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Queen of the Cruel Sea

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As promised, “Queen of the Cruel Sea” is finished and available for reading on the web and in EPUB, Kindle, and PDF. I hope y’all enjoy it. (FYI, the background cover art is Seastorm, a piece I painted a few years ago.)

I’m still waking up early every morning to write, which is the only reason this story is finished instead of having fallen by the wayside like so many other stories and novels I’ve begun. So that’s good — I’m finally getting the hang of this writing thing. Expect many more stories and poems and novels in the years to come.

Queen of the Cruel Sea first draft

Today I finished the first draft of “Queen of the Cruel Sea,” clocking in at just over 11,000 words. Not terribly long, but this happens to be the first time I’ve stuck with writing long enough to produce a full draft of a piece of fiction longer than a few pages. (I’m not counting Out of Time, my pathetic NaNoWriMo novel from 2007.)

My routine of waking up early to write each morning is working well, as is the outlining process. Getting the story finished by the end of the month shouldn’t be a problem at all.

A writing update

Lately I’ve started getting up early to write (long experience having shown that that’s the only way that works for me), which hopefully will result in some finished stories and eventually novels in the nearish future. I’m also now listing current projects at the top of my writing page, for what it’s worth.

My current project is tentatively called “Queen of the Cruel Sea.” It began life as a brief scene I wrote when I was playing around with Cathode a couple years ago. Since then I’ve tinkered with the story every few months, getting to 11,000 words written on it last year, but plot issues forced me to start over. Between that first brief scene and this current draft, only the title remains the same. The story is, however, much better, I think. I’ve written around 4,300 words so far, with three scenes down and five to go. (Assuming things don’t change too drastically with the outline as I get further along. I’ve already had to revise the outline in some substantial ways based on how the first three scenes went.)

This also marks my first time trying a variation on Rachel Aaron’s technique. First I write a high-level outline (beginning, end, and then middle to connect the two) and revise it a few times till I’m happy enough to move forward. I then go through each scene, writing a very detailed paragraph-by-paragraph outline including dialogue, and then I write the full scene.

So far, it’s working well. Figuring out the detailed outline before I write the actual words has been a huge help, making it far easier for me to see and fix issues (and so more quickly). It’s like figuring out an algorithm in pseudocode before actually writing the code. I recommend it.

Anyway, after I finish and release “Cruel Sea” (by the end of September, a deadline I just made up because I need something solid to work towards), I’m planning to start writing novels instead of shorter works, beginning with a science fiction standalone. And of course plans are subject to revision, same as my plots. And life, though not quite in the same way.