I reread my edits to Sunguard, and between my own observations and a first reader, I made some notes for the next edit pass. I moved on to Eve, which has a good foundation in conflict and emotion, but I need to add some description which is sorely lacking. I think it’s one of the reasons I tend to write more fantasy than science fiction, I have more to play with regarding description and environment. But who am I to back down from a challenge! I’ll keep you posted.
The Sunguard edit has met with some success. The story nearly doubled in size, and maybe 100 words remains of the original story. The changes are definitely for the better. The ending took an odd turn, but I think it works. I’ve got it out to some readers now, so hopefully soon I’ll know if I’ve gone off the deep end or not. Happy reading, my friends. 🙂
Ending revised, story complete. Edited. Ready. Submission quality. I lack the proper words.
I’ll do a quick check tomorrow, make sure I didn’t make any silly typos, then print and head over to the post office. This will be my first short story submission in three years. It’s about damn time!
I’ve been working on multiple things since Sunday, not really getting too far with any of them. On the other hand, I’ve managed to regain control over the day-job workflow, and I think that (and the two year old) have consumed most of my energy. Oh, and the growing one, too. (Pats tummy).
Something drastic has to happen to Sunguard. I’m playing with the different scenes, but I still don’t have the right combination. The story concept is right, the characters are right, even the viewpoint is right, but it’s the sequence of presenting the events that’s bothering me. Backstory is fine, but in a short story, an entire page of backstory is too much. I generally try to avoid flashbacks unless the story truly needs it. This story either needs the flashback (groan) or I need to start earlier. But that means dragging my readers through an event akin to a meteor shower and hitting those same people once a month for three to four months. I think that’ll kill the interest in the character. Those events, those changes, lead to what Ashelle is dealing with now. I think the event isn’t so much the “meteor shower” but Ashelle’s interpretation of it. I don’t like my options right now. I feel like there’s another option, but at the moment, I can’t identify it. I’ll keep playing with it, I guess. It’ll hit me eventually.
Something clicked or unblocked or woke up, not quite sure which one at the moment, but am half way through the Sunguard edit. Out of nowhere.
Maybe it’s my magic notebook? It told me to edit Sunguard tonight…
When is an edit not an edit? When it’s a complete rewrite. I think that’s my problem with Sunguard. I deleted the first three pages, wrote another two and a half, but I’m going to delete most of that. I’ll wait until I get the ending sorted out, then tie the beginning directly to that. In the meantime, I’m not happy with what I rewrote.
I’m right back at the original issue of viewpoint, too. Ashelle’s voice hits my fingers in the first person, and I’m forcing her back to third. (I type often before I realize what’s in my head). I don’t write first person well, but I don’t think Ashelle is giving me a choice this time.
I also think I’ve started the story in the wrong place. (Real interesting timing with the online advanced fiction course I’m taking through University of Madison. The first lesson is “Begin Someplace That Matters”.)
Since I’m rewriting this anyway, I’ll try the first person, see if I can’t do something decent with it. It may help to reread one of my viewpoint reference books. Maybe I’ll grab it on the way up to bed.
On the upside, I decided today I wanted to start sketching again. I don’t know where it came from, aside from sharing my beloved colored pencils with my two year old daughter.
Yes, again. I’m getting closer. Sending the story off for a sadistic crit. I’ll edit once more after that’s done, but then it’s going OUT THE DOOR. I promise you — better yet, I promise me!
I took a quick break from Sunguard as editing a first draft can be overwhelming, and this one is taking so long it’s stressing me out. I pulled up a story — Treischan Strength–I wrote last May and edited last June, and reviewed the crits and comments I received on it. I made some changes, reviewed for basic editing, and the third draft is done. I’ve sent it out to some readers for feedback. I have a good feeling about this version, it’s very very close to submission-level writing, but I need some confirmation before I ship it off to my favorite zines.
I spent Wednesday evening organizing the stories I like the best, the ones that I feel have the most potential. The four I wrote this past month, plus two from last year are the highest priority in my editing queue, although there are a few older favorites that need major revamping. The plan is to move those six along, and then I can look at the older stories.
I’m starting with Sunguard. I wrote my stories this year without use of my “Notes” sheets, so I’m using that document to prep for the edit. I like the premise, but I need to increase the threat in the story. Reading it feels too far removed from what Ashelle is dealing with, and that isn’t quite the feel I envisioned.
I red-lined the printout last night, and today I’ll move onto the analysis. Hopefully I can get this first pass done in a few days and out to my First Readers for some basic feedback. May the edit begin!
Whispers (fun project, not on goals list): opening written, shared with partner.
Forgotten Star: (1) Chapter 1 Scene 2 edited at 888 words. (2) Revamped chapter organization; scene 3 has been moved to the start of chapter 3, therefore (3) Chapter 1 edit is complete (and posted to SG for crit).
Forgotten Star — Chapter 1, Scene 1: 1213 words edited (7 pages). Scene complete. Venian is more frightening now. [1/3 scenes]
TLO received another quick eidt/skim over lunch, and I fixed a few things that were nagging me overnight. It’s in the crit queue now.
