Tag Archives: editing

Proofreading on the Kindle

I’ve had my new Kindle v3 for about two weeks now.  It’s my first Kindle, so I’m still getting used to the whole thing, but overall I love it so far.

About a week ago, I was due for a read-through of MOROCCO, yet I also wanted to read something on my shiny new toy.  Then bingo: I combined the two.

And I have to say that I think I’m going to make the Kindle a big part of my proofreading process.  Not in the beginning, when I have to scribble notes to myself and draw so many squiggles and arrows and boxes that my manuscript looks more like a football play sheet, but after a few revisions, most of that work has been done and then it’s a matter of finding smaller mistakes and things that need tuned a little more.

The Kindle makes this easy in a few ways.

  1. the screen is an awful lot like paper, and I found that I caught mistakes on it that I missed when reading on my computer screen.
  2. I don’t have to print as many copies of my story.  This saves paper and waste and suchlike.  All I do is delete the copy on the kindle and email myself the new one.
  3. the notes feature.  As I’m reading, I still get the benefit of being able to “scribble” notes to myself via the notes interface on the kindle.  The bonus here is using the “My notes” feature:  It gives me a list of all the annotations that I’ve made, three per “screen page,” and includes both the surrounding text and the actual note.  This made it ridiculously easy to go back through my manuscript on the computer (via Scrivener), find the places, and make my changes/rewrites.  Then I deleted all the notes since I don’t need to save my mistakes for posterity.

The Sound of “Finished”. A MOROCCO Update.

Today started like normal (though a little later than usual): coffee, breakfast, feeding the cat.

Writing work was difficult through most of the afternoon and early evening.  Ordered pizza so I could keep working.  Hit a stride after dinner and continued on until about 12:15 AM (15 or so minutes ago).

I stopped because I just finished my revision of MOROCCO.  Boo-yeah!  13 hours and many words later, I have a finished second draft.  Final word count: 37,418.

A far cry from the 16,000 of my rough draft “skeleton.”  37k almost puts it up into official novel-length.  I’ll have to see how it works out in the end.

August 11th MOROCCO WIP Update

ttp://www.flickr.com/photos/andriesoudshoorn

Had a stellar run of editing and writing new text for MOROCCO lately.  The going has been rough lately–it was a relief to hit a stretch where scenes organized themselves into lines like good students and the words came easy.  Further proof that the most important thing is to just keep going.

Total wordcount is now over 30,000 words, up from the original 16,000.  That’s a huge increase, but I knew I would have to add a lot of new stuff in order to fill out the story.  My “completed” rough draft was only a skeleton.

I’m closing in on the end now.  It’s in sight.  I don’t expect the story to go over 35,000.  In most official word count guidelines (if there could be said to be such a thing), 40,000+ words makes it a novel.  How funny would it be that the story I was convinced wasn’t novel-length actually turned out to be so.

Coming Up For Air

Poor blog–been a bit neglected lately writing-wise. Lots going on lately. Notes on WIP, points of view, similarities between photography project and writing.  There’s other stuff going on, too, but those are the subject of other forthcoming posts.

MOROCCO EDITS

Still ongoing.  I wish I could say it’s going well, but truth be told, it’s a struggle all the way.  This wasn’t an easy story to write, and its track record continues during the revision process.  The important thing is that it’s going.  My short stories often take 3-4 revision passes to tighten up, and so I expect MOROCCO to require at least the same.  Maybe more, due to the length and slight complexity of the story.

At this point, I feel like I don’t have enough description.  Part of this is because it’s set in an exotic locale that I don’t know much about.  Another reason is because I really wasn’t sure what was going on even while I was writing it: I didn’t know what was going to happen, I didn’t know for sure that characters were where they were or that they were going to stay there in revision, and so forth.  Because I knew I’d be ripping it apart in revision, I think I was loathe to try and put too much description in there.  Good idea?  Bad idea?  I’ll have to see as I go.

I also think that this “mostly dialog, no description” is the result of my writing getting stuck in a rut or a particular method.  I did the same thing on another short story that I finished the other day.  That one was sci-fi, so maybe the same excuse of not knowing the locale enough applies (Which isn’t much of an excuse; it’s my job to know my locations and convey a sense of them appropriately), but I’m also thinking that that is just the way my writing is going lately.  Can’t say I’m really a fan.

One other thing that comes to mind is that both stories were in the third person.  For a while, all I wrote (including Norton’s Ghost) was first person.  It feels so… easy.  Almost like cheating.  Third person, on the other hand, has been a challenge.  As such, I’ve put a temporary ban on first person until I write some stories in third to get a better grasp on it.  So I’m sure that’s causing my description problems, as well.

In the end, I’m hoping that I’ll have no problem going back and filling in the blanks once I’ve solidified the story structure a bit and that the descriptions shall flow once I iron out the uncertainties.

Also, an image I meant to post the other day.  I cracked open the rough draft file of MOROCCO and changed Scrivener to “outline” mode.  This is what MOROCCO looked like:

About 16,000 words of story that I had to drag out kicking and screaming.  All reduced down to that paltry little list of scenes and chunks of text and word counts.  It was humbling.

Current wordcount: 22,000.  I was right when I said I expected it to expand a great deal.  At this point, I still have no idea where it’ll end up count-wise (see previous description talk above, too), but I’m guessing at a max between 35 and 40,000 words.

365days

So far I’ve done okay on keeping up with the “one day, one image” goal.  I missed my second day, but that’s only because I completely forgot about it.  The project hadn’t yet settled into the comfortable chair of habit.  It’s pretty much ingrained now.

Mostly, I need to get out of the house to take my images and do a little more planning.  Allot a little more time.  Sometimes it’ll be 10-11 PM and I’ll think, “Oh crap, I haven’t done my 365 yet today!”  and so the quality suffers.

On the other hand, I’m trying to strike a careful balance between utter crap taken in 30 seconds and spending half a day setting things up and getting the perfect shot.  I enjoy photography, but it’s not my first priority.  It’s ranking around third or fourth on my list of hobbies.  So my 365 images come after my writing and editing and suchlike.  I’m not trying to project my über-photography-ness or the airs or claims of a professional photographer.  I’m just trying to take some pictures, to fiddle with things, learn a bit, and have something to show for my effect at the end of 365 days.

There are a lot of parallels between this photography project and writing.  One of the biggest is the idea of small goals over the course of a long period of time.  One picture a day.  250/500/1000/2k words a day. It’s the same, really.  Especially since you might have to take 5/10/25/50 images to get that one good image.

There’s also the sense where you have to do something.  You can’t just sit around thinking about it and expect words to appear on the page or an image on your memory card.  You have to come up with ideas, you have to get up and try different things, and most of all, you have to do it anyways even if you’re tired and uninspired and plain don’t want to.  Some images will be better than others.  But even the bad ones that you don’t like but post anyways because it’s the one thing you managed to do is a success: Not every day’s writing is stellar, either, but you do it anyways.

It’s the process that’s important.

40: Editing

40: Editing:

Sign reads: “I like words (sometimes)”. It was a long, hard night of editing where it seemed nothing went right or well.

I really need to get through this first edit on my work in progress. Hoping for smoother sailing in subsequent revisions.

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