Whether your days of being edited professionally are still ahead of you, or you’re in the thick of it right now, I think all of us can benefit from considering the following stages a writer goes through:
Read the rest of this entry »
|You're viewing marfisk's journal|
Create a Dreamwidth Account Learn More
Belated update? I did finally finish the last steps of But a Pretty Bauble this week. The second draft ending word count is just shy of 80k at 79,841.
1. Clan not Tribe for the dragonkind
2. Hiba's eyes
3. What is the side of power for the king?
4. How far is it to the mine?
5. Hiba needs to call her father the king sometimes
6. Make sure the dragonkind never use the term nomad for themselves.
7. Check the frequency of "then"
8. Verify no contractions in narrative?
9. Check for "was not"
10. Check for "had had"
11. Chairs in Kader's study. Either at the desk or gone from the table.
Today signals the end of the first edit pass on But a Pretty Bauble. All told, it was pretty easy, though I do have doubts about the overall, and about the ending in specific.
Am I ready to release it to critters? No.
I have a couple steps still to do:
1) I have one note of something I need to seed better in the beginning because it becomes crucial.
2) I have 7 continuity elements to check from the time it takes them to get to the mine and back to whether the dragonkind ever refer to themselves as nomads, to an overuse of the word "then." Those will be fun to squirrel out :p.
Honestly, considering it was a raw rough draft, that's not a heck of a lot. I added less than 5k in new text as I edited, though, and some sections were rewritten from scratch.
The oddest part of this was the outline. Often I'll update things that change, but there were many scenes that when I read the outline blurb, I expected a continuity nightmare. The writing didn't reflect this at all, but the difference between the writing and the blurb gave an interesting peek into just how the story had changed.
Anyway, the point is that it has moved to the next level. It'll be interesting to see the reactions.
Edited Today: 2,497 words
29 Chapters complete - 105% of the novel
0 Chapters remain
-3,891 Remaining word count
79,483 Current Total
75,592 Original Total
As a writer, I find myself gaining comfort in the oddest things. Today, I made myself cry. Not outright balling, but a tightened chest and watery eyes as the words on the page twisted my heart.
Now this is a novel I wrote. This is a novel that I know the ending to and already know that it'll come out all right.
So I have to wonder at the words affecting me, and hope that they'll affect all my readers in the same way.
I'm having some difficulty with But a Pretty Bauble. It's the kind of difficulty most writers claim to want with all their hearts, but facing the possibility in reality is nothing to write home about.
I have made some line-level changes, though there are whole pages that are "perfect," and have caught only one continuity error, a minor one. I'm swept up in the story, and this first draft is so far from raw that it's unbelievable.
Which is where I get to the problem. Have I achieved the impossible and produced an almost perfect draft (in comparison at least)? Or am I still, after letting it sit for three years, too close to the story to see the flaws?
When I weep, is it because I know how this should be, or because identifying with Hiba in this moment is impossible to avoid with what I managed to get on the page?
I'm not used to being this confident in a book, and at the same time having so little confidence :). But only time...and critters...will tell.
And stats (Note that I've passed the halfway point :D):
Edited Today: 6,301 words
16 Chapters complete - 59% of the novel
13 Chapters remain
30,773 Remaining word count
44,819 Current Total
77,493 Predicted Total
Umm, did I say less complicated? My goodness I believe in layers. I am now about a third of the way into But a Pretty Bauble. I am finding nothing major (probably a sign I can't see them without help) and enjoying the story. It's funny to see how the story mutated away from the outline though. Hiba was supposed to be a spoiled princess with nothing but fluff between her ears, sort of a Middle Ages chick lit heroine. Well, that didn't work. She's innocent and ignorant, but mostly because she's led a sheltered life, and boy does she try hard :). And Bab is full of himself and so confident, right up until he's proved wrong. He accepts the correction well, while holding himself to blame for failing to realize it in the first place.
