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Hi everyone. Wow, I didn't realize I'd neglected this blog so much. Trouble is that my focus has been largely on critting and non-fiction writing, so I didn't have much to say on the fiction writing world.

So, a quick catch-up:

1) I've redone my website so it now is a pure writing focus. (I mentioned this regarding the image at the top, but I've done a bit of polishing.)

2) I sold a short story that's available online so if you've been curious about reading something of mine, just go to the "For Readers" page of my website. Also, while you're there, check the "Latest News" page for additional happenings.

3) I should have been doing a crossover post all along, but I've started a new tradition on my Stray Thoughts blog called Friday's Interesting Links. Since these links have a heavy writing/publishing focus, they should be of interest to anyone here who does not also follow that blog. Check out this week's here: http://marfisk.blogspot.com/2009/10/fridays-interesting-links.html

4) The outlines:

--The Princess in the Tower is the closest to done of all three outlines, but it still needs some work.

--The Farmer Boy is the farthest from being done as I only did the examples necessary for my class and haven't gone back.

--Let Me Tell You All About Myself is probably about halfway done. The concepts are all there, but the threads to pull it all together need fleshing.

5) NaNo - yes, I'm planning to do NaNo this year, the first planned event since my second year doing it back in 2004 (note I've done NaNo every year regardless :p). However, I have yet to settle on a project, so things are still up in the air.

6) This month I'm going to both Muse Online and World Fantasy. Hope to see/meet in person some of you there.

7) And I've finally started working on a fiction project again...Selkie. I'm in the process of re-outlining based on the feedback, after which I plan to retype the whole thing because so many of the edits are a word here, a phrase there, that will change the meaning significantly. I find retyping allows me to integrate them better.

I think that's about it :). Any questions?
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Wow, it's been a bit since I've posted to my LJ. The absence was far from planned, but is as it is. The writing front has been a bit up and down for me through June and July, though I'm hoping to see that turn around.

I've been writing a bit of non-fiction for Vision (www.lazette.net/vision) and finally critting again, but on the home front, there hasn't been much fiction going on.

Molly stands about 15k from the end. It's not her fault. A combination of family stuff and a serious, knock me on my back, cold put an end to creativity for a bit. As much as I'd like to blame Molly, so I could move on to something else, it's not her fault. There's also the chance that with things so crazy, the hormone replacement isn't doing its job, a lovely thought considering that some day I'll have to go through ending the medication. But since this is affecting my creativity across the board, Molly is not to blame.

Neither is Selkie, another project currently in limbo. I had started collecting action points and possible reworks as I went through all the wonderful crits, but hit that same wall. This isn't a writer's block as much as a creativity amputation. The good news is that it's starting to fade...I'll admit needing 10+ hours of sleep a night has been a part of this mess.

Oh, and it's even affected my reading. I'm halfway through my very first issue of Neo-Opsis. I was enjoying it a lot, but just haven't read any. I started an issue of Discover magazine... The one thing I am reading is Steven Barnes' Lion's Blood, which I was thinking was too slow and I couldn't find the story and and... Until I realized that it's an epic. It's not about a specific tale. It's about a world and its people and how they interact and how their lives are intertwined. It's exactly the type of novel I love...or used to. So I'm adding this to the pile of missing creativity because all I can read right now easily are short, sweet things that don't ask for much.

Oh, and I need to do something with my hands all the time. I went to a wonderful acapella singing group with my sister and had a wonderful time, but if she hadn't given me some string to weave (okay, crochet without a hook and no, the results weren't pretty) I'd have lost it.

So...that's my update (note the extensive use of ellipses because my mind trails off all the time), and join me in the hope that it's coming to an end. For two days I slept a normal amount and had at least a couple hours of productivity, including sending Shadows of the Sun out to agents. Today was a little rough, but still some useful moments. Here's hoping to find a trend in the right direction.

