Structural Editing In Progress

You guys, I’m really pleased with the editing I’ve done so far on this manuscript. This is the one I finished drafting back in February. I let it sit for two months, then dove in to a first round of edits last Friday. I spent the past week just reading the manuscript. I put it in iBooks so I wasn’t tempted to change anything along the way and I took notes as I read.

I finished the read-through today. I’m really pleased with what I have so far. I’m going to add a subplot, probably delete some stuff, and add other stuff. Right now, my main concern is making sure the story is structurally sound. I don’t want there to be any plot threads hanging or anything that sticks out as not making sense.

One thing I won’t be changing very much is the ending. There are a few scenes I plan on adding towards the end, but as for the actual ending scene itself, I won’t be changing much. I’m really pleased about how it wraps up the story. I think it sets the stage for book two (yes, this is a series!) as well.

You’re probably wondering if this book will be published or not. Right now, your guess is as good as mine. I certainly plan on submitting it to agents and seeing if I can get a deal. I have heard that a lot of publishing contracts are quite bad nowadays (some have non-compete agreements, I’ve heard, which is absurd), but some people get really good contracts, too. And while I know that going the indie route (as in, putting the book up for sale yourself on Amazon and other assorted e-retailers) gives you more freedom, there really is nothing like having a big publishing juggernaut behind you.

So yes, I do hope this book will be published at some point. I just don’t know when that point will be. If I am fortunate enough to get a contract, I will definitely announce it on here!

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A Secret Life

I don’t think I said this publicly, but one of my goals is to write every day this month, both on this blog and my fiction. So far I’ve accomplished both, but it can be hard to come up with blog topics some days. Today is one of those days.

So I figured I’d blog about one of my favorite activities: writing fiction! Specifically, how writing fiction relates to my life as a whole.

I had a work event tonight—a happy hour with food (let’s face it, people, I only went for the free food because free food is awesome)—and when I got home, I was thinking how no one at work knows I write. It’s not that I’ve deliberately kept it a secret. I just kind of haven’t ever brought up my writing in conversation.

Honestly, I like keeping some aspects of my life private from my coworkers. I’ve recently realized that a lot of my coworkers follow each other on social media, especially Facebook. Personally, that would drive me nuts. Longtime readers will know I ditched Facebook and don’t regret it one bit, but even if I had it, I can’t imagine adding people from work. I just don’t want everyone I know knowing all my business all the time.

I suppose that means my writing will remain unspoken of at work unless I decide otherwise. That’s fine with me. It’s not like I don’t have other hobbies to talk about—I’ve worn knitted and crocheted things to demonstrate my crafting prowess (and to be fashionable because everything I make is fashionable, obviously)—and my coworkers know I read a lot. But for now, the fiction writing will remain a secret. I wouldn’t be opposed to finding a local writing group, though. That could definitely be fun…

Round One Edits COMPLETE.

Yesterday, I finished the first round of edits for one of my manuscripts. I want to take it through another round on my own before letting anyone read it. I also want to forget about it for a bit so I can look at it with fresh eyes (again) prior to the next round, so I’m setting it aside for a bit. In the meantime, I’m editing the novel that I finished back in February that I referenced in that link above. It’s been almost two months since I last looked at it, so I decided now is as a good time as any to dive into it.

I’m still at the beginning, but one thing I’ve noticed is how much outlining and structuring up front has helped my writing. Yes, it’s a ton of work up front, but this book already reads so much smoother than some of my earlier work. I thought I was going to hate it when I went back to it… but I actually kind of like it.

February and March Writing Reports

Editing is weird.

When I’m working on a rough draft, it’s easy to count how many words I’ve written. The convenient little word count feature in Scrivener shows me how much I’ve written that day. It’s relatively simple to write 500-1,000 words. They may not be the most beautiful words and they may need to be edited later, but still, the actual tracking of words written is easy. Therefore, progress is easier to see, too.

Editing is different. It’s more mentally draining, so I can’t do it as long as I can write. It’s also harder to estimate word count. Parts get deleted and rewritten. I’ll read over a couple thousand words and rewrite some of those, rearrange others, and leave the remainder alone.

That being said, I spent most of February and all of March editing. So while I do have writing reports for both months, they’re a bit different than usual.

In February, I wrote 8,824 words. That’s an average of 315 words per day. Most of those were written on or before February 10, which is when I finished the draft I was working on (yay!) and started editing a different manuscript. I missed 14 days that month.

In March, I wrote 8,396 words. That’s an average of 270 words per day. That was all during my editing process and I missed 16 days.

The good news? I’m approaching the end of my first round of edits on this manuscript. I’ll probably let it sit for a little bit while working on something else. Then it’ll be time for another reread and probably some more edits of what I missed the first time around. I have a feeling I will be very tired of this book by the time I’m finished editing.

Diving Right In

Ten days ago, I finished the third draft of a novel. I’d been working on it for… far too long, considering the end product. Including my time outlining, I was occupied with the thing for over a year. (I started outlining in December 2016.) And I’m not even close to being done with it. I know it needs a lot of editing, starting with some cuts in the beginning. The first act of the story, which should be approximately the first quarter of the book, is a tad on the long side. Plus I’m considering redoing the entire book in third person rather than first. First person is really, really, really hard to write well, in my opinion. (I will point you to the many mediocre first-person novels out there. There are a ton of them.) I’m not sure if this book really requires first person, the more I think about it, so a rewrite may be in store.

