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Posts Tagged ‘Editing’

Yes, I did my 15 minutes. I used it (well, really, half an hour) to finish up a couple scenes I stopped in the middle of last week.

I have no profound things to say about my self-imposed 7 day challenge. Certainly nothing that hasn’t been said before by “real” writers and multiples of them. But I have to say, forcing myself to write for 15 minutes a day every day for 7 days has made a difference for me. In two specific ways:

1. I have rediscovered my story. Not only do I, for the first time in months, remember what I was trying to do with my book, but I feel like I am beginning to understand my characters more as well. And, for the first time since I wrote the first draft, I am thinking about my characters throughout the day and what they should be doing in their story. I am actually excited about getting back to editing it and – hopefully – finish soon!

2. This may be simple for you, but it is actually profound for me. It IS possible to write for 15 minutes a day. Because it was a challenge and because I committed to writing about it every day on the blog, I did not allow myself excuses. Even the one evening we didn’t go to bed until past midnight and writing my 15 minutes meant staying up until 1:00 on a weeknight, I still did it and, more importantly, I did not regret doing it. The only thing I regretted most evenings was not having more time to spend on it (and, indeed, there were nights I spent far more than 15 minutes).

This has been a great experience for me and I really hope I don’t let it fall by the wayside now that I no longer have an obligation (self-imposed, granted) to write about what I did every day.

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I know it is technically past midnight, but I am still totally counting this 15 minutes. We had guests over, which I personally think is a valid excuse. But, I did begin writing a scene that I defined as needing to be written! Which, then started to turn into another scene which went longer than anticipated, but that isn’t bad – it is helping me get to know my own characters a little more.

It is seeing the main character from another character’s point of view, which is always helpful for discovering his or her personality. A little cheesy, but I don’t really care since no one gets to see it but me. And that is all for now, since it IS a workday tomorrow.

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So, almost needless to say, I did not reach my goal of editing the entire book by the end of April. However, I did get done with the first part of it. Sent it off to my friend to read, as promised. And .  . . haven’t touched the book since. It is just SO MUCH WORK to edit a historical novel. I mean, how can one even possibly get that much information into one’s head to make sure it is accurate? It is super overwhelming.

I have worked on short stories a little. I even edited one and sent it to three magazines for publication. I know – the chances of it actually being published are like – nil. But – it is the first time I have ever sent anything to a REAL magazine, so it is a big step for me.

I am now trying to get over my fear of failure (as per usual) and start editing again. But part of me just wants to work on Ethrill instead because that is still being created. Do all writers struggle this much with actually finishing a product?

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Cruises and books

 

So, I am not going to use the excuse “busy” for not having written in awhile. Frankly, I simply kept forgetting and then, when I did remember, other things took priority. Which is how it should be, right? Life takes priority over internet?

We went on our (almost) annual cruise end of March and this time we took my parents with us. My parents have not been on a vacation together since their honeymoon, 32 years ago. They certainly have never been on a cruise. It was so much fun to watch their faces as we brought them around the ship and showed them all the different things they could do, see, and, especially, eat. It took my mom awhile to really realize she could order anything she wanted on the menu without paying for it. And after that, she drove the wait staff crazy. I was a little embarrassed, not going to lie, but totally worth it for her to have a dream vacation. My dad couldn’t leave the stateroom that much, due to his disability, but still said he had the best time of his life. My younger sister and her husband were with us as well, which was fun. All in all, however, it resulted in not much down time, cruise ship or not.  So I did not get nearly as much on my book done as I wished.

I have, however, gone on two work trips since, and worked steadily on editing PoP during those airplane rides. I would have gotten much further had I not decided to re-write most of the first part, which resulted in my currently only being on page 40 of about 120. The important thing, however, is that I am steadily working on it. I promised one of my friends, I would send her the edited portion on the 30th to review – I was supposed to send her the entire edited boo, but that is not going to happen. However, the promise did its job, which was to get me going on editing and now whenever I am at work, I find myself just contemplating how much I could be working on my book instead . . .

Speaking of work, I actually do have projects to get done, so will leave this update at that.

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I have very little to say by way of an update, which is why I have been putting off writing since the last time. I’m just – plodding along.

