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bear by san

March 2017



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writing gorey earbrass unspeakable horro

brave and restless dreams are both won and lost

maryrobinette and jaylake and stillsostrange are talking about writing and selling novels. I can do that.

Novel 0: Seabird, juvenilia. Interminable Quest Fantasy with new extra added plot coupons. I have recycled several elements of this story elsewhere--Gavin, Kasimir, and so on. I wrote the first completed draft in fifth grade or so, and rewrote it over and over again afterwards.

Novels 00-00000: Several uncompleted juvenilia projects, ranging in length between 10K (a Mary Sue spy book called Belladonna I was working on in high school) and 40K (No More than a Star, a police procedural vampire novel started and abandoned in the early 90s. Several of the better characters from this--Don Smith, Geoffrey and Jewels, Daniel Tescher (You haven't met him yet: he's in Patience & Fortitude)--have been recycled into the Promethean Age books.

1. All the Windwracked Stars. Edda of Burdens #1. I started the first stories that would eventually become this novel in 1992 or so, as character contributions for a role-playing game. Having filed off every conceivable serial number, I eventually finished a Very Different first draft in January of 2002. My now-agent, who was not my agent then, rejected it. A very, very, very different version sold to Tor in... early 2007? Or late 2006. Must have been late 2006, along with the two related books. After being rejected by Roc and Bantam.

2. The Sea thy Mistress, Edda of Burdens #3 a sequel to ATWS, written in 2002. Still needs to be revised extansively (like, complete rewrite) for 2010 publication.

3. By the Mountain Bound, Edda of Burdens #2, a prequel to ATWS, written in one month spanning June and July of 2002. Has been completely rewritten, needs another round of revision for 2009 publication.

4. Hammered, Jenny Casey #1, which I started in a very different form as a short novella in 1994 or 1995. Finally finished a draft that was recognizable as the story that finally saw publication in late 2002. This was the book my agent signed me on, and the first book she sold--in late 2003. Published in very early 2005, along with its two siblings. Before Keri Arthur and Naomi Novik came along and kicked my butt, I was the Random House record holder for speedy delivery and publication of a trilogy from sale to last book on the shelf.

5. Blood & Iron. Promethean Age #1. Originally titled Daoine, then Shadowhand, then Bridge of Blood & Iron. This started off as a graphic novel script when I was in high school, and then this Matt Wagner guy came along and did something very cool and way too similar, so fifteen years later I made drastic changes and turned it into a novel. Funny thing is, some of the lines have stayed word for word the same since that very first scribbled in a notebook draft. Matthew Szczgielniak did not exist in the very earliest versions of this novel. I finished a complete draft of the book that would eventually become published as Blood & Iron: A Novel of the Promethean Age, in January of 2003. It only had one POV, and was even more airless and claustrophobic than the eventually published version. This sold to Roc in.... 2005, if I recall correctly, after being rejected by Bantam.

6. Scardown: Jenny Casey #2, written in early 2003. Sold, with Hammered, in November 2003.

7. The Cobbler's Boy: I started writing this one with Sarah Monette while she was working on her dis and I was writing the book that was at that point in time known as The Stratford Man. We finished it, as I recall, before either her dis or my novel. Still unsold.

8. Ink & Steel (and)

9. Hell & Earth: Promethean Age 4 & 5, formerly collectively known as The Stratford Man and then individually by various other titles. Started in very late 2002, finished in very late 2003, revised extensively and repeatedly since, sold in 2007, being published in 2008.

10. Worldwired: Jenny Casey #3, sold in 2003, written in 2004. The first book I wrote after selling it.

11. One-Eyed Jack & the Suicide King: Written in early 2004. Not yet sold. Promethean Age 5

12. A Companion to Wolves: With Sarah Monette, again. I think we wrote this one in about a month of frantic effort in 2004, and after it was rejected by both our publishers, sold it to Tor at WisCon or World Fantasy in a breakfast pitch meeting.

13. Whiskey & Water: Promethean Age 2, sold as a package with Blood & Iron, and actually the last completed PA novel written, though the second one published.

14. Carnival: the first novel I sold on a proposal, 100 pages plus synopsis, rather than as a complete manuscript. Sold and written in 2005, published in 2006. 

15. Undertow: The "and an additional novel" in the two-book deal for Carnival. Sold 2005, written 2006, published 2007.

16. New Amsterdam: A mosaic novel, composed of interlinked novelettes and novellas written between 2002-2006. Sold and published in 2007, if I recall correctly.

17. Dust: Sold from a proposal in late 2006, completed in the first two months or so of 2007, published in January of  2008.

18. Refining Fire: A short Shadow Unit novel written with Emma Bull in 2007, which we will be web-publishing in May. (That's right: I wrote a novel with Emma Bull. And we are giving it away free, except for the ever present guilt looks of hungry writers, and a tip jar.)

19. Chill: 2/3rds written. Was supposed to be delivered next week: I am asking for an extension.

20. Grail: Under contract, not yet started.

21: Patience & Fortitude: This will be Promethean Age 6, if anyone buys it. Started, not yet sold or written. But I have fifty pages or so.

22: A Treachery of Princes: This could be Edda of Burdens #4, if the first three do all right. I have about 20K of it, but it's not sold, and I fear what I shall find when I open the file.

23: Between the Bones: This could be Edda of Burdens #5. I have maybe a half-chapter written.

I also have two novellas that will be published as stand-alone books sold. One, Bone and Jewel Creatures, is complete in draft except the scene that makes it all make sense. The other, which is the Sebastien and Abby Irene novel, has no title yet, but needs to be written next month.



