Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Milestone of Destinah 2.0


I've mentioned before that my books seem to fly or flounder at the 15,000 word mark. Thus, it has become the Milestone of Destinah. Once a book passes that mark, I can be fairly certain it'll hold its own and work out.

In recent months, though, my writing has evolved a bit. Maybe I'm getting a little experimental, indulging in some "riskier" (for lack of a better word) stories. By "riskier", I mean farther out of my comfort zone, maybe a bit more complicated than my previous straightforward romances. The kind of stories I haven't written before, and thus don't know for sure if I can write. My books also seem to be getting a bit longer, inching closer to the 100,000 mark instead of 60s-70s. As such, a few stories have passed the Milestone of Destinah, only to find themselves dangerously close to - or in - the Wangstbasket a few thousand words later.

Nocturne and The Ties That Bind are both currently stalled at around 38,500 words. Seriously, they're within about 20 words of each other. I fully intend to revisit both of them, but needed a break to work on something else for a while. Some of it was simply burnout, but they're also a ways off the beaten path for me, so...who knows?

Cover Me, like the other two books, is not what I usually write. In its earliest stages, it was just an erotic romance, but the story quickly evolved into something else. I don't even know what genre it'll technically be when it's finished (thriller, maybe?), and it's probably even farther out of my comfort zone. So far, it's at 27,000 words and some change, but it took a full 11,000 words from this point for me to throw up my hands and cry "uncle" with the other two books. I'm well past the Milestone of Destinah, but have no idea if this book will sink or swim.

So, I hereby declare 40,000 to be the Second Milestone of Destinah. Give me about 2 weeks, and I will probably move that to 80,000 or some ridiculous number. (Especially since Excel seems to think Cover Me is going to end somewhere in the ballpark of 140,000 words. I DON'T FUCKING THINK SO, EXCEL)

My writing style seems to be changing too. Not just plots and characters, but the writing itself, particularly since The Distance Between Us and, more noticeably, World Enough and Time. I'm not exactly sure how to describe it, it's just different. So maybe my recent burnout was less exhaustion and more growing pains...getting into a different groove, adapting to changes, etc. Whether this change is for better or worse, I don't know, but it's changing nonetheless. I think it's a good thing, especially since I've found myself turning my nose up at some of my past writing that, until recently, I thought was teh shiznit. Once I've figured out which way is up, there's a good chance I'll be revisiting some older works and giving them a facelift before sending them out again.

I'll be revisiting a few books soon anyway. Behind Closed Doors needs some serious help, and thanks to Vanessa and Libbie (you two rock!) I can see some big problems with World Enough and Time. The latter will probably be my priority after Cover Me is finished or ends up in the Wangstbasket. It won't be rewritten completely, but both betas pointed out some of the same issues, which I had missed. So, it needs some heavy tinkering, and I think it'll be a much better book when it's done. (Thanks again, Vanessa and Libbie...your help is, as always, invaluable)

Anyway. I'm just having a Day O' Wangst. Actually, an Hour O'Wangst. I promised myself I could have until noon to wallow in wangst, self-doubt, and the occasional cookie, then it's time to get to work. By the time I shut my computer down tonight, Cover Me will be 5,000 words closer to a) the Wangstbasket or b) the end. Hopefully, it won't be made of quite as much fail as I convinced myself it was last night.

I'll get over it, don't worry. Been through this before, will no doubt go through it again.

And look! Letos!


  1. I definitely noticed a change in your writing style with World Enough, and I have to say, I like it. I can see what you mean about taking risks. You did some of your most memorable writing with that one. It's really pretty.

    So this is good wangsting.

    You'll be happy to know that there is a popular subgenre called "romantic suspense" -- I suspect that's where Cover Me will fit. ;)

  2. Good, I'm glad it worked. :) That style seems to have stuck...whatever the hell it is.

    I don't even know if this is romantic suspense. LOL I'll figure it out when it's done, but it's not my usual romance, that's for damned sure.