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Where the homework tries to happen

Currently working on:

Rukan v64000

30,108 words (the dreaded 30k wall)

Second world fantasy spliced with murder mystery. The best writing I have, because I have gone slowly and tried very hard to show. I’m not sure how this story ends. I have ideas. I suspect there will be massive revisions required to wrangle a good story out of it. But… it feels like the right story for now.

Other stories:

I Wake Up Unknown v2-ish

18,000 words culled from initial 47,000 pantsed words

Urban fantasy spilled out with no plan until no plot got the better of me. It spiralled way out of my control. I think it could still work. Might come back to this but should finish Rukan first.

The Other You v1

3,900 words

I doodle on this from time to time. It’s basically a romance. In the way The Time Traveller’s Wife is a romance. I love this story but have 2 problems: 1) I think it’s a bigger story than I can write at the moment, and 2) I don’t know where to set it. Australia, NZ, UK, Somewhere Not Quite Defined. This inability to pick a place bugs me.

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I keep reading about how dystopian stories are big in YA at the moment — a trend (re)kick-started by The Hunger Games, as these sort of stories aren’t exactly new to this segment. The latest is this article from The Australian:

End of the world as we know it — “You may have missed it, in the face of the apparently inexhaustible appetite for paranormal romance involving vampires, fallen angels and werewolves, but in the past few years another very different genre has been quietly gathering strength in young adult literature.”

(The Hunger Games has been on my to-read-list for soo long. I really should find a copy!)

I wish I had the desire to revisit and finish Alice properly. Because it’s dystopian YA. I must’ve tapped into the zeitgeist. It’s about a girl living in a bleak corporate world, her future mapped out for her by the society she belongs to. She dares to break free and pursue a more difficult and uncertain life but it’s a life she chooses for herself… I mean, as a sellable concept, I think it has a lot of potential.

But the thought of picking that story up again – argh! I don’t know if I can. I wrote Alice in 2005. Six years ago! I’m not sure I ever want to see another word of that story again, let alone dive into the amount of work that needs doing to complete & polish it. Working on Alice would feel like going backwards, not forwards.

Why isn’t it the story I just wrote?

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I’m up to page 66 in this editing business. There are a total of 180 pages right now. Although it’s nice to THINK I’m a third of the way through, I don’t think I actually am since there are so many holes to fill later on.

I’m doing a very half-assed pass through. Sometimes I lie in bed at night and realise things that I should’ve picked up and corrected. So I go back and correct them the next time I sit down. Hmm. I am too close to this text to do a proper edit. Today on Mary Catelli’s blog, I saw a post of hers about putting stories on the back burner once you’ve finished the draft. Which I absolutely agree with. Once I’ve done this pass, Molly’s Gift is being put down to simmer. (I was thinking of the term “back burner” and I assume it is a cooking phrase — turning down the heat on the back burner and letting something simmer there till it’s done)

Picture of pot on a back burner

My last story is still sitting there, turning into mush.

Oh, back burnering! How I look forward to that. I feel very meh about this story right now. I’m gnawing at it, resenting it for how long it is taking, dutifully obeying its wishes to be finished. Every night that I don’t edit, and fritter away my time on TV and the internet and crap like that, I am consumed with guilt. Nobody else is going to finish this story so just frickin do it already.

Cross-posted from

May 2014

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