Oh, and as a last note, a bunch of my first drafts have been calling of late, pulling me into the morass of new things to edit so I don't have to do the hard work of a final polish. I plan to resist until Selkie's set.
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I was writing up a note for my Thinking Sideways project when a topic came up that I wanted to talk about here as well, and in more detail.

When I discovered Internet writing communities, I was hammered with a bunch of "thou shalt not"s, as are most writers, no matter where they stand on the experience scale.

Even though I had written a ton by that point (two novels, easily 50 short stories, and a couple novelettes, plays, and poems), because of my isolation, I was vulnerable to peer pressure. I figured that I'd been hacking my way through, making it up as I went along, and so must have picked up a ton of bad habits. If the "Internet" says it's right, I must, therefore, be wrong.

To this day, I'm still fighting the impact of that period in my writing career, and to some degree, I'm still vulnerable and carrying out "thou shalt"s that if I took a step back and looked at them, are insane.

Ones I've conquered include "thou shalt not use the verb 'to be'" and "thou shalt not use 'that'" (which has the dangerous companion of "thou shalt replace 'that' with 'which' at every opportunity where 'that' cannot be purged," something resulting in broken grammar on top of unintelligible sentences).

My father broke me of "that" simply because he could not comprehend my sentences and wasn't willing to jump through the elaborate hoops expected so we can avoid a perfectly good word that (note ;)) happens to stand out when overused.

However, this concept has recently hit me on two fronts. One of the processes suggested by Holly Lisle in Thinking Sideways contradicts the "general rules" and is actually something I used to do before facing those same rules and bowing to them.

A while back, a friend edited a book for me that had two separate voices, one omniscient and one close third. She said choose one...but more importantly, choose either. I had a strong omniscient voice when I started writing that was crushed out of me, so I've substituted with a super close third. Now that change I regret with a vague sadness, but a close third is more of what the market is looking for and I'm happy with the new style, except that my third is SO close that it sometimes confuses people. SIGH.

But it's a more recent happening that brought me to writing this post.

I am in the process of collecting the crits of From the Sea (Selkie) into a single document so I can evaluate the trends. First of all, if the OWW trend of controversial stories succeeding holds true, I've got it made :p. I'm working on the third of four and there's significant disagreement about certain characters and situations :). But that's beside the point.

In going through this story and seeing their comments, I realized, had a full-on DUH moment, that I'm still crippled by one of those "thou shalt not"s.

Some time back, I was told not once but repeatedly that it is a point of view (POV) slip to say someone smiled because they can't see their own face. This started an endless round of arguments and warped my writing FOREVER!!!!! Okay, drama over, now that I've realized it, I can fix it too.

Instead of avoiding the act in the POV character, I went about coming up with ways that made obvious what we all know, which is that we KNOW when we smile. So I have smiles curling lips and pulling cheeks and...(sounds familiar? ;)) It's too much. It's ridiculous. It's annoying! I do not question why my critters pointed it out in the feedback. I question how I could have continued on this vein without realizing myself that I'd been had.

Double SIGH.

So I have my work cut out for me in this edit, in the edit of everything written prior to this moment, and in the writing of everything ever after, but I will break myself of this bad habit. I will rise above the "thou shalt"s and just write.

It seems to me there's a sense among writers that every opinion must be validated to hold weight. It's not enough to say this seems awkward to me, but rather some rule must rise from the deep to put authority behind the opinion. Only trouble is that the opinion gives writers a choice whether to adopt the change or stick with what they have. These manufactured rules, though, either make the critter seem foolish or can scar the writer for some time to come.

There are rules about writing. Grammar rules that are fixed (or mostly so) like capitalization and putting an end punctuation mark at the end of a sentence. What people need to remember is style rules are not rules. They're at best guidelines and at worse yokes around the necks of people trying to succeed.

The only rules I've heard that stand firm for me are these:

1) Thou shalt not confuse the reader (unless it serves a plot purpose).
2) Thou shalt entertain.

