AngiePen (angiepen) wrote,

2009 Fiction Round-Up

Looks like this is going to be another short one, although with better reason than last year.

My actual posted/published totals are fairly sucky again this year, but this time it's because I spent a huge chunk of the year working on A Hidden Magic. That wrapped up at about 72,300 words, compared with about 33,000 for version 1.0. That's a lot of writing on one story, even ignoring all the dinking and editing and rewriting, which-all was the reason why it took so freaking long and cost me so much sweat and aggravation. [thwaps the boys for being uncooperative] That won't come out till later this year, though (I still don't know exactly when) so it doesn't count on the 2009 totals. :( This coming year should be a doozy, though. :D


In the Driver's Seat -- 4982 words/2 = 2491; Original Fiction. The commercial version of "Driver's Seat" was my first story to come out in '09. I'm counting this as half because I rewrote the darned thing completely, twice, giving it a new setting each time. Having the boys stay actors wouldn't work for me -- when I'm converting fanfic I prefer to be extremely thorough in how I file off the serial numbers -- so I had to figure out a setting which would allow the basic situation, where two guys of significantly different ages knew each other back when, were separated for some significant period of time, and now are back together. I was trying to be too faithful to the original in that I was hunting for a situation where they were together for only a short period each time. I finally realized that wasn't necessary (after one frustrating rewrite which had them as the old-pro writer and the new-GOH artist, who originally met as hot-new-writer-GOH and bouncy-fanboy a decade or so earlier) at a science fiction convention. I ended up explaining way too much about the setting, since most people aren't familiar with SF cons, then realized that wouldn't work because once they got into the bedroom -- which was pretty much the entire second half of the story -- the larger setting was irrelevant, rendering all that description and explanation pointless, and a waste of the readers' time and attention. [headdesk] The story ended up set in a neighborhood gym, with the protag a cocky slut type who used the gym as his primary hunting ground, and the younger guy who'd worked there as a high school kid years ago having recently transferred back to a local university where he was a grad student. I think it worked out nicely. :) (I'll use the SF con setting some day, when I can do justice to it. I've spent a good chunk of my life attending, working and running SF cons, and other conventions/conferences, and have a lot of great memories I want to use. Some day.)

A Lost Boy, Chapter 23 -- 1787 words; Actorslash. The Fic That Ate My Life continued into 2009. At this point I was still thinking I only had a few chapters to go and that I'd wrap it up by the end of the month. [cough]

A Lost Boy, Chapter 24 -- 2930 words; Actorslash.

A Lost Boy, Chapter 25 -- 2268 words; Actorslash.

A Lost Boy, Chapter 26 -- 2067 words; Actorslash.

A Lost Boy, Chapter 27 -- 2006 words; Actorslash.

A Lost Boy, Chapter 28 -- 2349 words; Actorslash.

A Lost Boy, Chapter 29 -- 2849 words; Actorslash.

A Lost Boy, Chapter 30 -- 2351 words; Actorslash.

Grit in the Gears -- 100 words; Actorslash. So caras_galadhon posted a link to a request she'd made for a comment fic, and I got this instant plot bunny. Not only that, it was close enough to a hundred words that I dinked with it a bit and ended up with my first ever drabble. Short and funny; I wish I had more quick little bunnies like this one.


A Lost Boy, Chapter 31 -- 2286 words; Actorslash. Why yes, I did slow down quite a lot. [hides under keyboard] At this point I could see how I wanted to end it, in general, if I squinted a bit. The ending of a long story is always the hardest part for me. The beginning and middle are easy -- anything's possible, you can wander around and have fun, and if a new plot thread or gimmick or twist wanders by, you can grab it and toss it in. The end is where all those threads have to be woven neatly in, though, with each one trimmed to the right length so it stops where it's supposed to, leaving the main plot to wrap last, or as close to last as possible. This takes a lot more thought and planning and sheer keyboard-sweat than the earlier part, and I always slow way down when I come within sight of the end of something long. I'd also written a chunk of a scene out of order for the first time ever, which meant I was (and still am) aiming for a particular spot in the story, which is even more constraining. Doable, but making it all work smoothly is hard. :P Still thinking I could wrap by the end of the month. [eyeroll]


A Lost Boy, Chapter 32 -- 2495 words; Actorslash. Some time between February and here, I decided I had to put Lost Boy on the back burner. :/ I hated to do it, but it was some time in March that I made the decision that I had to get back to work on my commercial writing in April. I hadn't written anything original since September of '08, and I couldn't leave my barely-begun career hanging like that. Also, I'd blown Dave Thewlis up in an explosion and wasn't sure yet whether or not I wanted to bring him back. [duck] I was writing ahead after that; I had a couple of chapters written, but didn't want to post until I was past the point where I was sure I'd made the right decision about Thewlis, leaving myself an out if I decided I'd made the wrong decision and wanted to back-track. So April came and I set the story aside, and went back to working on Hidden Magic. I posted this chapter on 7 June, for Liam's birthday, and let folks know that I was still alive but the story would be on hiatus for a while.