:: is cowed ::
*looks at the Lakeian short-story list*

We all saw the signs, but we didn't kill you and eat your brain soon enough. Funny how we keep making that mistake.
Actually, we considered giving you the same treatment, but we kept you too long and you developed a personality, and then we didn't have the heart.
I swear, I will drown the next batch in the river before they grow too big and strong. :p
Wow. I'm a little dazed by your productivity (dazed and awed...don't mind me gibbering in the corner here).

I'm on Worldwired now and I think of the the three Jenny books it's my favourite.

Anyway, when it's done and the end of the month rolls around, it'll be book-ordering time again (Whee! My favourite time!) And of course I'm now completely flummoxed about what to order next.

*scans list*
You've certainly been busy.
You four inspired me to list out my own projects/embarrassing failures (with the exception of the STAR WARS fanfic novel I wrote when I was 13, because seriously...damn.)

But man...that right there is some awesome productivity. My invisible cap is off to you.
Hee. See icon. *g* Five years of hypergraphia--good for the productivity, bad for body and brain.
Outside of writing campaign material for RPGs (with no other intent behind it other than running a good RPG campaign)... I had not started writing until I decided to write for publication.
I am perhaps Teh Strange amongst peoples...
That list is so intimidating that I'm afraid I'm going to have to retaliate in kind.
Says the man whose recent volume of output makes the children cry. *g*
Hey, that's... 25 years of writing? *g* Just be glad I didn't name ALL the bad juvenilia novels.
I'm slowing down, honest.

Scary thought: I am 43. Let us assume that I live and continue working to the ripe old age of 70. Let us assume that I have two more years of two books/year in me, then have to slow down to one book per year. That means I've got time to write another 28 books.

That implies I'm a third of the way through my publication career already.

(On the other hand if I keep to two books/year I've got 56 books to go. Which is, in some ways, less daunting than the idea that I've only got maybe 28 books in which to perfect my art and produce my life's work.)


Time to prioritise ...
Yeah, I'm slowing down too. From three books a year to two. I kind of hope I can keep it here, but if I can't--if it drops off to one every nine months, the 12 months, then 18--well, so mote it be.

I figure as there's more to keep track of, and more command of craft, I will get slower. But hopefully the books will get better.

I can just concentrate of writing the very best books possible at that point.
Wait... confused here. I got stuck on the numbers for the Promethean Age books, 'cause you have Ink & Steel and Hell & Earth listed as PA 4&5, but then One-Eyed Jack & the Suicide King as PA 5. So I'm assuming the first two are actually 3&4? Just so I know which book I should be looking for next. ;-)
Yes. See, that's what I get for typing without making sure I'm on the home keys....
Please tell me you have that all written down on a master list somewhere and did not just type it from memory?? DAUNTING, yet impressive...
It's like boyfriends. You never forget.
Re: #7. Yes. Substantially before.
Viva displacement activity.
Oh HELL yes.
which is the Sebastien and Abby Irene novel

I have been so very very good, because I have been reading your trials with Chill and your proofs, and being supportive. Inside, however, I have been saying in a wee voice, "I would so very much enjoy an Abby Irene and Sebastian book of any length, but I love eBear's work so I will receive whatever she puts out with great joy, and maybe perhaps possibly someday she will be inspired to write more Abby Irene and Sebastian." And there was no damn way I was going to say anything, because the last thing a writer needs while trying to focus on something is an unhelpful suggestion regarding something else completely from the peanut gallery.

And then LO and BEHOLD, and LA, they appear on your list. And it is a very impressive list. It's the kind of list that gives me hope for the eight all-but-for-the-chapters-that-wrap-them-up/makes -them-all-make-sense novels lying about on my hard drive.

Yay for Abby Irene and Sebastian! And yay for Bear! I really hope you look at that list and are damned impressed with yourself, because wow.

{Also, I love how you title your stuff. Having been in title tussles with publishers before I know they're not carved in stone or even always your own idea, but they're great.)
Thank you.

Well, I still have to write the dratted thing, but I'm hoping if I give my brain a little respect and distance and lots of video games, it will grow 30K of plot and character development by May 1. *g*

I have gotten to keep *most* of my titles. Apparently I have the title gene. Ink & Steel and Hell & Earth got their titles changed for conformity with the earlier Promethean books. I wanted to call them The Stratford Man and The Journeyman Devil.

And I wanted to call Dust, Chill, and Grail Pinion, Sanction, and Cleave.

But at least they took my second choices.

This is a very useful and timely list ... I just finished Dust and have Carnival waiting to be devoured next, but I was wondering in which order I should read all the others. I guess I'll be ordering Hammered next and go from there. :)

Hey, if you get a chance, can you tell me which of those novels were written while you had other full-time jobs, and which were written while you were a full-time writer? I'm interested in seeing how productivity changes once one leaves the 9-to-5 world.
I was employed full-time from 1993, when I left college, to 2001, when I was laid off. Between 1997 and 2001 and I had stopped writing for various personal reasons.

I was employed full-time again in 2002 and 2006, and part-time between 2001 and 2002, and 2003 and 2006.
I love reading these posts! :)

You are a very productive Bear... I also take heart from the fact that you don't seem to shy away from writing sequels to books before the first one has been sold. I'm trying desperately to resist the lure of writing my next book (sequel), while agents are reading the full of that first ms. But I really want to write it... *whines*
<voice type="that guy from Matrix">She's a machine</voice> (: