I’ve been heavy in the editing over the past few days and it’s been a bit of slog to be honest. Not so much because the edit is hard – though I won’t call this one easy – but because I’m suffering from procrasinatitis! You know, inflammation of the procrastination muscle.
To avoid working, I have over the past two days:
- listened to podcasts
- done the dishes
- made soup
- streamed a documentary
- had a long text conversation with a friend
- created a new playlist
- blogged (hmm…)
Not that there’s anything wrong with taking a break, or getting necessary household things done, but I know that’s not why these tasks got attention. No. It was totally about avoiding the edit.
The good news is that I’m still getting some editing done. As some being better than none, I celebrate this!
In fact – while I’m looking for inspirational positives – I realised today that my productivity has been somewhat better than I thought. After editing books with short chapters for a couple of years, I’d forgotten that 4K chapters feel slooooow by comparison!
I have had a hellish two weeks with the PAR! After being sooooo excited to start on a second draft, I hit a total go-slow in my writing brain (not sure what Mr Daemon has been imbibing!) and it’s been damn painful. What I needed was a completely new chapter to slip between existing Ch1 and Ch2. That turned out to be way more challenging than expected!
The reason? When I read the draft, I was jarred by the large time-gap between them and it needed a ‘bridging’ chapter. This was a better way to show the aftermath of Ch1 and the protag’s change through to the time where the bulk of the novel is set too, so it seemed simple. Totally not.
I discovered it was hard to:
- pick a point in time between the existing chapters that made sense
- decide what to cover in terms of aftermath/growth without completely gutting the existing Ch2
- choose events which gave the new chapter a good justification for existing, beyond the simple time-jump-bridging.
I think I may have written 7 different scenes. Some were variations of the same scenes and some were alternate scenes. The result was a new chapter that is about a thousand words too long! Sheesh.
At some point I’ll get that word count down, but for now I moved onto re-working the original Ch2. Also painful! Editing so it fits with the additional chapter has turned out to be its own hell.
For some reason that chapter just wants to be all dialogue. I don’t know why (secretly suspect a certain winged beastie has been watching too many movies) but it’s done my head in.
Maybe it’s a good thing to get the really tough stuff out of the way at the beginning? I’m pretty sure nothing else in this 2nd draft will be as tough.
Blurty is about to have a final edit (squeeeeeeee)! But having given it to a fellow writer for a writerly look-over may have led to an unexpected consequence…
You see my reader (you know who you are) thought this was part of a series and was VERY disappointed when I said “no, it’s a stand alone”. I’d never envisaged those characters having another story – in fact, I felt that Blurt was their story.
Then… I was sitting around one lunch time at work, doodling things in my notebook when I got curious about what a further story could be and BAM! I had an idea. A good idea.
Just to check it was a good idea I ran it past my reader and she agreed! So… well… Blurty might have a ‘sister’ down the track somewhere. My first attempt at a sequel.
I know there’s at least one reader in the world who’ll want to get their hands on it!
After spending a wonderful month in Scotland (a whole month!!) I’m back in Oz and back to normal life (sigh). The one nice thing about that is being back to writing and editing. I just can’t get anything much done when I travel – my brain is way too overstimulated by new and interesting environments.
Having said that I did manage to review some drafts of things while on the interminable 13 hr leg of the journey over and, on a rainy day in Glasgow, I did also find a new opening for one of the novellas which I’m very pleased about. The total word count for the month of May was a mere 1,000 words, but that was bonus productivity!
Since my feet touched home soil I think I’ve written something like 3,000 words on some random story that popped into my head the week I got back. I don’t think that story is going anywhere, but it felt good. And now I’ve got a bunch of editing lined up on the novella, I’ve had more feedback on Blurty which needs integrating and I’m feeling about ready to read the PAR draft I finished in April!
Daemon looks pleased.
I have been trying to get an opening working and so far I’ve written five versions. It’s almost there now, which is a relief, but it’s been one of those iterative processes of going ‘oops logic hole/fix logic hole, missing info/add info, oops new logic hole/fix logic hole…’ (Note to self: please stop writing books set in space.)
This, I should point out, is my usual approach to openings. Usually it works a bit better. Well, faster – not so many versions.
I think I got a bit caught up in the mechanics of space, so I then took my eye off what I was getting my protagonist to do. She kept trying to tell me she wasn’t like that – wouldn’t think that etc – but I wasn’t really listening. Now I think we’re back on the same page, so to speak.
So now I’m going to drawer opening 5 for a bit and get on with the rest of the edit! We’ll see how it holds up in a couple of weeks/months time.
In the next chapter I get to introduce the somewhat dog-like pet I was angsting about a while back. Its name is Scuffa and no, it will not die.
I was brunching/writing with some writerly friends the other day and it came up that even after listening to a read of a piece there can still be errors in the text you miss. It got me thinking that I never use the weird computer voice in my editing software to listen to my books. Probably because of the ‘weird’ aspect!
Anyway, I decided that I would give Blurty a computer read.
It was a mix of useful (who knew how many instances of the-the I had!), funny (the voice emphasises things strangely) and strange (I find computer voices a little creepy). Though I give ‘David’ marks for his pronunciation of all my weird words.
I’m feeling a little chuffed today because I’ve almost (almost) finished edit #2 of Blurty. Yay! There’s one more – hopefully quick – pass to do back over it, but I can actually call it a proper 2nd draft now. So excited!!
This means I can get back to working on the novellas and that is in itself very happiness inducing. It also means that Blurty has set a new draft creation record, which is only partly to do with the fact it’s short-ish. Am I getting faster? Or is it something special about Blurt? Well, I guess the novellas will be the proof of that.