20 Questions I’m Asking Myself

20 Questions I’m Asking Myself

  1. How are you going to stop yourself obsessively refreshing your inbox every day after the Pitch Wars submission window closes?
  2. No, obsessing over your Instagram stats isn’t a good answer; that wouldn’t stop you. So what else are you going to do?
  3. Oh, you’re going to write something new? That sounds like a good idea. If you get picked for Pitch Wars, you’ll just be revising Butterfly of Night for the rest of the year. It might be nice to get another draft under your belt. What are you going to write?
  4. You don’t know. Okay. Why do you do this to yourself?
  5. Don’t answer that, it was rhetorical. You were thinking of rewriting Happy Gay Magical Novel. Well, I say rewriting. It’s not finished. Do you have a plot for that yet?
  6. No, I thought not. Can you come up with a plot in time to start working on it next week?
  7. Right. Outlines are the devil. What are your other ideas?
  8. You’ve been saying you’ll write the second Death and Fairies book since… 2013? 2014? It hasn’t happened yet. You haven’t even titled the first book. What makes you think you’ll actually do it this time?
  9. An opening scene isn’t enough if you haven’t done the research. Have you done the research?
  10. I really don’t think the Wikipedia article counts. What else?
  11. Reading two pages of a book in the library and putting it straight back on the shelf because the author is a Cromwell apologist doesn’t really count either. How are you planning to research this without having academic library access?
  12. Okay, yes, I know you don’t have to do all the research now, just enough to come up with the plot. But do you have the plot?
  13. Knowing what one character’s doing isn’t enough when you’ve got at least four POVs. What about the others?
  14. Yeah, you’re not ready to write this book. Any other ideas?
  15. Well, then, I guess you’d better get on with some research. Why did you decide to set this book in and around a historical event you know nothing about?
  16. Right. Because plot. And ~reasons~. Sometimes I think you’re a masochist. Are you even ready for Pitch Wars or are you just distracting yourself because the submission window is rapidly approaching and you’re freaking out about it?
  17. Having a query, synopsis, and polished first chapter still isn’t good enough if you haven’t picked which mentors you’re submitting to. Why do you suck at making decisions?
  18. Oh, sure, you had a migraine and couldn’t use the computer for a few days. You’re on it now, aren’t you? Made any progress?
  19. A shortlist of 7 is still too many when you can only choose 4. You need to — wait, what are you doing now?
  20. Okay. Fine. You’ve tracked down an Esperanto speaker to help with the Esperanto sections of the novel. That… that is actually probably fairly useful. Though it might have been more useful if you did it sooner. This is just because you want to translate the swear words into Esperanto so you can sneak more of them in, isn’t it? Because you had 70+ F-bombs in the MS and that’s too many?
  21. Yeah, I thought so.

This week’s book reviews are of The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth, Over Raging Tides by Jennifer Ellison, and The Authentics by Abdi Nazemian.

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2 thoughts on “20 Questions I’m Asking Myself

  1. Does the research matter? Serious question. Can you do an outline based on what you already know? How many readers will both know the fine details of the event(s) and care that a story set in a similar but fictional universe isn’t utterly consistent with our mundane fact-splodge?

    If you can’t pick mentors, toss a coin. If you don’t like the result, that’s your unconscious telling you that the tiny little things you aren’t aware of support the other result.

    1. In this instance, I need to do enough research to get a general understanding of events, in order to structure my plot around them, because this one happens to be set around a specific historical event. (Just, with added fairies.) But I could definitely leave detailed aesthetic research to a later stage; I just need the main beats and significant historical figures to work out how my guys will fit in. I know slightly more than I did two days ago, but that’s not saying much!

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