Queer Twelfth Night and My Writing Process

You may have seen the poll I through up on social media a couple weeks ago. I was curious to see what interest, if any, there would be on my three ‘back burnered’ fiction projects.

It turns out, way more than I expected. And as I alluded to in the poll, I’ve now picked my next fiction project.

Queer Twelfth Night

A novelization of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night (or What You Will) where Viola/Cesario is a trans man and realizes it while disguised as a man and hiding in the court of Duke Orsino. From there very little changes in the actual story. I swear, if Shakespeare had been INTENDING to write a secret gay romance that he could stage in Elizabethan England, he couldn’t have done a better job. Given the evidence that Shakespeare was gay or bi, he might have done just that.

The poll wasn’t the deciding factor (in fact, the poll still hasn’t finished as I write this). The poll was actually meant to help me eliminate options — if there was one option that no one was really interested in, I wouldn’t write it this year.

What decided me was mainly that I’m expecting this to be a novella instead of full novel. I just have a feeling that by the time I start making What You Will (Shakespeare was practically inviting folks to apply their own headcanon with that one!) I’ll be ready for a lighter project.

Oh. Duh! In a month or two I’m going to make Abuse in Polyamory my big focus.

Yeah, my instincts were right on that one. After writing (and while editing!) that one I’m REALLY going to want something light and a bit silly.

Anyway, yeah. That’s the upcoming.

My Writing Process

It seems like a good time to explain how my process works, and why I’m worried now about a book I won’t start writing until next winter.

This is actually a process I’ve been working towards for over five years, but only managed to get working in the past year. Well see how long I can keep it going, yah?

Anyway, I try to have three projects going at once — one in research/outline phase. One in writing phase. One in editing phase.

Right now, Polyam and Kink is in editing. Okay, technically editing is over. For this purpose, ‘editing’ is an umbrella term for editing, design, and publication. It’s scheduled to be published July 31st.

Planting Life is in writing. I’m behind schedule, but since I finished the actual editing on Polyam and Kink early, I have time to catch up.

And Abuse in Polyam is in research and drafting. I’ve actually got about 3,000 words written on it. Sometimes I’ll be working on the outline and the words just grab me and I end up with one or two sections of the outline written.

Rotate!

After Polyam and Kink publishes (and if I finish writing on schedule), Planting Life will move to editing phase and get sent out to beta readers. I’ll start actively writing Abuse in Polyamory.

And I’ll need a new project to start outlining and otherwise prepping for.

That project will be What You Will.

Long Term

If I can keep this going, I can reliably put out 2 books a year. Right now I’m trying for 1 1/2 hours a day writing. Trying, because my writing time isn’t AT ALL reliable — like, I didn’t really get started on Polyam and Kink until mid September last year. And frequently need to miss single days or weeks due to kids, mental health, etc etc.

But the fact that I’ve had so many missed writing days this past year and still kept on target is WHY I think I’ll be able to keep this going for the next while.

I have tentative (very tentative!) plans to get up to four writing hours a day. If I can do that, I can bump my books to three a year and have time for writing short stories again. Which would be nice. Or maybe that book about being autistic I’ve been toying with on and off for a couple of years. Or… hell, lots of options. Including just upping my output to 4 books a year. I’ll be more than doubling my writing time, so why not double my books?

But that is for the future. At least several months in the future, possible several years, depending on how things play out.

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