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Thread: What are you up to?

  1. #126
    Grateful for the day cooeedownunder's Avatar
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    Flicka, good luck with it...there isn't like being inspired by a new story. I need some.
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  2. #127
    never mind the shorty angeliz2k's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flicka View Post
    OK, I'm coming clean. I have made a complete volte-face and rethought everything about my writing. Most essentially, I'm now working on a story set in Sweden in Swedish, which feels terribly awkward but also like coming home. And I have no idea what this story is supposed to be - I'd say coming-of-age, possibly women's fiction? Not what I usually write at all, but obviously what my brain is wired for because all the little pieces are just falling into place with absolutely no wrestling at all.

    Most horribly though, I've landed between my former 18th century infatuation and my current Victorian one, since I've managed to set it in 1824-32. I have no idea how that happened except the historical facts fit the story I want to tell best.

    It's set at the Royal Theatre in Stockholm (with a completely made-up cast) and contains opera, love, betrayal, death and all that comes with it. I haven't been this excited, truly excited, about anything I've written in years (and I do mean years - last time was in 2005, I think). I don't care what comes of it, I just want to write it. I love my characters, even the horrible ones, and I love subjecting them to horrid traumas.

    It's really nice to be able to rely on my basic knowledge of the layout of Stockholm too - I know how long it'd take someone to walk from A to B, for example, and what route they'd take - but really difficult to figure out the dialogue since the word "you" wasn't usually used back then and you really can't disregard that without feeling terribly anachronistic. It was all "Would Fru Eriksson excuse me?" "Would the gentleman like some coffee?" which makes me feel pretty stilted, but reading period literature is making it flow a little easier.

    Anyway, just needed to gush. My cup runneth over and all that.
    That sounds great, Flicka! Run with the inspiration. As far as "you", that seems to me like a compromise you might need to make. It could come across as strange if everyone avoided "you". But if you can pull it off, then more power to you.
    "Cotton. Cotton until Kingdom Come."

    WIP 1: Britannia c.AD 60. Trunked.
    WIP 2: Paris, 1780s.
    WIP 3: Channing. Antebellum South, 1854 Now Being Repped by an agent!
    WIP 4: Novella. Civil War w/a hint of supernatural.
    WIP 5: The Cotton Wars [prequel].
    WIP 6: Sci-fi-ish. In progress.

    My Blog: MARIE ANTOINETTE'S DIAMONDS:

  3. #128
    Don't let your deal go down, Dave Hardy's Avatar
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    I've made a pact with myself to write a page every day. It's ben going decently, though I'm a bit stuck at the moment. I'm writing a novella (mystery/thriller) about the US Border Patrol and Mexican contrabandistas in the 1920s. I think I'm in trouble as I've killed off just about everyone who knows anything about the criminal conspiracy except for the criminals. Makes it tricky to figure out how the detective cracks the case.
    In the words of Hasan i-Sabah: Nothing is true. Everything is permitted.

  4. #129
    practical experience, FTW DianeL's Avatar
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    Lord help me I'm revising. Again. This novel's going to take twenty years, I swear.

    On the other hand, I've begun research for what one must now wryly call the "WIP" since apparently I have two of those. "The Ax and the Vase" is going to ge in edits forever.
    "To be the queen, she agreed to be the widow!"

    ...
    The pre-modern world was willing to attribute charisma to women well before it was willing to attribute sustained rationality to them.
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  5. #130
    Grateful for the day cooeedownunder's Avatar
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    Lifetime writing

    Quote Originally Posted by DianeL View Post
    Lord help me I'm revising. Again. This novel's going to take twenty years, I swear.

    On the other hand, I've begun research for what one must now wryly call the "WIP" since apparently I have two of those. "The Ax and the Vase" is going to ge in edits forever.
    A few scenes of mine, were written almost thirty years ago
    SR

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  6. #131
    Dull Old Person Flicka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Hardy View Post
    I've made a pact with myself to write a page every day. It's ben going decently, though I'm a bit stuck at the moment. I'm writing a novella (mystery/thriller) about the US Border Patrol and Mexican contrabandistas in the 1920s. I think I'm in trouble as I've killed off just about everyone who knows anything about the criminal conspiracy except for the criminals. Makes it tricky to figure out how the detective cracks the case.
    Good on you for writing regularly, and good luck with that plot tangle! Should be interesting.

