Friday, January 27, 2012

Random Thoughts on Editing

  • Editing is a much different process than I expected it to be. I guess I thought I'd just be able to jump to the sections that contained notes, do a few quick spruces and suddenly have a beautiful, perfect book that every agent and editor would be waiting to receive. But it turns out...
  • I have a lot more insecurities than even I realized. I can't just be happy with the fact that I wrote a book for a few days. Instead, I dove into editing right away and was suddenly plagued by doubts. Is my book really good enough to compete with every other urban fantasy book out there? Do the characters and the plot develop in an organic way? Is it bad that nothing ever seems to happen directly to my main character? In case you were wondering, I'm pretty sure the answer to the last question is yes, which means that...
  • "Rewrite" is not a dirty word. While I'm not rewriting the entire book per se, I am writing significant portions of it, far more than I expected. My first draft is, at this point, acting like the patches that will eventually be sewn into a quilt. I'll write a new scene, then find some old scenes that fit, but I'll rearrange them from the order in which they were initially written. All in all, the job is way more time-consuming than I expected it to be, so...
  • My goal of having my initial edits done by 1/31 is a pipe dream. I have to let it go now, and set the slightly more realistic goal of having the first round of edits done by 2/29, so I can start sending the drafts to the friends and family members who so wonderfully offered to read and critique it. I don't think this will cause a change in the rest of my timeline, but I'm trying to learn to be more flexible.

This doesn't change the fact that I plan on starting Defenders on 2/1, as well as some short story projects and contest submissions. I want to get back to writing 1000 words/day, whether that be Defenders, submissions for magazines, short stories, blog posts, television reviews, or whatever.

What's your favorite/least favorite thing about editing?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


I'm taking a break from posting about writing for a minute to talk about something else near and dear to my heart--the Internet.

I don't know about all of you, but I spend a considerable amount of time online, particularly when I'm procrastinating. But I also use it for information for basically everything. And I use Wikipedia as a primary source, despite countless high school teachers telling me it was too inaccurate. At least three ideas in Rosetta came from the Wikipedia article on wolves.

Anyway, all this is the rambling way of saying that websites like Wikipedia and YouTube and others are in jeopardy. The point of SOPA (the Stop Internet Piracy Act) is to prevent piracy and copyright infringement. As a writer, I'm all for that. However, if SOPA passes, it essentially gives the government the ability to shut down any website that might happen to link to a site that contains piracy. It's impossible to ask these user-created websites to police every link that appears in an article or a video or a comment, and this can only result in censorship and the eventual blackout of all these sites.

There are other consequences to SOPA and PIPA (the Senate version, the Protect Intellectual Property Act), and you can learn more about them pretty much anywhere online. Here's the BBC article explaining the controversy (I hoped this would present the most objective picture).

Wikipedia, Reddit, and other websites are blacking out today to bring awareness to this issue. You can get involved. Get educated about the bills and their possible repercussions. Go to Google and sign the petition. Write your congressmen and women. Pass the word on to your friends and family. Whatever you choose to do, please keep aware of what's going on. Remember, decisions are made by those who show up.

Shameless Plug

So bear with me for a few minutes while I shamelessly plug my good friend's book. It's called The Eternal Queen, and it's really great. She just self-published it (links below), and I'm halfway through my second read of it. I highly recommend it.

Eternal Queen Anastasia has been kidnapped from her own Rebirth Ceremony – not that the seven Royal Lords will let anyone know. Though they, themselves, soon start dropping like flies, as rumors spread on the suspicious whispers of the people. Mrs. Deedly and Mrs. Dummley – who are absolutely not sisters – just want to find what their long, unwieldy scarf has snagged during their walk through Lower Rung. It's a boot, attached to a foot, attached to a dying man in the cemetery. At the same time, Bogart Bugly of Rainbow Tower has found himself a young, injured, gem of a girl, and he's going to make gold on this one. In the Palace, the newly promoted Lord Septimus has his own ideas about the future of the city and its Queen.

Mystery, murder, and mayhem all abound in The Eternal Queen, which follows a young girl named Red, a mischievous rogue named Wolf, and the determined new Lord who calls himself Hunter. As Red opens her eyes to a world she can't quite understand, she must come to terms with the Queen, the city, and the precarious relationship the two have shared for centuries.

And here are the links:
Smashwords -
Amazon -

Monday, January 16, 2012

The End

The first draft of Rosetta is done, clocking in at just over 75,000 words and almost 400 pages (double-spaced, Courier). That is all.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Light at the End

If any of you follow my word count meter (on the right), you might have been surprised to see it jump up dramatically, starting Monday. At some point over the weekend, I realized that I could see the end of Rosetta. Now, yes, in fairness, the end was still a long way off, but it was visible for the first time in the entire writing process. Not only that, but I'd finally gotten to several scenes that were already planned out (one was even already written).

There's nothing like knowing you're almost done to motivate you. In the past four days, I've written almost 7000 words, including today. I'm not even sure how many chapters that was, but at least five. I made it through the first of two critical scenes that will lead to the end of the book (and the entire plot of book 2), and yesterday I wrote the climax of the book.

I then reduced myself to tears in the middle of the office.

My goal is to have the first draft done no later than Sunday. There's one more pivotal scene, then a few lighter, though no less important, scenes. I can't imagine I have more than 5000 words left, but I thought I wouldn't have 10,000 more at the beginning of the month, and I've write over 13,000 so far, so clearly my judgment cannot be trusted.

After I finish, I want to dive right into edits, because I know there are notes all over the later chapters of things to fix in the beginning. There are major inconsistencies that I've been going back and forth on as I try to tailor the werewolf myths to suit my needs. I'd like to get most of those out of the way, along with my character inconsistencies, while it's still fresh in my head, before I let anyone else read it or take any time off.

Come February 1, I want to start working on another book, (very) tentatively titled Defenders, which I'm sure I'll post more about before then. I contemplated just diving into book 2 of Rosetta, but I'd like to have another independently marketable book by the end of the year. Plus, I've been stewing over Defenders for awhile now, and I'd like to see if I can't capitalize on my relatively new motivation to get some of it down on paper.

Then there's the fun process of querying agents. If anybody has some suggestions they'd like to offer up before I get started, I'd appreciate it. I'll probably look to start querying by June or July at the latest.

Monday, January 2, 2012


OK, so it's a new month and a new year, which means new goals for myself when it comes to my writing. So here are my 2012 Writing Resolutions:

  1. Write 1000 words per day. I'm setting a goal each month that is equivalent to 1000 words/day. If I meet this goal before the end of the month, I can take a few days off before starting the next month's goal.
  2. Finish the first draft of Rosetta by January 31. I don't think I have another 31,000 words left to it, so hopefully I'll meet this goal before the end of the month.
  3. Finish editing Rosetta by June 1.
  4. Be actively searching for agents by December 31. Ideally I'd like to have an agent by December 31, but I'm trying to restrict my resolutions to things I can control.

So with these new resolutions comes a new word meter. I didn't quite hit my 31,000 word goal for December due to the holidays and my general inability to write when I'm on vacation, but hope springs eternal for January.