Tuesday, December 31, 2013

And so it begins ...

Forgive me gentle readers, for I have lapsed. It has been nine months since my last post.

My trilogy of new year's resolutions, as posted on Facebook to ensure people will remind me, is to write, write  & write.  

(There's 50 words already 52 now 53.)  Sorry about that, I don't intend the writing to be trivial but as always I will count and record progress. I find simply counting and recording what I actually do is reward enough.   

This year however, I won't set word targets. For me Word targets encourage padding, as has happened in all three of my books where I set a target length for each scene, each scene being a new POV, 3 POV scenes to a chapter. Some scenes end up nothing but padding because the scenes POV character had nothing to say or do that made any difference to the story. Word targets were useful when I started but they have outlived their usefulness.

That said I have set a few specific goals for 2014. 

   1. Editing the trilogy will be finished this year - I'm aiming for the 30th June 2014 so I can spend the next 6 months promoting it. 

   2. I will also complete the 4 short stories I had in mind that are set in the universe of the trilogy and precede the events in the novels. They are as much to help me solidify the background to the trilogy.  One is in first draft, another started and the other two mentally planned.  

   3. I will blog the progress - monthly at the very least - I have already reduced my attendance to the writers group to once a month (It's a 45 mins drive both ways -  costly in time and tires). The other Monday nights will reserved for writing / blogging / editing - whichever is top of the to-do list at the time.  
Anyhow that's the dream. 

"You gotta have a dream, if you don't have a dream,
How you gonna have a dream come true?"  

            South Pacific - Happy Talk 

and so it begins ... another year, another story.

'ooroo until my next post 

Monday, April 8, 2013

The story so far

gday gentle readers 

A short end-of-week-14 progress report

   I'm now behind editing book 2 and cant see any way of catching up as I'm about to make radical changes to the last quarter of it (about 50,000 words) 

   I will post later about what, when, where, how and why the changes will be made.

   Suffice to say most of it was written just before my transplant when my kidney function was down to 17% and my toxic mind was poisoning my pen  ( er .. keyboard )

   but progress there has been

  1. 109% of Break (finished with 9% more than I started )
  2. 72% of Face (the current task)
  3. 6% of Arch (as I edit what I read to my writers group )
  Trilogy overall 58% 

ooroo until my next post 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Shank's Pony

gday gentle reader

(My last post, "Oh! the pain" was published? or re-published? Friday, I don't know which. When I began this one I found it sitting in the blogosphere in draft. This one has suffered a similar fate. It was drafted late Friday on a long weekend (in South Australia) hence it is only getting edited and published today 3 days later - life gets in the way of my writings - frequently)

I don't care what colour it is, forget the horse I'll walk.  The two most important lessons I learned/learnt (choose your own) from the Voyager submission were

Firstly - the editing method that suits me best is the same as I used to write the damn thing - I need to set a solid achievable deadline and daily/weekly milestones by which I can measure my progress. It's a common business ploy that works for me.

However with this book [book 1 "Break"] the Voyager deadline was too tight. I  was fooling myself that it was ready to publish and all it needed was a tidy up. I was wrong (I often am). During the edit I uncovered highlighted notes throughout the book suggesting  "needs more"  "rework this"  "new scene here" Notes I had forgotten even existed.  

The fact that I did get it done and send it off, is testament to my wife's forbearance. As said in my last post "midnight oil was burnt - rest of life put on hold.

Secondly - by reading the novel thoroughly (looking for places to tighten it) in a compressed time frame with nothing allowed to distract I got a much better sense of the story as a whole; probably for the first time since writing it.

So two weeks  ago I set a new deadline to finish editing the trilogy on 31st July this year 2013 and divied up the remaining work ( stopped - while I fretted and waited for the voyager result). 

Yesterday I caught up the backlog and went into the black for the first time. Today I stayed there. I'm not fussed by the number per se, I edit to the nearest POV change that keeps it black. 

By  coincidence I am almost half way (49%) through editing book 2 and the whole trilogy at the same time. What continues to alarm me however is the size of each keeps growing. I thought editing meant cutting. (simultaneously I occasionally edit the scenes of book 3 that I want to parse through my writers group - hence a mild increase there)  

The only figure in the seemingly complex tracking sheet I alter at the end of each writing day is   new total   the rest is automatic. The  edited total  for bk2 only gets adjusted when I think about it. On a daily basis it's up and down like a yo-yo.

One day when this trilogy is properly published I will look back and marvel at the Machiavellian machinations I had to use, to convince myself, to get on with it and get it done.

ooroo until my next post

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

"Oh, the Pain,"

as Dr Smith Lost in Space said frequently. 

gday gentle reader
   back in October last year I posted that I had

"205,000 word to edit in 10 days, leaving a couple for the synopsis and query letter. 20,500 a day - midnight oil was burnt - rest of life put on hold. It got done, it got sent. It is not as good as I would have sent if I had continued as I was."
That was Book 1 out there at last, and while I waited I thought to edit Books 2 & 3, just in case. As November and December evaporated I slowed down. Then Xmas got in the way. The editing slowed further as the deadline for a result approached. I watched the site daily for an update and frequently checked my emails.

Such is the nature of Hope 

Last night, while I was sleeping (perchance dreaming of publication) I received their boringly standard polite rejection.
Despite that writers have (or should have) an expectation of rejection, when it comes it is not without a degree of pain, the mild pain of disappointed hopes, as Zachary's expression "Oh, the pain." exemplifies.

Don't get me wrong I really appreciated the fantastic opportunity to submit my manuscript direct to a potential publisher. the result though not as I might wish, is nonetheless enlightening. Their "thorough and fair consideration" means the work needs work. 

I knew that. Its good but it aint yet polished to high gloss.

I posted my result to facebook (as one does these days).

"Yippee I just received my first rejection for 'Break' - 19 to go ...
 Now I can get back to editing it properly. (i.e. the trilogy as single unified story.)  write better, edit harder, submit elsewhere. "

One, long-time writing colleague responded and I replied - Here is our exchange of approaches to publishing. 

I'm cynical enough to agree with Jo but I want to try the traditional avenue's first - I'll see how I feel after a few more rejections.

ooroo until my next post