    Quote Originally Posted by angeliz2k View Post
    That sounds great, Flicka! Run with the inspiration. As far as "you", that seems to me like a compromise you might need to make. It could come across as strange if everyone avoided "you". But if you can pull it off, then more power to you.
    I have it almost completely plotted out now, so I only need some crucial research and I can start writing.
    The Rags of Time | Twitter | The Fear of the Blank Page

    "She had not character enough to take to drinking, and moaned about, slipshod and in curl-papers all day"

    Currently working on:A Candle to the Devil (mystery; set in 1628)
    Perfect Shadows (mystery; set in 1920)

  7. #132
    having patience...right now ReflectiveAcuity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flicka View Post
    I thought it could be fun if the people posted briefly on what they're currently working on.
    A historical fiction decades-spanning serial killer crime novel with settings in Cuba and Miami.

    Please let me know what do you think? (If you stop reading this post here).


    It's completed. 117,000-word. Just polishing it up before submitting next round of queries.

    Here's my version of a "back cover blurb" if you want to read more. Again, let me know what you think. Thanks!


    TRAGIC FATE

    A decades-spanning story that begins with the birth of a boy in Cuba just two days after Fidel Castro's coup d’état and takeover as the island nation's dictator in January 1959. The infant, in less than twenty-four hours of life, is abandoned by his juvenile parents, both in hiding since having learned of Isabel Santiago's pregnancy at age fourteen and fearing severe repercussions at the violent hands of her strict church-ministering father. The youths flee to the United States virtually unnoticed in conjunction with a mass exodus of other Cubans fleeing Castro's revolution. Twenty-one years later, Tomas Castillo, the abandoned boy left behind, by this time weary of deplorable living conditions in Cuba and lack of basic freedoms—all spawned by the continued Castro dictatorship—travels along the same path taken by his natural parents two decades earlier across the Florida Straits. Following his involvement in the Peruvian Embassy crisis in Cuba's capital city of Havana, and ensuing boatlifts from the Port of Mariel, Tomas joins the newly arisen exodus of Cubans that journey to America in April 1980. In a region of South Florida where an elusive serial killer dubbed by the media as the Exile Strangler has been murdering young Hispanic women of Miami's Cuban exile community, circumstances unfold that brings Tomas into contact with his parents, all without knowledge of their relationship, in the most tragic fate imaginable.

  8. #133
    Third time's the charm Tom from UK's Avatar
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    This is me in SYW mode. If that's not what you wanted, please stop reading now.

    First thing is that this seems to make some pretty aggressive assumptions about politics. You know your readers and this might not be a problem but, together with a lot of people in the UK, I don't warm to the 'Commie Castro eats babies' approach. I know little about Cuban politics but I react badly to a simplistic political line.

    Again, knowing nothing about Cuban politics, I have no idea what the Peruvian Embassy crisis was. Again, if your target market is "people who know about Cuba and hate Castro", that's not going to be a problem. But if this is your target, you don't need to tell them that Havana is the capital: even I know that.

    I've been told to make blurbs punchy. If this is right, say "coup d'etat" or "takeover", not both. (I'd go for "takeover" as it seems to me more politically neutral.) Again, if your audience knows anything about Cuba, the words "as the island nation's dictator" are redundant.

    Who is Isabel Santiago? His mother? Wouldn't it be wise to say so?

    "... fearing severe repercussions at the violent hands of her strict church-ministering father." A quarter of the words here are adjectives. That's usually considered too many.

    "virtually unnoticed" Are they unnoticed or aren't they?

    " in conjunction with a mass exodus of other Cubans fleeing Castro's revolution. " Try: "amongst the mass of refugees fleeing the revolution."

    "by this time weary of deplorable living conditions in Cuba and lack of basic freedoms—all spawned by the continued Castro dictatorship" At this point I decided I was being offered a political tract rather than a novel and I gave up.