And, as you can see from the parenthetical phrase after the first, even those have caveats.
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Now this has been a truly crazy week. I finished the Con Shirt edit on Sunday and started immediately into an edit of Selkie, which is now renamed From the Sea. This novel is one that's very close to me, being based on my favorite Celtic mythology song, The Great Selkie. However, staying mostly true to the song, at least to the big moments, and keeping the reader with me has been an ongoing difficulty. I lost one reader, whether to the fact that the story turned out more literary than paranormal romance or because it was just too rough a draft neither she nor I will probably know for sure. However, this meant that I needed to find more readers, which didn't prove that difficult. Except that I did have one partial feedback and one full feedback already.

So in my grand wisdom, I decided to do another quick edit pass based specifically on the comments. Only I had to finish Con Shirt first. Oh, and to control my habit of doing anything that meant progress besides editing something to final, I have established a drop dead, unchangeable no matter what, deadline of 2/16/08 to start on the next (and maybe even final) edit of Kyrnie or Shadows of the Sun.

What that meant, quite simply, is that I had to edit Selkie this week and before Saturday.

*GULP*

Amazingly enough, I succeeded. I've never been so focused or consistent in my life. Between the two crit versions and some notes of my own, I edited (by jumping from comment to comment) over 200k in two days. Then the next morning I wrote a new scene from scratch, edited it a couple times, and declared it done for this pass.

I did not actually succeed in my aims with this or Con Shirt, but I came really darn close. Both still need a spell check before they can go out to those who are waiting for them. But I think I can legitimately do that step while taking a break from Kyrnie. It's not like it's anything but mechanical, right?

On Selkie itself, I still find the story powerful and get wrapped up in it. I know there are probably things I failed to see, things that my love of the story glossed over, but I've corrected everything that I could based on the feedback and who knows, maybe this one will manage to get out the door this year as well. It would be nice considering I managed nothing new last year.
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Another solid day of editing for Selkie and a big hurdle passed. One of the characters didn't act in character in the first draft, mainly because that plot element came out of no where when I was writing the book. Now I think I've got it handled...though my critters will be sure to tell me if I don't ;).

The barrier I ran into today is nuance. I joked that nuance is for short stories and in novels you have the space to spell it out, but that truly is a joke in this case. I'm trying to keep a strict watch on word count. I know the novel count is growing, and it's much more important to get it right than to keep the count down, but this puts me in the nasty position of using nuance to convey more in fewer words, and let me tell you, it's a real pain. On the other hand, I still think I'm improving this story, and I still feel it's one that deserves to be told.

In case you haven't picked it up, I love this book. Not in a "this is perfect" way, but in a "I've got to get this right" way. And I plan to put in the elbow grease to make it something I'd be proud to see on the shelf.

And stats:
Edited Today: 9,380 words
34 Chapters complete - 73% of the novel
15 Chapters remain
32,374 Remaining word count
86,495 Current Total
121,631 Predicted Total
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Today I completed one of the biggest changes for this pass, something that involved rewriting a scene I'd already rewritten and adding another scene that never existed. The removal of a vision done last week is still having consequences and I have to be careful that I wipe them all out as I go, but now at least mention of her pregnancy is no longer taboo :). That was a pain changing each "at least I'm pregnant" into "but maybe I'm pregnant." On the other hand, Dylan comes across more likable now without having to change the whole of his culture's framework, so I'm happy.

And stats:
Edited Today: 2483 words
18 Chapters complete - 37% of the novel
31 Chapters remain
74995 Remaining word count
43874 Current Total
120551 Predicted Total
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This week has been a busy one, with the summer consumed mostly with travel leaving little time to work. As it was, Selkie got pushed from one day to the next as I found myself unable to focus on four projects simultaneously. I'm in the middle of a copyedit: had a rush novel crit to do; am still trying to finish Seeing Is Believing, preferably before the last weekend of August; and of course Selkie.

