Monthly Archives: June 2015

The Other Shoe

A series of texts between me and my first reader, who has been getting sections of the new draft to read as I finish them.

Me: So I was skimming the next few chapters…I have this sinking feeling I’m gonna be rewriting more of this motherfucker than I thought.

Firstie: LOL, it won’t be so bad.

Me: Well, maybe it will at least be fun. That’s pretty much what was missing, any sense of fun. No wonder it was so hard to write the first time, LOL

Firstie: Yeah, and now you seem like you really know where you’re headed.

Me: Welllll…I WAS headed to the point I just reached. Only problem is I don’t like the look of the highway I thought I was gonna merge onto. So I think I’ll keep driving…but now I don’t know to where.

And that, ladies and gent’s, pretty much sums up the second shoe dropping. If I am not at a merge point but rather at a second divergence, and one that I haven’t really plotted out yet, then I have no real idea how much further I have to go on this book. If I have to write the entirety of Act II from scratch it’ll be another goddamned five months probably.

I dunno. It may only be a few more scenes than I originally thought that nee to be re-written versus tidied. But I just have this feeling….

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Progress Report

I am finally at the part of my novel revision where I am done writing entire scenes and chapters from scratch and am able to integrate part or all of a given segment from my original draft. There will be a few new scenes to write, simply because the current of the story changed a little from its original course, but for the most part the new words are generated. Now on to the endless evaluation, trimming, and restructuring of the 75,518 words left in my doc of the original draft that is not yet integrated into the new one.

I have no idea how long it will take me to make this revision a cohesive whole. Hopefully not too much longer.

The last few weeks (month, even? Basically since I kicked the bronchitis finally and recovered my life equilibrium) I have moved things forward at a good clip. Keep it rolling, keep it rolling, keep it rolling.

Last night I was trying to remember when I actually started writing on this revision draft. Had to check the create date on my Word doc, because I didn’t make a good note of it inside the doc, nor did I make a note of it here anywhere. January 7, for the curious. Basically 5 months ago.

I’ve written 35,000 in five months. Okay, fine, SOME of them were already written, but I am sure at least 20,000 were brand new words. Which is, yeah, okay, not fabulous, but also not that bad when I consider just how little time and energy I have had to devote to this project. I will be happy with my stat’s if I can finish revisions on the rest of my first draft by the 6 month mark.

July 7.

That’s 23 days from now. If I do the same amount of work every day, that’s 3283 words a day moved from the old draft to the new (with necessary trims, additions, and reworkings). If I count it by chapters, it’s a little more than one chapter per day on the old counting (because I am up to Chapter 15 of 42 in the old draft).

Those measures are not unreasonable. They are not unattainable – provided I touch the project every day.

Eye on the prize. Keep it rolling. Come on, muse, just hold your shit together for 3 weeks and 3 days….

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A Long Lost Story and a Reader HEA

Or, In which I write a love letter to Gail Dayton

Today is a day I feel particularly grateful for frictionless self-publishing.

Five years ago…back when I had a Borders on my commute home from work and would pop in on a semi-regular basis for new reads, I found a book on the shelf that immediately intrigued me. The title was Heart’s Blood, by Gail Dayton. It was a paranormal romance but a Steampunky one, before that became a trend, and a rare paranormal in that it didn’t have a single damned vampire in the book. I gave it a try and loved it. Loved every page. Immediately ordered the first book in the series, New Blood (different couple with almost no overlap, so zero issues reading out of order), and loved that one, too. I eagerly looked up any sequels – there was to be a third. Yessssssss!

But Heart’s Magic never got a solid publication date, and it never came out, and it never came out. I kept checking Amazon every few months for the release date. For three years I did this. Then I saw the author make a comment about having gotten the rights back after the publisher essentially decided to just not publish the book, and that she was going to self-publish it. That took a much longer time than I expected, too, and apparently she almost didn’t publish it, but finally everything came together like she wanted, and it’s out today, and if I could have called in sick so I could stay home and read it while my child is at daycare I would have.

I am sad that I had to wait so many years to get this story, but ecstatic that I actually get to read the ending to this trilogy. I literally teared up at my desk the day I saw her Tweet listing the release date. I had almost given up.

If the drop from publisher had happened 10 years ago, and not 5, would the author have bothered to fight for her rights back in order to self-pub, or would it be sitting under lock and key in the publisher’s office, never to be read by anyone?

I don’t know that I am the only person who has been waiting for this book. I hope I’m not, because I would love to see Ms. Dayton do very well with it, well enough to want to write more (either in this world or a different one). But even if I am the only person who’s been waiting…I get my HEA as a reader. I GET TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS.

For the interested, Heart’s Magic can be found on Amazon here!

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Not Yet Integrated Countdown

The new graft point dropped the number of words not yet integrated into my revision from 90K to 75K. Considering that I am already at 30K, the prospect of adding 75 is much better than that of adding 90. Alas that even the 75 is really going to be, in aggregate, adding about 50K of previously written words and writing 25K new ones because the first version wasn’t right.

There is a segment of the darling section I’m debating keeping in. I don’t think that I will, because I don’t see the narrative function that it serves, but reading back through it, I enjoyed it quite a lot. Perhaps it can be a “deleted scene” that I can post somewhere (here, probably) as an extra to the book when it comes out.

I thought I had it in me to write the next scene tonight, but I made the mistake of reading the not one but two prior iterations of it, and now they are reverberating inside my head too loudly for the actual character voices I was hearing before to be intelligible.

If I want to finish by the end of the month I have to integrate about 2500 words per night, inclusive of any rewriting. Ten thousand word deletion sprees are easier.

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