    I think this needs a lot of tightening. Sorry.
    'Burke at Waterloo' will be out in time for the 200th anniversary of the battle. (What do you mean, you don't know when that is?) http://thewhiterajah.blogspot.com/

  9. #134
    having patience...right now ReflectiveAcuity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom from UK View Post
    First thing is that this seems to make some pretty aggressive assumptions about politics.
    Thank you for replying to my post. I have taken all your points into consideration and will definitely make adjustments to the blurb. (Maybe I should have posted this in SYW).

    I hadn’t intended to offer a political tract. I had meant the statement: “all spawned by the continued Castro dictatorship” to be taken from the point of view of the individual leaving his country. I’ll look to see how to clear that up. - The novel also describes populations (in Cuba and elsewhere) whom don't share the same view.


    Quote Originally Posted by Tom from UK View Post
    Who is Isabel Santiago? His mother? Wouldn't it be wise to say so?
    Yes, Isabel Santiago is the 14-year-old mother of the infant born 2 days after Castro takes over Cuba. I just read those lines over several times and it seems clear. But now I’m not sure. I’ll work with it.


    Quote Originally Posted by Tom from UK View Post
    I have no idea what the Peruvian Embassy crisis was.
    The Peruvian Embassy crisis is an actual event that occurred in 1980 when 125,000 Cubans were allowed to leave Cuba after thousands of Cubans stormed the embassy and requested asylum. If you've seen the movie "Scarface", the lead character played by Al Pacino was one of those individuals that arrived in the U.S. from the Port of Mariel aboard the "Freedom Flotilla".

    Thanks again.
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  10. #135
    Historicals and Horror rule donroc's Avatar
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    Completed two HF novels, one set in the 9th century Carolingian empire and another set before and during WWII about U.S. and Luftwaffe fighter aces. Will be sending both to my publisher.





    "Chronology is not destiny"
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  11. #136
    never mind the shorty angeliz2k's Avatar
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    I'm currently putting the final touches on my current WIP, Channing, but have started the ball rolling on my next project.

    The problem is, I don't know what that project will be. One option is a kind of prequel to Channing, about the mother of the male MC. She was an actress in Philadelphia circa 1825-1830, and gave birth to Everett out of wedlock. I think the focus will be equally or perhaps more on the father (Archie), who never acknowledged the child as his own. I want to give him good reasons for doing that. I also want to explore Archie's relationship with his identical twin brother, because it reflects the relationship between the brothers' children. I really like the fact that, although they're pretty much opposites, Everett and his cousin Harry are genetically half-brothers, even though they're actually cousins.

    The other project I'm working on has gotten further but might end up as a novella or short story. It has a bit of a supernatural element to it. A Civil War veteran who lost both his home and his arm in the war meets a mysterious Yankee officer in the woods. He wakes up in the morning to find his arm has been restored. But this causes almost as many problems for him as it solves. In the end, the Yankee--and the restored arm--might just be a delusion.

    I'm still thrashing these out. It's a difficult stage where I have amorphous ideas that just need time, but I get impatient and want the ideas to coalesce into a story right now.
    "Cotton. Cotton until Kingdom Come."

    WIP 1: Britannia c.AD 60. Trunked.
    WIP 2: Paris, 1780s.
    WIP 3: Channing. Antebellum South, 1854 Now Being Repped by an agent!
    WIP 4: Novella. Civil War w/a hint of supernatural.
    WIP 5: The Cotton Wars [prequel].
    WIP 6: Sci-fi-ish. In progress.

    My Blog: MARIE ANTOINETTE'S DIAMONDS:

  12. #137
    practical experience, FTW DianeL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by donroc View Post
    Completed two HF novels, one set in the 9th century Carolingian empire and another set before and during WWII about U.S. and Luftwaffe fighter aces. Will be sending both to my publisher.
    Congratulations, Donroc!

    I've been rethinking the revisions, and mixing some research in with new queries. Found FIVE agents worth querying yesterday, which, for me, is quite the haul for one sitting. It's rare I find that many, even just finding three is a big "woo-woo!" for me. I also am mulling a re-query to an agent who bit previous to The Late Revisions, she really struck me as positive.

    Research has me plonked in between Theodoric's and Justinian's reigns. Good times.
    "To be the queen, she agreed to be the widow!"

