hundred of a thousand years in the future, on or between distant worlds but they too are so different from each other. One, a little like mine in this way only, focused on a small group of people on a single space craft, how they all assembled there and what happened when they did. Another focuses on several characters, their different stories that span the galaxy as an armageddon-like war looms. It's been fun finding the time to read this summer and I hope that doesn't disappear completely when work resumes and have babies to care for. However, there has been at least one lesson I've had to learn from reading these books.

I read now with two agendas. As a reader I want to be entertained and swept away. I want my emotions to be tapped and my imagination expanded. As a writer, I want to observe those successful at the craft. I want to learn. But I've learned to be cautious with the second objective there. Learning and observing is one thing, but making too many comparisons between my own writing and others is dangerous. A lot of what I'm reading our Hugo award winning books crafted by contemporary masters. I don't think there is anything wrong with setting lofty personal goals. I know I'll be a published writer one day, but my goals are to write best-sellers and award winners. But wanting to win awards can't be a first concern when writing my book and I can't be worried about how other author's wrote their books while I'm writing mine. Yes, a lot of scifi is in third person omniscient while mine is third limited. I don't want to imitate their style, their topic or their brand. It's good to see what others in the field are doing, to write in response and with the knowledge of how my book might be perceived by the community at large, but I can't sit around comparing my book and bemoaning it's deficiencies or, for that matter, trying to defend it against others. That is a fruitless exercise.

Until next time, I'm Eric and I'm an unpublished novelist.
by DMI | with no comments
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Numbers and Words
Monday, July 02, 2012 3:39 PM
I've been dealing with weird issues as I write this draft. First of all, I'm taking a different approach to writing this time around or at least it has a very different feel. The pace seems much slower and I don't think it's just because I haven't been able to find a steady schedule where I write for large blocks of uninterrupted time time day after day. As, essentially, a caregiver for a pregnant woman there are lots of responsibilities floating around. This is okay; I have to get used to it if I'm going to be able to write when there are twin babies around. So far I think I've made that adjustment as good as can be expected. I'm making progress, despite my complete shrugging off of the June 25 deadline. A week later, I'm still a chapter out from that milestone.

But that brings me to the next point. My Dad has often suggested that I take it easy with the writing and make sure I'm getting it right, doing it well (probably because my writing status updates often come in the form of words or chapters written). This go around, rather unintentionally, though most likely because I'm trying to balance so many different concerns as I revise (suggestions from different readers, things I want to do, worries over length, pacing, voice) I'm going much slower. I hope this means I'm getting it right. The first two chapters felt that way; they felt really well put together, almost like they were done.

These next few don't feel that way. They feel bloated and overlong. I'm trying to shorten the novel as whole, but from what my readers have been telling me, the second half of the book is good just the way it is. They say it's an exciting page turner with lots of action and a good pace. They all want me to cut from the beginning. Unfortunately, as I've tried to snip and sew, cut and paste, grabbing the good from seven chapters and shove them into five, the chapters are swelling in word count and I'm afraid will read like a scrap book of poorly thrown together photographs, scenes cut short and smashed together with forced transitions. Yes, overall the book is getting much shorter, but I don't feel like I'm doing any justice to this portion of the novel that was admittedly weak at the outset.

Readers do notice chapter length. One who read my second draft made a note when he felt there was a chapter of "perfect length." How important is it to have balanced chapters of similar length? With the first two fit to that perfect-reader length and the following swollen to nearly twice that at times, I'm really worried about how to proceed and how to fix that. I could make new chapter breaks, maybe adding another chapter, but I wasn't trying to add more. Then again, word count was my measure in terms of length, not chapters. Is it better to have long chapters or short chapters?

All this talk of numbers has me thinking the problem is, for once, the thinking about it and not the actual work being done. My dad talks about quality, but here I am trying to quantify everything. Length is an important consideration, but how high a priority should it be? Right now, I can't help but look at the word count as I write and that's probably not conducive to producing quality material. Maybe that's why I'm going so slow. Trying to balance number of words and the right words. Then again, time is also measured in numbers. 