I've learned something about my ability to multitask. It's simple. I can work on numerous projects simultaneously. I've proven that time and again. What I hadn't realized is that I can't do them on the same day. I do not have the ability to switch gears when the task is the same. How different are critting and copyedit from editing my own work? The answer is not enough :). So, moving forward, rather than a plan to do multiples of the same task on the same day, I'll give Monday to one task, Tuesday to another, and so on until I can get my goals done. A version of multitasking, just on a weekly, rather than a daily, scale :).

Now on to the most important thing of all. I cut words today. Some 749 of them. That might not seem that much, but traditionally when I edit my word count creeps up. Especially since there is at least one scene that needs adding, and my scenes run 1000-2000 words long, reducing the overall is something wonderful.

This particular cut comes from the hand of Valerie Comer because of a conversation that went something like this: (For those of you who don't know, this book is a novelized retelling of the song The Great Selkie with liberal license taken on my part :).)

Val: But does the vision have to be there? It makes the male MC unlikable.
Me: But it's in the song.
Val: But does the story need it.
Me: Umm...

After a couple rounds of this when it was reduced a smidge each round, I ended up asking the same question: But does the vision have to be there? And the answer was no.

The really nice thing is with all the changes I needed to do so the scene didn't feel like a big chunk had vanished, I still only added back 227 words. The current predicted length is 119,814. Sadly, we're still looking at around 120k-125k unless I find some more to cut.

And stats:
Edited Today: 15,145 words (and what a long day it was!)
16 Chapters complete - 33% of the novel
33 Chapters remain
79,426 Remaining word count
39,443 Current Total
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The Selkie edit is continuing as planned. There are some very strong scenes in this book, scenes I can be proud of, but even those are receiving tweaks here and there. The changes I'm making now are largely to direct reader perception along a path I want them to follow. Something as simple as who pulls back, for example, changes a scene entirely because it shows a different character as the aggressor.

This means that the changes are largely small, but with big consequences. And that the changes make little difference to the word count, but are hard to find and a pain to figure out just how to perform that shift.

What's odd is that the accumulation of changes is such that I wonder how much of a shock this will be to the one person who read the first draft :).

I must say it's odd having fun doing an edit, especially a difficult one, but there you go. I am having fun.

And stats:
Edited Today: 4983 words
8 Chapters complete - 17% of the novel
41 Chapters remain
98786 Remaining word count
20083 Current Total
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And here I am, back editing Selkie again. Sigh. The real sad thing about this is that every comment I got in the initial feedback resonated(global issues that were big enough to warrant fixing before a full crit). I had noticed almost every one of these things, at least in the back of my mind, and did nothing to heal them. Well, I never thought I had become so good at editing my own that I'd grown beyond critters, so I don't know why I am surprised :).

Anyway, I've started yet another edit pass to address these global issues. Some require little tweaks scattered throughout the novel, some require cuts, some require whole new scenes. That under 120k count I was so glad of (though I'd have preferred 110k)? It's out the window for this run at least. I know, from my short story experiences, that I have it in me to cut by a fifth or more on sentence level so if length is a huge issue, I can manage it somehow.

On the other hand, the power in this book is the voice and cutting the sentence level may flatten that out. See, a worrier. I need to get through the globals for this pass first then get feedback on the specifics. Who knows...I may discover whole scenes I can toss, or at least trim fiercely. I can hope, can't I?

And stats:
Edited Today: 4734 words
2 Chapters complete - 4% of the novel
47 Chapters remain
114135 Remaining word count
4734 Current Total

Ouch. I know I'm just getting started, but 4%? It seems like I have such a long way to go.
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And you thought this day would never come...or maybe just I did. Early feedback from one critter is that it's not positively awful, but she does agree it's got a unique voice going there. As long as the voice appeals, I think this very odd novel has a real chance in the world. Which of course leads me to worry about what I'll have to offer next if this one is picked up because the others don't have a voice in the way Selkie does. But I'm a chronic worrier. If I didn't worry, I'd rest on my laurels and never get anything done :).

