May 2022 Challenge - Build a Writing Habit!

editing_for_authors
Editing for authors: because every writer needs a good editor.

Taylor Harbin

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A week of my body and brain unable to cope with work and then far too many life stresses this week have kept me away from any real progress with this month's goals. I'm finding it very hard to get back in the mood but forced myself to at least update Scrivener with the edits I made way back on day four.
Been there ma y times. I learned that when those days come you just got to go with the flow. Kicking against the current (is forcing myself to write when I was depressed or too tired to think) never led to good things.
 

Cindyt

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Been there ma y times. I learned that when those days come you just got to go with the flow. Kicking against the current (is forcing myself to write when I was depressed or too tired to think) never led to good things.
When I'm like that, I escape into sleep.
 
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Cindyt

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Day 13

Word Count 352

A DEADLY SPILL OF SCARLET
(Draft 3)​

Trimmed and updated. Transferred the scene where Billy discovers evidence of a heinous decades-old unsolved crime committed in the Secret Garden grotto and Billy's shooting scene to a storage file. Billy doesn’t remember these events after he wakes from a coma, so why add them until he does remember?

DEATH ROW IN A SILVER PURSE
(Working Title)​

Created the doc file. I came up with a POV-friendly way to use “The Bride was upstairs dressing for her funeral” as a hook. YaY!

I go into this book with trepidation because I failed to get past the second chapter during the time it was the Scarlet plotline. I’m really going to have to buckle down and pray over this one.
 
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Nether

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Day 13 was... well, to be fair, it WAS the end of a project, you know, and I wasn't about to start a new project or anything, so it was only 656 words. But then I felt weird, so in the last minutes of the day (after swearing I'd hold off starting the new project) I quickly drafted about 550 on the new project just to keep the day from looking too grim.

Anyway, I kinda sorta closed out killer trees way sooner than expected. And I mean way sooner. I'd thought I had at least another day and a half left, but I'd kinda resolved everything. I even managed to work in a callback to an earlier scene with the ending.

Interestingly, I only had one # the whole project (for "self-confident" at a moment when I couldn't remember "self-conscious" -- weird how that happens sometimes -- which was an easy fix).

Offhand, my revision will likely:
-Either remove or expand the role of a male professor who only marginally appears then vanishes (rather than explicitly being killed). Right now he mostly serves to bulk out the cast and because he ties into a name pun.
-Expand the dialogue/interaction with a female professor who had a lot of characterization early on, but takes more of a backseat (possibly not necessary since the earlier scene already has a payoff and she has a minor role)
-Maybe expand the dialogue interaction with a female professor who plays a substantial role later on, but has only a nominal introduction
-Switch a female character who I chose to survive an injury (after initially making it look like she died) back to having died from that injury, because she's not seen again later anyway. Part of the problem is I took her gun away because it didn't make sense only her phone would be stolen. (Which already changed the CoD for another character.)
-Do more to foreshadow a person who disappeared prior to the story (who gets found). I'd meant to work in more references.
-Add more internal consistency with how how the trees are discussed. There should be relatively few characters who know one name for a type of tree.
-Possibly increase the confrontation near the end
-Probably do more to explain the nature of the puppeteer and the house
-May need to simplify and streamline some of the conflicts. Otherwise there's not enough time spend building up a red herring.
-Character consistency with the teens. Although some of the variation can be justified by the characters changing over the story, I need to make sure some of the changes don't seem too jarring or move too far away from the underlying personality (although some of it also happens off-page because two get separated)

The draft's word count wound up being 67k (or 66,612), which isn't a terrible place for YA.

Anyway, I'd planned on not starting circus right away, but that's gone out the window. I figure getting a little bit done beats getting nothing done... even if some of this winds up being a complete rewrite.
 

Cindyt

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Day 13 was... well, to be fair, it WAS the end of a project, you know, and I wasn't about to start a new project or anything, so it was only 656 words. But then I felt weird, so in the last minutes of the day (after swearing I'd hold off starting the new project) I quickly drafted about 550 on the new project just to keep the day from looking too grim.

