I think I managed to write a grand total of 1000 words during the months of February, March, April, and May. That is, 1000 new words in an actual draft of a novel or story. I did do a decent amount of pre-writing/worldbuilding for the on-line writing course I'm doing at Forward Motion. And we started writing the draft this month, so now I'm writing on a regular basis again. Unfortunately, right now I only have the time and energy to focus on Strings of Discord (note the new title, with a still unfortunate abbreviation of SoD), so I've had to put The Masque on hold for a bit. If I do work on another project while writing SoD, it will be Princess Incubus if only to finish a short story and see about entering it into a couple of contests.
SoD is going pretty darn well. The course has really allowed me to find a way to do a decent amount of plotting and such before I start writing without suffocating the organic writer in me. Before this book, I would sketch out some vague ideas of plot, characters, and world, and then I would just start writing and see where everything went, trusting that all the information I thought of for the book would be in my head whenever I needed it during the draft creation. A very difficult way to write, not efficient, and showed me some very, very nasty first drafts. Now I've found a way to document my ideas better, get Muse cranking out a few more details to keep me from wandering around for 20,000 words before I know where it is the book needs to go, and just in general keep me coherent and focused on the story at hand. But I still don't know too much about the story to make it boring to write. In short, I've found a way to be an organic writer with enough of the trappings of pre-planning and such to make me more efficient and (hopefully) more effective. Very exciting.
Plus, SoD has just been fun to work with. After three years of waiting for this story idea to shake loose from the death grip Muse had on it, I've got lots of information on this universe and series. Feels very good. Starting the book has been a bit rough, mainly because this is the first book in a seven-book series (I think), and I'm trying to lay a LOT of foundation without being overwhelming. But it's amazing to have such a clear sense of direction.
As for The Masque, part of the reason I decided to put it on hold for a bit is so I can go back and work with this project using what I learned from the writing course I'm taking. It's just a matter of difficult timing that I'll have to keep it on the backburner for a while. Once I get SoD really moving, I'll probably start finding ways to work in some worldbuilding and such for The Masque. It would be nice to get right back into writing that book as soon as I have a draft of SoD completed (the course is designed to give us about a year of draft creation).
And as for Human Dignity, I have finally decided to shelve it and let it revert to a fond place in my memory as a great first book that I learned a lot from. I know I could make it a saleable novel, but it would take a decent amount of energy and time that I certainly don't have now, and would rather put toward my current projects anyway. Maybe I'll revisit it a few years from now. But it needs to retire to a place of honor for the moment.
So that's the latest on my writing. I'll update the SoD wordcount every week, and I hope to get between 2000 to 3000 words a week, if not better for a while. My writing time will most likely take a marked hit come mid-September, and I want to have some nice padding built up so that I won't be struggling to make up missed words once things settle from uber insane to very insane after Andrew arrives.