Thursday, February 23, 2017

Meanwhile, In Editing Land

As of ten days ago, the first draft of The Last God is finished. Which, as you've probably gathered from the title of this post, means I'm now shaping that messy lump of clay into a draft that's more organized, detailed, and coherent.

Having done this a few times now, I have to say that this is probably the cleanest and most complete from beginning to end first draft I've done so far. That only took...ten novels.

So far my major issues seem to be:

- Changing the spelling of several names between the beginning and the end. Thank goodness for find/replace. Except when you change a character name from Lex to Logan and end up with WTF words like compLoganion. Good thing this is only the second draft so I can catch these things before other eyes suffer from my bad habits.

- Sowing details about characters that never pop up again. I wrote the whole novel and then, going back to the beginning, realized I'd given one of the characters a first name that only gets used once.  Another has several abilities that never ended up being utilized, amongst other things.

- Dropping details of important events that never get resolved. After an enemy attacks and is defeated. Their space ship was never mentioned again. Were there people still on it? Did they leave? Are the good guys towing it around? Maybe it evaporated?

So yes, some cleaning going on and a good deal of better stitching events and motivations together as well. The bones are there though, and this is the least amount of rewriting I've ever had to far. I say this as I launch into chapter four. Though, the beginning is usually the roughest part-where I was finding the story and learning the characters. I'm feeling pretty good about the rest. And now I've just cursed myself. Crap. I'm going to stop talking now.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

To Be Published: Chetric The Grand

I've been remiss in my short story writing of late. Not to mention the editing and submitting of those I've already written. Since November, I seem to be in full novel mode. Not that this is a bad thing. In fact, it's been quite productive. The Last God has breeched 70K, and I know the least generally. Yay pantsers!

Back in November, I took a NaNoWriMo day to write a short story for a local small press's contest prompt. While I didn't win, that story is slated to be included in their upcoming anthology.

It was a challenge to work all of the prompt into the story, but fun, nevertheless. Chet wakes up to find himself inside a video game. All he has is backpack, as sword, and a note that says "Beat me and I'll send you home." More news on Chetric the Grand when I get a publication date.

Sadly, other than one other short out in submission land, my odds of additional publication notices are slim to none at the moment. Which means I should get back to this finishing this novel while I await edits on Trust so I can get back to short stories before April A to Z hits and drags me there whether I'm ready or not.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

IWSG February

January was full of writing. Then suddenly, here we are two months into the new year and another first Wednesday of the month...which means it's time for another Insecure Writer's Support Group post.

This month's question is: How has being a writer changed your experience as a reader?

Short answer: Reading isn't as much fun as it used to be.

Why? It's hard to turn the editor off and sink into a story. I'm much more critical than I used to be. Stories I might have given three chapters to grab me, I now give one. Stories I would have finished just because I started reading them, now get set aside unfinished. Maybe part of that is probably due to getting older and less tolerant and not having as much free time.

I get very frustrated when characters do something illogical, when plots revolve around the fact that two characters simply misunderstood or didn't talk to one another, when there's too damn much description, nothing significant happens for pages on end or there's a freaking thirty page glossary and appendix at the end of a romance novel. Just no. 

Things I would have shrugged off, overlooked, or let go before I started seriously writing, are now roadblocks to enjoyment. 

On the positive side of things, I do better appreciate a masterful plot, well-written description, and character interactions. Aspects of the story, that as a general reader I would have simply enjoyed and sped along, now stand out because I'm watching for them.

One last insight on this is that I don't read as much as I used to. Because I'm writing during that time. Ah, the perils of productive time usage, or attempts thereof.