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Red Bird
01-19-2010, 08:13 PM
I thought it a good idea to start a new thread.

Bluegate and I tend to get silly on the other thread, so we'll leave this one free of our gabber in the hopes that communicating with the rest of you will be easier.

We'll still gabber, but you won't have to read through it all!

I hope everyone has a great day : )

What stage of the writing process are you in? Editing, synopsis, query letters, submission packets?

What challenges are you finding with each stage?

Chrisla
01-20-2010, 03:43 AM
Good idea, Blue Bird. I thought the idea of having a challenge thread was a good one, and kept people motivated, but it was hard to keep it on track. Maybe we can keep this one devoted just to goals and challenges.



That said, I'll start off with goal for the next week: going through my manuscript, page by page and line by line, cutting anything I can to get to the ending I want. It's slow going, so I can only manage one to two chapters a day. Thus far, I'm through chapter 4 so I have a long way to go.

Red Bird
01-20-2010, 04:12 AM
Chrisla,

I'm doing the exact same thing. My synopsis sent me back to my ms in search of chapter focus thoughts. Well, the early childhood stuff wasn't in chronological order-there are places where I had flashback writing that I thought was confusing to the reader. After posting it here for critique, I realized it was confusing, so I've been rearranging again. I'm nearly done, but will now have to put more patient stories in the beginning. It's become heavy with my history.

I've been following your synopsis thread, and I'm learning a lot from your process. You have a fascinating story, but because of your age and the number of siblings, you have some challenges getting it all in there. Well, you did the right thing posting over there, and when I'm ready I will follow suit.

I admire your conviction.

Red Bird

Newport2Newport
01-20-2010, 08:48 PM
We've sopped up the last of the mud in the family room.

We've moved all the cardboard boxes in the garage to higher ground.

We've cleared mud all the storm drains in the back yard, in anticipation of yet another heavy storm, which is expected to arrive later this morning.

I'm a little rattled by the prospects, so I've rescheduled my singing lesson for next Wednesday. And I'm working from my laptop, so as to keep my eye on the French doors, the entry point of last night's leak.

On the bright side, I'm loving the cozy cloud cover and cooler weather. I get restless when the rain lasts for months on end, but in short spells, it's refreshing. Perhaps it'll inspire me to polish another chapter or two to take to my writing group. Assuming, of course, that SoCal doesn't float away between now and tomorrow night.

I'll be writing all day and into the evening. Anyone out there want to join me?

Chrisla
01-20-2010, 08:54 PM
We've sopped up the last of the mud in the family room.

We've moved all the cardboard boxes in the garage to higher ground.

We've cleared mud all the storm drains in the back yard, in anticipation of yet another heavy storm, which is expected to arrive later this morning.

I'm a little rattled by the prospects, so I've rescheduled my singing lesson for next Wednesday. And I'm working from my laptop, so as to keep my eye on the French doors, the entry point of last night's leak.

On the bright side, I'm loving the cozy cloud cover and cooler weather. I get restless when the rain lasts for months on end, but in short spells, it's refreshing. Perhaps it'll inspire me to polish another chapter or two to take to my writing group. Assuming, of course, that SoCal doesn't float away between now and tomorrow night.

I'll be writing all day and into the evening. Anyone out there want to join me?

Journal it, Newport! Fodder for a story!

Red Bird
01-21-2010, 01:45 AM
I'll join you, Newport.

Writing away over here!

Chrisla
01-21-2010, 04:07 AM
I've been at it all day. Got tired of the line-by-line cutting and wrote my happy ending. Just finding it was a big hurdle. Back to the line-by-line for maybe an hour or two this evening, after a dinner break. Hope to get through chapter 7.

Red Bird
01-21-2010, 04:10 AM
It's a good day when you find your ending. I can't wait to read it. Once I found mine, I was surprised at how simple it was. Now I wonder if I hadn't just been complicating things. Ha.

Rock on.

Bluegate
01-21-2010, 06:29 AM
Chrisla and Newport It is great to see you back. I missed you. It sounds like you are really cruising along Chrisla. Congrats on that!
Newport it sounds like you had some interesting times recently. Sorry about the mud.

I will be editing things tonight.

Chrisla
01-21-2010, 11:58 PM
Got caught up in a Lee Child novel last night and didn't get back to my editing. That may be a good thing--to step away for a bit. I gave a little more thought to my ending, and want to work on that today, to make sure it fits in seamlessly. Then I'll go back to the condensing.

How are the rest of you progressing?

Red Bird
01-22-2010, 12:18 AM
I probably need to follow suit and step away for a bit. Nothing I read, or write, has any umph right now. It all sort of sounds like Charlie Brown's teacher stuff.

Time for a break, perhaps.

It's been raining here all day, which is a good excuse to watch a romantic comedy. Something that removes all possibility of complicating things would be nice!

