Friday, March 22, 2013

A Writing Vacation We Did Take, But Did We Actually Write?

Last week, I decided to take a two and a half day vacation from work so that I might be able to do some writing, 'cause to put it bluntly, I have not done any original writing (i.e non-editing or rewriting) since 2010. Yes, I know it sounds hard to believe, but there was a plan of attack behind the drought, in that I would always have something on deck while I was attempting do something with a previously completed manuscript.

In other words, while I was busy trying to get Line 21 published, I had a completed novella on deck, so that when I finally was able to get Line 21 published, I would have something to start the process all over again. So as you can see, I'm kind of anal/linear when it comes to my writing.

Anyways, now that I'm going through the submission/querying process with my novella, I once again need a completed manuscript in the on-deck circle.

Thus, the basic idea behind the writing vacation.

But as you undoubtedly have come to know in your life, the best laid plans are often just that.

So after a 3 1/2 year hiatus, I took out that slush novel (A Lascivious Limbo) and sat down this past Monday at the library to familiarize myself with the various plots and rationales behind the novel. For two hours, I read all 115 pages from beginning to end, trying like hell to remember what I was writing about. Sadly, when I had finished reading, I came to the realization that there was simply no way on Father Nature's green earth I was going to be able to finish this particular slush novel, if ever.

Did I go back to square one? Well, I did spend the next few hours feeling sorry for myself and lamenting over the fact that I didn't get any writing done, so yeah, you might say I went back to square one. After I had gotten the pity party out of my system, I got to thinking on what I should work on next. And truth be told, it quickly became a no-brainer on what I should work on next.

The novel version of my self-pubbed chapbook, Betrayed!

Long story short, back in 2009, I spent several months waffling on whether I should publish a chapbook version of my novella, or give up the self-publishing ghost and concentrate on writing a full length novel. In the end, I did both. I self-pubbed my chapbook and wrote about 10 chapters of the novel, which I ended at the beginning of the chapbook.

Five years later, I now have a project to work on. On one side of the equation, I have 10 completed chapters of a novel. On the other side, I have a chapbook/novella of the exact same thing. So if you can believe it, I got a chance to create something completely new out of two different versions of the same story.

I'm actually looking forward to doing this, because this will give me the opportunity to apply what I've learned in the past five years of writing. Plus, it will give me something to write about on the blog, since having a published outline to a novel is definitely something worth exploring.

First things first, I need to come up with a new title for the novel. The original title was "A Betrayal of Vows" and I'm not too thrilled about keeping it, since I plan on doing a semi-major gutting of the novel and the while the overall plot will remain the same, I want to incorporate a few other things into the mix.

So my question to you is this: what should the title of this new novel be? If you need a refresher, you can click on the link up above which will give you a brief synopsis of the chapbook.


  1. So the hero is a stylist, is he? How about "Cutting to the Chase"?

  2. S.R.: Well, I wouldn't call him a "hero". This one will be a tad dark as it has a very unhappy ending to it. But that sounds like an interesting title just the same.


  3. I'm horrible at titles, G. Too cliche. The wife is constantly asking me to come up with something better.

  4. David: I feel your pain.

    I have enough problems coming up with titles for my blog posts, let alone for my stories. Titles are the one thing that I need the most help with.

  5. Recycling in the best sense of the word! Have you considered something that could be clever and yet hidden, like Line 21? I am sure it's in your brain somewhere.

  6. I suck at titles. I know some writers come up with them first, but for me it's always last. I don't even bother putting a title on the articles I write for the local indy paper anymore, because they'll just change the damn thing anyway.

  7. M: Haven't given it much thought. I'm sure there is something between the current working title "A Betrayal of Vows" and the chapbook title "Betrayed!" that I can come up with, but so far, nada.

    Chris: I've always sucked at titles. The only time that I didn't, was when I was going through my flash fiction phase back in '09'/'10 when the titles were simply coming to me seconds after I came up with a story idea.

  8. You sound so busy right now, G - I admire you for following your dreams.

  9. I've got some days to write this week. I sure hope I will be able to keep on task somewhat and not have too many distractions.

  10. Lynn: Thanks.

    "Sounding busy" is simply window dressing.

    The reality is that I've been trying to jumpstart my writing for the past three to four months, so about the only thing I've been doing is simply talking the talk and not walking the walk.

    That's why wasting this mini-vaca is all the more frustrating.

    Charles: I'm determined to do some this weekend, come hell or high water.

    And I wish you nothing but the best for you.

  11. I had a 7 hour layover that all I did was I need another long trip to finish..hah

  12. Bearman: That would definitely work for me. As for you, perhaps a very long road trip traveling the highways and byways of America would help you finish. :D

  13. Talon: At the moment, I still don't have a title to work with, so I started working on it this weekend sans title, so that one will defintely given some consideration.


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