I know it’s been pretty quiet around here, so I thought I’d bring you up to date on what I’m working on right now. A lot, actually.
There are certainly more plot bunnies than I have time to wrangle. I have a number of documents with a brief summary, a picture or two, and a few scenes or chapters written. Some are short stories, one is a novella. I have four that could potentially be novels. Right now, they hang out in a folder and I pop in to add something if a really good idea occurs to me.
There are three I am focused on right now. A novella, and two novels. Yes, two novels. One is a collaboration with the ever-fabulous Karen. You know, the one who got me into reading m/m in the first place. I won’t say much about it, but we’ve been working on it for about a year. Collaboration can be slow, but I enjoy it. I’m pleased with the way the story is coming together and when we get closer to having it ready, we’ll share more info about it.
The other novel I’m working on is something I’m doing alone. It’s coming together nicely and I’d say the first draft is about 3/4 done. There are a few scenes here and there that need to be written, but mostly I need to fill in a few missing pieces. After that it’ll go to the pre-readers. I feel like there are some issues with it that I am not sure how to correct, but I know with good feedback it’ll come together.
The novella is my top priority right now. I hope to have it finished and available by the end of June. I’ve been working on it for a few months, on and off, and it’s been slow going. I didn’t quite have a grasp of the characters at first and until I can “hear” their voice, the dialogue doesn’t flow. I can block out a scene and get a general idea of where it’ll go, but it’s difficult to get any momentum until then. I had a brainstorming session with a few people on Facebook and they helped me figure out the motivation for one of the characters. That really helped me get a better grasp on him and I spent the weekend writing. I parked myself at my desk, logged out of Facebook, and put my headphones on. Other than a cat kneading my leg with his pointy claws I managed to keep the distractions to a minimum.
On Saturday I wrote 9,528 words, on Sunday 6,087. I finished the first draft tonight and it’s roughly 41,000 words. That’s a little long for a novella, but it’s what the story required. It’s off with one of the betas right now and I am sure I’ll have a lot of work for me once I get it back. There are parts I’ll need to tweak, but it feels great to have that step done.
It doesn’t have a title yet, but the main characters are named Stephen and Russ. Stephen is in his late 40’s, Russ is in his late 20’s, and their relationship is an interesting one for me to explore. Their dynamic isn’t one I’ve explored before but I enjoyed pushing myself out of my comfort zone.
Here’s a little excerpt for you:
They made idle chit-chat as they ate, ignoring the elephant in the room; their plans for the evening. There was something titillating about knowing sex would happen but having to wait. It put him on edge, teetering on a fine point of arousal and anticipation. As he stared across the desk at the man devouring his salad he wondered if a weekend in bed would be enough to assuage the hunger he was sure they both felt. Not the kind satisfied by a deli lunch, but something deeper, more primal. He stared at Russ’ forearms, exposed by his rolled up shirtsleeves, tan against the whiteness of the cloth, lightly covered in hair. His hands, with blunt, strong fingers, and branching veins. His eyes, more hazel than brown as they picked up the olive tones of his tie. His lips, full and shiny as his tongue swiped across them to catch a stray smear of dressing.
Russ leaned in. “You’re going to get us both fired if you keep looking at me that way.”
Stephen blinked and cleared his throat trying to think of a witty comeback. He had none. He took a sip of his water instead. “I’d apologize, but we both know I’d be lying.”
Russ laughed and tossed his leftovers in the trash. “Right now I’d be lying if I said I cared if we did.”