Update: It Starts

2013-(white)WoEContentEditProgressCC

I thought I’d take a short, casual recess from the super intense posts to write an update about my work. For two weeks, the above Progress Bar has been glowing at the top of the site. It means that I’ve finished the content edit for my first book, War of Exiles, and that I’m incredibly and finally close to starting submissions.

More immediately, however, it means that I’m going to actually start the submission process I’ve been planning for years:

Step 1 – General Maintenance (Already Complete)

Upon this posting, I’ve already made a few personal and professional changes. Admittedly, you won’t see most of these; if I had the time, I would’ve made a new background for the site and maybe chosen a new theme (kicking off a kind of… Season 3 for the site, if you will), but the majority of my changes are personal and I’ve decided to reflect them with gradual updates to the site instead (also because I just don’t want to get wrapped up doing design work or anything other than writing).

What will be appearing immediately on the site, however, are two things.

First, my new Twitter: @LSantiagoAuthor. I’ll be swapping it with my old twitter on the side bar and using it exclusively. Why? Because even though I believe in and love the idea of the Grand Silence–the strange, imagined worlds of writers, almost always private and unheard–that concept makes for a really douchey Twitter handle. It’s like calling myself @TheFugueState. And that inherent douchiness is what kept me from actually using my Twitter more often, believe it or not. So, if you’re on Twitter and want to read every… single thought that comes to my mind, feel free to give me a follow @LSantiagoAuthor.

The second change on the site is a new Progress Bar for “The Drowned God of the Silent Realm.”

Step 2 – “The Drowned God of the Silent Realm”

That’s the name of a short story that, in all honesty… I wrote without ever mentioning it here.

I do not know why I didn’t mention it, just like I don’t know why it makes me feel so weirdly guilty that I didn’t. Why do I feel like I cheated on you? Why do I feel like I need to bring you flowers and make this right? All I can say in my defense, working on the unrealistic assumption that anyone is actually offended, is that “The Drowned God of the Silent Realm” happened to me as suddenly as it’s happening to you; it’s the story that was inspired by Gravelord Nito’s theme, indirectly mentioned on my old Twitter and in my Games for Writers: Dark Souls post as a “writing session.” From the first spark of the idea, I believe it took me two sessions to finish the first draft.

I honestly don’t remember my first writing session with the story aside from having Gravelord Nito’s theme on hand; I can only assume I’d listened to it enough times that the ideas had to come out–at what must have been around 3AM one morning. What I do know is that the result is the first short story I’ve ever written and actually liked. It is also the kind of story I aspire to keep writing, if that makes any sense; it has a strong, straight forward theme that doesn’t get lost in events that don’t support it. It doesn’t do everything perfectly (especially in 1st draft), but many of the things it does wrong are comfortably intentional–meant to support the theme and the interpretive message of the story (without adding any of the countless cool but totally unhelpful ideas I really wanted to add). So that I don’t keep ranting about it, I will just say that I have a lot of faith in the story. However, even though it’s an easy choice for submission, I’m cautiously assuming I’m infatuated with it–meaning that although I’ve already sent it to fellows writers who also really liked it, I’m still editing it closely and honestly to make it as strong as I possibly can before submitting it.

In the coming week(s), I’ll be updating its Progress Bar. When it’s done, Step 3.

Step 3 – The Age of Submissions Begins

The moment I start submitting “Drowned,” I’m back to what I know are going to be long nights of editing War of Exiles. Not because I’m in a rush, but because I don’t feel there’s a more effective way to do the final edit than sitting with the whole book and troubleshooting all of it at once. The idea of stopping my edit on chapter 9 to jump back to 6 and change an entire scene feels like the most tedious thing in the world to me, but, post-Content Edit, I’m already finding too many clarifications and tweaks that need doing. Clarifications and tweaks in a book that just needs to be done, which means this next edit is the last edit; as I submit “Drowned,” I’ll finish this single edit of WoE. And then, even if I have to force myself to, it’s on to submitting it, working on outlines for its follow ups until they’re strong, and then beginning to write a completely different project that I’m already casually outlining (still tentatively called The Hand and the Tempest).

In essence, Step 3, likely only days away, is the beginning of my personal, probably horrible and defeating Age of Submissions.

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