Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Hey, I won!

So, I've been moving very slowly in my editing. Very slowly. I'm pretty much a lame slacker who needs a task master to keep me on mark. I'll get back to it, as a matter of fact, I plan on getting through a bunch of it today. I just need to not play on the interwebz too much... hmmm, this could be more difficult than expected.

I have been getting some awesomely helpful reviews/crits from the folks that have been kind enough to trudge through my first draft. I don't know if any of you will ever read this blog, but you pretty much rock infinite. I'm still working with my crit partners on a chapter-by-chapter, close up review (which is very important and helpful) but I also have a few whole story reviews trickling in. These are both very encouraging, and very painful. I can see that I will be slaughtering my "little darlings" once I start my revision. (If you don't understand the reference, read more of my earlier blogs ;))

I'm ok with that, though. It's all part of the craft, part of becoming a better writer, and that's what this is all about. I want to have this book (and others to be named in the future) published, and therefore, must learn to whittle away the excess, trim the fat, hone the skill... etc.

It's all actually very exciting to me, and I can't wait to start writing this story again.

On another note, I won something! That's right, me. Ken. This guy! I've been reading several blogs recently (look at my blogroll to see which ones) and I entered my name in a contest at WAG THE FOX (click that title to check it out) pretty much on a lark. Then the unthinkable happened; I won the contest! wOOT!

Because I've been such a slacker, I didn't even know about it until I finally checked the email I have linked to this blog (yesterday). There are a handful of sweet books being sent out to me, and I can't wait to start reading. A huge thanks to WAG THE FOX (in case you missed it the first time) for holding such a rad contest in the first place!

Now, I need to brew more coffee. That means I need to get away from this computer for a moment. So I'm going.

Thanks for reading,
buh bye, then

Thursday, September 23, 2010

French Toast and Brains

Hey there!

...I know, I've been a slacker. I'm sorry. I'm back now, though :)

Actually, I haven't been slacking... that much. I've been reading for others and responding to crits. I now have around ten crit partners, not to mention the folks who agreed to read for me from Critters.org. It's pretty amazing, and scary, and strange to know that there are strangers from all over the globe (literally) reading my book. Wow.

I've received some crits from early chapters already, (mostly positive, and with great ideas to help me along) but I haven't finished my first edit yet, so no revisions. I want to get as much input back as I can before I start that process anyhow. It'll be long and painful, but I'd also like to write this story as few times as is necessary.

I had french toast for breakfast. It was good. I made it. Also, I had (am still having) lots of coffee :)

What? You don't have coffee? Go get some! I will wait...

See, much better, yes?

Hey! If you know about any great books about zombies, tell me.

ummm, that's it for now,
buh bye then

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Introductions, rejections, and coffee (of course)

So, every time I start a new blog here, the hardest part is deciding how to start. Should I greet you (the reader) with a "hey there" or something maybe a bit funnier, or should I just hop right in? As you can see, today, I've jumped right in. You likey? Hmmm?

I stated in an earlier blog that I had sent out some early queries (you don't need to look, I really did). It was an early test-run, a bad experiment, a horrible idea... However, I think I've learned a few things from it.
1- I'm a little over-eager (I already knew this, but I want my list to be longer)
2- I'm not nearly as worried about criticism, now that the story is finished
3- Rejection letters aren't soul-crushing
4- Rejection letters are actually pretty inspiring for me
5- Rejection letters that aren't form letters make me feel pretty special ;)
6- I really love coffee (again, just trying to fill this sucker out a bit)

Anyhow, I'll let the letters continue to trickle in as I finish up my editing and revisions; using each one as a little flicker of inspiration to keep going (and a reminder to take things one step at a time!).

I'm still editing, still working with my crit partner, and still several steps from really having this book finished, but I can't stop thinking about my next project. I'm ok with that. It's very exciting, I'm going into a genre I've never written before (not even a short story), and it's going to take place in a time period that I've always been enthralled with (the roaring twenties!). I'm in love with this setting; flappers and prohibition and mobsters and dirigibles... etc. See, very exciting!

I think that's it...
Thanks for reading,
buh bye now

Friday, September 10, 2010

Killing my "little darlings"

I don't remember where I got the phrase, though I think it was from my partner-in-crime Lucas, (you can check out a little of his writing at the "Infinite Quacking" link over there--- in my blogroll, though it is woefully out of date!) or Adam Heine (another blogger I read, check out "Author's Echo", again in the blogroll). I believe it sounds quite a bit more morbid than it actually is.

Basically, killing your "little darlings" is editing (read: cutting out) words, sentences, or even entire pieces of your writing. More specifically: words, sentences, and entire pieces of your writing, that you LOVE. It's a tough process, and I find myself with internal debate each time it occurs.

"Wow, that just doesn't fit there at all," I said to myself.
"It doesn't hurt anything, and it's just SO poetic!" I replied enthusiastically.
"Well... No. No, it doesn't belong, and it's just going to give the reader more questions."
Panicked and afraid to lose, I pulled out all the stops, "But... But that sentence could be the pinnacle of my writing!"
"Hmmm, well I suppose I could wait until someone else... NO! I have to cut it."
"Sob sob, whimper whimper."

