What am I working on?

A few days ago, my pal and fantasy writer Sabrina Zbasnik (@introvertedwife) tagged me in a bloghop meme, along with Monica Marier, Mandaray, and Brian Schwarz. No fancy title or special graphic icon, just a few questions to answer. Let's get to them, shall we?

1. What am I working on?

My novel WIP is a corporate thriller about a rising hotshot who, failing in his attempt to escape The Managerial Assignment From Hell, is forced into a struggle that's way, way beyond his control, wrestling with the dirtiest bunch of black hats ever to wrap ivy league M.B.A.s around longshoreman brass knuckles. Why does the Board of Directors want him in the scorpion pit so badly that they'd use blackmail to keep him there? What can they possibly hope he'll accomplish? Most importantly, can he survive long enough to come out on top? Or at least find a way out with his 401K intact?

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

As for my WIP, there are a lot of corporate thrillers out there, but I don't think many other corporate thrillers are liberty-taking retellings of the book of Jonah. And as for Verbosity's Vengeance... well, I believe my work with that novel stands alone as a unique accomplishment in the superhero genre.

3. Why do I write what I do?

There are some stories that just won't let you get on with your life until you deal with them first.

4. How does my writing process work?
  1. Think up an interesting core idea.
  2. Frame a general beginning, middle and end of a plot arc.
  3. Work up an outline, including complications along the way from A to B to C.
  4. Write a first draft, assigning 1000 - 2000 words to each point in the rough outline.
  5. Finish the first draft, complete with a placeholder ending.
  6. Walk away from the first draft in disgust.
  7. Drink.
  8. Swear to one day find the strength of character to admit to myself and to the world at large that I can't write worth a damn, that I was never meant to write at all, and that I should never try to write again. [This phase can take a little while to get through, and is always problematic, for me and for the people around me. - T.N.]
  9. Drink.
  10. Come back to the first draft and start editing.
  11. Drink.
  12. Find all the gaping holes and ugly bits in the first draft.
  13. Drink.
  14. Find ways to fill the holes and paper over the ugly bits.
  15. Finish second draft.
  16. Drink.
  17. Edit second draft.
  18. Drink.
  19. Edit third draft.
  20. Find a few gullible lucky people and convince them to throw away a couple of months of their lives help me out by beta reading my novel.
  21. Collect the beta comments, consider how to incorporate them into the next draft.
  22. Content edits.
  23. Polishing edits, followed by a read through, with more polishing edits.
  24. Line edits.
  25. Publication.
  26. Fame, fortune, movie adaptations, action figures, etc., etc.


Now, the folks whom I tag are supposed to answer the same four questions. Those people are:

Icy Sedgwick, author of (most recently) the Necromancer's Apprentice.

Larry Kollar, of the Accidental Sorcerers books.

John Wiswell, Godzillaphile and host of the Bathroom Monologues

||| Comments are welcome |||
Help keep the words flowing.


  1. There's a process I can relate to. I'm stuck between #8 and #9 right now...

  2. I'm going to kick you if you keep putting your work down!

  3. Jonah crossing the corporate world sounds almost Vonnegut-like. Good luck, Tony!


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