Worst comes to worst, this will just take longer and longer, but it'll still get done. I'm almost "done" with that section. The quotes are because when I'm finished, I'll be going back to see if it actually is working and I'm just being a butt, or if I need to rewrite the whole swath of chapters. Worst things have happened. I want to get right - even if that means stuffing it into a box with a word limit on it.

Until next time, I'm Eric and I'm an unpublished novelist.
by DMI | with no comments
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Trying to Bust it Open
Sunday, June 10, 2012 4:41 PM
Since my last, excited post, that board has changed a bit, a few more arrows and side-notes clarify the plan, but the only real work that's been done is finishing the first chapter of this section (chapter 3). Tomorrow is my last day of work before summer, and it's my hope that things will begin to move quickly. I only have two weeks until my little self-imposed deadline to be halfway through and I'm just not sure that's feasible. What happens after Monday will be a good indicator. Frankly, if I can get a solid third draft of THIS SECTION by then, I'll be happy. One key to getting that done I think is not stopping to take my time or relish in small victories. I "finished" chapter 3 this morning; now sounds like a good time to get to work on four.

Mary is getting very big and the twins will be here soon. More and more, people are telling me that I will be able to write after they come because they spend so much time sleeping and even when they're awake, babies just kinda hang out and look around. But none of them have twins. We'll see. I'm excited and not at all scared, except in the way you always have to be a touch wary of the unknown. I don't know how this will work, how my life will change. For now I plug away.

Until next time, I'm Eric and I'm an unpublished novelist.
by DMI | 1 comment(s)
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Break on Through
Wednesday, May 30, 2012 2:23 PM
Reading and revising whole swaths of the novel, especially, I imagine, when the book is so damn big, is proving to be a very unique challenge. After reading and making a detailed plot outline of the next seven chapters, I thought I was stuck. There were so many options to consider. So many things that needed changing alongside twice as many items that could be removed, enlarged, lessened, or switched around. Everything seemed like it was dependent on something else. It started to feel like the end of a very long and nasty Jenga game.

Looking back, I feel more like I was a computer struggling to run too much software all at once. Last night, everything suddenly clicked. It just goes to show you, keep thinking about it, don't fret over walking away and let it stew, come back to it and try to write down ideas. I was in the middle of copying a brainstorm from my white board on to a sheet of paper when everything just started to make sense. It was a solution that both Mary and my brother-in-law Joe had suggested. The problem was, I couldn't just delete one section and change where a character is introduced. It sounded good in theory, to streamline the plot, cut the length of the overall book and drive the action a bit faster, but it just didn't make sense in my head. You see, on the writer's end it can never be as simple as a mere copy/paste. I had to understand what this change meant for every character. I had to not just know what the change was but how and why it was occurring. How could it actually happen this new way? I had to envision it on the paper, hear the characters speaking in my head and see them preforming these actions with total autonomy of purpose and reason. I had to know why everything was happening from the POV of every character to the over-arching theme of the book. And that's just what happened last night. The puzzle pieces made a whole.

Pic of the massive brainstorm/prewriting session:
Photobucket


Lots to do now. Been working on it some to day (got those two more boxes in the upper right checked off). My target for completing this and the next few chapters that will take me to the old half way point of the book is between June 20 and 25th.

Until next time, I'm Eric and I'm an unpublished novelist.
by DMI | with no comments
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Progress
Friday, May 18, 2012 7:55 PM
This last Wednesday I finished the third draft of chapters 1 and 2. Not bad for ten days work (most of which wasn't spent working on the novel). As for the goal to shorten this draft, so far the word count dropped about 1500 words between the two chapters. My wife (those of you who know her know she's not afraid to tell you exactly what she thinks of something - one reason I love her and what makes her the best person to look at my book) read them already and she seems pretty impressed. Only positive comments and that's a huge difference from the second draft. I have to say, I'm pretty happy too.

