Back Story

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I don’t really care about my back story. Sure it’s ‘history’ and ‘history’ is exciting, right? History is exciting to me because it repeats itself repeats itself. And no, my back story is not about a back, not even a muscular back. I guess I need to weave my back story into the novel. Little strips of fish here and there vs a large pile of it barfed up in the beginning. This way the reader can dip the backstory into the tartar sauce of current events and action in the story. If I heat up the fish strips well enough the back story will be tasty and not too filling. Fish is good for us, right. And I’m not giving the reader sushi, so no risk there.

But I must go fishing first. I’ve got to spend time getting seasick in front of my computer waiting for my net to strain. I’ve done ok so far. I have tomorrow and next weekend to fish, then I should be ready to get back to writing. It’s been a good excursion. I had so many holes in the story that could only be explained by writing out the back story and getting the timeline straight in my head. And, importantly, I had to document my character’s motivations. I needed to understand what made them risk their lives, love, hate, eat fish sticks, whatever. I’m feeling better about the whole exercise now. Sometimes pausing like this and just thinking about the story has helped me. But, I can’t wait to get back to writing. See you on the page.

-Ty

Plodding

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For me:
Feedback is fabulous.
Author coaches are awesome.
Rewriting is repetitious and
Plotting is muddy.

Main character – switch. World – build or destroy. Character motivation - change.

Ah, being a newb writer. I’m thankful for good feedback. This time around it means plodding through some new plotting. My secondary character is more interesting and less controversial. So, she becomes the main. Big points on the “more interesting”.  I’ve been holding her back since the second draft because I could feel her stealing the story. *sigh* It’s all good. I should have just recognized it. Fortunately she stole most of the story while I thought my old main was carrying it. That means some scenes don’t need to be rewritten. +1. Most of the boring scenes only include my old main character, so they can be ash-canned.

Overall I’ve had a good weekend of plotting. It was muddy inside and out. Stupid rain. Over 9 inches this March for us in the Pacific Northwest. Sheesh. But, I slogged through the mud of my old story, slid around in the mud of it, and have gotten to the other side with some dry earth under my feet now. Time to rebuild.

So yes, I have an author coach. And yes, he is helping me out. The book will be that much better now. I also joined a new group of writers. We meet via Hangouts. I think it will be good. I’m in two writer groups now.

Feedback is fabulous.

Keep writing!
I know I will.

My Other Job: Reading

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I’m a writer, not an author, yet. I have four jobs. Husband/Father, Day job, writer, and reader. Today, I’m gonna focus on the reader job.

I realized that reading is an important part of my writing life. Essential. So I have made it a job. A fun job. I set aside time for reading just like I set aside time for writing. I have reading goals. I read books I wouldn’t normally read because I’m trying to learn something.

I focused on reading just three years ago. I identified it as one of my jobs last fall. It’s a great job! I like the discovery of reading just like I like discovering the details of a story when I write.

I’m not saying anything new. The majority of writers I know are readers first. Their love for writing came from their love of reading.

That’s all. I need to go clock in. :)

Ty

Terrible Coffee, Walnuts & Editing

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Terrible Coffee
Fermented oatmeal + a drink of superfood & Whey protein, then terrible coffee and walnuts.
Quite a breakfast.

The coffee was some breakfast blend (I won’t name the company cause I usually like their coffees, and no, it wasn’t sbux).

Not sure how to describe the coffee. It was like drinking some sentient liquid that was trying to convince me to stop drinking. It wasn’t like drinking coffee that had been filtered between my toes, though that would be a cool description. It wasn’t like hot water and dirty socks, though that would be cool too. No, the coffee left a decidedly unfamiliar and sour taste in my jowls. The walnuts helped.

I know, it was kind of like a bad instant coffee made with the liquid strained from plain yogurt. That’s the right description. :)

What I really wanted to talk about was my new coach. My editor recommended I get a coach, oh like a hundred years ago. But, I don’t like to rush into things. Well, I connected with the coach this week and I think things will go swell. Somehow I’ve got to finish editing this first book, get it out to beta readers, final editing cleanup and preparation for the PNWA writers conference by July. I’m nearly 1/3 through this third edit, so while the plan is aggressive, it’s plausible.

Enough for this week.
Back to the editing.
All the best to you and your writing.

-Ty

Hemingway & Editing

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I’m editing weekends, probably through the end of April. I’m 14k words into the 3rd draft. Work, work, work. Then on to beta readers, hopefully. :)

Also, I found a cool new (to me) website.

http://hemingwayapp.com/

Simple editor that will show you reading level, number of adverbs, passive use and complexity of your sentences. You simply paste in some text to the “Write” pane and click “Edit”. Simple!

I typically use Grammarly, which is powerful. However, Hemingwayapp is web based, FREE, and simple. Check it out!

1st Birthday Sale for Beginning of a Hero! Free for 3 Days!

tyroper:

Great fantasy series.

Originally posted on Legends of Windemere:

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

On February 24th, Legends of Windemere: Beginning of a Hero will be 1 year old.  To celebrate, I’ve done the following:

BEGINNING OF A HERO IS FREE FOR THE NEXT 3 DAYS!

ENJOY THE SALE AND SPREAD THE WORD!

And don’t forget the rest of the series!!  Click on the cover art to go to the Amazon site!!

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover by Jason Pedersen

Cover by Jason Pedersen

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99 Scenes to Edit on the Wall, 99…

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Take one down, chop it around, 98 scenes to edit on the wall.

And so it goes. I’m heads down on the third draft of my first book.

I spent the last few days of December and all of January working on the second book. I got in nearly 30k words. And I like the story so far. Good thing.

But now, back to editing. The third draft “should” be good. I’ve gotten two scenes done this Valentines weekend. I took a four-day writing holiday, President’s day and all.

The goal here is to be done with the third draft before the PNWA writers conference in July. I do well when I have measurable items to accomplish. Just looking at the manuscript as a whole is impossibly daunting. But, looking at it as a collection of scenes to be editing, expanded or deleted makes the effort possible.

Here goes!

 

my characters shouldn’t like me

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My characters shouldn’t like me. If they knew I was the one causing them trouble…

I like my characters. I don’t like making them fall into rivers and nearly drown, or get tied up against a tree, or…

But, it’s like I’m six years old again playing with my army men. Ruthless. Throwing rocks. Knocking down whole swaths of an opposing army. Crushing vehicles. The carnage.

But, I didn’t really know any of those army men personally. I mean their thoughts, what they like, their attitudes, where they grew up, their goals. I love my characters. I wish they knew about me sometimes and how much I care. But, I realize they’d know I was the one causing them grief. They probably wouldn’t like me. That’s kind of devastating.

How do you play with your army men/characters?

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