Anyhow, (sorry if that was a bit ridiculous, but I think I've made my point) I've finished the third chapter of my editing, and I found myself having to cut a lot. I mean, it was wanton destruction! I was cutting and changing words, altering sentence structure, and highlighting whole paragraphs... (highlighting makes it easier to stare solemnly, sadly even.) DELETE.

And this is only my first edit, in which I'm mostly reading for grammar and punctuation. Right after this, comes my revision, which is almost guaranteed to be a blood-bath.

On the bright side, I am already getting some great feedback from my crit partner. That means, as I go through slaughtering my "little darlings," I can blame her. :)

I think that's all I have for now,
buh bye, then

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Crit partners, puppies, and coffee (of course)

I didn't get much work done over the extended weekend. Nope, I spent time with loved ones, just playing around and watching Star Wars :) I feel it was just as productive as any other weekend!

I found my first crit partner the other day (yay!). She seems to be a very awesome lady, who happens to be an English teacher... in Japan! (how freakin awesome is that?!) For anyone who may not know, a crit partner is someone who will read through your work, and critique it (now the "crit" thing seems pretty clever, huh!) (No, it's not some random Dungeons and Dragons reference) (Though, I could see why you'd think that) (wow, I'm using to many of these).

Anyhow, she already sent me a very informative review of my first chapter. She pointed out some things I hadn't noticed, as well as confirmed a few things I was already thinking. I'm excited, though I think the process might be a bit rough (like tearing off a band-aid).

Grrr... You may have already heard about or seen the video of the girl throwing puppies into a river. It literally made me sick to my stomach, which never happens. Anyhow, two days after I heard this story, I heard another one. An old lady had found the puppies (well five out of six puppies) and was nursing them back to health. How amazing is that?!?!? My heart swelled and choirs sang and monkeys threw poo in celebration...

It seems that it may have all been for nothing. Many people are now saying that the puppies the old woman was holding in her photos, do not closely enough resemble the puppies that had been in the original video. The rumor is; the girl that had thrown the puppies cried out for help when she started receiving threats, and a neighbor jumped in to help, making the video.

Grrr... ok... breathe in... remember that this blog is supposed to be about writing, not evil people.

I know it was a tangent, but I've been thinking about it a lot, so I decided to share. Now to brew more coffee (I love the french press!) and get back to editing.

Thanks for reading, buh bye now-

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Bloggity updates and other stuff

Hey there, you're looking spiffy today ;)

umm, this is funny, and I love Assassin's Creed

Yeah... So, I've been doing some work on the blog! (if you didn't notice) I dig the tabs on top of the page (go ahead and look) a bit more than the links that had been on the side of the page (don't bother looking, they're not there anymore). I also added my "Works in Progress" page, so you might be able to see what I've been up to, at least as far as writing goes.

I'm still editing and doing the big read-through on "The City," but I've made some progress in other areas also. I finished up a first draft of my query letter, but I'm going to hang on to it a bit. (I actually sent out some early queries, but I think I'm going to edit it a bit before sending more). Haven't gotten any further with the synopsis, but I haven't been slacking, so I'm okay with that.

In the past few months, I've written a couple of short stories that I am going to start submitting. My first stop with those, will be an awesome magazine called "The Sun." (I may be late finding this jewel, but I love it!)

As far as projects go, I already have the idea for my next big one. It's only an idea for now, but I'm pretty excited about it! Wanna know more? Well, for the low price of $9.99...

Just kidding :)

I don't have much, but the generic idea is a diesel-punk storyline about a girl called Clockwork Charlie. That's it for now, as I said, it's a very new idea.

So that's all I have for you, for now.
buh bye, kids

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Editing and gopher milk

I finished my first edit of Chapter 1 last night. I swear I've been over those pages, at least a dozen time, and still I found things that needed to be fixed. Tense issues (changing "is" to "was" or "are" to "were"), paragraphs not being broken where they should, and even spelling mistakes... SPELLING!

Oh well, calm down, and take a deep breath. (oohhmmmm) Okay, much more zen now :)

So yeah, my first read-through and edit of Chapter 1 is done. Yay! However, I haven't started my query letter yet, and my summary is still untouched. I'm nervous about letting people read it, trying to get it out there, and about my possible failure. Don't get me wrong, I did write the book for myself, and I finished it for myself (even after all the wrong turns and breaks in writing).

There is still a big part of me, though, that needs this book to succeed. I know that the odds are against me, and there are thousands of "writers" out there that never have a word published... I don't want to be one of them. Also, I know that the art should be for me, and it is. I love writing, always have, and probably always will.

I guess these jitters are to be expected. I am, after all, in brand new territory.

Hey! I also got the new Scott Pilgrim graphic novel (an early birthday present from a beautiful lady) which I intend to read within the next few days. I'm very excited to finish the series, and the movie was pretty rad ;)

that's it for now, I think.
Thanks for reading