Plants are Pretty Cool, right?

I’m at that point with my revision of Part II where I just basically hate everything. I’ve outlined what I have. I’ve made lots of rambling notes about what I want to be different. I’m trying to figure out how to merge the two and it’s just AWFUL!! Blarg. I go through this with Every Single Revision, you would think I’d be used to it now, but noooo.

It’s like, I know I’ll reach that point where I’ve got everything figured out and I can start the actual rewriting process, but right now it’s hard to see it. I’m questioning everything: does this scene belong? would this character really behave like that? what is the point of this storyline? how do I develop this naturally? does anything in here make even A LITTLE BIT OF SENSE?? Should I just give up and become a horticulturist???

So anyways. That’s how it’s going.

It’s January Already!

So, so, so, welcome to the second day of 2014! It’s sunny and seventies in AZ, which might make a lot of you jealous, but I really wouldn’t mind some clouds and snow and a roaring fire and some hot chocolate. I am drinking black currant tea with cream, though, so that’s something!

On the roster for 2014:

  • I’m turning 30 in twenty-five days. That sounds really old. 0_o (Obviously this isn’t a goal, just an inevitable event.)
  • Whale and the Tree revision. Hoping to be finished circa April, although this draft will need at least another pass after that. Really proud of my changes so far! I think it’s already a much stronger manuscript.
  • Another novel. Possibly another revision, possibly a reworking of last year’s short story idea, possibly something completely new. We’ll see!
  • I have a ton of books I want to read, including but not limited to: The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Sorrow’s Knot, The Bitter Kingdom, Shadow and Bone, The Fault in Our Stars, Unthinkable, The Name of the Wind, The Night Circus, Reflections (Diana Wynne Jones on writing), and whatever else has yet to tickle my fancy! (Book suggestions always welcome!)
That’s it for now. More later if I think of anything! Also, my tea is gone, so it seems a fitting place to end.
Go forth and be awesome, everyone!

Ode to October

I so love October!! No lovely autumn trees here, unfortunately, but the days are slooooowly getting cooler and the holidays are just around the corner, and my husband and I are going to Disneyland for our first anniversary next week. Life is good!

The revision is going pretty well… I haven’t actually worked on it yet this week, due to a grisly battle with a horde of ants over our kitchen yesterday, but I’m feeling encouraged and enthusiastic about it. My goal is to finish the first half by the end of the month and I THINK I can do it if I push. And I want to because…

I’m contemplating NaNoWriMo this year!! I’ve been bitten with NaNo fever and I’m not sure I can shake it. 🙂 If I do join, I’ll be continuing the novel I started writing in 2009, and therefore technically be a NaNo rebel! It’s a story that’s been in my head since the early 90s 0_o and I read the first part the other day and I desperately want to finish it because my inner thirteen-year-old self wants to read the end! I haven’t 100% committed yet, but I’m definitely leaning that way.

But at any rate, here’s my last piano student of the day, so I’d better attend to him.

Over and out. 🙂

Dear Novel, I Still Like You

To paraphrase Shakespeare, the outline’s the thing!

Yeah, I’m outlining the remainder of Part One of my huge rewrite, and it’s a VERY EXCELLENT IDEA. I went into this thinking “I’ll just start over and see what happens” and that might not’ve been the BEST decision ever. I’m at the point where I need to marry my new material to my old material. I realized I CAN still use some of the scenes I’ve already written, and that I’m trying to make THIS story better, not write a completely different one. So that was an encouraging realization!

I’ve only been working on this outline for a couple days, and I almost have it sorted enough to start writing/revising again. I’m excited! I can do this!

I STILL LIKE THIS NOVEL!!!!!!

This Writing Thing

Well, September is upon us! I’m slowly pecking away at the novel rewrite, and—as usual—being frustrated and encouraged in turn. I’m finally beginning to get a vision of how I want it to go, but there’s so many decisions and possibilities it gets pretty confusing. But I’m gonna push through!!

I keep having to re-realize that, for right now, I can’t worry about:

… whether or not it’s too long

… whether or not there will be a market for it WHEN I finally finish

… whether or not my writing is perfect

… whether or not I’m being as creative as I aspire to be

… whether or not I’m ever going to make it past the first few chapters

I can, however, focus on:

— Plot!

— Characterization!

— Pacing!

— Structure!

— Doing the best I can with where I am right now

— Enjoying the freedom that comes with re-imagining the story

— Working on it EVERY DAY

At least I have something to semi-distract me from compulsively checking my email every two minutes and the miniature heart attacks brought on by seeing a reply to one of my queries in my inbox.

Yeah…

This writing thing, I tell ya.

Puzzles

This rewrite feels like I’m trying to do a 2,000 piece puzzle, but I’ve only got 200 pieces and I lost the box so I can’t refer to the picture on the top and therefore have no clue what this thing is supposed to look like when it’s done.

