So not a lot of editing has been happening as the year has transitioned. Why? Well, apparently the writing daemon was hungry for narrative! When this happens we watch TV and movies and that’s mostly what’s been happening in recent weeks.
Have I watched anything awesome? Can’t say that I have, though I stumbled on a Canadian crime show called “Intelligence” from some years ago and enjoyed that. Otherwise it’s all been a bit dull. However the writing daemon hasn’t minded one bit. He’s just been enjoying everyone else’s writing and characters.
Thankfully this hasn’t (so far) led to any new novels. That does happen sometimes when we glutton on shows, but the novella thinking has been going on in the background as I gear up for an unexpected (was it really? hmm) rewrite.
Things have been quiet on the writing front for a few months, with me just picking at my novella 2 edits and enjoying many non-writing activities. Like I said in my last post, blogging has been a struggle this year, but I feel like things are getting back on track. Probably because it’s almost xmas and that means time off work after what feels (to everyone I think) like a very, very loooooooong year.
On the novella front, N2 is looking like an easier edit than N1 turned out to be (and I’m still refusing to acknowledge N3 even though it’s now pretty good in the current draft). My niggling length issue which I may or may not have mentioned here – novellas with a Goldilocks problem – seems to be working out fine which is a big relief. Now I’m even wondering if I was stressing about that too much… We’ll see.
Of course, following on from the bonanza of 2019 this year was always going to feel unproductive to an extent. Though “unproductive” is a bit harsh. I’ve edited Indestructible twice through, plus the novellas, so that’s about 280K worth of editing, and wrote the scratch draft of a whole new novel. Not bad for a weird, disrupted year.
Now I just have to convince daemon that he should finish editing the novellas before we start anything new. Yeah, because he ever listens to me!
I don’t know why 2020 is the year I’m struggling the most to blog, but I suspect it’s because I’m working from home. This means I spend all day in front of a computer and don’t really want to spend time on one afterwards. Well, except for writing novels. And a little editing.
There have also been a lot of distractions in the form of a housemate and being at home (good ol’ iso) to focus the mind on all the hobbies. Weaving. Nail art. Drawing. Dancing to silly videos… it’s all been happening!
But I’m keen to get a lot more editing done before this strange year comes to a close… I’ve missed all the goals I was looking to hit, but I think that’s true of a lot of people!! Besides, I wrote a whole new novel – unexpectedly – and have gotten a lot of editing in (just not on the “core” projects).
So, as October ticks over into November, I’m going to set a goal to finish editing novella 2 before xmas. I think that’s doable. The hobbies might need to take a back seat for a few weeks…
The Gun Runner (or Fun Runner depending on the day!) has been a novel of surprises. Pure panster all the way, of course. So, just to fit in one more surprise for me, it has ended about two chapters earlier than I expected. Yep.
The good news is that it is now done!!! Yep at a solid 64K, which will expand once I’ve figured out where the hell it’s set and actually add setting, worldbuilding and description… ahem.
But now there is the question of which editing project will we head for now the new novel is drafted…? It should be novella 2. Should be. Daemon has been itching to take a peek back at Blurty’s Sister as we haven’t really read it since we wrote the draft last year! We’ll see…
In somewhat typical new novel fashion, the latest WIP began big, went strong and then… slooooooowwed. Because there’s just no reason to get the last three or so chapters written, right? Hmm.
I think the truth is that writing daemon strained a wing with all the gleeful flying around he was doing. That’s my theory.
On the upside of the nearly completed draft, I still like it and I think it’ll shape up nicely. The reason it’ll need to develop a bit after this draft zero, is that it hasn’t decided where it’s set yet! Weird, I know, but there are two options and it is sitting on the fence between the two right now.
Which is also mildly hilarious to read, but not in a way anyone else would find funny.
Not that I’m complaining. Until these last few chapters it was flowing out my finger tips at a nice rate and it has reached a princely 59K at the current point. I’m expecting it to get a lot plumper once I add the required world building for whichever setting daemon and I finally choose.
The best part of writing it so far, though, was a typo. My working title for it is “gun runner”, but that amusingly became “fun runner”! Yes, I’m still chuckling.
July wasn’t much of a writing month. Or an editing month. August was an editing month… though weaving also happened… and then… there was a new novel!
Yep, I’ve started a new one. My housemate is calling it a “lock-down novel” because it seems to mostly take place in one room.
I’m now 18,000 words in and my characters finally got out. For a bit. You know, stretch-their-legs kind of thing… and now their back in the room. Voluntarily this time.
So you can see why – as I live in a city that is under a 1hr of exercise outside the home only restriction – that it might seem lock-down related. But I state here for the record it has nothing to do with viruses or 2020!
I suspect I’ll be getting them out of the room earlier in the next draft. Mind you, that could be a while away as – how should I put it? – not much has happened in 18K and that leads me to suspect this will also be a looooooong novel. We’ll see.
The joy of being a pantser; you only find out as you go!
Apparently July didn’t happen…. well, at least not here on the bloggie! But in reality, July was mostly about a writer friend moving in with me, which was super exciting. She’s staying a while so, around working from home, I’m hoping equivalents to our previous café writing sessions, but writing is happening anyway.
Or, more particularly, editing and even more of a specific event has been what I’m calling Chapter Spaghetti. This occurs when I decide cut a bunch of chapters up and re-sew them… one of those ‘create a mess to clean a mess’ type things.
History will tell whether I end up regretting that decision!
Currently I have six yellow-tailed black cockatoos hanging out in my suburb. Haven’t seen them here before, so it’s a bit exciting!
“I have a split personality,” said Tom, being frank.
Over the past few years, I’ve gotten better at putting setting into my novels. Better. Haven’t nailed it yet.
It is quite hard judging how much setting readers need when you are yourself not one who needs much at all. I’ve mentioned this before, but I don’t think I’ve mentioned how I tackle the issue!
So, for the curious, the secret is: beta readers. I know, you probably thought it’d be something more exciting, but in truth knowing your beta readers and knowing which ones read like you and which ones read differently, is the way to go.
Usually I don’t get beta readers involved until 2nd draft – which in my nomenclature is a very clean draft – and with any luck that means the next editing pass is almost totally setting. Of course there’s often other stuff too, but if I can focus on a “setting/worldbuilding” pass at that point, I’m happy.
Indestructible has been through this process now and after some excellent feedback from a good writer friend, who kindly beta read for me, I’m feeling pretty good about starting the next edit. Not that I’m allowed to until I’ve finished the edits on the novellas…but it’s a treat in the future!