Anyway, I kinda sorta closed out killer trees way sooner than expected. And I mean way sooner. I'd thought I had at least another day and a half left, but I'd kinda resolved everything. I even managed to work in a callback to an earlier scene with the ending.

Interestingly, I only had one # the whole project (for "self-confident" at a moment when I couldn't remember "self-conscious" -- weird how that happens sometimes -- which was an easy fix).

Offhand, my revision will likely:
-Either remove or expand the role of a male professor who only marginally appears then vanishes (rather than explicitly being killed). Right now he mostly serves to bulk out the cast and because he ties into a name pun.
-Expand the dialogue/interaction with a female professor who had a lot of characterization early on, but takes more of a backseat (possibly not necessary since the earlier scene already has a payoff and she has a minor role)
-Maybe expand the dialogue interaction with a female professor who plays a substantial role later on, but has only a nominal introduction
-Switch a female character who I chose to survive an injury (after initially making it look like she died) back to having died from that injury, because she's not seen again later anyway. Part of the problem is I took her gun away because it didn't make sense only her phone would be stolen. (Which already changed the CoD for another character.)
-Do more to foreshadow a person who disappeared prior to the story (who gets found). I'd meant to work in more references.
-Add more internal consistency with how how the trees are discussed. There should be relatively few characters who know one name for a type of tree.
-Possibly increase the confrontation near the end
-Probably do more to explain the nature of the puppeteer and the house
-May need to simplify and streamline some of the conflicts. Otherwise there's not enough time spend building up a red herring.
-Character consistency with the teens. Although some of the variation can be justified by the characters changing over the story, I need to make sure some of the changes don't seem too jarring or move too far away from the underlying personality (although some of it also happens off-page because two get separated)

The draft's word count wound up being 67k (or 66,612), which isn't a terrible place for YA.

Anyway, I'd planned on not starting circus right away, but that's gone out the window. I figure getting a little bit done beats getting nothing done... even if some of this winds up being a complete rewrite.
I know what you mean about sooner endings. Scarlet was supposed to extend several chapters beyond the current cut-off. But, during draft 2, put the ax to it. Glad I did.
 

Woollybear

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I hope to start knocking down the critique feedback this morning. I have thirty five pages of workshop notes, covering most of the 153 pages of manuscript. The last 6000 words (of 43K) have not been workshopped yet. So the game starting today is to knock that thirty-five pages of feedback down, eventually to zero.
 
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lorna_w

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Done with this one. Probably won't start the next until late June, when I publish this one.

Not that I have any better an idea which book "the next one" should be than I did six weeks ago! I'll make some decision, even if it's the wrong one, by June 10, and keep on writing through the summer. Perhaps a shiny new idea will come to me at some point that makes me more excited? I can hope.

Though I have five pen names already in addition to my birth name. Maybe that's enough? (just watch, my SNI will be a western or some damned thing totally unrelated to any of them.)
 

Taylor Harbin

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I worked from 5-945 this morning researching and outlining more chapters. Then depression hit. Hasn’t been the best of weeks. Had a major falling out with someone who, until now, has been rather tolerant of my conservative stance on things. But I’m enjoying “Los de Abajo” and it’s not only good for research but also a good novel.
 

anaemic_mind

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Day 14
Did some tinkering, making some margin notes about this chatty chapter. It doesn't work. Too much fluff. Red 'delete' highlights are happening everywhere. Also some stuff I set up in the previous chapter just doesn't work so I need to go back and rework that. Ugh.
 

Woollybear

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OK, I'm down from 35 pages of feedback notes to 25 pages of feedback notes. That's a good stab. Tomorrow won't see as much progress, because I'm starting with the softballs, and there was a fair bit of repetition across critique groups on chapters 1 and 2. But it's a good start.

Tomorrow I need to polish up the next excerpt for submission, and that'll generate more critique notes.

