I finished this morning. I’m excited. I’m exhausted. My face itches.
Now to leave it alone for a few weeks before fixing all the continuity errors and other editing stuffs. My book, not my face.
I hope to have it ready for my short list of beta readers sometime in May (ha). Everything seems to take longer than I planned. It will be three years this May since I started thinking about this book. The book is unrecognizable from the first drafts of 2012. But, I guess that is common.
Thanks to all here that have encouraged me over the past two + years since I started blogging. A special shout out to Barbara Varanka, my first editor. She did a great job in ignoring all the massive problems and seeing the seed of something that has grown into this book. I thought I was ready to publish 18 months ago. HA!
The road is long before me, and I have miles to go before I query. But query I shall, when the time is right.
Yep, it has been. I’ve been off since last Saturday and have one more day. This week I’ve kept a 1,000+ word a day pace and will finish up a good first draft of the first act of the book. And I’ve kept a family life together by writing in the mornings whilst the rest are sleeping. Me and the Mrs. got to see Brandi Carlile last night with the Seattle Symphony. Wow, when she comes through your town, make it a point to go see her. I’ve you don’t know of Brandi, check out this video of her singing one of her most popular songs.
Excellent Thanksgiving, too!
Oh, and I
wasted time had fun playing Diablo 3. 🙂
I started off my writing journey as a full on pantser, just writing as the words and images coursed from my brain to the page. I wrote out of sequence. I wrote adverbally. Every day was an adventure. The story emerged on the page. I discovered who the characters were, what they were like, what they were doing, and where they were going.
Then I got stuck.
Why. Yep that was the question. Why were the characters doing things. Why were they motivated. Why were they in this setting.
Then I learned to write back story and plot. I chafe at structure. I want to be free. My job is structured, why can’t writing just flow without structure? Well, maybe it does for some, it doesn’t for me, at least not yet.
So, I’ve become more of a Plotter/Planner. I have my editorial map, which is a great tool for me. I’m 12 of 24 scenes into the first act. I’m off all week, so we’ll see how I progress on this next 12 scenes.
Two years. I started this blog two years ago as an accountability partner for myself. To keep myself writing. To track my progress, ups, and downs.
- The act of writing itself
- Encouragement from other WordPress bloggers
- Meeting other writers at the PNWA annual conference
- Working with my first editor
- Working with my author coach
- Finishing a draft of the full book
- Getting positive feedback from agents at a conference
- Getting feedback from family, friends and the writing group
- Learning at conferences and seminars
- Learning from reading so many great novels and writer books
- Revising (Until I learned to enjoy it)
- Writing back story (Until I figured out a method)
- Crap, this is taking a long time
- Man I’m a crappy writer
- I’ll never finish this thing
- I’m so tired of this story
- Killing off my first character
- Switching main characters
- Learning how much I don’t know
- Not being done
It’s been a great journey. I’m 11k words into this current draft. We’ll see if this is the one.
Thanks for riding along with me.
April is the cruelest month. It was true for Eliot then, and true for me now. I’ve been stuck all month writing a Dr. Suess version of the Silmarillion to serve as a reference guide to the history of the world in my WIP. I’ve muddled along for a year and a half without having my world well formed in my mind which means it is not well formed in the book. *sigh*
Lately, with some assistance from my author coach, I’ve been going through scenes looking for plot holes. I’m asking myself, “self, why is that there? why do those people believe that? or, better, what do they believe? why is it a fence here and a wall there? why is that so important to your MC?” etc.
My conclusion today is that the lawn of my story has brown spots because I’ve been careless with the gophers. There’re too many holes in the lawn for the story to be healthy and green. Now, everytime I answer a question related to a plot hole, it’s like pulling a gopher trap out of a hole with a rigor’d body in the pincers. This is a relief; nasty, but a relief. I’ve been tossing seed on the lawn the last 18 mos and the brown spots were just increasing. I need to spend the time necessary to trap the gophers in my WIP, fill up the holes and then get back to seeding and fertilizing.
Oh, you might have guessed, I did yard work today. 🙂
Awesome conceptual photography from Brooke Shaden.
Thought the readers and writers out there would appreciate this image. I did.
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.
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.
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!
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?
Encouraging post from Hugh Howey for the self-publishers out there. A very good article from Locus magazine for the SF and Fantasy writers out there. Most libraries carry this magazine, btw.
‘‘Looking back, it is hard to remember if I was completely satisfied or if I was impatient. I remember not being worried about the rate that things were going. In three years I’d published seven or eight books, and in three years I’d sold three to five thousand copies. With everything I knew about self-publishing, that was phenomenal. With everything I knew about traditional publishing, that would be OK if you did that in one year with one book.”
(2013-12-01). Locus Magazine, Issue 635, December 2013 (Kindle Locations 275-278). Locus Publications. Kindle Edition.