[books|writing] Thinking about the road ahead - Lakeshore — LiveJournal
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Jay Lake
Date: 2009-02-12 06:51
Subject: [books|writing] Thinking about the road ahead
Security: Public
Tags:beast, books, green, mainspring, sunspin, tourbillion, writing
So here in my post-novel ennui of the past 24 hours, I have sold a novella, signed 500 sig sheets of the METAtropolis limited edition, mailed out a few more Green ARCs, done story marketing WRPA in which I noted that I recently passed the 250 stories mark, have been working several interesting short fiction publishing deals, and, um, cleaned my house. But I already reported that last bit.

My brain being what it is, I'm quite actively thinking about the road ahead, book-wise. Here's what's committed, what's on deck, and what's floating in my backbrain waiting for time and focus.

  • Revisions to Tourbillon (March)

  • Revisions to the Heart of the Beast (whenever Jeff gets them to me)

On Deck
  • Continue to write first volume of diplomatic/espionage thriller series with my Dad the retired ambassador (as time permits)

  • Develop collaborative concepts with kenscholes (YA trilogy) and calendula_witch (steampunk romance) (as time permits)

  • Draft Sunspin (From May through Ghu only knows when)

  • Sequel to Green

  • Original Destiny, Manifest Sin

  • Black Tulip

  • Reign of Flowers

  • As yet unnamed Mainspring book which started jogging my elbow as I worked on "Chain of Stars"

That last bunch won't happen this year, and some of them may never happen unless there's commercial demand, but they're in my head. I already know that even if I were a full time writer, sans day job, I couldn't write much more than I do now. It's not like I can write any faster. In point of fact, recent bouts of hypergraphia aside, I've been trying to slow down in the interests of improved pacing and work quality.

It's fun to juggle all these balls in my head. It will be interesting to see where and how they land in real life.

Originally published at

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User: manmela
Date: 2009-02-12 15:22 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I suspect you can't actually write any faster without breaking some hard and fast rule of physics
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Elf M. Sternberg
User: elfs
Date: 2009-02-12 15:46 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
How do you keep teh shiny at bay, though?

My biggest problem is getting an idea and having it so overwhelm my thinking process that it derails the WIP. How do you keep that from happening? Your list would (does) slay my productivity with the neurotic notion that I'll let something fade before I've captured it.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2009-02-12 15:48 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
My big secret? If it fades, it wasn't that shiny.

That's why I stopped writing down ideas years ago. If it can't stick in my head, it won't stick in the reader's head.

I only write the ones that really, really insist. And even then, only one at a time. If the next one is still insisting when I'm done, that's pretty much proof positive.
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S. Boyd Taylor
User: sboydtaylor
Date: 2009-02-12 16:02 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Hmm. That's a good idea.

Also, it's a good excuse for absentmindedness. :)

I can see it now: "Sorry I forgot the dishes, hon. I was burning away the useless undergrowth of ideas and it must've caught on fire too."
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User: torreybird
Date: 2009-02-12 17:03 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I think I can manage my writing/work balance. What messes it all up for me is Home{parenting, partnering, friendships, cooking, cleaning}. Work can't take a back seat... and home{} is more teenagerily demanding than writing. How do you keep the juggling so focused?
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Jay Lake: signs-dont_jay_walk
User: jaylake
Date: 2009-02-12 17:35 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
for the most part I keep my life very simple. No tv, computer gaming or console gaming, ever. (Turned off the cable in 1994, haven't missed it since.). No clubbing. Very few movies, etc., very focused social life. (I haven't said, "I don't know, what do you want to do today?" since the 1980s.) Lits if focus, discipline and internal motivation.

A lot of people aren't willing to give up many of those things, especially tv and gaming - I swear there would be a lot more high production writers if they did. I am not criticizing those choices, not in the slightest, but it's how I have developed such strong productivity, and it works well for me.
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User: torreybird
Date: 2009-02-12 17:57 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Yeah, we've all-but given up TV and gaming. I say "All-but" because it's one of the things we can do for family entertainment without anyone's feelings getting bruised. So it's netflixed TV or playing a round of "munchkins." Except for that, I think I'm on the same page of "discipline and internal motivation."

Oh, I'm looking forward to less intensive parenting!
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Blue Tyson: axiomatic
User: bluetyson
Date: 2009-02-13 15:30 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
That pretty much works for reading, too.

Or if you do tv, you can get tv without ads - takes only 2/3 the time. :)
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Gary Emenitove
User: garyomaha
Date: 2009-02-12 18:03 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
>>Original Destiny, Manifest Sin<<

I should hope to read it before I die.
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wyld_dandelyon: sketch with autoharp
User: wyld_dandelyon
Date: 2009-02-12 19:19 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:sketch with autoharp
I like the title Sunspin.
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Peter Hollo
User: frogworth
Date: 2009-02-13 01:24 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I keep thinking that's MEATtropolis, so can you please edit an anthology of stories about cities made of meat?

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