Thursday, July 31, 2014

Revision, Reading, and Word Counts

Well, it IS the end of July and I've missed a few days blogging. I'm in the middle of revision on The First Act, which is or should be about the first 150-170 pages of your book if you are writing a 450+ page book. I am doing that. I think it may turn out longer, but who knows. I can't see that now. I will be able to see a possible word count by the middle of August.  Speaking of August, I don't know how much Internet I can do in August. I have to increase my page count as to revisions and new words.

One of the thing about revisions is how you end up re-imagining your story. For example, my heroine. She no longer has the same story goal, no longer has the same occupation. At the end of Act I in a story, the main character's story goal changes direction. And her reasoning is totally different now. It's better, her motivations are stronger. However I can see myself revising a lot of Act I again. It's the most difficult part of the book for me. A lot of people hate the sagging middle and all that, but I plot in detail so I don't have any problems with the middle or the end. 

In fact, since the first of June I have been writing one new page a day or 300 words. I try for 300 words and stop. Most of those new words have been at the end of the book, Act III. Not all but most. I completely changed Act III. Totally. Why? I did not want to have a cliffhanger ending.  After reading so many series over the last two years, I decided I could not, would not do that to my readers or myself.  I want this book to be able to stand alone. That became so important to me over the last few months that I became blocked a few times, because I just did not know how to revise to do that. What helped me was reading.

Speaking of reading, I've read 81 books so far this year. I never thought I could do that. But I did it the same way I did writing. A bit at a time. Although on some days, I read all afternoon.  Reading helped me find my new ending. But I will say this. I definitely will not be reading like I have this year, next year. I am sure to make 100 books this year, probably more, but I don't want to do that amount of reading next year. I want to read more selectively. Of course, a lot of my reading was old books, book I reread, at least 30 or more were that, and a lot of them were books on writing--books I wanted to read in order to improve my knowledge of the craft. At least 20 were writing books.

The funny thing here is I can't keep buying all these books. I have no place for them! Laughing. Not now. They are stacked everywhere. You go buy 50+ hardcovers and see where you can put them! Especially if every wall and bookcase is already full. But I do believe I'll buy another 50 books next year. Gawd! I just need to see if I can get new bookcases. I hate seeing books double stacked and lying all over the place. It feels like hoarding, like clutter. It feels so wrong. Oh, well, I could have worse problems to deal with and yes, there are always worse problems and I do face them.

I write despite a lot of things. I give up TV and Movies and a bunch of other stuff so I can sit here and write. I walk and exercise so I can sit and write. Because sitting will kill you. Don't sit. Stand as much as you can.  I still have eye strain and I can see having to give up a lot of Internet just because I want to write a good book. The Internet is also a soul sucker, a damn bloodthirsty vampire of all things creative. It is one of those blessings that turns out to be a curse. I want to give up the Internet, but I don't know how. Laughing hysterically. Because how do you give up the Internet if you have a computer?????????  

I think I am making some headway with Facebook. I have cut that in half. Now I am working on Twitter. Twitter, according to my eye doctor, is the worst offender for eye strain, because you will constantly scroll.  I can feel the Twitter effect in my eyes now. I love Twitter. But I have got to cut my time there in half.  Maybe one day, I can just stay off the Internet for a month and not miss it. I wish I could do that. I try. I fail.  Isn't this sick? I told you the Internet was a bloodthirsty vampire and I meant it. And I am sucked into its mesmerizing powers.

But I am strong. I have walked over a mile or more every day for 90 days now. I have written 300 new words a day for 60 days now while doing revisions, and the next target is the Internet.

The best book, of all the books I have ever read on revising is this one. I highly recommend it.

So now I am going back to work. There's artwork, housework, cooking, grandchildren, etc. I hope to blog each day in August and skip other social media. That is my goal. I am going to try hard to do that. I want to finish my book. I want to be happy and productive. I'm ready.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014


“You must learn to overcome your very 

natural, and appropriate, revulsion for 

your own work.”

William Gibson

Thursday, July 24, 2014


The main facts in human life are five: birth, food, sleep, love and death.
E. M. Forster

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Heroine

Heroine Revisions:

1) Looking at and tracing motivations from chapter to chapter, flagging where these need help.

2) Adding complexity in notes for each scene.

3) Making sure her voice is consistent.

4) Noting finer details.

5) Writing out the arc to make sure it stands.

(no new text written today, just notes and diagrams and looking at manuscript)

Heroine Tidbits:

1) Her name is Ruby.

2) She wears vintage clothes.

3) She never lies.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Work and Reality

The end of July is almost here and I've taken some time to look at how things might go for me concerning writing. I've decided not to look back too much, because creative people have to always look forward if they are going to keep on believing in their work. A lot of sayings are true: "It always seems impossible until it's done." That is so true.

I've also been thinking about my target reader. Yes, I have one. I might write the book I want to read, but I am always aware of whom I want to read it. I keep that reader in mind and well, I have to say, I write for girls and young woman, or readers who like coming of age stories.  My heroines are always going to be 15-18 years old and facing the changes that most young women face at that time. Today, I decided to update my blog to show that interest. My granddaughter helped me, she's three and half years old, but she's smart. I had three graphics I liked. She chose this one. Smiling.


Sleeping Beauty Retelling: I honestly believe if I keep working at the rate I am working now and the family does not suffer another "sick spell" that I will finish the Sleeping Beauty retelling this winter. By winter I mean some time between November 2014 and the end of February 2015, I am going to be finished with THE BOOK. Then it will "sit a bit," before going out to a few readers, followed by another passing draft to tidy it up. FINALLY, it will be sent off to an agent.  So next year, I can safely say, The Sleeping Beauty Retelling will go off into the world to be read, judged, rejected, and so forth. Amen. I will be so proud when I can write. It's done. It's gone. It's off!  (This book can stand alone, so I am not going to be writing a sequel to it at this time.)

The Dragonfly:  In order to best serve this project, which has been an ambivalent one, I want to be able to offer this indie project to everyone I can. I want a print version as well as a digital one. I am so unsure of how to do all this, because I am not a publisher. I am a writer and doing an indie project is one I take as seriously as I do the Sleeping Beauty Retelling. I think the best thing, at this time, is for me to move the date back to around May of 2015. I do not believe I can give this book a proper launch (and still do the work I am doing on other projects) unless I wait until next year to release it. It can wait. It's waited for years, another ten months is nothing.

The Night Queens: Because of what is happening with The Dragonfly, I have decided to put out two novellas and a few shorts this year as digital only. No print at this time. This will let me get my feet wet, so to speak, in the digital world of self-publishing, and I'll be able to learn from my mistakes, too. The project is not new, I've been working on it when able for the last year.

The Goblin Market Retelling:  I am happy to report, and only could report this after a lot of hard work this past month that I am going to be working on my "heart" book after I send off The Sleeping Beauty Retelling. I could not have written this if I had not found a way to make the Sleeping Beauty Retelling a stand-alone novel.  Yes, it can have a sequel, but it does not have to have one, which is something that I have worked hard to do for all my stories in 2014. Last year, I would not have thought this, but after reading so many series, I realized that many readers have series fatigue and a lot of middle books in series are just not that good or the last book terribly disappoints. I just want good books. TGM is my heart book and it comes next.

Update: I think, for the most part, I want to write stand-alone-novels. And I should write my  posts in Word from now on! I've had to edit half a dozen times. Exhausted.