Maybe I'll get some energy later.

Seams
01-22-2010, 12:32 AM
Writing can be exhaustive for many reasons, not just the formation of words, but of their meaning to you, the stress of being understood in the way they understand.

nothing wrong with a bit of 'you' time. we all take a break for whatever period. remember you are still drained from that cold.

don't be so hard on yourself

hi everyone else :)

Seams

Bluegate
01-22-2010, 02:24 AM
Chrisla I am actually glad to hear that you got caught up in something for awhile. You have been working very hard and you deserve some time away from it.

Red Bird you have been pushing yourself insanely hard and need to give yourself a break.

Seams makes a very good point. Mental and emotional work is exhausting. It takes a lot of real life energy to keep those thoughts and emotions firing. Haha And don't even get me started on the stress of working to be understood.

Red Bird
01-22-2010, 02:37 AM
I'm lucky to have people in my life who can see things about me that I may otherwise miss. Yep, I'm taking the rest of the night off, too.

Maybe : )

Sometimes I start to think that I'm running a race and need to be reminded to slow down.

Thanks guys,
Red

Chrisla
01-22-2010, 12:44 PM
But so often when I'm winding down, inspiration hits: that perfect phrase I may not get right if I wait until tomorrow, the fix that might just work in a troublesome paragraph, or even a story idea. So I find myself back at my desk.

I watched the news, Newport, what's your status? Hope you didn't have to evacuate.

Got through three chapters of cutting and editing today; very good progress, besides polishing my ending. I'm going to be brave and shoot for three more tomorrow, 11 through 13.

Red Bird
01-22-2010, 04:52 PM
Chrisla,
I often get inspired at the end of a long day, too. Just when you're about to pack the pens for the night, or morning in my case, something to good to avoid hits and you're right back at it. Those are good times.

I didn't realize Newport was in an evacuation area. I do remember reading about a flood. Let us know how you are Newport.

Good luck with whatever it is you all work on today. I'm going to get back to the restructuring thing for a few hours. My sons are visiting today : )

Bluegate
01-22-2010, 08:48 PM
I also saw the news about the issues in California and thought I must have been living in a cave the past few days. I saw Newport's comment about cleaning up the last of some muddy water but I had no idea--I was busy dealing with my own water issues.
Newport, how are you? Please tell us you're OK, if you can.

Chrisla
01-23-2010, 12:46 AM
Flooding appears to be mostly on the coast and along the waterways. Evacuations are more in the foothills, due to mud slides. I don't know where in Orange County Newport lives. He may well be damp but safe.

Anyway, to try to keep this thread on track--I got up early this morning and got through those three chapters by noon. Goal achieved. I think I'll work on something else for the rest of the day, so I don't burn myself out, and shoot for chapters 14-16 tomorrow!

jerrywaxler
01-25-2010, 03:12 PM
Okay, Chrisla. You found me. I was slacking on my Absolute Write participation. There are so many fellow bloggers I should be visiting regularly, and I don't even try. Between writing, day job, social networking, planning workshops, (hey speaking of which I'm giving a free one next week at www.namw.org called "Why write a story of an ordinary life (http://www.namw.org/workshops-classes/free-preview-workshop-with-jerry-waxler-why-write-a-story-about-an-ordinary-life/).") Did I forget anything? Oh, right. Sleep!

Anyway, I will tell you my saga and continue to offer my support to this little community we are building here. So here's my tale. My memoir has gone through about 3 revisions. (the last one thanks to prodding on this forum - thank you!)

I love the latest round, but of course there are flaws, the most serious of which is that I don't know my elevator speech yet. That's awful, I know, but I have an image in my mind, and I haven't found the words for it yet.

So I'm bringing small pieces of the manuscript to my critiique groups and learning a lot from them about what a reader wants to see in a scene. And meanwhile, I'm pouring work/time/energy into my other 3 (!) nonfiction manuscripts about memoir.

Okay, "enough about me." By the way, that's the title of a great memoir by Jancee Dunn. Oh, and I'm reading Spiral Staircase by Karen Armstrong. It does a lot more "telling" than the purists might appreciate but I'm loving it.

Jerry

Chrisla
01-25-2010, 08:21 PM
Ah, yes, those synopses--elevator or otherwise--are enough to bring Steinbeck to his knees. But, then, I'll bet he didn't have to write any. I think this is one of those new, improved tortures.

Sounds like you've been busy, Jerry, even though we haven't heard from you. I'm hoping we can keep this thread on track for goals and encouragement only, but it's hard to do.

I keep plowing away on this last edit, but am afraid I'm burning myself out. I didn't want to get out of bed this morning. And I know I have to keep at it, because I won't get much writing time in this week. With the new edits, I'm setting a goal of three chapters by the end of the week, which should take me through chapter 19.