My absolute favorite parts so far? I'd have to say Bab and Faysal arguing, but Hiba and her father runs a close second, and heck, I like it all. Even the bad guy is...well...bad :).
So yes, while the uncomplicated part might not have worked out as well as I'd hoped, it's funny and fun.
I'm taking Holly Lisle's How to Think Sideways class (http://howtothinksideways.com/members/?
Now to be clear, Shadow of the Sun = sociological science fiction novel in which two sapient species conflict in a bloody and fatal manner when unaware humans breathe on the embers of a centuries-old conflict that has slipped largely into myth. So, aliens, another planet, jungle, islands, water, fish, humans, scientists, linguistics...
But a Pretty Bauble = fantasy novel where a small time kingdom fights with nomads over the right to mine jewels in the desert. So, humans (mostly ;)), this planet, desert, limited water, no fish, pre-industrial.
They sound like the spitting image of each other, don't they?
Except...both are clashes of culture with lives on the line. Both have misunderstanding built out of secrecy started for protection, and while in one the third party is ignorant and in the other he knows exactly what he's doing, in both there's someone outside of the conflict who eggs it on.
Some day, I'm going to be great fodder for a literature class :).
Edited Today: 5,491 words
11 Chapters complete - 38% of the novel
18 Chapters remain
46,538 Remaining word count
29,054 Current Total
76,836 Predicted Total
It's been a while since anyone has seen this title cross my posts, but I thought a short, fun fantasy might be just the ticket before I tackle another big one.
I went back to reread my early posts about But a Pretty Bauble, and they make me tremble for what's to come. That said, at least this time I can feel the shape of the novel, the weight of it pressing against my hands.
So far I have edited the first four chapters. The main characters have all been introduced, the main conflict and major secondary conflict have floated across the page...umm, make that two secondary conflicts...and I'm certainly not hating it. I think this is a novel I'll require outside feedback on before I can tell if it works or not. We'll see. I may be able to see major issues as I get further in.
At one-seventh of the way, though, I'm tweaking, clarifying, and cleaning up some truly horrendous NaNo prose, but seeing no major changes at all. Oh, and I am faithfully murdering sentence-level darlings that still resonate, but just don't work with what surrounds them.
Whatever happens, I think it'll be a fun excursion from my normally more complicated texts.
Edited Today: 4,644 words
4 Chapters complete - 14% of the novel
46 Chapters remain
64,714 Remaining word count
10,878 Current Total
76,253 Predicted Total
I've been slowly working my way through the second crit for Shadows and completed that step by the end of last week. What remained was to do the significant changes run. I've identified 2 brand new scenes I have to add, 1 scene I have to split into two, 9 scenes that require major changes, and 1 scene I just need to move from one place to another.
The new scenes are the result of having made a significant change that I didn't think through all the way. I moved a character's introduction earlier to give readers a human to cling to. That seems to have worked very well. However, I gave Martha the first scene and made no other changes. This meant it was 200 pages until she showed up again, leaving these newly introduced readers to wonder what the heck was going on with her :p. Sigh. So now, I'm splitting the first scene into two, which spreads her introduction a bit, and adding two more scenes to reveal a little of her issues and keep her in the reader's mind.
The changes are anything from adding more depth to grounding a creature that I mention but never show.
As usual, these changes will have the impact of adding more word count to a book already on the heavy side. Once I finish this phase so that all the contents are there, I'm going through backwards in the hopes of identifying places I can cut words. If I cut approximately 25 words per page, I'll get it down into the 120k range, but I doubt I'll be able manage that on a global basis. Still I'd like to see how close I can get.
And finally, I'll do a proof edit to make sure I didn't break anything new.
After that it's just doing the submission package and sending Shadows out into the world. The goal is to have the first batch out before the end of the year, but it's more important to be ready than to make an arbitrary deadline. This year has been a case of life interfering big time, so I'm trying hard to be flexible.