Anyway, ultimately having read this novel twice in the past two months and having picked through every sentence, found continuity errors, corrected illogical passages, culled where I saw culling needed, it still made me cry, made me rail against...myself...as an evil author to put them through some things, and left me with supreme confidence in the novel and no confidence at all. It's very much me. Odd, off the beaten track, and maybe, just maybe, appealing in spite of, or because of, that very nature.

I didn't record the change in word count during the first run through, but in the second, the total difference was 239 words in the negative. Not quite the cut down to 110k that I'd hoped for and my critters may have some suggestions on that front, but if this is the length it needs to be, then by golly I'll find a home for it at this length. What's funny is when I had chapters where I nitpicked my way through, cutting sentences, rewording, adding clarifications, etc. only to find the final word count fell on exactly the same mark as the original. I wanted to cry out that they were different words, but no one was there to listen :).

So, without further ado and no more whining, the final stats for Selkie's first full edit pass:

Edited today: 9242 words
103 scenes complete - 100% of the novel
49 Chapters complete - 100% of the novel
118869 Estimated length - with an average of 1154 words per scene.
118869 Current Total"
Total change in count: -239

P.S. Selkie's real title is My Man from the Sea...unless something better occurs.
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I haven't had much to say about this edit. It is taking a lot of attention and I'm very busy with both this project and others, but really the reason is because there's not much to say. The edit is going smoothly. The only continuity problems I've found are minor and the order of scenes is tied close to only one timeline so I can't have the problems I had with Kyrnie. Honestly, the power in this story is the voice. If that works, I think the book will do well. If it does not, the story itself might not be enough to carry it, not that it isn't a powerful story, but it is not the story of a victory, or a rags to riches, or any of the traditions that people seem to flock to. It is a romance, but not a clean, pure romance. It's a mess of human error and fate intervening with flashes of happiness and joy in the most unexpected places.

Sigh. Yeah, you can probably tell I like the story. Have no idea if anyone else will :).

And to keep up the illusion of this edit as a learning exercise, some interesting/amusing elements I've discovered.

I came across a chapter with the boy and was surprised to see Huw uses saidisms. Now a couple leaked into the other characters and these I snipped right out, but I'm leaving Huw's usage. Why? Because it's perfect for his character of a young boy. A young boy never simply "says" anything :). He shouts, mumbles, grumbles, pouts, screams, or whatever, but the invisibility of the word "said" itself acts as if a boy's statements can be treated the same as any other. Anyone who has had a kid from 2-5 years of age would, I hope, agree with me that this is so not true. Ignore the emotion behind the statement at your own risk.

The second item of interest is just a momentary laugh. There are explicit moments in this book, not all of the encounters, but some. Still, I think I've taken the "fade to black" one step further than I'd ever have imagined with this next bit. Gwen's newly married and they live in a two-room house so the bedroom is shared by all of them. Okay, that might cause some squidges, but it's authentic :D. So anyway, this is in her father's POV.

The sounds he heard from beneath their covers showed she had little complaint there either.


How's that for a fade to black? ;)

And stats:
New Words: 16567 words (Yep. Very busy day.)
37 Chapters complete - 77% of the novel
12 Chapters remain
27905 Remaining word count
91286 Current Total

I'm working from a 25k weekly goal, which I complete in 2-3 days, leaving the rest of the week to my other goals. I may just allow myself a little extra considering just 28k would take me to the end :).

Oh, and the overall word count is holding steady. I had just over 300 words cut at one point, then had to add 400 words to fix a plot issue. Right now I'm running at negative 133 words, but who knows by the end. It certainly isn't going to transform into a 110k or lower novel. On the other hand, maybe it won't creep over 120k either :).
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I haven't been very good about progress reports, but let me assure you that progress is occurring :). I'm up to chapter 23 right now and hope to be at 26 or farther by the end of the day. Yes, Selkie has short chapters.

