Posts Tagged ‘editing’

Slash and Burn, Baby

Thursday, September 3rd, 2009

Yesterday I was so proud of myself for breaking 50K on the Work in Progress (WIP). Woot! That would put me closely on pace to being done end of September with October for revisions.

Today I cut nearly 2,000 words at lunch time.

Sigh.

The words needed to be cut, but still. Rats. However, my motto is cut the crap sooner rather than later. I’m happier because, after a LOT of work, I got my chapters into an order that flows better and puts me in a position to move ahead. But that being hard work, I was brain dead for making up much word count. I seem to have spent an inordinate amount of time listening to old recordings of Susan Boyle. She’s the real deal. I wish the world had found her sooner.

(Back on topic!)

Which leads me to the title of today’s post. I did some slash and burn and it was good. Tough love for the MS.

I wish I had an amusing anecdote, but I don’t. I don’t even have a good rant. Well, I could think of one, as there is never any shortage of strong opinions here at Chez Jewel and a lamentable abundance of idiots places other than here. But not at your house. Some other house. Anhyhoo, no ranting because then I’d be up all hours ranting and I find that sleep deprivation generally decreases my ability to do quality writing.

As this point amply demonstrates.

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In which progress is made

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

By the way, if you haven’t voted for My One True Love (see previous post) that’s okay, really, but if you feel like showing the love, please vote.

Right. Get your mind off Viking vampires, Carolyn.

I’m transferring paper edits of The Next Paranormal to my document today. And I am, in a sick kind of way, happy to say that I did some massive chapter order re-ordering. The pacing was off. Way off. I’ve moved some bits from one place to another because I’ve got split actions and they need to be consolidated. I’ve also handwritten a big portion of a new chapter — just enough to set in my mind what I want to happen. I have 49K and really, really want to be at 80K by end of this month. I’m 2K behind target though.

In other news, my agent has sent my historical proposal to my editor and since this is Publishing we’re talking about it’s time to hurry up and wait. Hopefully they won’t want chapters because I’m not sure how I could hit 80K for the WIP and also bang out proposal chapters too.

I suppose it’s safe enough to say that I’ve signed the contract for two more paranormals, but until they sign their end, it’s not officially official.

Since I’m up too late, time to go to bed.

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Reading Through the Old MS

Saturday, August 29th, 2009

I recently printed off a copy of The Next Paranormal stuck it in a binder and am hauling it around with me so I can edit at every opportunity. I need to pick up a new binder as my current MS binder is falling apart. It’s neon green with one of those clear plastic thingees so you can slip a sheet of paper or what have you on the front and spine and spiffy up your binder. I put some colorful stars on the front of mine. Perhaps I will decorate The Next MS Binder with a picture of My One True Love, Alexander Skarsgard. Right. Focus Carolyn!

A wee story for you: At work, I have this large very large project with an insanely impossible deadline. Now, large projects (not unlike a novel) benefit from some kind of documentation. Luckily, I am not the documenter for this project. But the person who is expressed great surprise at the fact that the document when read on paper looked and was completely different from its state when read on the screen. I, of course, am saying to myself, well, doh! (I did offer a warning about this, by the way, but you know the saying about horses and water.)

Be that as it may, my point is that it behooves a writer who is working digitally to read through a paper version from time to time. You will find errors, places where the prose requires fixing, story problems become apparent, you’ll read sentences that are pure nonsense or that do not mean what you thought they meant when you wrote them. You will be bored (fix or delete that right away!) and there will be places where you say, hot damn! This rocks! and Oh. I didn’t know that was going on between them!

Sometimes when I do this, I don’t get very far before I know I have to redo my opening. And, being the person I am, I am unable to continue reading until that’s fixed, reprinted and I can start over. In one case, this meant moving chapter 27 to chapter 1. In other cases it just means really tightening the prose or shifting the focus of the chapter.

I’m happy to say that I haven’t had to do that with this project. (yet) I’m not quite halfway done so there’s lots of things that can change between now and having 95K words written. And there are many places that rock. Yay!