I am planning on using this blog to mark my daily progress. Part of the reasoning is to keep myself on track. I promised myself I would not take a full year to get through an edit, as the previous versions required. I won’t have the luxury in the future, and I shouldn’t take it now. My goal is 6 – 9 months, so that’ll put me December – March for finishing this. I also need to maintain my other writing projects while keeping up with this novel edit, so I need to remind myself of those items as well. Here goes.
The Lonely Orchard: 2 pages edited, which includes a stronger opening scene. (2/12 pages)
Forgotten Star: Chapter 1 (the recently written chapter “A”) red-lined for edit prep. Consists of three scenes to be edited electronically this week.
Not too much done these past few days. I accomplished my goals for the week early, and I think my brain took a break. I picked up a book I read some time ago and skimmed over it again, as I tend to do with writing books. “Handbook of Short Story Writing, Volume II”, and sure enough, some concepts hit home. Two specific stories were in mind when I read this, and I confirmed for myself that I need to add the extra scene to the start of Dragon’s Bard, and just how I needed to fix the opening to The Lonely Orchard.
Edit prep and planning for the novel has gone as far as it can without turning into procrastination: the Forgotten Star edit begins today.
Reviewed yesterday, edited today. It took about three hours once I got into it, but I didn’t go nuts with line by lines unless something really didn’t feel right. I’m still very close to the story, and toyed with several possible changes (surrounding a support character) and ended up adding a scene at the beginning to sort things out. (That’s becoming a common occurance for me, maybe something I need to think on when writing my first drafts).
This one will be out to the crit group shortly, can’t wait for feedback!
I worked on Dragon’s Bard over lunch (which really should be “Dragons’ Bard’ now), and worked out what needs to change in the edit.
This evening I added 2,067 words to Forgotten Star and completed chapter D. I’m ready to edit!
Completed the Treischan Strength edit this evening after all. 🙂
Treischan Strength is coming along. A friend provided some feedback that melted the hurdle blocking my internal editor from the story. No, it’s not perfect yet, but give me some time. I’m halfway through the piece tonight, I hope to finish it up tomorrow.
I’m working on the Treischan Strength edit, and while I’m cleaning up grammatical issues and word choices, I’m pretty satisfied with the way it turned out. My writer’s conscience consists of my muse hanging over one shoulder saying “It’s beautiful! It turned out just the way I wanted it.”, and my Editor hanging over the other shoulder red pen in hand. She shakes her head and scribbles across the top of the first page. “You need more distance.” I don’t want to pass it on to my crit group without knowing that it’s as good as can be. I need to give it a major edit before I use that kind of resource (crits don’t come for free, so I try to use the groups carefully). So, I’m editing what I see needs fixing for now, and then I’m going to pass it by my first readers for some opinions. (If you want to help me out, drop me an email within the next week please!)
Winter Warrior keeps dancing on the sidelines, which is good. Forgotten Star is also coming along – I’m organizing the madness that use to be my folder of notes, and trying to put them to use. Katlana’s new name is Talanna. I like it, but I haven’t written with it yet. I’ll be doing that later today. I completed Myrddin’s crit, and moving on to another one. I think this is the last one I need to hit backstory (in the form of 3/4s of a novel in order to crit. So here on out, the critting should be a little easier.
Thursday night was useless, I’ve been writing all week without a break, but it was needed. I had trouble getting started tonight, but managed to get myself in gear and got something done. I started and completed the second edit pass of The Crossing. Better dialogue, better action, and I hope the plot holes are fixed.
It’s ready for crit now, so I’ll just hold onto it for my crit group to get going. 🙂 And now I get to start looking for markets to submit this.
The Crossing has been edited, I am happy to say. I think it’s really improved now. I may have to touch up a little here and there, but the plot is sound. It was hard to keep everything to “just the short story” as this is the short that sparked Winter Warrior.
Additionally, Valora doesn’t work for Korin’s twin in Forgotten Star. I have to go at it again.
Winter Warrior: I made the right decision to worldbuild Winter Warrior. Ideas on this world, the characters, and their goals/obstacles have started flowing.
Forgotten Star: I also realized in reviewing Forgotten Star that some character names need to change. Too many K names for prominent characters in the story. Crystal and Korin work well together because the sound is pleasing but the words are visually different. Korin’s twin Katlana is going to be renamed and I’m using the name Katlana for a character in Winter Warrior.
The Crossing: The short story edit is going better. I’ve decided to try another method and it seems to be helping. Previously I was printing, marking up the printed copy, then inputting changes. That’s really duplciate work. I’m trying to edit right into the word document using the track changes feature, which I don’t have much experience using. I used it last night, and made it through a severe edit with only a little elbow grease. Of course, it took me an hour to edit a single page, but it’s much better than it was before.
Critiquing: I’ve read all the material (backstory and current chapter) for Myrddin’s crit. A lot has happened and I’m not sure I have a good feel for his writing style yet, but I’ll muddle through. I see some places where I think I can help, so at the very least he’ll get something from me.