Thursday, May 29, 2014

Checking In

Almost done with chapter eleven, and the scene continues into chapter twelve, so momentum should carry me for a while. I'm nearly through the weeds, people. Chapters thirteen and fourteen are all straight line-editing-- none of this shifting and rethinking stuff.

I'm in a really good groove, workwise. I've been putting in two hours a day, at the library (that's key), and I'm planning to do an hour a day over the weekend like I did last weekend.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Moving Forward

Ten chapters edited, and I'm halfway through the Act.

I worked for an hour yesterday and an hour today, and plan to do an hour tomorrow before getting back on my regular weekday 2 hours daily.

I know what the first and last scene of chapter 11 should be, but the middle-- and the beginning of chapter 12-- is a big question mark right now. I need to look at the all the stuff I've cut and see how much of it needs to be reworked back into the story, and then figure out how to do that.

Friday, May 23, 2014


I am allllllmost done with chapter ten. I've got maybe a page more to write, and I will have vanquished the problem scene. I am stoked.

I've done two hours a day T-F this week. I'm not sure what's going to happen over the long weekend; we're doing a cousins-sleepover at our house tonight, Saturday night is at-home date night, The Son is doing some cub scout thing at a parade on Memorial Day, the library is closed Monday, and I have to tutor here and there. I'm going to shoot for an hour a day, and try to come up with somewhere else I can escape to. At this stage of things I am working so much better out of the house.

Checking In

I have the first part of the trouble scene all fixed now, with all the drawn-out introductions very much condensed. And I've smoothed out the ending of the scene, which didn't need much work. I'm still a little fuzzy on what goes in the middle, so I've barreled on ahead and edited the next section, and now am beginning the last scene of the chapter. Once I hit the end of the chapter, I'll go back and tackle that tricky ~500 words.

That's the plan, anyway.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Hacking Away

I'm in the thick of the first problem scene. I wound up just copying and pasting it into a new document, which has made it easier to rip it apart.

It's day one of summit talks, which means a whole slew of characters being introduced, and a lot of sitting around a table talking-- not all that dynamic. I had some infodumping here that I've moved to an earlier scene, so now I need to axe everything that led into the infodump. I also had lots of description and some dialogue for the five other envoys... but only two of them really matter to the story. This means there's like a 1,000 words that need to be massively pruned and condensed. I'm more in the hacking apart stage, but I feel like I know what I'm doing. We'll see if I still feel that way when I get to the putting back together stage.

Nine Chapters Edited


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Mantra Time

After a 6-day stretch of working on the book 2 hours a day, I had an attack of the lazies and did nothing Sunday or Monday. Just finished my two hours for today; I am a few sentences away from finishing chapter nine, so I will probably come back later and do that, just for the sense of accomplishment.

I'm heading smack into the messy, muddled middle of Act 2. I have some good ideas about shuffling a few of the scenes around, but there is one giant scene that I just don't know what to do with-- but I do know it has to be there-- plus a chunk of "time passes" exposition that has to be vastly improved. It's going to be a slog for the next week or two.

Deep breaths. Repeating my mantras:

"It's only a few extra weeks."
"It's making the book better."

Friday, May 16, 2014

Checking In

I've edited for 2 hours a day for the past five days, which is awesome and I'm proud of myself.

However, I'm not even a third of the way through Act 2. This is not as awesome.

I just need to accept that this draft is going to take longer than I thought. I'm working consistently, making progress, and improving the book-- so I guess I'll just go on being proud of myself!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Good Day

Today was a good writing day. I worked for two hours, nearly finished chapter 8, and untangled some of the pacing problems in this Act. I had a scene in this chapter that needed both beefing and spicing up... and I had a scene in a later chapter that was coming off as forced and slowed down the action. I sliced that later scene up, and dropped the best bits into this one, and I think it's the perfect solution. I still have some chunks left over that I can't just drop, so I'll have to figure out where to fit them in. Plus, this means chapter 11 will have to be pretty much completely rewritten, which *sigh*. But it's worth it if it makes the book better, right?

Monday, May 12, 2014

Back to Work

I did my two hours today, and got the first section of chapter 8 edited. I feel better about where I'm at than I did a few days ago. Taking another look at Act 2, I realized that of the six chapters, only the middle two are a real mess; the others need editing for flow and so forth, but all the right things are happening in the right order. I'm not sure yet how to fix the problems in the middle of the Act, but I hope that once I've finished editing the next two chapters I'll have a better sense of what needs to be done.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Reading Week

At my alma mater-- the tiny but fantastic woodland wonderland known as Bard College-- we had something called Reading Week. For the week before midterms, classes would be canceled so that students could devote themselves to studying-- which for most of us entailed catching up on mountains of reading. I've often wished that adult life included a Reading Week now and then, a temporary suspension of all responsibilities in the name of devoting oneself to the written word.

All this is just a pretentious way of saying I read a lot this week instead of working on the book.

I am almost through making my notes on the hard copy, and it's a little depressing. This Act needs way more work than I realized after the first read-through. I've enjoyed my Reading Week, but it's over after tomorrow. Now that I have Act I in the hands of an actual reader, I can't flake out. I'm making myself a week-by-week work plan, starting with 2 hours on Monday.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Well, THAT Took Forever

Act I is edited, spellchecked, and e-mailed to the first of the beta readers.

It took a month. That's kind of ridiculous.

For Act II, I am going to try to cut that in half. I know it'll take two days to make notes on the hard copy, and two days at the other end to do the read-aloud edit. That leaves me 10 days to do the main meat of the edit. That should be doable.

Whether I'll actually do it is another story...

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Ha! In Your FACE, April!

I have blogged before about April always being a horrible writing month for me. I am pleased to pronounce that streak broken. I didn't make as much progress as I hoped to last month, but I did work consistently the entire month and am now a day away from having an edited Act I to send to Sharon-- and anyone else who offered to beta read for me and doesn't mind getting it in installments.

I'm done with on-screen editing (and I managed to trim about 2,000 words, which is great news); now, I'm going to read it out loud to myself just to see if I can catch any clunkers, missed words, inconsistencies, etc.