  • Editing my book, which is going far slower than I would wish it – and I am getting so many notes stacked up about the edits that have to be made, it is quite discouraging. Perhaps next time I won’t wait until the book is “done” to do actual research. But I don’t know – I seem to actually finish books when I do that. Still, I’m trying to move one piece at a time and not get too discouraged. It will be done eventually.
  • Working – not traveling as much right now, which is a nice change – I’m able to keep on my diet, do housework, and get on a schedule, more or less – and you all know how much I love schedules.
  • Dieting – as usual. Maybe this year I’ll actually lose it? My sister and I are doing weekly check-ins, which is helpful for keeping me on for the most part. I don’t like confessing I didn’t lose weight.
  • Daniel and I are not really working out this time around – we have decided instead to practice dancing and learn new dance moves by watching YouTube videos. I assume eventually we will start doing actual workouts again, but dancing is so much fun and we actually have room in our new apartment!

Anyway – that’s about it for me. Hopefully next time I’ll have more exciting things to say – like being done editing my book or something!

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It has been so long since I have written any posts, that I am sure you all thought you were free of my ramblings. I cannot even believe it is January 2017 – I feel like it was just a couple months ago that I was writing the January 2016 post. I am too scared to even look at what my goals were over the last year, since I am certain I failed at all of them.

I did, however, finish Picture of the Past and got to a book length of Ethrill, even if I didn’t finish it, per se. I am now working on editing PoP, which I have this feeling is going to be a very long process. I can’t believe how much work has to be done on it, just reading back through it! I mean, part of me knew it, but I am struggling to not become overwhelmed now that I am actually reading through and taking notes on what has to be rewritten, what scenes are missing, huge parts that need to be taken out, and most of all, the research I need to do that I strategically skipped while I was writing it so it didn’t bog me down. I can’t decide whether that was a good strategy or not, but I guess I will figure it out as I continue writing. I didn’t get anything published last year, which is rather depressing to think about, so I am not going to dwell on that. Instead I am going to dwell on the thought that I write because I enjoy it, not to become famous or published.

I just got back from a work trip to Cocoa Beach, which was amazing. I loved being next to the ocean in January! And Daniel and I are taking a trip to Florida again next weekend, using the free tickets we got from JetBlue last year after our cancelled flights. So I am pretty delighted. I currently am assigned to exercises in Florida, Colorado, and, as of today, Washington. Oh, and an internal one that I don’t really count. So I am pretty delighted with the load so far, even if it will be busy.

Anyway, that is it for now, since I am back in the office for the first time in a week and there is actual work to be done.

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One more day to NaNoWriMo!!! Am I scared, you ask? Why yes, yes I am. Terrified that I am going to sit in front of my keyboard and have absolutely  nothing to say. But I’ve won NaNo twice in a row now, and I am determined to make it a third! And if there is anyone more determined than me – it is my husband. Yup. He insists (as you will also see if you visit Once Upon a Story) that I am going to do it, and that I am going to actually keep up on my wordcount this year so I am not trying to cram 5,000 words a day in the last week of the month. He has grand plans for how to accomplish this too – apparently, he is going to play video games every evening after dinner until I finish my word count so that I can’t be distracted by him. And he knows how much I hate to feel ignored when he plays video games for an extended amount of time. So it will probably work. Oooh, and I came up with a great way to get ideas for short stories, since I’m kind of drawing a blank right now, but you’ll have to visit Once Upon a Story to see it, because I don’t feel like typing it all out again. 😛

Daniel and I did a photo shoot yesterday! A mutual friend (someone from college) has decided to go into photography (is there anyone left who hasn’t?) and asked us to model for her to help build her portfolio. In exchange we will get a few free pictures and have the option to purchase the rest at a flat fee. Even if we just stick with the few free pictures, I think it will be nice. We had fun shooting pictures, too – at least until a sudden storm sent us scurrying into the underground mall, cutting it short.

Oh, and you should be proud of me – I already ordered our Christmas cards for the year! I know. So ahead of schedule. Let’s hope I get them out on time now that I worked so hard to order them in time.

And in case anyone is still reading this and curious about my progress on Ethrill. . .I am unfortunately not going to make it to 100,000 words before tomorrow. I gave it a good go, though, and am at 88,000. My hope is to make it to at least 90,000 and then I will feel like I actually wrote a decent amount and will probably have to split it into two books anyway – so it counts as finishing, right? As nervous as I am to start the short story series for NaNo, I am that excited to start editing Picture of the Past- I know – who would have imagined excitement to EDIT your book? But I am so eager to have a finished book – and I know it will be way more work than I think it will be right now – but I think it will be worth it. Plus, I do like having an excuse to research historical fashion and events – and this not only gives me the opportunity, but further ingrains it into my memory because I’ll have to implement it into the book. The main thing I need to do, I know, is to integrate one or two other story lines into it so the book isn’t so completely focused on Elizabeth. I need more depth. I’m kind of nervous to figure out how to do that, but I’ll give it a good try.

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