Consider all of the following working titles, and subject to change (a few dozen times) at a moment’s notice.
Windows, a novella:
– status: 2nd draft has found its missing piece, ready for a tune-up
– genre: literary/psychological drama/dark comedy
– characters: Leslie, Irene, Brian, Drew, Mitch
– word count: ~12,000, aiming for 20,000 words (80 pages)
– about?: Leslie is a quiet young woman with an insane crush on one of her boss’s clients at work, Joshua. She also harbors a secret appreciation for jogging at dusk, when the windows come alive with families, with lovers, with unknown friends, wide open, blinds undrawn. When she finds out Joshua lives in her neighborhood, she can’t help but alter her jogging route. Curiosity gets the best of her, and the worst too.
When the Sky Stopped, a novella:
– status: 1st draft, baking slowly at 325°
– genre: women’s fiction/drama
– characters: Rita, Corbin
– word count ~ 11,200, aiming for 30,000 (120 pages)
– about?: mothers and daughters, unexpected tragedy, good intentions that become accidental wounds, and how a chance encounter with a stranger she won’t know more than three days might help Rita see the future again.
The Terrible Brightness, a novel:
– status: a bunch of scraps and ideas that could be glorious some day!
– genre: women’s fiction/chick-lit/drama
– characters: Piper, Jodie, Tom
– word count: ~5,000 of 80,000 (225 pages)
– about? Piper had the perfect wedding, the perfect husband, the perfect marriage, the perfect house, but her perfect life is missing one special thing that she can’t give up on—a perfect baby of her very own. Just when Piper thinks she’s found the solution to this little hiccup, a very imperfect problem shows up on their doorstep and it sends Piper into a tailspin.
– status: first season mostly drafted, need to find an “ending” to aim for before I begin driving because that’s how I roll
– genre: psychological drama/twisted romance/coming-of-age
– characters: Charlie, Natty, Sophia, Josh, Ruby, Joey
– word count: ~25,000 of ~300,000 (4 planned seasons of ~75,000 words)
– about?: Set in the mid-1980s and into the 90’s, Lakeside Heights is a quiet college town on the shores of Lake Michigan with cold winters and hot summers, a quiet place where secrets can be buried and new loves can blossom. Young people here will dream of getting away, but never quite feel able to leave. Residents of this magnetic place will find all the complicated and fateful ways their lives intersect.
Paper Wings, a novel:
– status: taking a little nap so that it might grow while I finish off some other things.
– genre: literary/coming-of-age/drama
– characters: Danny, Lexi, Hannah, Carolyn
– word count: ~50,000, aiming for 90,000 words (300 pages)
– about?: the end of the world, life and death, god and godlessness, fragility and unexpected strength, inanimate birds and growing wings.
Other Hopeful Stories, in order of hopefulness:
– The Revisions — set in an alternate-dimension Lakeside Heights of 1985, characters deal with the incredible trauma of being written out of their own lives, and are forced to find the meaning of their unfortunate existence. (literary/meta-fiction/dark comedy/drama)
– Drown saga (sci-fi drama, 5-6 smallish novels) — the interwoven stories of several families living along the shores of Lake Michigan in the later parts of the 21st century. In a future where the existence of other life in the universe is a given, the families will struggle to keep their lives together as the human race is pulled into our first extraterrestrial war.
– In Real Life (novella/novel) – Kate’s story: Kate is a romance author who peddles the promise of everlasting love, though her experiences in real life tell a very different story. When she doubts that “happily ever after” even exists, a young girl comes to her for advice. Kate finds she has the power to decide how both of their stories should end. (literary/drama)
– Claudia and Jonah (a novel in stories) — Following two friends through their twenties as they fall in and out of love with the world and each other in all the wrong ways and at all the wrong times. (contemporary/women’s lit/drama/romance)
– Moira’s Book of Ghost Stories (novel) — Moira’s story: Moira Weston visits Italy with some girlfriends in the summer of 1978. Not only does she bring home a big surprise, but also secrets she will take to the grave. (literary/drama)
– Better Than I Deserve — three linked novellas and other short stories, Pat & Lara, Riley & Chad. Stories about impossibilities, guilt, little lights, regret, accepting the hand that’s dealt, and hopeful redemption.
– Outshine — In the wake of her parents’ divorce, Melissa has to spend the summer before her Freshman year of high school moving towns to live with her dad. For a girl who once found it so easy to blend in, in this new place, she can’t help but stick out. When she can’t find a way to disappear, she’ll have to learn what it means to stand in her own skin. (coming-of-age/contemporary young adult)