The edit is going smoothly, almost too smoothly. I wonder if I'm doing a good enough job sometimes, and then I catch a continuity error so maybe I am.

That said, there isn't much to talk about in this edit. I'm not finding things that stump me, or things I can't believe I put in. Like getting feedback from busy editors, what comes here are the high points and the low ones.

So here's a high point, and a hmm.

I write multi-POV books almost entirely and I don't hold to one POV per chapter. Therefore, the issue of grounding the reader in a new POV is an important one for me. I edited the first scene from Dylan's perspective a few days ago and, afterwards, had an odd realization. It is clear from the first paragraph, the first sentence even, whose POV has center stage. What makes it funny is that he has no name at that point in the book. His own is unpronounceable and he's been unconscious the whole time so has not picked up a human one yet. So, the tradition of using the character's name was right out.

He felt the pressure of her hand against his pelt still even though he'd seen her move away. No, not pelt. Ignoring the hunger that gnawed at his stomach, he inventoried his state, finding arms and legs in place of fins and tail.


So what do you think? Is it the fisherman? He's the only other male introduced at this point. Somehow, I don't think there'll be any confusion :).

And stats:
Today's edits: 11429 words
27 Chapters complete - 53% of the novel
22 Chapters remain
55529 Remaining word count
63754 Current Total
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Well, all 119k of Selkie is now read, with minor changes along the way. I'm not sure whether I'm the best judge or if I'll ever have enough distance from this novel, but the terms that come to mind are compelling and traumatizing. This novel, which was supposed to fit the paranormal romance category, has both paranormal and romance, but it's the romance of Wuthering Heights. Powerful and literary. Hard to place. On the other hand, it has a strong voice.

As stupid as it may seem, I think I can sell this one. My greatest fear in that case is whether I'll ever be able to write something that can come after it.

So anyway, on to the next step. I get to try and edit it, catching things that I didn't see in the read through. Not sure what changes I'll make if anything :p. On the other hand, I haven't spell checked so that should keep me busy :).

The edit will start next week to give me a breather and some illusion of distance ;).
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Had a great run at Selkie today. I read over 24,000 words and went through a range of emotions. I can't tell if I'm kidding myself, if somehow after 2 years I'm still too close to this manuscript, or if I managed to put together a darn tight first draft. So far, and I'm well past half way, I've only found minor wording issue and a few little continuity items that were all fixable within a paragraph. Now I am reading for story right now, so when I sit back and contemplate, I may find other things that are wrong or where one emotion drags the story down. But for right now, I'm happy with it.

One odd note about how I work though. I really believe in introducing people when I need to, even if they are major players in the game. Though he's not a POV character yet, I just checked my outline and the character introduced now, with only about 40k left in the book to go, will get his POV moments. He's a pivotal character and his transformation is essential, but he had no place in the story before this point.

I've heard people argue about introducing characters late, and I've seen it done poorly, so I can't entirely disagree, however, I seem to trend this way. My stories may be more of a process than a happening, though this realization of a pattern is too new to hammer down. I don't start with a bunch of people and then mess with them. I tend to start with one or two pivotal people and grow the cast as those original folks interact with others and expand their circle. Sometimes that expansion happens in the beginning, and sometimes it doesn't happen until toward the end. Still, I'd feel manipulated if people were introduced before their time just for the sake of them being known when the time came, so I'm not unhappy about the circumstances.

That said, I'm glad I'm aware of the choice because it makes it a choice. In Kyrnie (now retitled Shadows of the Sun), I originally believed Tan would not play a crucial role and so he didn't exist in the beginning of the novel. However, his was a false absence. He was present in the time and place of the beginning, I just hadn't realized his importance. So in one of the many rewrites of that beginning, he finally came into his own. That was not true of another character. She was in a distant time and place and jumping into her POV in the beginning would have been distracting and disruptive.

