• how i want to think i write

    Too Many Macros?

    I’m going through the second draft of Defender with my macros.  Over time I’ve developed, expanded, and restructured them so that they’re more efficient, and catch those writer mistakes.  The difficulty is that it now takes a long time to get through a 100,000 word novel.  On the plus side, these macros have helped me eliminate about 3,000 words. But they still take a long time.  The problem is, once you get halfway down and you’re like “Christ, I just want to get these over with.”  So you start being more liberal with keeping those adverbs or crutch words.  Which, of course, means sloppy work. I didn’t run the macros…

  • mermaid blood art changing

    Done Incorporating Merm-8 Critiques – Begin 3rd Draft

    I finished incorporating all the critiques I received from Merm-8 into the novel.  It took a long time, especially the ending which needed to be severely revised.  The problem was that the sacrifice was not earned or hinted at so I need to sprinkle more hints throughout, and then totally revamp the structure around the final reveal. The biggest problem was that I kept changing my mind.  At first, I wasn’t going to do the sacrifice, and I had to weave my way around making it work.  Then the way I weaved it, I thought “hey, there can still be a sacrifice.  Might as well put it in.”  So I…

  • ariel manga style

    Merm-8 Starting Up Again Soon

    Last Wednesday I started receiving critiques for Merm-8, Chapter 5.  That’s the last of my chapters in the Critters queue, so that means it’s almost time to jump back into the water.  I’m not sure how to feel about that.  I’m a little nervous about returning — will there be a lot of revisions to make?  Did I forget everything about the story?  Am I writing the right plot for the setting?  And there’s a little relief that there’s light at the end of the tunnel. I got a lot of critiques, a nice amount of RFDRs, so I’ve got a lot to read through before I can start actual…

  • Death to Two Spaces

    I have a new mission in life. Grammar Girl solidified it. I have to start putting one space after the end of a sentence and not two. This sucks. I haven’t written a single sentence in this paragraph so far without doing it (I’ve corrected it each time). I’ve been hearing this in various places, but I never really followed it. I hadn’t gotten enough of a consensus on whether it was proper or not. Grammar Girl says that two spaces was the way cavemen wrote on their typewriters. They included two spaces because the fonts were monospaced, and they needed enough space to distinguish when a new sentence started.…

  • Dean Wesley Smith: Current Object of My Ire

    Let’s dish out some ire. I read this article by Dean Wesley Smith and cannot figure out whether he’s just one of those writing rogues whose method works for a smattering of people, or if there’s any value in it. Now let me preface this by saying I’m an unpublished author, so I could, and should be, considered full of shit. But then, so should everyone. The basic premise of this article is that there’s a big myth in the writing industry: rewriting makes something better. This isn’t true. Why? Because you can polish a giant turd as much as you want, but it remains a giant turd. Exsqueeze me?…

  • Now Working on Black Hole Son – Final

    Okay, I’m done reading the critiques for Black Hole Son, and it’s time to start the hard part – revising. This is going to be a big one, because I’m restructuring, rewriting, and in many cases, replacing entire chunks of the book. Remember back when I said I was going to revise the thing like normal, send it out, and then work on the fourth draft in the meantime, because it involved a lot of restructuring? Yeah, I decided because there’s going to be a lot of restructuring, I’m going to do it all at once. That way, I can hopefully spot all the artifacts. But yeah, this is going…

  • Finished with White Mage critiques

    Finished going through White Mage Story critiques. All were pretty positive, nothing overwhelmingly breaking. Nothing needing a total rewrite, at least I don’t think. Most is stuff I can’t or won’t use, but this is good to me, because it means people are interested and, in a sense, writing their own fan fiction about it. Whether this makes me publishable is yet to be seen. A few people have their ideas of how the story should go (and faithfully provide). A few people feel the story lacks a sense of urgency, or something to react to. But I don’t listen to a few people. I listen to most people. But…

  • I Predicted this post would be about Predictability

    So critiques on White Mage Story are done for a while. Haven’t gotten through many of them, five or so, maybe a quarter of the total. So far, response has been positive. There have not been very many complaints about structure or boredom or confusing points (actually, there are some of that last one, but they usually contradict one another, so most of the time, unless it’s repeated, I chalk it up to “reader not paying enough attention”, which is legitimate because these people aren’t getting paid – I had one person call my novel New Moon Sun). But there’s been one that’s been stuck in my craw. One of…

  • Third Draft, Fourth Draft, Fifth Draft, Score

    Last night I couldn’t get to sleep because I was trying to think of how to cut Black Hole Son. No one can give me a straight answer about whether 140,000 words is too much. Should I spend the effort paring down big chunks or can I take off 20,000 words in the next revision? Will an editor give me a list of things to cut anyway? Where can I make cuts so that the story remains even? And do I even need to be stressing about this? Am I wasting my time? Will an agent accept a 140,000 word first novel? If I start cutting big scenes, I want…

  • BHS Break

    I took a break from composing the outline for Mermaid Story to incorporate information from the critiques on Black Hole Son. I’m not sure why I took this break – I wasn’t particularly exhausted from idea generation, and I wasn’t stuck on anything. I just took a break to take a break, I guess. It was fun coming back to the BHS world… at first. Some of the critiques were harsh, some unnecessarily mean, some completely unhelpful, some no longer relevant. But for the most part, it helped me with the story. It’s always important to get an outsider’s perspective for stories. One of the two hardest parts is seeing…