Red Bird
01-25-2010, 08:57 PM
Goals for today: make sure there isn't any remaining text that needs to be moved, but if there is finish that up, if not, work on transitioning recently moved material. Next, identify info dump areas within the text.

Goals for the week: edit any info dump areas, edit out redundancies.

Goals for the month: get back to the synopsis.

Chrisla,
It's good you found the problem with your tags : ) I panicked for a moment.

Jerry, I'm going to read your blog tonight.

Keep writing everyone : )

Bluegate
01-25-2010, 10:54 PM
I will be writing a new blog post today then moving onto the Detour piece again. I had hoped that it would be a piece to stand alone outside of the MS so that I could just practice on it. I am finding however that avoiding the rest of the story underneath was creating bumps. Now I must work on figuring out how to put that in without derailing that bit of story. I could avoid it but I think it is a very good exercise to hammer it out and that was the entire point of choosing this particular bit of story to begin with.

Chrisla
01-26-2010, 04:41 AM
I think I've burned out for the day, with only one chapter down, but I didn't get a lot of writing time in. Probably none tomorrow. I'm glad to see the rest of you hard at it.

No real problems with the tags, Red Bird. It's just that when I ran a search for the word "read," I sometimes found too many of them in a scene and had to go back and do a little rewriting.

No writing goals for tomorrow, but hope to clear another chapter of edits (Chapter 18) by Wednesday. Maybe a day away from my desk will regenerate me. . .

Chrisla
01-27-2010, 07:44 PM
I'm a little ahead. Worked late last night, and pared down another chapter. Seems like a never-ending process. Write, edit, polish, then cut. I think I have them in the wrong order!

Newport2Newport
01-27-2010, 08:27 PM
I also saw the news about the issues in California and thought I must have been living in a cave the past few days. I saw Newport's comment about cleaning up the last of some muddy water but I had no idea--I was busy dealing with my own water issues.
Newport, how are you? Please tell us you're OK, if you can.

Thanks, Bluegate, for your concern! We're drying out, and other than a few intermittent rainstorms, it looks like sunnier skies ahead. :)

Newport2Newport
01-27-2010, 08:32 PM
Flooding appears to be mostly on the coast and along the waterways. Evacuations are more in the foothills, due to mud slides. I don't know where in Orange County Newport lives. He may well be damp but safe.

Anyway, to try to keep this thread on track--I got up early this morning and got through those three chapters by noon. Goal achieved. I think I'll work on something else for the rest of the day, so I don't burn myself out, and shoot for chapters 14-16 tomorrow!

Chrisla ~ Yes, "damp but safe" is a good way to describe it. Not much in the way of permanent damage, other than the soggy cardboard boxes we'd stored in the (flooded) garage. How happy am I, to stash those mops and buckets and get back to my writing project!

(PS: Not that you'd know this, but I'm a girl. :))

Chrisla
01-27-2010, 08:43 PM
Chrisla ~ Yes, "damp but safe" is a good way to describe it. Not much in the way of permanent damage, other than the soggy cardboard boxes we'd stored in the (flooded) garage. How happy am I, to stash those mops and buckets and get back to my writing project!

(PS: Not that you'd know this, but I'm a girl. :))

Sorry, didn't mean to change your gender. But that's the way we writers are, you know.;) I'm glad you've dried out. I think we're goling to have a few rain-free days.

Red Bird
01-27-2010, 09:51 PM
Chrisla ~ Yes, "damp but safe" is a good way to describe it. Not much in the way of permanent damage, other than the soggy cardboard boxes we'd stored in the (flooded) garage. How happy am I, to stash those mops and buckets and get back to my writing project!

(PS: Not that you'd know this, but I'm a girl. :))

Newport2Newport,

Glad you're happy, dry, and a girl : )

So, where are you in your writing "phase."

Chrisla,

Did your break from writing help? I'm just about ready to get back to that dreaded synopsis. Pray for me : )

Bluegate
01-27-2010, 11:36 PM
Wow synopsis time already? How the time does fly. hehe
I was incredibly unproductive yesterday. I have to make up for that today. So I will be working on trying to figure out if there is a way I can blend the three versions of my so called voice. Oh, that ought to be a hoot.

Red Bird
01-27-2010, 11:40 PM
Yes, time flies. I'm excited to see what happens this time with the synopsis. I have clear chapter focus, and I know I have to write it more Red Bird focused and less patient focused, so we'll see : ) Tonight, I'm going to look at the old synopsis, return to the ms and decide what I would title each chapter, if I were to use titles. Then, I'll list them and go from there. Of course, the synopsis may send me back to the ms for more editing : (

Cheers,
Red Bird

Bluegate
01-27-2010, 11:50 PM
Sounds like fun! LOL
I'm going to go ahead and do the query and synopsis first. Don't laugh. I know you're judging me. heheh
Actually I am doing it that way. Of course it will have to be redone at the end and that's part of the plan and you could just as easily call it an outline. I'm doing the query and synopsis first because I want to build my skeleton first and the synopsis and query are really just that. It's a good thing I bought new push pins.

