Editing my fantasy novel in progress, I reached a scene that I couldn’t make work. Here’s how I tried (and failed) to solve my problem.
Not too long ago I finished the third (and final?) structural edit of my work in progress. Which meant it was time for a scene-by-scene edit.
Everything was happy bunnies and golden sunshine for a while as I made my adequate scenes dramatic, glittery, and deep.
Then something went wrong.
I could blame work. Or Minecraft. Or poor sleep.
Really, the problem was my midpoint.
Continue reading “How (not to) get unstuck while editing”
I wanted to write a blog post that entertained or meant something, but it feels wrong to be funny when the world is so grim, and currently my insights are as scattered as my concentration. So you get a stream of consciousness about my current editing strife instead. Sorry about that.
Recently I looked back at my record of word counts, and discovered I started writing my WIP in December 2015. I finished the first draft in March 2016, and I’ve been editing ever since. During that time I’ve changed the story substantially, learned a lot, and written enough scenes for five books.
Okay, probably not five. But I have scrapped and replaced a lot.
I even sent the story to beta readers once. The feedback? Parts were good, but what the main character was doing for most of the book had nothing to do with the main quest.
I’ve pulled the whole book apart and put it back together again. I’ve solved some problems and introduced others.
And along the way I’ve discovered some truths. In case they’re helpful for you, or you enjoy laughing at my pain, here they are.
Continue reading “Living and editing in the time of Covid-19”
If this post had a point I’d state it here. It doesn’t. It’s just me ranting about the revision I’m working on. But don’t worry, I love revising.
If you’ve been following the saga of my revision (on my blog, in my monthly updates, on Twitter, or through a psychic connection) you’ll know I shared my sixth draft with my wonderful critique partner, Anna Kaling.
She gave me great suggestions about how I could cut length (my draft is 156k and I want it down to 120k) and make the story more compelling.
This was the first time I’d shared a complete(ish) novel of mine with anyone. It was scary and thrilling.
Since getting Anna’s feedback I’ve been through a number of stages.
Continue reading “A rant about the glorious agony of revising”
My awesome critique partner gave me a pile of suggestions for how I might shorten my manuscript. Here’s my plan for dealing with them.
If you get my monthly digest, you might know that I recently finished the fifth draft of my work in progress (WIP) and enlisted the help of my wonderful critique partner, Anna Kaling, to figure out how to cut 40k words.
Anna got back to me at 3am this morning, and all I could do before work was read her email in a whirlwind of excitement. (Don’t you hate it when real life gets in the way of writing?)
She had some very encouraging things to say, and she suggested some characters and plot threads that she found less than essential to the story.
I was thrilled by her reaction. Then her suggested excisions sank in.
But everything needs to be there!
Continue reading “Excitement and dealing with feedback”
Roget the thesaurus enjoys turning clear English into incomprehensible babble. Watch him mutilate a perfectly readable excerpt from my short story, The Emperor’s Cat.
I’d like you to meet my good friend, Roget. Roget enjoys long walks on the beach and messing with other people’s fiction. He’s also a thesaurus (which I suspect is some kind of dinosaur).
Good uses for Roget include remembering the perfect word that’s on the tip of your tongue and using your own vocabulary more effectively.
Bad uses for Roget include using other people’s vocabulary and looking up big words to insert into your magnum opus in an attempt to make yourself look smart.
Hint: it doesn’t.
Since doing things wrong is more fun than doing things right, that’s what I’m going to do here. Yes, it’s game. Here are the rules:
Continue reading “How not to use a thesaurus”