And i think i have at least three rounds of revision after this one: One for smoothing, one to solidify the omniscient voice, and a hard copy edit. Each of those will take a couple weeks. Still, it's all forward, and I feel like I am over the hump, which is a good feeling.
 

Cindyt

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Day 14

Since it’s part of my goal, I decided to work on a blog article today.

Word Count 151

GROWING UP BUFORD

(Blog)​

GUB is a blog of my life stories growing up in a small-town dysfunctional family. My daddy was a handsome, moody, playboy, and my mother was a glamourous paranoid schizophrenic. Some stories detour to other cities and states, including college in Chattanooga, Tennessee, which this particular story is about. The Hunger is a series of articles about my battle with food obsession.

Pending title: The Will Club (The Hunger: Part Three) I added wordage to what I wrote some time ago. The Will Club was a diet circle at Tennessee Temple University. They had their own table in the cafeteria, and the kitchen prepared special menus for them. Was I a member? HA!

Today, I added wordage to the several paragraphs written a few months ago.
 

Nether

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Day 14 was only 1,217 words.

My personal life got in the way of drafting, but I'm also just having a harder time with the beginning of the new manuscript. I'm guessing the first chapter or two will probably need a complete rewrite later on.

Part of the problem is I need to introduce too many characters too quickly. Because the MC's friends go missing in the early pages, they need to be named -- and I'll have to work in a few details for the description. But the first scene is the MC with his three friends, with the scene moving to another location where another three characters are introduced (7 total, not counting 2 who were name-dropped). Then when I get into the circus, I may need to mention a few other names... which is a problem when something happens to a group relatively quickly.

Granted, I realize killer tree's first chapter introduced the MC and 5 characters but it was spaced out a bit more.

And I still have to figure out some logistics for later. idk, this one might be a bit of a pain... and I'm thinking I might struggle with the horror beats.

Me too! Just like rebooting a computer. I think it’s established that people with depression are either insomniac or hypersomniac. I’m definitely the latter.

I feel like that phrasing puts the cart before the horse. The depression would cause the sleep disorder (or stem from the same underlying issue), not the other way around.
 

Taylor Harbin

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Day 14 was only 1,217 words.

My personal life got in the way of drafting, but I'm also just having a harder time with the beginning of the new manuscript. I'm guessing the first chapter or two will probably need a complete rewrite later on.

Part of the problem is I need to introduce too many characters too quickly. Because the MC's friends go missing in the early pages, they need to be named -- and I'll have to work in a few details for the description. But the first scene is the MC with his three friends, with the scene moving to another location where another three characters are introduced (7 total, not counting 2 who were name-dropped). Then when I get into the circus, I may need to mention a few other names... which is a problem when something happens to a group relatively quickly.

Granted, I realize killer tree's first chapter introduced the MC and 5 characters but it was spaced out a bit more.

And I still have to figure out some logistics for later. idk, this one might be a bit of a pain... and I'm thinking I might struggle with the horror beats.



I feel like that phrasing puts the cart before the horse. The depression would cause the sleep disorder (or stem from the same underlying issue), not the other way around.
Yes, that’s what I meant. When I was diagnosed people asked me if I was having trouble sleeping, and then I realized I was sleeping more than i ever had in my life.
 

Woollybear

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Hope to polish 3000 words near the very end and also knock down some more critique notes today (which stands at 25 pages at the moment.)

Had a sore throat and slight cough last night, so did hubby, we had the 'what if' discussion, but both woke up normal today, thank goodness.
 