Yeah. It’s kinda like that.

Where the novel currently is and where I want it to actually be are two separate universes at this moment. Here’s some of the changes I’m grappling with:

1. The Beginning. In the longest and most helpful rejection letter I’ve ever received, the question was posed: does this novel start in the right place? In this new draft I began the novel earlier in the timeline, and I feel like I might be trapped in the (new) first three chapters for all of eternity at this point.

2. Characterization. I’m basically trying to give my MC a spine. And some spunk. She’s getting a personality makeover, and she needs it!!

3. Relationships. I’m not too far into this aspect of the story yet, but there’s a massive balancing act to do here. My MC’s relationship with her mother is complicated and something I’m tweaking a little/trying to figure out in this new draft. There’s also a massive love square (that’s a love triangle with an extra side, haha) to navigate as the story progresses.

4. Plot. Although I’m not making a lot of earth-shattering plot alterations, I am changing it here and there, and I want to be consistent across the board and not change it so much that I lose the overall vision/feel of the original. I still want to be able to recognize this story!!

5. Length. I’m hoping to make this draft at least 10K shorter than the previous one. Yeah.

6. The Ending. I haven’t figured out if I’m going to change the original ending or not. I can’t decide.

So that’s that.

Wordcounts and Doctor Who and Batman, oh my!!

Well, mostly good things to report over here!

My read-through went super good—I slashed and dashed as many words as humanly possible and got ye olde novel down to……………… 88,819 words. Not quite the 85K I was hoping for, but at least it’s under 89K. You know. Ish.

I’m currently researching agents (I’ve been doing it on and off for a while now), honing my query letter and so on, and all that editing paid off—I revised and condensed that query, hooray!

Still working on getting my Scrivener compile feature up and running again (the tech support people are super helpful). Just got a general Scrivener update email today and it said that a couple of recent Doctor Who episodes were actually penned in Scrivener, which of course made my little geeky heart go pitter pat. 😀

Gonna poke at my novel a little more and make sure it’s EXACTLY perfect, and then it’s off to the query mobile, batman!!

Caution, Read Through In Progress: Verbiage Ahead!

So I wound up printing out my novel after all—had to resort to copying and pasting the whole thing into Pages and tweaking the formatting for a while but I got that bad boy printed out in the end!

I’m almost halfway done with my read-through/editing and I’m really liking this draft so far. I’m cutting as many extemporaneous words as possible and it feels good. I love that stage of editing when you’re so on fire that deleting things no longer make you want to curl up in a hole and die but cackle with evil glee instead. 😀 It remains to be seen how many words I’ve actually axed so far; I’m hoping it’s in the neighborhood of 1K, though.

I’ve also rearranged some scenes in chapters three and four that were bothering me, which I think has solved the problem, and my newly rewritten sections are turning out to work with the flow of the novel much better than I thought, so that’s encouraging.

Definitely on track to have the finalized Draft #3 ready to be sent out into the wide world by the end of the month. Hoorah!!

Hail the Conquering Author!

I finished!!!!!!!!!!!!

Just had half a chapter to go through this morning, which I did. I’m a little disappointed that I can’t print it out yet, though—I’m having problems with the compile feature on my Scrivener (I LOVE this program and normally don’t have any issues) and so can’t get it into my word processor. Kind of frustrating, but I’ve contacted technical support and hopefully the issue will be resolved soon. I have a shiny ream of paper and a shiny new binder all ready to receive my new draft when it is!!

Final word count for Draft #3 is 90,607. Le sigh…

I might possibly be noodling on a short story idea… we’ll see if anything happens with it!

Sheesh, three posts in three days! This is getting serious.

I think I need more tea.

Cheers!

Yea Verily, the Word Count Doth Swell

Only two chapters left!! Taking a bit of a break ’cause the last ones need special concentration and my head is starting to hurt (I clearly need more tea).

This revision is going quite well (I think!!). My only concern is the swelling of my word count. Why can nothing I write ever get SHORTER? I’ve peeked at my initial draft a couple of times over the last week to try and clear up some discrepancies (it didn’t actually help), and was pleased to see that the second draft is a much better book than the first, and I think this third draft is making it even better. But not shorter. Never shorter. >:-( First draft was 70K, second draft was 80K, and now I’m pushing 90K! When I do my read-through I’m going to try and cut as much as possible. Hopefully I’ll get it down to 85K, but I’m not holding my breath. Sheesh.

Okay. Break time. By which I mean bathroom cleaning time. And a shower. And more tea. Probably in that order.

Also, I think my post titles are possibly getting out of control. On the other hand, I can’t just title my posts “update” all the time. That’s super boring.

Okay I think I’m done now. 🙂