Still, there's a lot of work ahead, and just the fact that it took me two days to get this post up shows how divided my time is while school is in session. I really don't see how I'll be able to do this with babies and grad school (but really, the problem there is grad school). I just got chapters 3-9 from my sister and brother-in-law, there comments, on top of Mary's and the conversations I've had with Copperhead (avid reader/old work friend) have given me a lot of to think. There's so much to do that it's exciting and daunting all at once.

I'd like to be going faster, but I probably shouldn't be too self-critical. If I can complete this next big section, turning the next 7 chapters into 5 superior ones, by the end of school then I will have succeeded. Things are beginning to wind down at work so that's good. Tomorrow I'll start reading through those sections, making notes on the notes and formulating a plan to proceed. It's a sizable amount of material to process and there are huge swaths that need to be ripped out and replaced, not to mention this is the one section of the book where the order of events will be under revision as well. For the first two chapters, it was definitely beneficial to view it as a section of the book. I think it aided continuity and improved the revision process as I moved more material between chapters and was mentally free to travel between them as I worked. It was good practice for the work to come.

Until next time, I'm Eric and I'm an unpublished novelist.
by DMI | with no comments
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Here We Go Again
Sunday, May 06, 2012 8:25 AM
Draft 3 can be put off no longer. My identical baby girls will be here in about two and a half months and who knows how much time I'll have to write once they're here. I have a 31 chapter, 173,000 word monstrosity that I need to do some serious revision on. If I'm going to do this it's got to happen now. I'd love to spend a few weeks fiddling around with short stories, but that will undoubtedly turn in to a few months and then it's bye-bye novel.  Right now, I'm out of grad school till August, my school-job is winding down with about four weeks left, and if I can get a running start, I'll be able to tear into this come summer time.

So, here's the plan:

For the next month while I'm still working days, I'm going to jump on this like I was still in grad school. Mondays and Wednesdays for three, solid hours a piece. Tuesday, Thursday squeeze in an hour or two. Devote Saturday or Sunday as needed. By the time school lets out, I want to be done with the first part of the book. Through chapter 9 (which might be the new chapter 7) would be ambitious, so I guess that's what I need to aim for. As for this week: I want to rewrite chapters one and two. I know that that is feasible; it's just really hard for me to figure out how much time certain tasks might take beyond that.

There are parts later on in the book that my wife and Copperhead think need very little rewriting. However, I know that the set of chapters right after the first two need huge, global changes. Still, this shouldn't be like draft 2 where I'm completely rewriting every word. There should be significantly more sections that I can hold on to in their entirety (otherwise, what progress would I be making?). For one, a focus of this draft is to cut it down to about 25 chapters and 150,000 or less. Taking things out is always easier than putting more in. I do have new material that needs to be inserted, but not in the form of scenes or characters or action (with a few small exceptions that are usually taking the place of something longer and unnecessary). Instead, I have the challenge of implementing changes that will span the entire novel (for example, I had the main character using a device called a hand that was basically a super-fancy iphone - the technology level should be way beyond that so I've come up with two ideas for far-future tech to replace that).

There will be times when I need to rewrite a chapter. There will also be times where I can rip out a few sections, tweak it up and give it a nice, polished once over and move on. That's the unique challenge of this phase of the novel writing process, and I just don't know how long this is going to take. All I can do is get started. Chapters one and two, here I come.

