Nutella and tears – I try to learn how to hold my horses

Last week I wrote with some bravado about how I was ready to start submitting the book to agents and publishers. I even offhandedly said, “I have some rewrites on the horizon from the feedback I get from beta readers but those will happen fairly quickly, I think.”

To which I now respond, haha. HAHAHAHA.

HAHAHAHAHHAHAAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHHAHAHA HAHHAHAAHAHAHHAH AHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHA HAHHAHAAHAHAHH AHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH HAHAHAHAHH AHAAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HA HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

And so on.

Because, as it turns out, I’m going to need a lot more work than I had originally thought. How much? Well, I’m still trying to wrap my mind around that one. But here’s where the book sits now: I have a full manuscript that has been edited. It has some plot holes and is in need of more line edits than I have given it so far.

The other issue is that I need to take my secondary character, Isa and turn her into the protagonist.oh-shit-o She wrestled constantly with my current protagonist, Joe while I was writing the first draft. Since this was the first book I had ever written, I thought this was a natural part of the process and didn’t recognize it for what it was, a HUGE flashing warning sign. One that said, “hey asshole! You can’t ride a tyrannosaurus down this highway! It’s too big and it’s from a different dimension!”

I rode my dinosaur apace, snarling at the passing motorists.

So now I’m going through and creating a summary for every chapter. Something that hits the bullet points about what’s happening so that I can look through and say, tear out 10,000 words while weeping hysterically and shoveling fistfulls of Nutella from the jar into my mouth.

But everything’s fine, no really! ::barfs into hat::

Seriously though, while this does mean some more work, potentially a lot of work, I’ve never felt in a better place to pull it off. It’s just another part of the learning process and it’s helping me understand what it truly means to be a writer.

Second draft done, now looking for beta readers!

Last week, after six months of almost daily work, I finished the second draft of my novel.

mst3k_party_by_rumper1-d51rywj

As excited as I am to send it off into the great blue yonder to make a life for itself, I wouldn’t be much of a book daddy if I did right now.

I don’t think it’s quite ready to meet the challenges of life as a fully grown, published book yet. It’s still got some plot holes, some weak dialogue and cliches that it needs to work through before becoming a mature story.

As a wise man once said, “it takes a village to raise a child and hopefully the villagers aren’t carrying torches and pitchforks.”

So I’m turning to you, my fellow village people to be my beta readers and help turn my heap of words deathless prose into a masterpiece.

Shucks, what’s a beta reader? A beta reader is you! But more specifically, it’s a person who agrees to read my book in its early state and give feedback on what you think works and what you think doesn’t. I’m not looking for line-by-line edits, people who do that are called editors, just a quick read and a temperature gauge with a few specifics would be endlessly helpful.

If you’re up for giving my fledgling novel a read and giving me some feedback, wave your hands wildly and yell, “ooh me, ooh me, me me me!” If I don’t call on you, you can also reach me through my web form or on twitter. And let me know what file format you prefer, I’ve got pdf, kindle, epub and doc.

Now, if you’ll excuse me:

tumblr_mm3kpxktHL1r60xzto1_400

Update on my novel and other writing projects

Uh, hey there folks, remember me? I’m the person who started this blog as a place to talk about how my writing process has been going. I know lately I’ve sort of turned my daily posts into sharing links that I find interesting. That’ll probably continue until I get enough people together threatening me with fire if I don’t stop.

But yeah, writing. What’s been going on with that for me?

First up- the book I wrote last year. I finished it back on December 7th and what’s happened since then? Honestly, not a whole lot. I handed out some copies to some awesome folks to give me their impressions. I got some feedback from that, which was helpful but also left me wondering how to fix all the problems. This past week, I sat down and started working on THE chapter. The one that has been giving me fits. The one that had me questioning whether I could salvage the book or not. It’s been slow going but I think for the first time since December I can say that my novel is progressing. I’m not stressing anymore about editing, I’m just doing it. And I think I needed this time away from it in order to make any progress with it. Slow and low is the tempo, but we’re getting places.

Other than that, I’ve begun heavily outlining a new novel. Let’s say that I’ve learned from my experience with the first book that I’m not a “pantser” (someone who writes without a firm plan, flying by the seat of their pants). I don’t mind being a plotter, I see a lot more room for creativity this way because I can more adequately create connections intentionally within the plot ahead of time rather than clumsily  attempting to force them while in the flow.

Another bonus about doing all of the outlining ahead of time… I am capable of giving a synopsis! That was one of the most embarrassing parts about the first novel. People would ask me what it was about and I’d stammer and stutter, “it’s this guy… he’s got a thing with his family… there’s elements of the supernatural… urban fantasy? magical realism…” Yeah, when I said that to my friends and family you can imagine the looks I got. I think they suspected I was having an acid flashback and just stammering words as brilliant fields of kaleidoscopic color danced before my eyes.

I’m hoping to finish the outline in the next month to month and a half so I can begin work on the first draft. It’s a slower pace than I’d like to have but with a full time job, it’s the best I can do right now.

A photo of my workspace

Just a quick share of my workspace from this morning. Sorry for the dim view, the high contrast of the morning light in the background made my phone’s camera bug out a bit. This is one of many, many iterations of my workspace and so far this is the one that works the best for me. It’s mostly clean, has a few books available and a cork board on the wall. I decided to keep my old iMac in spite of having the new MacBook Pro because I can extend my workspace onto it using programs like Synergy and Air Display.

image

Also, I took this picture while trying to procrastinate writing a particularly difficult scene from my novel.