I’m not typically a writer who does multiple drafts, and this process is why. By the time I hit 95K or so, the book is final form and already edited for story and language problems. Works for me. Might not for others.

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Update with Zombies

Sunday, November 23rd, 2008

Just a quick update. The Next Historical is going along. I’ve reached a part where I need to do some fixes of chronology and/or geography or risk a ripping massive hole in the time-space continuum. I’m not quite sure what to do, but suspect a very simple solution is out there, just out of reach and if I push too hard, it will blow up. But if I don’t push hard enough, well, there goes the universe! You see my dilemma.

If you-all were on Twitter you’d already know about the Regency Zombies storming Almack’s and having tea.

No. I am NOT procrastinating. I think I need to make cinnamon rolls today. Back to saving the world!

Oh. I think I thought of the solution. And the crowd goes wild!! Yes, it was simple. I’m still going to make cinnamon rolls though.

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The cookie diet tip, NaNoWriMo, flowers and other stuff about writing

Saturday, November 8th, 2008

As you may know, I’m doing NaNoWriMo and so far I am -21,000 words or so. Yeah. That’s negative words. Cough Cough. That would be for The Next Historical.

The good news is it’s never all bad news when you cut crap from your novel. Plus last night I was able to get myself above 60,000 again. I think I need to add one more chapter, but I have to spend some time thinking about exactly what needs to happen in it. In the meantime I’m reading through and editing as I go. I’m feeling a lot better now that I’ve removed all of the chapters that needed to go stay in the Trash Files, an all expenses paid vacation for Words That Are Not Right. Or maybe it’s a Rest Home. Yeah, more like that. Or maybe it’s more like an orphanage. Without the big pathetic please take me home with you eyes. They try, sure, the pathetic whiners. But it’s important not to listen.

What else? Today was the last league game for the son’s soccer season. They won league with a 2-2 tie. I wrote in the car before the game started, which is always good for lack of distraction. It was an awesome game, too. Both teams played good soccer. From now until January they practice for the big state-wide tournament. This means I have my weekends back.

Today I ate mostly cookies. I said I’d bring cookies to the End Of Season soccer party so I made the dough last night and cooked the cookies when we got home from the game. I’m afraid I did too much taste testing, though I can at least report that each and every one of the cookies I ate were excellent. I couldn’t eat anything at the party because I was too full from the cookies. Which is a great diet tip only I think you’re supposed to fill up on carrots and celery, not cookies. Whatever. It worked, didn’t it?

Here’s a random picture I took yesterday:

Sterling Silver Rose

OK, off to write a few more words then I’m going to bed.

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Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 30th, 2008

Halloween is my favorite holiday. Not because of the candy, which I shamelessly steal from my son, but because the kids have such a blast dressing up! Since we don’t get any trick or treaters where we live, we go to my brother’s where I adore adore adore!! giving out candy to the tykes.

My son and I finalized his ghost costume tonight. I’ll try to get a picture tomorrow. And the pumpkins were carved and arranged in the vignette you see below.

Blogger is smooshing the original some so all I can say is the original is clearer that this. But at least you can see the handiwork of my son — It was his idea to add the little dead pumpkin in the bowl. He and I agreed the big one looked nauseous and so needed the barf.

Have a safe and happy halloween!

P.S. The Next Historical is being knifed and shredded and the various bits reassembled, rejiggered and re-engineered to make a creature that is new and awesome to behold. I hope to soon be shouting to the belfry "it’s alive!!" But right now, not so much. Right now, it’s Frankenbook, frightening those who dare to look and sending the good Dr. Carolyn von FrankenNeuroticWriter into fits of chocolate overindulgence.

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Ow! And Yet Strangely Refreshing

Monday, October 27th, 2008

Today I cut 15,524 words from The Next Historical which entailed deleting 5 chapters and moving 4 others. I actually thought I’d have to cut even more, but as I looked at the deadwood, I figured out where some would go instead of to the Valley of the Lost Chapters, which helped solidify the beginning a lot. I think. Hope.

