Monday, 24 November 2014

November 16 to 22

Days to deadline: 15

I'm in the final stages of "find and destroy" for overused words.  It takes me about forty minutes to do each pass through the manuscript.  And I've got about a dozen words to go through.  But, bonus, I can do it in the evening as well as the afternoon.

I spent a lot of time last week trying to decide whether or not to trim a particular scene from the manuscript.  It would have dropped my total count by 3400 words.  But in the end, I decided it was necessary to keep the sequence narratively, which meant I would have had to do some kind of flashback or "in the meantime" narration which would have dragged the story.  Thank you to CS for helping me to figure it out.

The extra words mean that my line edit will take 3 weeks instead of 2 and will cost more.  But it's a better story than it was, so I will accept that and try not to get too hung up on the numbers.

Now comes the business and promotion part.  I've got a friend, S.M. McEachern, who has offered to help.  Her book, Sunset Rising, has done really well.  It's a dystopian YA with romantic elements.  (I've read it and enjoyed it.)

Life has been getting chaotic which makes getting things done a little harder than I'd hoped.  But I'm still chugging through.  I will make this happen.

Monday, 17 November 2014

November 9th to 15th (ish)

Technically, November 9th to 17th.

Chapter by chapter revision done.  21 days to due date for line revisions.

My story has gone from 80 000 words to 95 000, which suggests I have some trimming to do.

But I've got three weeks to get it done.  Which should be good, although I still don't think I can afford to slack off.  Ideally I'd like to have one week where I work on something else before going through and doing a final read-through.  I'm not sure if I'll get that but I'll figure something out.

I'm much happier with the revised ending.  It fits together in a stronger way.  I've done a little more research and I won't be able to include song lyrics, even if I cite the song.  That's too bad.  It seems a little strange to not allow people to use lyrics which are clearly audible in the original product.  I can understand complaints if an author claimed to be making up the lyrics but if it's clearly cited, then that's not a concern.  But very little in legal land makes sense to me.  And I am all in favour of not being sued.

It's been an exhausting week.  My kids had stomach flu and we got our first major snowfall about three weeks before the usual time.  Ah well, at least it puts me in the mood for thinking about the sequel.

Despite feeling worn out, I still feel proud about what I've accomplished and what I'm doing.  There's a little Negative Nelly in the back of my head which whispers that I'm kidding myself about anyone wanting to read this book.  But I'm doing it anyway.

Monday, 10 November 2014

November 2 to 8

Chapters revised: 33 out of 35
Days to deadline: 31

While I revised another two chapters last week, I also wrote another one.  Which ups my total word count again.  My list of things I want to do before line revisions is creeping up.

- Check chapter length to make sure its consistent
- Go through for frequently used words
- Read through for inconsistencies and hints that don't go anywhere
- Cut 5000 words (possibly 10 000), if it can be done without impacting the quality

I also have to continue sending out requests for advance reviews, get my IRS tax stuff sorted out, get my Facebook page working, get my bonus material written.

I was also doing calculations and realized I need to have my draft for the Revelations sequel done by July at the latest in order for it to have time to go through the editing process to be released in January 2016.

I think this is what Steven King meant when he said writers couldn't take breaks from writing if they wanted to be successful. 

Monday, 3 November 2014

October 26 to November 1

Chapters edited: 31 out of 35
Days to deadline: 38

This may look like home-free but there's still a lot of work to do.  The ending needs to be ripped apart and put back together in a different order to make it stronger.  I was relying on too many convenience circumstances to make it work.

I spent about three hours going over the first thirty chapters this weekend.  I made a note of every set-up and subplot to make sure nothing got dropped.

Then I spent another three hours re-plotting out the ending, taking into account the editor's observations and suggestions.  Again, I'm seeing the benefit of some time away and a fresh pair of eyes.  Because now I can see several obvious ways to tighten things up without having to completely rewrite.

What I have to do now is more like rewriting than editing.  I'm pulling scenes and parts of scenes out of their original order and putting them back in a more coherent package.  But it means I have to be super alert to keep the continuity consistent.  I find what works best for me is to copy and paste a few sentences at a time into a new blank document and then go through them word by word.  Once I'm satisfied, I replace the entire original block of text.

With the end of the chapter by chapter edit in sight, it's time to start thinking about my time management.  I have to go through the entire thing again to search for overused words (I have a list), search for possible cuts (the story is now 7000 words longer than when it started), make sure the overall plot and world-building issues have been dealt with and do a scene by scene analysis to make sure my pacing is still consistent.

I want to take a week away from the story before I plunge into final cuts and the plot and world-building issues.  I'm not sure whether to do the word search before or after the break.  I find the search and replace scans to be the most tedious part but I have to be careful not to rush through it, so I need to be in a good frame.  Maybe I'll just wait and see where I am when I get to THE END.

Since I've made such good progress, I should have the option of taking a week away.  I can start ripping apart my first draft of my ghost hunter short story during that time to keep my brain completely clear of Revelations.

I should also tackle a few business issues.  I've officially registered with the IRS and in a few weeks, I'll have to send in my request for tax exemption based on the Canada-US Income Tax treaty.  I need to start requesting reviews and follow up on my cover blurb requests.

It's not quite as simple as just writing a good book and putting it out there.