Chrisla
01-27-2010, 11:54 PM
Redbird, it occurred to me, as I was reading the blog Bushrat referred us to, that your book seems, like mine, to be more character-driven than plot-driven. I intend to take another look at the sample they gave (the man writing about his wife with Alheimers) to see if I can work mine the same way. I think that model would fit your book even better than mine, and would get away from the chapter-by-chapter recap.

As for me, I really didn't get away. I got home earlier than expected and got in a couple of hours, then worked late last night. I'm hard at it again today, up to chapter 22, with about 10 to go. Then I'll be back in synopsis hell with you.

Red Bird
01-28-2010, 06:19 AM
I'm so glad I don't have to go to hell alone. I'll take another lookk at the blog Bushrat recommended. Honestly, my brain is so full of information right now that I can't remember exactly what it said. I do remember thinking that my book had a dual component. Uugh.

Blue,
I think it's a great idea to push pin the query/synopsis. I know, not like me, but I really wish I would have done the synopsis first. I think it would have given me a focus while writing the chapters. As for the query, like you said it will likely have to be done again at the end of the writing process, but 'tis good practice! Besides, I get excited watching people develope ideas for their books.

Chrisla
01-28-2010, 08:07 AM
Okay, keeping to the goal/challenge pronouncements, I did a grueling day and got through Chapter 23 (of 31 chapters). I now have my word count below 97,000, but would like to get it still lower, to allow for the other material I'll have to add. So tomorrow, I'm going to try to get three more chapters done (through 26).

Who else wants to work with me??

Bluegate
01-28-2010, 08:16 AM
Chrisla way to go!
I'm just curious, about how many pages are your chapters? I know chapters come in all sizes so I just wondered what you found were your usual lengths.

I am working on my piece right now and will be again tomorrow. Hoping to get it done soon--how soon, I don't know.

Chrisla
01-28-2010, 09:46 AM
Chrisla way to go!
I'm just curious, about how many pages are your chapters? I know chapters come in all sizes so I just wondered what you found were your usual lengths.

Depends, of course, on the font. For editing, I use Courier, double-spaced, because it's easier to see. With it, my chapters range from a low of 8 pages to a high of 20 pages. They're really all over the board. Only 2 are below 10 pages (8 and 9), one at 18 pages, 1 at 19 pages, 2 at 20 pages, and the rest are between 10 and 17 pages.

Hope that helps.

Goal for now: finish my glass of wine and fall into bed, ready for more work tomorrow.

Bluegate
01-28-2010, 09:55 AM
Goal for now: finish my glass of wine and fall into bed, ready for more work tomorrow.

Now that's a goal we can all get behind. ;-)

Yes, thank you it did help!

Chrisla
01-29-2010, 08:53 AM
Goal for tomorrow. Stop!

I'm afraid, with all my marathon sessions of cutting, I've cut too much. I printed some of it tonight, read it and groaned. Another lesson learned: do not cut when you are tired or stressed. And I've been both.

I'm going to chill out for a few days, forget about the scheduled date for the proofreader, and do other things. I'll print off a chapter at a time--no more--and take it with me to read in waiting rooms. If I have to, I'll add things back in.

Every time I think I'm making good progress, I find that I've been walking backward. What a learning curve this has been.

Again, goal for tomorrow, nothing--except reading one chapter.

Bluegate
01-29-2010, 08:59 AM
:Hug2:Chrisla I my writer's heart goes out to you. You have worked so hard and you must be really worn out and frustrated. Take care of yourself for a bit and rest up. A break is probably all you need and you'll hopefully be feeling like your successful self again soon.

Red Bird
01-29-2010, 03:14 PM
Goal for tomorrow. Stop!

I'm afraid, with all my marathon sessions of cutting, I've cut too much. I printed some of it tonight, read it and groaned. Another lesson learned: do not cut when you are tired or stressed. And I've been both.

I'm going to chill out for a few days, forget about the scheduled date for the proofreader, and do other things. I'll print off a chapter at a time--no more--and take it with me to read in waiting rooms. If I have to, I'll add things back in.

Every time I think I'm making good progress, I find that I've been walking backward. What a learning curve this has been.

Again, goal for tomorrow, nothing--except reading one chapter.

This happens to me every time I restructure. It is an exhausting process and when I get really carried away I start cutting anything that doesn't move the story forward. But some of that stuff is important for transitional purposes. Take it out and the pearls are without twine.

Take a break, Chrisla.