Also, tomorrow I will have a guest blogger, fellow Grand Central Publishing author Jeff Rivera Be on the look out for that!

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Sometimes Paranoia is Justified

Thursday, October 23rd, 2008

The Next Historical is at a tad over 80,000 words. Normally, I’d say that’s more or less done, just polishing left. But as I work my way through the chapters, writing new ones, deleting old ones, fixing the survivors, I feel like I am heading into a dark and very scary place.

There be monsters there.

Monsters in the form of really old chapters that don’t reflect the current story. Which makes me feel like my actual word count is something more like 50,000 which is a panic number. Ack! Ack! Carolyn running around panicking

I continue forward into this unknown country from which this writer may never return, ready to fight monsters with my trusty… er… keyboard, delete, backspace, select-all delete, undo, redo, and

q w e r t y u i o p a s d f g h j k l z x c v b n m

(but not necessarily in that order, plus there will be lots of repetition of the little buggers, hopefully in new and sparkly combinations)

K. That’s how I’m feeling. And now, for a quickie post of good news. In the next post. Not this one!

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Catching up is hard to do

Sunday, October 19th, 2008

Good news! We got our Internet back Saturday night. Major kudos to Wildblue Satellite engineer Peter Pigeon, who arrived at 7:00pm and stayed until everything wrong was fixed. He said he’d come and he did. And he came with everything he needed to make things right. It’s just too bad that the companies they outsource to were liars and incompetents and basically didn’t care at all about Wildblue’s actual customers.

Ah. You Tube, how I missed you. No new AuthorTalk vids but I watched the man-slave episode a few times, and then some others because I way needed the laughs. And then Jill Monroe actually friended me on Facebook. Squeeee!! And then she even messaged me! We are now BFF forever, I can feel it.

Anyway, yesterday, the page proofs for Scandal arrived and since there was no soccer, I was able to get through the entire book in a day and return the fixes.

Of course that meant I wasn’t working on The Next Historical but I did get some stuff done last night. Today there was soccer so I didn’t get as much done as I wanted to. And, as it happens, I ended up cutting more than I wrote. But the dreck needs to go and that’s what happened. Tomorrow, I think I need to whack a whole chapter or else figure out where it needs to go. Right now it’s totally in the wrong place. But I’m up to chapter 16 in this unbelievably slow process of fixing stuff. Painfully, painfully slow.

I’m anxious to get to the back half of the book which is good because I’m finally feeling my hero and heroine the way I need to. The emotional points are starting to pull together. And I know what I need to do. What I don’t know is how many existing chapters need to bite the dust. I suspect a lot of them. Way a lot.

Anyhow, tomorrow I am doing the day job from home because they sprang for a wireless card with decent enough speed to actually work from home. Satellite is way not fast enough. So, we’ll see. My son doesn’t have school tomorrow, but he’s catching up on 10 days of no World of Warcraft, so I don’t expect he’ll be out of bed much before noon. I will be getting up at the usual time but without the driving to work bit, I should be done with the EDJ by 2:00 or so.

We shall see. Wish me luck.

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Fun with numbers!

Tuesday, September 9th, 2008

Today when I finished working on The Next Historical my total word count for the MS was 55,552. So I actually spent 10 minutes finding the right 3 words to add to bring the total MS word count to 55,555.

It was fun. And now I’m feeling unaccountably happy even though I’m still 1000+ words away from recovering the 3000 and some words I deleted over the weekend.

In other number news, yesterday I rewrote the opening of Chapter 1 12 times before it was right and ended with a net increase of about 234 words. Ouch. Today when I was driving home, all of a sudden I knew I needed a different chapter 1. So today I renumbered all the files and Chapter 1 became Chapter 2 and then I wrote the new Chapter 1.

I think it works.

I’m going through start to finish on a mission to clean up my little messes. Fast. I’m freaking a bit about my deadline. I wish panic wasn’t such a motivator.

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