Boarding Action -- 8269 words; Original Fiction. This was the first story I ever had in an anthology, one of Torquere's little three-story mini-anthos, this one on a pirate theme and called Walk the Plank. The call had gone out some time previously and I'd begun writing a story for it, but by the time I was three or four thousand words into it I could tell it was going to run too long. The mini-anthos are all short stories, which with Torquere means 3-8K words; I was figuring "Boarding Action" would be at least 12-15K by the time I was done, making it a novelette and way out of the target range. I set the story aside and went back to HM, and the deadline passed. Then the editor posted on the author's loop to say that the book still wasn't full, and that if anyone had something close to done, they'd be happy to look at it. I thought about it and figured I'd see whether I could help. I went through what I had, tightened up wherever I could, ripped out a subplot and finished it, cutting and compressing as I went, and again at the end. It still ended up a bit over, but I figured that if I didn't mind giving away some words for free, the publishers probably wouldn't either, and I was right. One funny thing -- I'd figured the pirates theme would be incredibly popular, and had been hoping that if my story were chosen, I'd be in the book with at least one and maybe even two of Torquere's really popular writers. Anthologies don't pay as well as stand-alone stories, but part of the "pay" is in eyeballs; people who are fans of the other writers will buy the book, and once they have it, probably read your story too 'cause hey it's there, right? And with any luck you'll make some new fans who'll go looking for your backlist and buy your future stories. Well, it turned out that one of the other two writers had her first solo story coming out a few days later, and the other had a novel running in Torquere's monthly subscription service (a chapter a month of each of about twenty novels) but hadn't had anything published out in the open yet. So... it seemed that I was the big-name writer of the book. [hides under keyboard] Ah, well.

A Watery Revenge -- 1340 words; Original Fiction. This was a short sequel to "Boarding Action" I wrote while Pam and Mara and I (the three writers in the antho) spent two days over on torquere_social promoing the book. Stunt writing -- writing short ficlets to prompts supplied by readers, to post the same day, or in our case by the end of the second day -- is a popular activity on that community and I wish I were better at it. I'm not generally a fast writer, though, late October of '09 notwithstanding. Mara can crank out eight or twelve ficlets to eight or twelve sets of word-prompts without breaking a sweat. I found one set of words which gave me an idea and that was about my limit. :) This was a fun little bit, where Marcus helps Cam get back at the guy who came up with the stupid pirate idea in the first place. [innocent humming]


Rugbytackle -- 2540 words; Actorslash. I've been doing Slashababy for three years now, and even though I knew the end of the year would be tight, I wanted very much to participate again. I knew that if I got Hidden Magic submitted by Thanksgiving, as I'd committed to, I'd have time to write for the fest, and I think knowing I had another obligation piled up behind the novel helped me get it done on time. :) I originally intended this to be a funnier story; Sean was meant to have been essentially faking, wanting to rub it in to Viggo that his intensely physical gotchas were damned annoying, at least the ones outside the bedroom. I meant for Sean to milk it for all it was worth, and get Viggo to make some sort of intensely guilt-ridden pledge in bed, at which point Sean would say something like, "Good, now that that's behind us..." and flip him over and fuck him silly. With a wrap pointing out that even if Sean hadn't been quite as injured as he'd pretended, the principle was still the same. Somehow, though, about halfway through, Sean told me that he was actually hurting, thanks much, and the whole thing turned more serious than I'd intended. It worked anyway, though, probably better than if I'd played it for smutty laughs, and I got a lot of cool comments.

TOTAL: 38,541

Aaaand, that's about it. :/ I turned in Hidden Magic in November, and signed a contract for it in December, and I'm on Chapter 35 of Lost Boy, but for purposes of this annual list, I've only been counting stories posted or published during the calendar year, so HM won't count until next year, as I said above. At least it shouldn't be tough to beat this for 2010. :) Actually, if HM is published this year (and I have every reason to be sure it will be) that's more than twice as many words all by itself. Finished product wasn't great this last year, but getting my first ever novel under contract was completely awesome, so I can't be too depressed about that dismal number up there. ;D

Thanks to everyone who's been with me this year, and in previous years. You've been a wonderfully supportive and patient bunch, and I heart you all madly. {{{}}}


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