    ...
    The pre-modern world was willing to attribute charisma to women well before it was willing to attribute sustained rationality to them.
    Medieval Kingship, Henry A. Myers

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    http://dianelmajor.blogspot.com/

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  13. #138
    Toughen up. gothicangel's Avatar
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    Two chapters away from the end of revising/rewriting draft two of my WIP. Then I'm taking a month off, before beginning a Holly-Lisle style third draft. After which I will be posting in SYW.

    In the month off, I'm going to make a start on the next WIP which is set in the opening months of the Bar-Kokhba Revolt (CE 132-5.)

    Elsewhere, I've started my second module for my Ancient History degree on Classical Archaeology.
    The Speculator: On submission.
    Aelia: Work In Progress

  14. #139
    practical experience, FTW DianeL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cooeedownunder View Post
    A few scenes of mine, were written almost thirty years ago
    Okay, I officially feel better.

    Today I'm taking off work to be around the house for a contractor, and am taking a hard look at the first few chapters just to harden my revision decision one way or another - to go at it again, or not to go at it again? I think what is most likely is to take certain advice, but not commit to a *full* edit.
    "To be the queen, she agreed to be the widow!"

    ...
    The pre-modern world was willing to attribute charisma to women well before it was willing to attribute sustained rationality to them.
    Medieval Kingship, Henry A. Myers

    ...
    http://dianelmajor.blogspot.com/

    Twitterati: @DianeLMajor


  15. #140
    never mind the shorty angeliz2k's Avatar
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    Just thought I'd dredge up this thread from obscurity.

    I'm finishing up a novella about a Civil War amputee. A bit of magical realism (or is he just crazy?). I'm pretty proud of it, especially since it's an "in-between" project to keep me writing. It needs a bit more denouement, a pinch of research on a few points, and some polish. It's at 36k words now, and I'm wondering if I can squeeze out enough to make it "novel" length. Probably not, though. I kind of like it being short and sweet.
    Last edited by angeliz2k; 09-27-2013 at 07:04 PM.
    "Cotton. Cotton until Kingdom Come."

    WIP 1: Britannia c.AD 60. Trunked.
    WIP 2: Paris, 1780s.
    WIP 3: Channing. Antebellum South, 1854 Now Being Repped by an agent!
    WIP 4: Novella. Civil War w/a hint of supernatural.
    WIP 5: The Cotton Wars [prequel].
    WIP 6: Sci-fi-ish. In progress.

    My Blog: MARIE ANTOINETTE'S DIAMONDS:

  16. #141
    Toughen up. gothicangel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gothicangel View Post
    Two chapters away from the end of revising/rewriting draft two of my WIP. Then I'm taking a month off, before beginning a Holly-Lisle style third draft. After which I will be posting in SYW.

    In the month off, I'm going to make a start on the next WIP which is set in the opening months of the Bar-Kokhba Revolt (CE 132-5.)

    Elsewhere, I've started my second module for my Ancient History degree on Classical Archaeology.
    Polishing up the manuscript, I shall be posting in SYW in the coming months. I am also immersing myself in Jewish history and culture for the next WIP.
    The Speculator: On submission.
    Aelia: Work In Progress

  17. #142
    Born in the Wrong Century junebugaboo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gothicangel View Post
    Polishing up the manuscript, I shall be posting in SYW in the coming months. I am also immersing myself in Jewish history and culture for the next WIP.
    Would definitely read your book, gothicangel. It sounds right up my alley. I hope you are enjoying your studies--sounds like so much fun.

    I am new to AW, and historical fiction is my main writing forte. I have a degree in art history, with a concentration on ancient Roman art. I also studied a lot of eastern art--mainly Japanese woodblock printing and Indian art. Went back to school and got a bio degree with a minor in English lit. Man, if school was a legit occupation, I'd be set and happy. I'm an illustrator by trade, so all in all I am pretty happy, really.

