Tag Archives: editing

37: Re-vision

37: Re-vision:

Har har har. (Look at my previous image title for the attempt a joke).

Revising a short story manuscript before sending it off to another publisher. I don’t see a whole lot that needs changed—that’s either good or really, really bad.

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24: Listening

24: Listening:

Doing some podcasting audio editing. That’s Garageband on the screen. I have Logic, but I prefer GB for the simple stuff.

There was some late evening sun filtering through the window.

MOROCCO Revision and WIP Update

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

Got some work done on MOROCCO today [7/11], but not nearly as much as I’d hoped to do.  Today was one of those easily-distracted type of days, further made difficult by a torrential afternoon storm and the necessity of eating.

I’m still spending time going through the story to ask myself Big, Important questions about each scene and character, making notes, cross-referencing previous scenes and thoughts, and so forth.  Editing can be tough work sometimes, especially compared to the anything-goes period of writing the first draft.  Editing’s when you have to take everything you got down and try to make something sensible out of it.  Something that looks planned and polished even if you had no clue what the hell you were doing while you were writing it.

So it’s tough work, but it’s also rewarding.  I get a chance to clip out the bad and boring parts, to tighten up the structure and pacing and characterization until the whole thing hums with storytelling power.

At least, that’s the goal.

I’m hoping to start the actual rewrites sometime this week.  Then I’ll get to do this all over again due to the number of new scenes that I’m adding.  These new scenes will also push it into novella territory, but I’m not worrying about that right now.  I intend to do whatever is necessary to tell the story the way I think it should be told, and I’ll worry about placing it later.

(whoops; post from 2 days ago that I never pushed)

WIP Update And Change In Editing Process

I’ve been a somewhat on the quiet side lately as far as Actual Blog Posts are concerned, mostly because of being busy working.

Hey, there are worse reasons, right?

I’ve also reinstated my rule that my work gets done first before I check into the world.  This means no checking Facebook/Twitter/flickr/message boards/statistics/whatever until my work is done.  Otherwise, if I do, it derails my mind into marketing and promotion mode instead of creative mode.  Not a good thing.

I’m in the middle of revisions for MOROCCO.  This is a tricky one both story-wise and editing-wise.  I’ve finished, hrm, a dozen or so stories by now–enough that I feel I have tabs on my working process, how I think, how I revise.  But I know damn well I’d be stupid to think I know everything (or even the tip of that iceberg) or can’t improve, so I’m trying a different sort of revision process on this story.  Anything that helps me find the holes in my story is a good thing.  The problem is in the change of habits.  It’s hard, it’s slow, it’s confusing, and I find myself checking back on the guide I’m following to remember what it is I’m supposed to be doing it.  I’m sure this will go smoother as I find my stride with the new system.

I had the feeling during the writing of MOROCCO (and again after I finished it) that I needed more.  More story, more time in-story, more description, and that feeling is holding up during the revision process.  I’m finding spots where stuff needs more development and to be actually grounded in the real, living world through description.  The story weighs in around 15k words.  My concern is that this will push it above 20k, which seems to be the upper limit for most short story markets that I’ve seen, and in the very low range for novella word counts.  I don’t think I would prefer it to blossom to novella-length for two reasons:

  • I already have one novella in the form of STRANDED
  • I don’t think there’s enough story in MOROCCO to fill out another 10-20k words (to get it up to 30k-40k) without feeling bloated.

This is all subject change as I continue revisions.  Most likely, I won’t know what I have until after the first rewrite.

When I’m not editing MOROCCO, I’m doing planning work for my next book, FUTURE.  Part of the reason for the change in editing for MOROCCO is that I’m going to use a very similar system for planning FUTURE and I’d like to get a handle on it before I begin.

In other news, I started participating in the Flickr 365 days group (see the 365 category and flickr links in the sidebar). Photography is on my list of “things to do and get better at” but often gets trumped by writing, music, and Actually Taking Some Time To Relax On Rare Occasion (see Murder Your Darlings ).  As such, I’m participating, but keeping a tight rein on my desire to excel and be perfect at it (and the time that that would take, which I don’t have).

Daily Musings – May 8th

Today was a good day for productivity.  Ideas and energy to do something with them came from all over.  A few were related to things I’m actively working on.  A few got backburnered.

Some ideas and “plot points” (for lack of a better phrase) came together for STRANDED and I got 1000 words out on it without too much wailing or gnashing of teeth.  An okay wordcount by most standards, but a stupendously and massively awesome wordcount on a project that’s been stalled for a while.

I submitted 5 old poems to a publisher yesterday two days ago.  That feels like progress.

First instinct is to mention where I sent stuff.  Is it bad form to do that?  Who knows–could be.  To be safe, I’ll keep it to myself.

I also did another round of edits on PIPES and its now in the hands of a preview reader before I send it out.  That also feels like progress.

* * * * *

There’s a pile of papers on my desk that I should probably go through.  Story notes, random thoughts and scribblings, lists of projects, and so on.  Rooted through it a bit and found a piece of paper hearkening back to my days of heavy editing on the Norton’s Ghost novel.

It’s a collection of “problem words” and whatnot, along with some numbers.  I was going through the manuscript and using search functions to find said words and eliminate them.  I also wrote them down so that I can revisit the list whenever I edit another story and scrub them out.  For instance, in whichever round of editing this was, I went from 364 uses of the word “just” to 126.  That’s a 66% improvement (or thereabouts).

Some of the other words I worked to remove were:

  • suddenly
  • not
  • really (117 down to 21)
  • very
  • quite (30 down to 9)
  • perhaps
  • maybe (110 to 78; sometime tells me I could have done better there)
  • some of
  • seemed
  • afterwards
  • sat there
  • I feel
  • continued _____ (verb in blank)

The rest don’t have numbers written next to them.  I feel rather guilty for putting them in there in the first place, but think I vindicated myself pretty well overall by seeing to their removal.