Man, wasn’t I just saying that a month or so back? Well, it’s out again. Today was the last day of summer school. I had what was left of both my regular class and the one I trade for in my room for most of the day because they wouldn’t stay in the other teacher’s room. Why? Over the past four weeks I yelled at them, threatened them, gave them extra work and zeros for not doing it, and yet they like me better. I don’t get it. But, whatever. It’s over. Now I get a month off before we go back for the fall semester.
Almost a month off. On Sunday I go to Tulsa for a week-long advanced placement class. I’m not thrilled about it because I have to share my hotel room with someone I don’t know. Oh yeah, plus I’ll be away from my wife and kids for so long.
Summer school included a teacher’s work day at the end, which would be Monday. Since I won’t be there, I put in my extra time today. Had to do it, despite the fact I had all my record keeping done. So, I spent that time working on The Puppet King. I’m almost done. I have seven pages left to edit … and I hope it’ll be at least 10 pages by the time I’m finished. Big fight scene coming up, followed by a short teaser for the next book in the series. Shouldn’t be hard to hit my minimum goal of 70,000 words. Then, hopefully my critiquers will offer suggestions to bump it up to 75k.
It’s been weird editing this one, thinking back to where I was working when I wrote it and what I was doing. I’ve been editing the first section of this book off and on for something like eight years, but this is the first time I’ve made it beyond that section. In other words, based on the way I used to write, this could be the first time I’ve ever read the end of this book other than as I typed it onto the tiny LCD screen of my old Smith-Corona PWP3. Revision used to be something I hated.
So, what do I think of The Puppet King as I come to the end? I’m not sure. There are scenes I think I did well, and others I read and wonder what the hell I was thinking. Mostly, though, I’m really looking forward to getting some other opinions on it. Gayleen and Paul read the first section and confirmed what I knew — that Tarod is not a likable character at first. He’s an arrogant teenager. I think he was coming around toward the end of that section, though. This book, and the entire series, is written as novelettes, like Robert E. Howard’s adventure stories.
Will I be able to sell fantasy better than horror? Ha. Who knows?