I don’t like to edit immediately after finishing something, though, so I put that manuscript aside. The day after I finished it, I started editing something else. It’s another manuscript I finished back in 2015, meant to edit, but then never got around to it. A writer’s work is never done, you guys. Anthony Trollope the prolific (and financially successful!) Victorian novelist wrote every day—even if he finished something. As in, if he still had time left to write after finishing, he started on his next project that very same day. Brandon Sanderson, a modern novelist who is very, very successful (he writes fantasy and supports his family with his writing, which is basically my dream), wrote thirteen or so novels before he got published. And it wasn’t the thirteenth one that was published first. It was the sixth or seventh that managed to spark an editor’s interest and launch his writing career.

Now, I don’t want to jinx anything or get ahead of myself… but that manuscript I mentioned above, the one I finished in 2015 that I’m editing now? I actually sort of like it. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot in it I have to fix. I’m reading through it now and have almost five pages of notes already. But I feel like it has actual potential. I’d love to get it into a state where I actually feel comfortable pitching it. Because I’ve never pitched a novel before and that’s something I want to do this year.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, everyone! Shortly after I wrote my prior post,* I went to the Balmy Tropics. It… wasn’t the best trip to the Balmy Tropics. The weather was great but the certain events continue. At least my mom and I went shopping and out to eat multiple times when I was there.

I wanted to start the year off right, so I wrote over a thousand words today. I still need to post my 2017 writing report—it probably will be lackluster, but I’m just trying to push forward and keep working on my writing. I’m planning to finish the draft I’ve been working on and I have a couple of short stories to edit.

Anyway, I hope everyone had a good New Year’s Day. It’s back to work tomorrow, which I’m not looking forward to because I haven’t gone to work in over a week! It’s going to be a rude awakening tomorrow…

*In my prior post, I mentioned a book I’m excited for later this year. In fact, I’m so excited that I put a countdown in the sidebar of this blog! It’ll be in the sidebar or at the bottom of the page, depending on what device you’re using to read this blog. If you’re reading via RSS or email, I think you have to click through to the blog.

Massive Four-Month Writing Report

I’m back, dear readers! Don’t worry, my silence this time wasn’t as long as last time… I was just busy celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday with my mom. We ate a ton of food and did a ton of shopping. I ended up with some new yarn—which I definitely do not need, considering how much yarn I have lying around at home, but it’s such beautiful yarn that it’s okay—and I went back to work last week. (I will post some pictures of the yarn, but not tonight because it’s getting late!)

I also am trying to get back into my writing. I’m tired of feeling too demoralized and sad to write. I will write! I will finish the book I’m working on. I hate leaving projects unfinished. There’s always hope that a finished project, even if it’s a bit raw and ragged around the edges, can be edited and polished into something a bit more beautiful. As it stands right now, my current work in progress is about halfway complete. I need it to be fully complete to edit it.

Anyway, I realized that I haven’t done a monthly writing report since July. That’s appalling! I don’t want to write four separate posts for August, September, October, and November, especially since those months weren’t so great for writing, so I thought I’d combine them in this post.

  • August: 17,400 words, daily average 561 words
  • September: 12,116 words, daily average 403 words
  • October: 11,086 words, daily average 357 words
  • November: 5,119 words, daily average 170 words

Now, this wouldn’t be a bad thing if I’d been outlining on paper, as I often do, but the sad truth is that by November, I was barely writing anything. In August, I did pretty well. In September, I wrote one short story. In October, I went back to my current work in progress briefly. And in November, I did a little bit of outlining for another project (because I was convinced I’d have to abandon my current project) and wrote a short story (my first in the horror genre!), but that was it.

The good news is that so far this month, I’ve written more than half of what I did last month, which is good. I don’t really have a word count goal for this month beyond reversing the dismal trend above. Basically, I just want to write more words this month than last. And I am going to finish my current work in progress so that it can someday be edited. Now, if only I could get better at editing… fellow writers out there who have the whole editing thing down, how did you do it?! Inquiring minds want to know, as I’m so much more comfortably brainstorming and outlining and writing than I am editing.

July 2017 Writing Report

Obligatory writing instrument.

July was a pretty good month for me, writing-wise. I wrote a total of 23,621 words, which is an average of 761 words per day. My novel is coming together pretty well, though I think the first act is going to be too long, which means I’ll have to cut chapters or move some stuff around (or both).

Anyway, my July word count is even better when you consider that only wrote for fifteen days in the month. What helped push it higher were some really high word counts. The highest number of words I wrote in one day was 4,049, which is a lot for me. I hope I can get some high word counts this month, too. I didn’t write during my vacation, so I’ve got some catching up to do! 🙂

June 2017 Writing Report

I don’t actually write with quills, thank goodness!

You guys, June was a really good month for writing. I got off to a bit of a rocky start because of the certification exam, but then I really took off and it was great. I’m really happy about this. I wrote a total of 19,918 words in June, which is an average of 663 words per day. That’s almost to my goal of 700 per day that I set for this year. I missed only 13 days of writing, which isn’t too bad. What really pushed me over the edge were a couple of 3,000 word days I had in there. Seriously, 3,000 words is a really good word count (for me) and I’m pleased I was able to do that twice. (Just so you know, I’ve already done it once in July, too!)

Oh, and I finished a draft of my science fiction book. This book has had many plot and character changes, so I think this was draft #4. I haven’t read over it yet and I’m sure it needs editing, but I really hope it doesn’t need another rewrite because a fifth rewrite sounds a bit ridiculous, even to me.

How’s your writing going?

May 2017 Writing Report

This is going to be a short post because the less that is said about the May writing report, the better.

In May, I wrote a total of 5,068 words, which is an average of 163 words per day. That’s a rather dismal figure, I’m afraid. I spent most of May studying for my exam, which I passed, so it was definitely worth it. But still, I wish I’d had more time for writing.

The good news is that as of right now, I’ve written more this month than I did the entire month of May. Surely that’s a good thing, right?