Monday, December 6, 2010

Three Things I Did This Weekend Instead of Being Productive

1. I caught up on TV missed during the week.

I'm super excited for new Castle tonight! I'm glad House wasn't Ruined FOREVER by House and Cuddy dating. Ooh and I really loved Glee last week. The sectionals episode was so good! I was glad to see that they didn't drag out the Rachel/Finn/Santana thing, the performances were fantastic (the dancing!!), and the character relationships were great, especially Rachel & Kurt and Brittany & Artie. Also, I realized that Chord Overstreet, who plays Sam on Glee, would make a great Peeta in the Hunger Games movie. Yeah? What do you think?

2. I read Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins.

It came in the mail and I had to stop everything and read it right away. Fantastic book. After I finished I put the book away then cried a little. Not because it was sad-- it was just such an emotional ride. And let's be honest here: Sometimes you need to cry a little after being Etienne'd.

3. I hung out on Youtube. A lot.

Here are some videos I like:

Friday, December 3, 2010

In Which I Declare Love for my WiP and Parody Jay-Z

You guys.

I am revising and I am ripping my novel into pieces and pondering commas and all that other editing madness and here's the thing: I love my story.

I'm almost afraid to say it. Like it should be whispered. Or blog-whispered.

i love my story, shh don't tell

This is terrifying.

I keep expecting to hate the story, especially because it's such a freaking mess. You've seen my final chapter in it's entirety in the last post, all 23 words of it. The whole thing is still at 26K. It has no written ending, plot lines have to be changed, characters have to be added. And it's going to take a ton of work just to get this into a somewhat coherent first draft, let alone a brilliant and polished manuscript.

But I still love it. Like, a lot.

Like I want to burst into song, but I want to sing about how much I love my ms, but there's not really a song for that, so I'm just gonna end up singing Jay-Z "I got 99 problems but a WiP aint one, if you're havin' writin' trouble I feel bad for you son, 'cause I got 99 problems and a WiP aint one, hit me!"

(We can pretend that never happened.)

I want to bottle this feeling and save it for later, when I really need it.

Oh, and before you get sad because you are indeed having writing trouble and were looking for more advice than "I feel bad for you son"-- DON'T WORRY. It's totally cyclical. Trust me. You'll come to love your story again. Just as I will come to hate mine. Maybe tomorrow. I guess you'll know if this post mysteriously disappears and is replaced with a rant about how hard it is to write a freaking book.

I probably shouldn't blog when I'm highly caffinated at 4am anymore.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


National Novel Fail Month. That's what I participated in this year.

Blarg. I didn't win NaNoWriMo. I ended at about 26K which is just over half of the goal. Eek. I think my main problem was that I finished the draft at 26K on 11/19. It was short. It was crappy. Some scenes were written hastily with shorthand and abbreviations, some were written in a sentence with the intent to write the whole scene out later. The last chapter/epilogue, in its entirety, is this:

"At a party or something with friends. What happened to the family? Still learning, getting better at managing. Ends with lots of potential."

Like, seriously? That's the entire final chapter?

First of all-- "Ends with lots of potential"? WTF kinda crap ending is that? And how about "At a party or something with friends." There's some brilliant scene settage. I smell a Printz.

Anyway, looking at that last chapter brings me to the next point: How much revision is in my future. I have about 8 chapters (out of 40) that are "written" like the final chapter. A few words and the general purpose of the chapter, but nothing more. Of the remaining 32, about 12 are filled with tips on how to "fill out the scene later" and helpful notes like "[Cassie joins the table and says something clever]".

Half of the chapters are still okay story wise, but since they were written in a rush and many things have changed as I've gone along, they still need rewriting. Like, one of my characters has a supernatural power, and I decided halfway through that using the power should have some kind of retribution. So for the first half of the book everything is fine and dandy whenever the power is used. Then in the second half whenever the power is used the character gets horrible headaches of doom. So I need to go back, trace the appearance of the power from scene to scene, then change it so the headaches accompany the power from the beginning.

I'm all ready to get into it. I've got a four-pass revision plan and everything:

One: Go through and fix the story from the beginning; make sure all the different plots and character arcs are at least in place. This step involves writing any scenes that weren't fully written out before. It doesn't have to be good, it just has to be there so I can fix it in the next round.

Two: I'm going to print the whole thing out and go through it with a pen, fine tuning all my plots and arcs, analyzing my words, and making sure everything is good and consistent. I'm also going to spend time going through chapters one at a time and making each one shine like it's the most important scene in the book.

Three: Enter the changes from paper to computer into a new doc so every word gets some attention, do one more final read through, then send it off to betas.

Four: Revision based off of beta feedback. If significant changes were needed, resend to betas for another round. If feedback was minor, do final revision then prepare for querying.

So. That's my revision plan. I don't know how long each step will take, so I'm not sure when I'll be done, just that these are the steps I need to take. I could do it in a month or two if I were really truly dedicated, but likely I'll be done around spring. Whenever I finish, I'm hoping step one will be done as soon as possible. I really want to get ACTUAL drafts of these scenes written so I can print it. I look forward to sitting in the living room, snuggled in blankets with a hot cup of tea, a pen in my hand and my printed ms on my lap. Because right now I'm in my cold-ass office, wearing a jacket and fingerless gloves so I can still type. I reallyreallyreally want this drafting phase to be done now so I can go curl into a ball in front of the heater.

How did all of you do for NaNoWriMo? Win? Lose? Light your computer on fire?