Wednesday, August 18, 2010

What Am I Working On?

With my home renovations nearly complete (at least for now!), I'm looking forward to more time here in late August and September to get back to writing.

I have a short story on the horizon which looks like it will really get cooking soon.  I am so eager to see how it turns out.  It is always very exciting at the early stages of a story before you've stared at the pages so many times. The characters are new and their world is like that first snowfall of the season. You haven't yet grown tired of shoveling the walk and it's still novel to see the flakes coming down and putting a new layer of white on everything.

Also, there is the first of a three-novel series which I am looking to finish drafting and continue editing. This trilogy involves a young man on the brink of adulthood but there's more to it than that: are people coming back from the dead? As usual with my stuff, there's a bit of the nuance of everyday life mixed with some amped reality tweaked so the laws of the world as we know them are bent out of recognizable shape.  This story has some weirdness to it but that's expected from me, isn't it?

Lastly, I have begun on the next chapter in the Night Walk Men saga. This is a longish set of stories that involve the mythical beings first seen in my short story, "The Night Walk Men", which is proving popular on Smashwords right now.  If you haven't read it yet, check it out. It acts as a bit of a primer on the Nightwalkers and a prologue to the stories yet to come. I've gotten a lot of reviews and word-of-mouth on this story which mention a desire for more so I'm taking that as a cue that I should go ahead with my original plan and keep writing about Sparrow, Fallow and their Next In Lines.

Keep in touch to learn more about these projects as I have more to share!  I can't wait for you to read them! 


  1. Ooh, this is good news. I liked the Night Walk Men and am one of the ones interested in hearing more of their exploits. Sparrow is one sarcastic S.O.B.

  2. This is great to hear, David. There's nothing I like better than to hear someone wants to read a little more of what I have written. Cheers to ya!

    (And, yes, Sparrow is such a fun narrator. I love 'being' him!)

  3. I read the Night Walk Men short and it should definitely be expanded. I'm interested to know what other kookie stuff you've got figured out for this "trilogy". Do you write 24 hours a day or what??

  4. Well, you're both in luck, Lisa and David because The Night Walk Men will be featured in an upcoming full-length novel (and if it's popular, then a whole series). I have the whole story mapped but put a toe in the water with the short story to see if there was any appetite for it. There seems to be!

    Up first, however, is another trilogy (yes, that's three whole books!) revolving around a young man named Sebastian Redfield. Something's following Sebastian and he has no idea what kind of power and determination it has to find him.

  5. Being a new writer, I’m always fascinated by the writing process— the effort between the idea’s genesis and the execution of the final draft. One odd thing I’ve found is my distaste for reading my own words! Final reviews are always torture for me. Often, I copy the words into a new font or change the spacing and download to my Iphone. Do you go through similar self-torture?

  6. Hey Mark, good of you to stop in! Yes, I find it very intriguing to catch a glimpse of how others get the goo out of their heads and onto the page in some semblance of order.

    I don't share a distaste for my own words but can see how that would be possible. I hate watching or listening to interviews of myself. Not only because the tone of one's own voice is so dissimilar to how it sounds reverberated off the skull instead of in the air, but because I feel that I sound jagged and quiet and monotone. I also don't like oral or videotaped sessions because there's no opportunity to self-edit before the world sees it...and it's up to some video editor to decide which parts of what you said are important. When a videographer stops me on the street for a topical opinion, I keep moving with my head down.

    In the written editing process, I do a lot of brow-wiping because I catch many inaccuracies and silly mistakes that would redden my face if they were out. So many folks cannot understand why I share my written material so late in the process. It's for my sanity and self-esteem!

    I will also mention that my first drafts are usually fairly complete. I don't add a lot of scenes or cut a lot of scenes and the language is fairly close to final (or at least what I consider final -- editors, readers and the world at large may disagree!). I do much of my brooding before I sit down and that usually means I have a pretty solid road map of where I'm heading. That said, I usually don't know all the twists, turns and surprises we will discover along the way. And I certainly don't know the ending.

    Hey Mark, since I have you here for a moment, and you had a kind review for my story "The Night Walk Men" could I ask if you would mind me pulling your words as a quote for some materials that I am putting out (website, etc.)? You can drop me an email or respond here, whatever works! If you'd rather not allow it, no worries!

    Thanks for your comment!

    j. //

  7. I’d be honored if you used anything I said in any form that you choose. And anyone who goes 28 for 28 in five star reviews on Smashwords, and gives me a five star review, will definitely get my attention!
    I find outlining works well for me. When I conjure up an idea, I start typing in short sentences and fragments in bullet items in hierarchical form. That way, I can keep these ideas for review, if I have to put these ideas away for months or years. I also find creating a time-line handy for longer works with multiple, interweaving scenes, etc.
    Somewhat different than you, I start out with a solid ‘vision’ of the final scene. Next, I try to write the opening words. Then, I go back to the outline and try to envision the master scenes in- between. If I get ‘stuck’ anywhere along the way, I just go on to the next scene; it’s amazing how ‘continuing onward’ unclogs the thoughts of previous scenes! I learned my lesson in my ‘Yaakmen of Tyrie’ novel; I must have spent 1000 hours on the opening two pages alone.
    Once written, I go back to the beginning and do a serious, line-by-line edit, being careful to not spend much time in any paragraph or section. After that, I do another ‘read-through’ for clarity, dialog and pacing. If I can read it without cringing, it’s good enough for me.

  8. Oh, Mark, I wish I had your discipline. My story-writing process has been different for absolutely everything I've tackled. I wish I could boil it down as much as you have here. I have a love/hate relationship with those moments when I come across something I've written that makes me cringe. I love when I come across them *before* others have read it and I hate when I snag them and can't find my way across them to the other side with something that reads better. I'll get stuck on something and retread it seventy-five times before I can leave it alone.

    I did borrow one bit from another writer that has seemed to stick with me. I don't know if he still does it this way and be damned if I can remember where I read it. Stephen King will write his ten pages one day and the next will go over them and edit them, refine them, take out the extremely lousy stuff before beginning on his new set of ten for the second day.

    I don't do ten pages a day (though I've gone on benders where I've done forty and fifty but that's bloody rare, especially these days) but I have apparently absorbed his method of going back over yesterday's material to get me back in the rhythm for it today.

    Mark you should join They yak about this kind of stuff all day there. And there are good opportunities to get folks to review and preview your work. You might find some value there. And you probably have a lot of insight to share because it sounds like you've been writing for a while.

  9. Actually, I’m a little baby in this racket. Right now, I’m trying to gather as much information from authors like you, as possible. My first novel ‘The Yaakmen of Tyrie’ will be complete early next year; I have the first 4 of 5 parts compete, releasing them free on Smashwords. So far, I’ve gotten shockingly positive reviews, but in my heart I know that the first four or five chapters are weak (what a deadly trend!) My greatest problem is that I was a solid C- English student, so grammar is my greatest challenge.

  10. Hmm. What's your plan next? Condense it into one tome and go for gold with it?


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