Until next time, I'm Eric and I'm an unpublished novelist.
by DMI | with no comments
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Thrice doth everyday fiction publish me
Wednesday, March 28, 2012 9:03 PM
Another of my sci-fi flash fictions was published today on EDF. Here is the direct link: http://www.everydayfiction.com/light-pollution-by-john-eric-vona/

Enjoy!
by DMI | with no comments
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Anticipation & What I'm Telling Myself
Monday, February 06, 2012 9:22 PM
I can't in good faith say that I'm doing a whole lot of writing at the moment. The good news is that grad school doesn't have me totally snowed under. In fact, two classes at a time seems totally manageable at the moment. I'm really excited to get cracking on the novel again, too. I finished draft two back in November, so I haven't taken a whole lot of time away from it, but I definitely haven't been working very hard on any other projects either. The thing is though, I'm just not that interested in short story writing at the moment. I have plenty of ideas, but they're all so early on in development, I don't see myself putting the time into them only to get (most likely) nowhere.

I know that's not the way a writer should think. I should be telling myself, keep churning stuff out and eventually you'll get published. Not just because that's what they tell you in writing workshops, but because I've seen it work in the few pieces I do have out there. It's no fluke that I've had mostly flash fiction published when flash fiction is the majority of what I write (excluding the novel). But putting in time to write longer stories, and a lot of them since that is most likely what it will take, just doesn't fit my current situation. Sure, I'll be devoting a lot more time to the novel, but in the end the pay out will be so much greater. At least, that's how I feel. Is it naive to think that my first novel will get published when it takes me so many tries to get a good product out of shorter works? I tell myself that in a way it's not my first novel because I'll have created so many drafts of it (and radically different ones at that), but I do the same thing with short stories and flash fictions and I have more of those sitting around my hard drive than I do in the pages of magazines.

Still, I'm excited to begin work on the novel again in a month or so. I've been getting a lot of great comments from my friend Copperhead, not to mention the great advice my wife has given me. I can't wait to hear what else Copperhead has to say and hear how some of my other readers react. I have lots of ideas, both my own and from others. I really should try to find time to write some short fiction before then, but time is sparse and the circumstances for me writing this are not normal. It's low and the priority list and, emotionally, I just don't know how to change that.

Until next time, I'm Eric and I'm an unpublished author.
by DMI | with no comments
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New Year, New Plan
Saturday, January 07, 2012 10:55 AM
Alright, so the plan isn't that new. It's different from last year's but it's the same overall plan. 2012 is poised to be a year of unparalleled change in my life, leaving me helplessly busy and most likely suffering from unrelenting fatigue and exhaustion. My full time job as a tenth grade teacher continues to consume most of my time and leave me routinely tired; however, as of next week I am adding the additional stress of my return to graduate school at USF. Two classes, two nights, not sure yet about the work load. I'll do what I have to do, because I have two and half years to get my master's degree so that I can be certified to teach (right now I have a temporary certification). This is not my passion, but my profession, and there are things I must do to keep myself gainfully employed while I pursue what is my true passion: writing.

The reason for this lies in the biggest news of all. My wife and I are expecting...TWINS! That's right, Mary is due in the middle of August with a pair of identical babies (don't know the sex yet). We were trying, but for one. This is such a huge surprise, because twins runs in neither of our families. We are very excited, but this brings with it a whole new host of incredible challenges. We may need to get a new, bigger house. We always said our little townhouse would work through one kid but we'd have to move when we had the second. They say if you want to make God laugh, make a plan.

Well I guess I'm going to be making God laugh some more. Here's the plan: regardless of all else, I must complete the third draft of my book in the next twelve months. This will keep me on target of completing a draft a year (the past two years I've been good at this). I think I want to see my book published by 2015 at the latest. This gives me time for several drafts and time to shop the work around to publishers and agents.

To make this happen I would like to hear back from my readers about the book by March 10th. That is the week of spring break for both my college and the high school where I work (how convenient!). I think this is reasonable. Two months for them to finish reading and let me know what they think (but y'all tell me if it ain't). That way I can use my week off to look over what they have to say, develop a revision strategy and maybe hopefully even get the ball rolling on writing. It's important that I start before my summer vacation. Because of the way the college schedule works, I'll be able to take two semesters (spring & a six-week summer session) before high school lets out for the summer. After that, I'll have almost two months all to myself before school starts again and before the babies come to try and complete the third draft of my book. I know that if I jump in cold-turkey, I won't be able to go from not writing to writing eight hours a day with any semblance of efficiency.

