Friday, April 25, 2014

Beefing Up Security

Six chapters edited! One more to finish Act I.

The next section is the bit of the book that needs the biggest overhaul. It's an escape scene, and when I read the draft I was rolling my own eyes at it. You know how sometimes in poorly written action movies, the hero (or villain) gets out of a supposedly tight spot waaaaaay too easily? Like: if this person is considered a legitimate threat then why is there just one drunk guy guarding him, armed with only a stick? Yeah, it was like that. Basically, I couldn't think of a smart way for my characters to escape, so I made their captors stupid.

Now I need to figure out how one young woman can use her intelligence and a concealed weapon to capitalize on a confused situation and free a badly beaten stranger who is tied to a tree and guarded by five heavily armed villagers.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


Haven't found the perfect Whedon-worthy line yet, but I did come up with something better than what I had before. Now I've just about finished the first section of chapter six.

20% through the MS. I am really going to have to pick up the pace soon.

Paging Joss Whedon

I am one sentence away from finishing chapter five.

But it needs to be a killer, Whedonesque, awesomely-witty-in-the-face-of-mortal-danger sentence.

Nothing is coming to mind.

Sunday, April 20, 2014


And four chapters done. I've also cut almost ten pages so far.

I just got through a tricky bit with a lot of heavier rewriting. I am hoping that when I get past Act I the edit will pick up speed, since most of what I'll be doing is true editing and not cutting/rewriting.

Goal for the next week: get to 25%/end of Act I.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Chugging Along

Three chapters edited. *rousing cheer*

Twenty-three more to go. *dramatic sigh*

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


Ah, the return of the % posts.

Yeah, I'm 10% through the line edit. And yeah, I'd hoped to be farther along by now. When don't I hope to be farther along? The article ate up my writing time for the last few days, but today I got back to it.

My revised goal is to make it to 15% by the end of the weekend.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Checking In

Two chapter edited! It's going faster now.

My new goal is to be done with Act I by this time next week. I have to write an article this weekend, so I won't have any extra time to edit, but next week The Son is off school for April break and has 3 mornings of art camp, and I have practically no tutoring kids.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Lesson Learned, Part 1,162

Yesterday I had plenty of opportunity to write, but I managed my time poorly and only worked on the edit for 15 minutes. But it wasn't a total loss, because I learned something about the way I need to be working on this draft: I need to work at the library. This editing demands a high level of focus, and there are too many distractions and other things I should be doing at home. If I've had a good editing session at the library and I'm on a roll, then I can sometimes get more done at home later; but for now, I need to get my 1-2 hours a day at the library or I can't guarantee it's going to get done.

Today my schedule was packed, but I had two free hours between my morning and afternoon tutoring students, so I ate lunch at my table (shhhh... against library rules) and worked on the book for two hours. Made some great progress! I'm planning to do two more hours at the library tomorrow.

Monday, April 7, 2014


Got through another hour of editing today, and am just about done with chapter one. I know: 4+ hours to edit one chapter = no bueno. But like I said, I hope this is because the beginning is so fiddly, with so much to balance and set in motion. If the pace doesn't pick up soon, I reserve the right to panic.

Tomorrow I'll do two hours, and see where that takes me.

Sunday, April 6, 2014


Another hour of line editing today. I'd planned to do two hours tomorrow, but now I'm realizing my day is going to be way more busy than I thought-- volunteering in The Son's classroom, some tutoring hours, an appointment with the tax preparer-- so I'm going to stay flexible. If I only get an hour done, that's fine.

Saturday, April 5, 2014


My unplanned hiatus from draft 3.0 was definitely for the best. Today I got to work line editing, and it was so much fun. FUN, I say! Instead of being like, "Crap. This isn't brilliant prose, and I don't know how to fix it uuuuggggghhhh," I was like, "Wheeeeee! Line editing! I don't have to make any shit up; I just need to make the shit that's already here sound better! Easy-peasy!" I actually wound up working on it for 2.5 hours instead of only 1, because I was enjoying it. Slow going, but I'm not panicking over that yet; the beginning is always really fussy to edit.

Tomorrow's plan: another hour at the library.

Friday, April 4, 2014


450 more words of description today.

Tomorrow I'm diving into the actual nitty-gritty of rewriting the draft. Since I don't yet have any clue what rate I'll get through the pages, for this first week I'm setting a time-based goal. I will work on rewriting either one or two hours, depending on the day. For tomorrow, I plan to go to the library for one hour.

I'm excited to be at this stage of the edit! A little terrified, but mostly excited.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Day Three

Two descriptions chunks down, one to go.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Day Two

On track so far: Today I drew a map of a Brandmark village (they're grown via nanotechnology, so they all look the same), and wrote 450 words of description.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Fuck Yeah Editing

I kind of hate to admit it, but I think there's something to the oft-repeated advice to let a draft go cold before trying to edit it. When I made my first stab at this back in Feb., I could only read a few pages of the MS at a time before I started feeling discouraged and depressed. The writing seemed so far from what I wanted it to be, and I was overwhelmed at the thought of all the work left to do.

Today I dove back into making line editing notes on the remainder of Act I, and was shocked at how much better I felt about it. It totally feels like someone else wrote it, which makes the problems seem much more fixable, and also makes it easier to see what is working.

As I said yesterday, I don't really have a long-term plan here; I'm just going to feel my way through it this month. In the short-term, I'm going to spend the next 3-4 days drawing maps and writing 250-500 word blocks of description. One conclusion I've reached from all the reading I've done lately is that I skimped way too much on the description. I think I took warnings about overly detailed descriptions too much to heart. In the end, you gotta write the book that you'd want to read, and I liked me some well-written description. I don't plan to dump 500-word chunks of description whole into the story, but if I have more detail than I need it'll be easier to insert sentences where I need them. I think.