Saturday, January 25, 2014

Editing Embarkation

Well, I've been saying it for weeks. Now it's time to pay up or shut up, and since I've never been particularly good at shutting up, I guess I better just do it.

I write pretty slowly, and I outline thoroughly prior to writing. While I write, I also maintain an Excel spreadsheet with all the scenes being updated as I write them. All of this combines into what I consider a pretty passable first draft. I never call them "rough drafts" because they really aren't that rough. They are usually internally consistent, grammatically correct, and wholly complete. That doesn't mean they are done, but it means they need a hell of a lot less work than they could. (Does this save me time overall? No, probably not. Like I said, I write sloooowly!)

Which is my little pep talk for gearing myself up for an edit. It can't be that bad...right?

I am planning to basically do my own version of Holly Lisle's one-pass revision method. I've got my printed copy all ready to go, and I am preparing my nerves. After a brief (BRIEF, self, BRIEF!) Target run to get some shiny new pens, I'll be butt-in-chair, ready to go. Kill my darlings, or breathe more life into them, or whatever it takes to make novel 6 a ready-to-submit gem of a work.

And, just for funsies, a wordcloud of the 200 most common words in my first draft.

My favorite are the random letters from contractions—ll is a top 200?!

Hm, wonder who the main character is? (There is a reason the working title for novel 6 is "Anna in Space"! Also, I need a new title. =\)

Monday, January 20, 2014

August...September...October...damn...2013?? Wrap-Up

Okay, so...yeah. It's been forever. I know. I set up a repeating to-do on Todoist for a blog post, and every day I get a reminder telling me how overdue I am. I am now up to 102 days overdue. Oops.

In my defense (and because, fuck, no one reads this anyway), I had a lot of shit going on. After 1.5 years of 3000 mile long distance, my boyfriend and I moved in together here in San Diego. I had to find an apartment for the two of us, and then I flew out there to help him with the drive here. Then moving in. Considering I just put my artwork up on the walls two weeks ago, a blog post was not so high on my list. Not to mention holidays, weddings, and a vacation to Kaua'i to ring in the New Year.

Not pictured: Me thinking about writing. At all.

So, having been so long absent from the detailings of drafting and editing and gnashing my teeth, what has the result been?

Well. I did finally finish the first draft of novel 6. Huzzah! That was my goal back in July, but I didn't actually finish until October. Still, that was the goal I set last January for the year, so it's a pretty big deal to me. Also, it meant that I had November free to start something new. Yup, I attempted NaNoWriMo 2013! I failed, by a lot. Total words was only 12,256. All in all, that's a horrible NaNo but a great normal month, so I think it was a successful experiment. Unfortunately, I was also attempting to pants. I am not a pantser, and I realize now what a mistake that was. It means that my work on that idea has come to giant halt, because the story is just all over the place, and I have no idea what the next step is.

2013 had some ups and downs for me, and it ended on a long down for productivity, but since it was the year I finished novel 6, I am going to count it as an overall success.

Total in 2013, I wrote 69,969 words. I wrote those words over 90 writing days. Last January, I said I thought it would take me another 70k to finish the draft (I was about 13k off due to some words being for different projects, but close), and I hoped to have 86 writing days. So suck it, 2013. You tried to defeat me, but I did it!!

Looking forward into 2014, I hope to average at least 100 words every day, with 40k as my goal for the year. I hope to write at least 129 days this year (a 50% increase over last year's goal). And, most importantly, I want to sell or be close to selling novel 6 by the end of year. I plan to be done with my re-writing and editing by the end of April, and I think that gives me some time to get some serious eyes on it and some offers. Is 2014 going to be the year? We shall see...