Operation Backlog Completion 2017
Aug 312012
 

There’s definitely been an editing trend in my writing life lately. As my previous entry would indicate, I have been writing new material as well–mainly side projects, fanfiction, and other such things. But when it comes to my major works, I’ve been doing a lot of editing. Proofreading, going over things with beta readers, planning out new scenes and deciding how to implement them…it’s a very important process, and when done well, a very rewarding one, as well. One plot contradiction was caught almost by chance, found because my beta reader figured out a plot twist too far in advance, and one of the scenes that betrayed the secret actually didn’t fit my timeline.

In other news, Sacreya’s Legacy should be seeing a review some time soon. If you’re interested in seeing that, or if you’re just interested in zombies in general, check out Zombie Fiction. It should prove a handy resource for any fan of the undead.

Update: The review of Sacreya’s Legacy never materialized, and the entire Zombie Fiction site seems to have vanished.

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Aug 172012
 

Every now and then, you have those days.

The majority of the time when you’re writing–or at least, when I’m writing–you find yourself struggling to get even a few lines written. I have days where I have a plan in mind, yet find myself looking at that blank page for quite a long time. Sometimes I manage a paragraph or two and call it quits, telling myself that at least I wrote something. NaNoWriMo is a challenge because of that goal of getting somewhere between 1600-2000 words per day in order to make it on time. With an early enough start, maybe I can do it.

But like I said, every now and then, you have one of those days where the words just keep flying onto the page. Yesterday morning, I had a plan in mind–I’d had a brainstorm the night before and knew exactly what I wanted to do with the chapter I was on, and I intended to finish that chapter. By afternoon, I still hadn’t started. By late afternoon, I’d gotten the beginnings of my planned events typed out. By evening, I felt satsified with the amount I had written; I hadn’t finished the chapter and didn’t think I could in time, but any day you write 3,000 words is a good day.

By night, I was writing the last word of the chapter, bringing my word count for the day up to around 5,600.

5,600 words in a single day? That makes that the second-best writing day I’ve ever had. The best was a day when I managed to get around 8,000 words written in a day, and that was a section that I had planned out in detail and was quite excited to write.

Now if only I could call upon that sort of writing energy at will… 😉

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Jul 182012
 

At last, I’m almost done editing the novella I called “Morning Star,” and it was a painful process. I wrote it about five years ago, in response to a prompt I found on the Internet. I was convinced the resulting story was one of the best things I had ever written. I tried to get it published, and when that failed, I set it aside with the intent of editing it again sometime in the future.

Now, five years later, I went back to it warily, knowing there were many things about it that had to be worked on. I can say one thing in its favor–thanks to “Morning Star,” there is no doubt left in my mind that my writing skills have improved.

You can fall into a trap of thinking of editing as a calm procedure during which you re-live your story, fix some typos, and maybe catch an embarrassing plot hole that hadn’t occurred to you before. This was not that sort of editing. Oh, there were traces of it, and it’s not like the entire story needed to be scrapped. On the other hand, every paragraph needed something done to it. Some just had awkward phrasing. Some were written in such a juvenile fashion that I cringed. Some had to be rewritten entirely, because the existing section was just a bad plot element.

The good news is that that story is now one step closer to being publishable. Editing it wasn’t fun, but it was necessary.

Update: Since then, I’ve looked at Morning Star and realized that I can only save it if I scrap it and start all over. For stories that fared much better, check out my fiction publications.

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