Posts Tagged ‘writing’

My first-day ritual…

Whenever it comes time for me to start drafting a new manuscript, the first day is notoriously unproductive. I open that brand-new document and gaze upon the intimidating emptiness of it. The tabula rasa dares me to violate its pristine beauty.

So I cheat my way over this first mental hurdle. I spend day one preparing the template. (more…)

Have comps. Am pleased.

My doorbell rang this evening; when I answered the door I was met by my next-door neighbor, Mimo, whose wife accepted a UPS package for me while I was out this afternoon. Seeing the Simon & Schuster logo on the side of the cardboard box, I got a bouncy happy feeling —

The box contained my comp issues of Star Trek Mirror Universe: Shards and Shadows, which contains my short story, “For Want of a Nail” (among others).

Excellent…. Then the wife and I ordered Mexican food for dinner and enjoyed some tall, double-strong Cuba Libres. Olé!

Irons in and out of the fire…

DONE: The 75,000-word polished manuscript for The 4400: Promises Broken has been submitted to my editor.

NEXT: I have a couple of days before I pick up the copy edited pages of The Calling for final changes. Between now and then, I plan to read A Case of Conscience by James Blish.

If all goes well, I will have the copy edit of The Calling finished and returned to my editor by January 21.

THEN: I shall start drafting my next installment of the Star Trek Vanguard saga, Precipice.

I have until the end of March to finish that manuscript. Then it’s copy edits on Promises Broken, and on to the expansion of The Sorrows of Empire, due by the end of May.

After that … here there be monsters (but no paying gigs). Keep your fingers crossed, amigos. Rough sailing ahead.

Manuscript in da house!

I am pleased to report that as of today, I have completed my first draft of The 4400: Promises Broken.

The novel clocks in at roughly 75,000 words — lean and mean, considering the epic scope of the story I set out to tell within its pages. Set after the show’s cliffhanger final episode (and following up on the events of Greg Cox’s upcoming post-finale novel The 4400: Welcome to Promise City), Promises Broken is intended to serve as a sort of grand finale to the saga of The 4400.

The spell-check is done. The title page, dedication, and epigraph are in place. The acknowledgments and “about the author” pages are written and tacked on to the end. Now I think I’ll take a few hours off, get a shower, make dinner for my wife when she gets home, and have a beer to celebrate.

I’ll be spending the weekend reading through the manuscript and doing some very fast polishing. On Monday, the ms. goes to madam editor. Then I will take a couple of days to read my just-arrived copy of A Case of Conscience by James Blish.

On Wednesday, I will pick up the copy edited manuscript of The Calling and begin making my final revisions to that tale. My thanks to all of you reading this who have provided me feedback on the rough draft; to those of you who still haven’t done so, you have until Wednesday to get me your input. (You know who you are…)

Now, if you’ll excuse me, my ice-cold Spaten awaits…

Today’s David Mack News Update

Afternoon, sports fans!

First here is the rundown of my scribblings that are expected to arrive in print during calendar year 2009.

March (or thereabouts): Star Trek Magazine, Voyager Special: my article about whether Neelix or the Emergency Medical Hologram was the better man — and what my verdict says about me.

July: The Calling, a supernatural thriller set in modern-day New York, and my first published work of original fiction.

October: The 4400: Promises Broken — the long-awaited “grand finale” tale of this prematurely canceled TV series created by Scott Peters and René Echevarria

December: Star Trek Vanguard: Precipice, the fifth book in this series that I co-developed with Marco Palmieri and on which I have shared the writing duties with Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore.

In addition, I have a project confirmed for publication in February 2010: an expansion of my Star Trek Mirror Universe short novel, The Sorrows of Empire, into a full-length paperback.

Upcoming Public Appearances:

New York Comic Con
February 6–8, 2009
Jacob Javits Center
New York, N.Y.

Shore Leave
July 10–12, 2009
Marriott’s Hunt Valley Inn
Baltimore, MD

In addition, I have been invited to participate in Lunacon (in March) and I-Con (in April), two local New York-area conventions. I have not yet confirmed for either one, but I’ll keep y’all posted.

That’s all for now. You may return to your irregularly schedule web-browsing, already in progress.

First Draft – Hallelujah!

I am thrilled and relieved to report, that as of 3:50 p.m. Eastern Time today, I have completed the first draft manuscript of The Calling, my first original supernatural thriller.

Now I shall run my spell-check. When that is done, I will consider taking a few hours off before I begin my read-through and polishing draft, starting from page one.

But until then — can I get an “AMEN!” brothers and sisters?


How to spend a day not writing

I have managed to squander a whole day that should have been spent writing.

First, after sending my wife off to work at 6:45am, I went back to bed, because I had been up writing until 2am the night before and had been unable to fall asleep until around 3am.

Second, I went into Manhattan and had lunch with some of my friends.

Third, I went from lunch to Brooklyn, where I met with my editor Marco and went on a bus ride up Flatbush Avenue and then on a walking tour of Park Slope, as research for the novel that I am currently (supposed to be) writing.

Fourth, on the way home, I traveled one extra stop on the train so that I could go to our favorite Italian specialty store and buy some good prosciutto di parma.

Fifth, I came home and retreated into my office to surf the ‘net and “decompress.” Which is how I stumbled across today’s “American Voices” feature on The Onion and noticed that its fictional names are shufflings of the given names and surnames of famous science-fiction and fantasy authors.

Soon, my wife will be home. Then it will be time to make dinner. Eat. Watch TV until she passes out on the couch. Wash the dishes. Make her lunch and coffee for tomorrow. Put her to bed. Then collapse in it beside her, lamenting another day expended without new words in the book.