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lorna_w

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1) line edit romance
2) aural proofread romance
3) publish other pen name #2
4) admin: shifting categories and keywords, adding links to book 2 in two series, yadayada
5) (probably) buy and learn new software
6) writing new? probably not this month.
Mid-month update: I did the first 3, and I played around with a low-cost AA ad, and I revised/proofed a short story and submitted and now have a workable cover letter template. My line edits and proofing added over 4,000 words to the novel, and 400 words to the story, so I guess I even "wrote new" in a sense and can check off #6 as well

Starting today, I tackle #4. Starting Tuesday or Wednesday, I tackle #5. Unlike last month, the plan and the execution are matching up nicely with a couple of bonus tasks added on. Jan-March, the execution far exceeded the plan, so I'm calling 2022 a good year. :) If I did nothing else in 2022 after next month's conversion of 6-9 ebooks to paperbacks, it'd still be a good year.

ETA: did 1/3 of #4 in four hours. It'll definitely take three days to get through it.
 
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Taylor Harbin

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Woke up this morning feeling better. Wrote several pages of the new story, but it’s a bad first draft. I’m forcing myself to finish it just so I do t make a habit of quitting. It could be a good story eventually but not now.

Also discovered an interesting tale from the Han Dynasty that may be good material for a small project later.

UPDATE

Okay, so I kinda copped out on the WIP I had going. I just wrote “Wei Xiang slapped him in the face.” I’ve reorganized my priority list and will revisit this story later.
 
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Lea123

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DAY 15

I mean, in reality, I have no idea how many days I've actually worked on editing or putting words into book 1.

My medication may be working, feel a little clearer headed this weekend. Not felt like this in a looooong time. Not quite enough energy juggle all the things but I managed to hoover, do mine and the kid's lunch AND shop. Wahoo!
 

Cindyt

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Day 15

Word Count 503

A DEADLY SPILL OF SCARLET
(Draft 3)​

While hiding from the vampire scenes :p, I filled a hole in the scene where Billy is whamming his Testa to snatch Carolina out of the killer’s clutches. In an earlier chapter, he showed his pal Valentino “Bug” Lucas a photo of the vampire suspect. Bug’s never seen the sucker.
 

Nether

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Day 15 was 1,680 words.

Again, the word count is still down. The only saving grace is I'd debated on holding off starting the project until the end of the weekend, so rather than a few bad days in a row, it could be seen as writing I wouldn't have otherwise done.

At this point, I'm not sure whether it's a planning problem (which is possible, since my overall plan is thin), the fact I'm trying to write a bit differently, or whether the story isn't jiving with me.

I imagine part of the problem is I'm doing an enemies-to-lovers romantic subplot where, by necessity, the love interest doesn't factor that heavily into the first act (instead playing up the crush, the red herring love interest). That just leaves me with the MC's three friends who I don't want to kill, but I kinda feel I should kill at least one or two of them... although, idk, maybe this style doesn't agree with me. Or maybe I need to remove the supporting personal connections between them to make it easier to kill them. Although I could seriously injure them, it might not have the same impact.

I'll probably keep thinking about planning for the next day or two before jumping back to doing a RRWARB read-through.

I mean, in reality, I have no idea how many days I've actually worked on editing or putting words into book 1.

You could start a spreadsheet to keep track of it. That's what I do -- well, I started with the word counts, but later branched into tracking the other stuff, too.
 

Pterofan

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Day 16 - got a paid-work deadline looming. I'll write this evening.

I took the weekend off from reporting in--though not from writing--while I dealt with the above-mentioned paid work. Finally got my characters out of the car. And I may have solved the issue of possible future defamation. My bad guy, an expert on the defunct publisher, will recognize the caveman and the witch hunter as fictional characters, assume they're LARPers, and kick everyone out without telling them anything--or exhibiting any behavior that would spark comparisons to anyone specific from real life. The less time he's on screen, the better it is for the plot, as well as my future legal standing.

The witch hunter's personality is starting to take definite shape. She's a hardcore New Englander without a sense of humor. She was that way before she visited Hell. I can't say it on the page without violating copyrights, but in my head she's the descendant of Robert E. Howard's Puritan adventurer, Solomon Kane. Though if I had a writer character cite that as the inspiration for her, and made the appropriate author attributions, I could probably get away with it.
 

Elizabeth George's book Write Away