Writing for a Living

After a spring and summer spent typing and typing, you'd think I'd be ready to do something else with my life. But no! I have projects galore that actually make me look forward to getting up in the morning.

I'm working on a replacement submission for my editor Sulay (who is in Frankfurt for the huge book fest). I've finished the synopsis, pitch sheet, but still need to write up the character sketches and am currently in the revise and polish process for the 30 or so pages I'll be sending her in the next couple of weeks. And then I have no choice but to wait and hope her verdict goes in my favor.
I'm done with the pitch sheet and long synopsis and tomorrow will be reading my thirty pages during the slow parts of my two classes. My goal is to have it all done and edited by the end of the week and to my editor as soon as we figure out the contract issues. And, yeah, I'm skipping the character sketches and won't be writing them up unless forced by my editor. I'll make due with a name and trait list for my own reference.

And while that's going on...

For my screenwriting class I have to type up the first 30 pages of my screenplay idea. I've sort of cheated on this one and am using More Than This (Touchstone, August '08) as the basis for mine. That being said, I haven't done any work on it, but I just purchased some script formatting software that I can use as a Word add-on, instead of investing in a stand alone program.
I've gone through the first couple of chapters of More Than This highlighting the bits (in pink for Evelyn and blue for Alexander) that translate from the page to actual scenes. Things have to be moved around and condensed. Overall, fairly positive about what I have to work with.

For my development class, I've set the bar a little higher. Not only am I working on a whole new idea, but it's also set in the early 1960s. The instructor walked us through what we should prepare for a pitch and it pretty much mirrors what I usually do for a book submission except with different names (treatment=long synopsis, beat sheet=outline, etc). I've started to research the specifics of the era and subject, going as far as to buy a 1961 Sears catalog for reference. So even if my pitch doesn't go past getting me a decent grade in the class, I'll have a book proposal with a little tweaking.
Aside from a lot of talking about it to people who are naive enough to ask what I'm working on, not much progress has been made other than a lot of research. (Did you know the 1960 commencement speaker at Sarah Lawrence was Harrison Brown?) But the grunt work must be done to provide infrastructure for the core story which will be about identity, community and self. My working theme/premise is "adversity reveals true character" but I'm still looking for something a little more catchy to sum up the overall gist of it.

Lastly, I'm slowly plodding through a page-by-page, line-by-line edit of my in perpetual revision manuscript, The Neapolitan Sisters. My many thanks go to Reyna Grande for reading it and giving me the little push I needed to take it seriously...again.
Update: Debating as to whether I can get away with just giving the first 50 pages a revise and submitting that along with the usual packet of typed material as a partial. This is kind of a cheat on my end as I do have the whole book done, just not sure if I should invest the time in revising the whole thing. Most likely, I should. Damn it! As I don't have a relationship with literary agent right now, so I'm sort of in a gray area. I'll noodle on this a little longer and come to terms with sucking it up and doing all the work. The novel has waited this long, what's a few more weeks...months?

So now you know why blogging is and will be sporadic.
Update: Updates, though, may be more frequent, if not regular.

Bigger sigh.

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