That's how I feel about Edgar. Had he entered the Selkie story toward the beginning, it would have been a chance meeting while the father was out at sea, a throwaway scene for the simple purpose of alerting readers that there is another character out there. In contrast, I did have a chance meeting with another character (who never gets the POV) because it was both to set up how the villagers treated Gwen and an event later in the book. The scene wasn't a throwaway because it served two purposes.

A thought. This is the difference, I believe, between story seeding and plot seeding. The first I don't tend to use, the second I do. It's story seeding to reveal the full cast before the appropriate time just so readers can look back and say, yeah, I knew that person was there. Plot seeding is to reveal only those who serve a dual purpose and whose behavior can foreshadow events to come.

Anyway, those are my somewhat scattered thoughts on the issue.

Statistics because I usually provide them:

Read - 80316
Total - 119315
To read - 38999
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Well, I didn't get as much read as I'd planned to on Selkie, and I suffered a bit when the darker part started, but I'm still entranced by the novel. Of course it has no meaning since I'm the one saying this, but I hope some of my feelings will be shared by other readers.

What's interesting is the timing of all this. On the OWW listserv, there's a discussion regarding interior monologue. Several people have spoken out against the concept, something that makes me a little nervous and at the same time relieved. I feel as if this novel is one long internal monologue when I sit back and think of all the times that a character is there all by his or her self, or unable to communicate true thoughts because of a language barrier. However, as I read through, I'm hard pressed to find any interior thoughts that last more than a paragraph and few even that long. The scene may last that long, but it's broken up by actions and reactions. Even when one character stands alone on a beach, the sea is a character, the past is a character, the hopes and dreams build up one more side of it.

And then I wonder if anyone else will see it this way. I think this may be the most interesting novel I've written, interesting in a sense of style. It has a lot of dialect (almost if not all done in word choice and word order) because all the characters speak an archaic version of English. It has all these alone times. It has little action of the adventurous type.

Does it work? For me, it does. It's a retelling of a folk song with my own twist on it. I know the story so well that it may color my outlook, but still, these characters come alive to me. Sadly, that makes reading the story harder because I know what's coming, but I still look to see how it happens for these characters and whether they will move past the horrible happenings. At the same time, I remember the big points and know how it works, but I don't remember their reactions and that's what I'm enjoying now.
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Hmm, I'm leaving the original post below the same because I think it is funny. Just went back to check my journal and I never blogged The Great Selkie at all. I was thinking about it, considering starting my LJ as a novel process journal with Selkie, but ultimately I didn't get around to it. So I have no idea what my process was besides this:

Selkie appeared fully formed in the shower one morning, inspired by Judy Collins' version of The Great Selkie, a traditional folksong...and therefore not a happy go lucky one. I wrote the synopsis, and like But a Pretty Bauble, ended up with a novel pretty quickly if I remember correctly. The comments I made were enough to interest several of my writing friends who have been plaguing me for the chance to crit it. So finally, I've come full circle and Selkie is on my editing plate.

I'm currently in the first read through state, which is what I describe below. The plan is to read the whole novel in two weeks, take a week off, and jump into editing with the ultimate hope of completing the edit by the end of February. Don't know how realistic that is, but it is the goal.

Original post:

Okay, it's been a while, but it is finally time to revisit Selkie. It's up for my next big edit pass. Right now I'm rereading it and I'm happy to say it isn't awful. Actually, it's pretty darn good to my eye :D. The odd sentence makes me laugh or cry, which is a good sign.

But what's funny is that I'm so removed from the story that it has the ability to surprise me. I remembered the generals, but not that it had sex scenes (oh my!) and a strong thread of religion. I've had a busy time since I wrote Selkie and maybe that whole thing about a minimum of three months or writing another novel works really well. Of course I've written a number of novels since Selkie, but it make me wonder if all of them will come as a surprise.

Anyway, I don't know how frequent the posts will be, but it seems only appropriate to continue blogging the very first novel that ever showed up here.

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Margaret McGaffey Fisk

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