So, spring break, middle of March, I begin work on the third draft. Readers, please I beg of you, let me know what you think! I need your help. While it will surely be a struggle to find time to write while working and attending graduate school, I will fill my spare time with revision. If it's important you make the time, I've heard people say, and this is most definitely important. I figure if I can knock out a few chapters before summer and get some momentum, I'll have a receipt for success. While the end of this year may be the ultimate deadline, the hidden deadline is before the twins come and life gets really, truly crazy.
by DMI | with no comments
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Second Draft Complete (finally)
Wednesday, November 23, 2011 5:15 PM
Wow. It took four months longer than I'd hoped, but it's finally done folks. The second draft of my novel, Star Song: Detour on the Alkan Run, is complete. Before anyone sets off any fireworks, yes, there will most certainly be a third draft. And probably a fourth. But now that I've rained on the parade...HOORAY! It's done, sucka!


Looking back at when I finished the first draft, I can see that I got quite a lot of things right. First of all, I finished on time, with three days to spare. Maybe I should have set a more firm deadline this go around but I wanted it to be done by the end of August. Obviously that didn't work out...

I was quite insistent that the first draft was very, very rough. That couldn't have been more true. Somewhere along the way of fixing it I started calling it "a terd coated terd with terd filling." I said there would be lots of rewriting and that there was. The first draft weighed in at 30 chapters and 154,549 words. Draft two has 30 chapters plus an epilogue and is a frightening 173,095 words. It's way too long, and that needs to change. However, on the bright side, regardless of how long it took (my dad kept telling me not to sacrifice quality for speed) this draft is actually readable. 

And reading it people have been! I've been getting lots of great comments from my wife. I'm so fortunate to have married a woman who knows how to respond to writing. She isn't afraid to tell me what she really thinks and that's what a writer needs. My buddy Copperhead has been collecting his thoughts in a word doc and even told me he was going to read the whole thing AGAIN, straight through once I finished it all. Can't wait to get his thoughts. I know people are busy, but I'm so grateful to everyone who volunteered to look at it and tell me what they think. It's your feedback that will take this book from readable to publishable. You will be thanked in the first book of the next great science fiction series! I'm also happy for all of you who have asked to read it lately. I will need people to read the third draft as well.

To recap my accomplishments and goals:
First Draft: Terd
Second Draft: Readable
Third Draft: Publishable
Fourth Draft: TOTALLY INSANELY AWESOME NO WAY IN THE WORLD IT COULDN'T GET PUBLISHED AND BE A BEST SELLER

The third draft, too, will need plenty of rewriting and a lot of cutting, so please readers, consider what doesn't need to be there. I know I am. I'm starting grad classes again this spring, so you have plenty of time. I want to start on the third draft this summer, when I have lots of free time for a couple months.

Until then, I'm Eric and I'm an unpublished (still haven't been paid for in-print work) writer.
by DMI | with no comments
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Top Rated Story for October = Interview on Flash Fiction Chronicles!
Wednesday, November 16, 2011 5:09 PM
In case you missed it, here's a link to the short story I had published last month on Every Day Fiction. And here is a new link to their interview with the author (me!).

The folks over at Every Day Fiction take the top-rated story from any given month and do an interview with the author on their blog, Flash Fiction Chronicles. For an e-zine that barely pays their writers and is definitely drawing stories from struggling up-and-comers, I think this is a great way to give a little extra back to those whose work is well-received. At this point, it's all about getting my name out there, and what better way than to be interviewed on the blog of a well-known e-zine, boasting about how awesome my work is. TOP-RATED! WOO-HOO!

I'm very excited about this and extra proud of the piece, so pop on over and give 'em both a gander. Thanks to all who rated my story so highly!

I'm Eric and according to those links I've posted, I'm a published author.
by DMI | with no comments
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