    Right now I'm working on a story set at the end of Emperor Claudius's reign about a Briton slave girl who is Agrippina's official cupbearer/taster, and Agrippina has no shortage of enemies--as she is a marvelous and first-rate bitch--so the job is a bit nerve-wracking. Furthermore, Agrippina is flailing and almost in a panic because Claudius has recently been reconsidering his biological son Britannicus as his heir, rather than Agrippina's son Nero; so, she's desperate and is willing to do anything to keep Nero next in line, making her doubly dangerous.

    My MC, renamed Derinoe when she was enslaved, also has a trade that she engages in in order to make money to save up to buy her freedom (portrait painting). She's had several close calls already and pretty soon becomes desolate and resigned to death by poison and quits the side job. A fellow Brit freedwoman who runs a small local bath on the Quirinal with her husband/former master gives her the name and location of a Scythian priest (who are notorious for concocting "mithridatia" or poison antidotes). Then, someone comes along and offers an insane amount of money for one of her portraits, she overhears Agrippina and her minion Pallas plotting to kill Claudius, and yes, she almost dies. There's also romance--a Praetorian tribune--ooh la la, which Derinoë resents at first as something she'd rather not enjoy because she's on the brink of death anyway--why torture herself any more? When she finally succumbs to her love for the tribune, when her Brit friend and husband are killed, when she herself almost becomes another one of Agrippina's victims, that's when she starts fighting back.

    I love writing against a backdrop of political intrigue--everything seems so much more urgent! The main bulk of my story takes place from May to October 54 CE, when Claudius bites the mushroom and seals the deal on apotheosis.

    I am just sooo excited about it. I'm only about 12K into it, but I just love it. I really took Salinger's advice and am shamelessly writing a book I'd want to read.
    Last edited by junebugaboo; 09-27-2013 at 10:34 PM.

  18. #143
    Toughen up. gothicangel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by junebugaboo View Post
    Would definitely read your book, gothicangel. It sounds right up my alley. I hope you are enjoying your studies--sounds like so much fun.

    I am new to AW, and historical fiction is my main writing forte. I have a degree in art history, with a concentration on ancient Roman art. I also studied a lot of eastern art--mainly Japanese woodblock printing and Indian art. Went back to school and got a bio degree with a minor in English lit. Man, if school was a legit occupation, I'd be set and happy. I'm an illustrator by trade, so all in all I am pretty happy, really.

    Right now I'm working on a story set at the end of Emperor Claudius's reign about a Briton slave girl who is Agrippina's official cupbearer/taster, and Agrippina has no shortage of enemies--as she is a marvelous and first-rate bitch--so the job is a bit nerve-wracking. Furthermore, Agrippina is flailing and almost in a panic because Claudius has recently been reconsidering his biological son Britannicus as his heir, rather than Agrippina's son Nero; so, she's desperate and is willing to do anything to keep Nero next in line, making her doubly dangerous.

    My MC, renamed Derinoe when she was enslaved, also has a trade that she engages in in order to make money to save up to buy her freedom (portrait painting). She's had several close calls already and pretty soon becomes desolate and resigned to death by poison and quits the side job. A fellow Brit freedwoman who runs a small local bath on the Quirinal with her husband/former master gives her the name and location of a Scythian priest (who are notorious for concocting "mithridatia" or poison antidotes). Then, someone comes along and offers an insane amount of money for one of her portraits, she overhears Agrippina and her minion Pallas plotting to kill Claudius, and yes, she almost dies. There's also romance--a Praetorian tribune--ooh la la, which Derinoë resents at first as something she'd rather not enjoy because she's on the brink of death anyway--why torture herself any more? When she finally succumbs to her love for the tribune, when her Brit friend and husband are killed, when she herself almost becomes another one of Agrippina's victims, that's when she starts fighting back.

    I love writing against a backdrop of political intrigue--everything seems so much more urgent! The main bulk of my story takes place from May to October 54 CE, when Claudius bites the mushroom and seals the deal on apotheosis.

    I am just sooo excited about it. I'm only about 12K into it, but I just love it. I really took Salinger's advice and am shamelessly writing a book I'd want to read.
    Sounds fantastic, I would love to read it some day.
    The Speculator: On submission.
    Aelia: Work In Progress

  19. #144
    Do Not Fear the Future asnys's Avatar
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    I'm writing a short article on psychology experiments done in the late 50s and early 60s on living in fallout shelters - you know, would people go crazy if you stuffed them in a concrete box with a few dozen other people for a few weeks? (The answer is usually no.)

