A Year in the Life: Week Eleven

Catie MurphyCatie Murphy
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Up this week in the Life Of A Writer: collaborations! book proposals! hyperventilating over e-book releases!

Writing:
Collaborations: I have, as I am typing this, just finished the next chapter of a collaborative project called LEGION. This is a fun and exciting one for me, because it’s an idea my writing partner Sarah and I developed well over a decade ago. It was intended for a different medium, but we finally thought of writing it as books, so we’re tackling the first one over the course of the summer.

Collaboration is tricksy business. As many of you probably know, Faith and I wrote “Easy Pickings”, a Walker Papers/Jane Yellowrock crossover story, last year (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, I said, making my obligatory shameless self-promotion moment front and center), which was a pretty terrific collaborative effort in terms of great fun. We edited each other, wrote each other’s characters a little, fixed what the other had gotten wrong in our own characters’ voices–it was a really neat project.

What we’re doing with LEGION is similar–trading chapters back and forth–but we’re not switching viewpoint characters and we are writing characters we’ve developed together, rather than independently and mashing them up. It all means needing open lines of communication, which frankly is made easier by tracking changes & comments in word processing programs–as I edit Sarah’s work, I leave notes and comments as to why I’m doing what I’m doing, and she’ll do the same for me. One must not be too precious about one’s babies in this case (remind me to tell you about my snowstorm…), but it sure makes for a cool, inventive, and only half-as-difficult-as-usual writing process…!

Proposals: Earlier this week (and part of last), the hot project was the proposal–three chapters and a synopsis–for the final book of the Walker Papers. It’s not usually all that hard for me to write a Walker Papers proposal, because, well, I’ve written 8 of them already, but this one is trying to work around the Kickstarter book NO DOMINION’s storyline, and I still don’t know if that’s going to work. I may end up having to throw the whole proposal out (and the end of book 8, for that matter) which would be sad, but, well. That’s how it goes.

I’m also working on a YA book proposal that I promised my Kickstarter patrons. At the moment it’s a total mess, and I’m trying to remember that part of the whole idea is to maybe run a KS at some point that shows the entire development of a book, from hot-mess-proposal all the way through edits and to the final product. But holy carp is it annoying to be in such an ugly state right now. Grr. I want it to be LOVELY and COHERENT and SMOOTH and to KNOW the characters instead of fumbling around trying to get in their pants learn who they are and I want to UNDERSTAND the plot that at the moment I’ve only got the vaguest grasp on and–

And yes, well. Proposals for new things are always fun, but they’re a lot of work, too. Hrmph. :)

Year-to-date wordcount as of the end of May: about 175,000 words.

Self-publishing efforts: guys, i am DYING to link to the new OLD RACES: ORIGINS short story collection, but it doesn’t go on sale until TOMORROW so i don’t have a link for it and WOE WOE WOE IS ME! But here’s the cover, which makes me go squee!

THE OLD RACES: ORIGINS

Before the Negotiator, there were the long-held covenants of the Old Races: Do not mate with humans. Never tell them of our existence. And never kill one of our own. For time immemorial, these laws were adhered to…

…except when they were not. Delve into the secret history of the Old Races and discover the truth behind Saint George and the dragons, the origins of the mysterious selkie race, and the djinn betrayals that shape the world of the Negotiator Trilogy.

These stories and more are revealed in this collection of five Old Races short stories, on sale at fine e-retailers everywhere on June 1, 2012!

(Eee! Squee! *FLAIL*!)

*flail!*

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6 comments to A Year in the Life: Week Eleven

  • Totally excited about the Old Races project as a fangirl.

  • Gypsyharper

    Old Races looks like fun! I can see I’m eventually going to have to break down and buy a Kindle, because there are too many things I want to read coming out e-book only.

    I think the KS project that shows the whole development of a book sounds really interesting as well.

  • Catie, I am dying to try a collaborative with a certain other person an a certain other project and erm… (shutting up now) :)

    Your word count is impressive! Go Catie!

  • I love my collaboration. I think it is the most fun I have writing. (I like writing my own stuff, too, ’cause I just like writing) but collaboration is fun! My co author (coincidentally also a Sarah) and I use dropbox so we don’t have to email stuff back and forth and we use Word and comments/track changes too. It works well. We’ve also recently (like, past two weeks) started using SKYPE. We’ll be on Skype as we write, which lets us do it in real time and makes us able to ask each other questions, etc. Then we switch chapters, read each other’s work, etc.

  • Great cover, Catie. Hope the book is a great success!

  • I’ve been working on a collaboration as well and you’re right: communication is key (and checking the ego at times). We use dropbox as well but we’ve both been writing in Scrivener. You can take snapshots of everything so if you want to revert back to text (as far back as you want) you can and do comments, etc. It’s been handy so all of our notes, outlines, thoughts, etc are all in the same place.