    Also, I need to get started on Part 2 of The Philosopher's Bomb, about the use of nuclear tests in basic physics research, doing stuff like trying to create previously unknown elements via multiple neutron capture.

  20. #145
    practical experience, FTW TellMeAStory's Avatar
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    With great help from many wise and perceptive advisors on my syw post, getting ready to submit my first work to my first beta. Aiming for the first of the month.

    But before that, I've GOT to eliminate all those places where I've got a character planning what she's going to do, doing it, then having other characters assess what she did. Who the heck wrote this stuff?

  21. #146
    practical experience, FTW TellMeAStory's Avatar
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    Oh, and about the work: it takes place in the US in and around the 1920s, and deals with the culture clash at that time between wealthy assimilated "German Jews" and impoverished immigrant "Russian Jews".

    There's mention of the epidemic of Spanish influenza, the introduction of paper handkerchiefs, the pseudo-science of that era's treatments for tuberculosis, women's fashions including bobbed hair and shaved armpits and legs, the advent of radio, vaudeville, votes for women, prohibition, the transition from matron-governed medical institutions to male leadership, banking, and the depression. Mr. Joseph Wayne Jr., president of the Philadelphia National Bank makes a brief personal appearance--he is not a happy man.

  22. #147
    Monkey With A Typewriter bewarethejabb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flicka View Post
    There are quite a few fairly regular visitors to this sub-forum and I'd really like to get to know all of you a little better. Therefore, I thought it could be fun if the people posted briefly on what they're currently working on.

    So: what are you currently writing/researching/plotting/editing?
    I call my self-important pile of crap "a deconstruction of historical archetypes." Oh, yes.

    It explores the theoretical question of who the actual people were behind their legacy of "the good king" or "the bad king," and what they actually did to go down in history as we know them. I like to call it "What happens when you have to wake up and keep on living, the morning after Happily Ever After."

    It's set in a hypothetical alternate universe that is a blatant analogue of ours for allegorical purposes, a la Arthurian legend, and draws from a number of the Angevin/Platagenet kings.

    I'm at the querying phase.

  23. #148
    never mind the shorty angeliz2k's Avatar
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    So, I finished up my Civil War novella (see my signature). I'm very proud of it, and it came really quickly/easily. It'll sit since there isn't much of a market for novellas, but if I ever am lucky enough to get an agent, I'll see what I can do.

    Now I'm working on a prequel to my Antebellum WIP, Channing. It's about the parents of two characters (cousins) from Channing. The basic outlines of the prequel are already in place due to the backstory revealed in Channing. I'm adding a few minor surprises, though, in particular that the cousins' fathers were identical twins. Effectively, that makes them genetically half-brothers.

    What makes this story different from Channing is that the characters are far more vulgar and selfish. I have some sympathy for them, but really they're not very nice people. Lots of premarital sex, betrayal, and alcohol. I love it! It reminds me a bit of my ancien regime France WIP.

    I'm currently about 55k into this WIP and am cruising through it pretty quickly.
    "Cotton. Cotton until Kingdom Come."

    WIP 1: Britannia c.AD 60. Trunked.
    WIP 2: Paris, 1780s.
    WIP 3: Channing. Antebellum South, 1854 Now Being Repped by an agent!
    WIP 4: Novella. Civil War w/a hint of supernatural.
    WIP 5: The Cotton Wars [prequel].
    WIP 6: Sci-fi-ish. In progress.

    My Blog: MARIE ANTOINETTE'S DIAMONDS:

  24. #149
    Toughen up. gothicangel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    Outer Brigantia
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    7,651
    I am currently writing an essay on the Roman East for university at the moment. Flavius Josephus is making my eyes bleed.
    The Speculator: On submission.
    Aelia: Work In Progress

  25. #150
    Do Not Fear the Future asnys's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    1,127
    Well, I finished my article on fallout shelter psychology research. My next historical project is going to be part 2 of my article "The Philosopher's Bomb" on using hydrogen bombs in scientific research.

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