Adventures in re-writing, part 1

Cassiel... in progress
Cassiel… in progress

That, my friends, is my pile of notes, outlines, summaries, and the first 5 chapters of Cassiel, draft 1 (aka. the wild beast). Now, here I am, nearing the first week of CampNaNoWriMo and I am actually feeling really good about choosing to rewrite Cassiel rather than rework the existing text. I feel like I’ve been living with these characters for the last 7 years (I hadn’t even realized it was that long until I looked at the original file save dates), so I know their voices and stories inside and out. Now, I just need to make them come to life in a fresher way. Just looking at those first 5 chapters, I can see how much I’ve grown as a writer. There is a serious Victorian influence running through my early writing, something that was definitely a result of too much Classic lit in school… and while I love the Victorians, I don’t want Cassiel to read like a Victorian knock-off. I want this book to have a style and tone all its own, and I am getting there! Not to too my own horn, but I’m surprised at how it’s coming along. It’s not perfect, but that’s not my goal right now. My goal is to write a solid first half of a novel, so that I can then find a balance between editing Anúna and finishing Cassiel. There was way too much time and distance between chapters when I wrote the first version of this book and I don’t want to fall into that trap again. That way lies the bad place! No no, I much prefer to stay closer to this draft. I do feel stronger about the last quarter of the original and some of the dialogue, so I do plan on printing the rest of it out and going through to find those nuggets of inspiration, but I think this will be a mostly new draft all around.

I’m ahead of my word count goal for the week, which is surprising given that I’ve been writing in the space between my eating breakfast and leaving for work (with kitty cat cuddle time squeezed in to keep kitty from attacking me for attention). The plan for the weekend is to put in another 3000 words. And do some yoga. I seriously need to stretch after all this desk time.

Cassiel, rewrite draft 1 (Camp NaNo word goal)

Camp NaNo… here we go!

getting ready…

The day is almost upon us… Camp NaNo lurks just around the corner with its frantic writing goal. I’ve got my “plan”–which is really just a list of ideas I’ve been plotting for Cassiel Draft 2 (or, as I like to think of it, taming the wild beast). I printed out the first five chapters of the original draft (written oh so many moons ago) and realized it’s damn long. And I mean loooooong. As in, nearly a quarter of the length of Anúna Draft 1–and that one clocked in at around 80k. Seriously, when I say this is an exercise in wrangling my word story into something neat and orderly, I mean it. It’s way too involved. Unless I break it into several parts, it just doesn’t work as a YA length novel. My goal is to get around 20k works down in April and have a solid start at a new draft. Entirely new. I was toying with revising and reworking what I have, but I feel that the second half is stronger than the first, so a solid first half should be my greatest priority for this one, at least for now. I love my characters and I love my settings, but I have to get my plot under control. I kind of wish I had more time to research some of the elements I’m uncertain about, but it’s been a mad month. I’ll work with what I have.

In other news… I haven’t reached my editing goal for the month 😦 . I have two more chapters before I finish the first round of revisions on Chapters 5-10. Mad month, after all. Not that April will be any better…

Ah! Writing!

 

Adventures in editing, part 5

Another vlog! Yes, indeed!

vlog Anuna2 from Gricel on Vimeo.

It’s going, it’s going. Not much to say for now, but I’ll try to make these a bit more regular.

’til next time!

Anúna: 1st Draft

About the project

Anúna is an adult, urban fantasy novel about rival Faerie Queens, fierce warriors, magic, mayhem, and the occasional latté. It is still in the writing stage.

Adventures in editing, pt. 4

I just finished editing Chapter 5. I call it round 1.5 because I’ve found that I usually edit my edits, and make more edits, as I’m translating my changes from the manuscript to the digital copy. It’s a long process, but mostly fulfilling, especially when I come across lines I barely remember writing but which fill me with writerly hope.

It’s taken a lot longer than I anticipated when I started editing. I can’t even really say it’s because it’s been a slow editing process, it’s mostly just been a non-editing process. Things have happened. Other than the move, I mean. There have been several life events that have thrown me way off course, and brought on a lot more pain than I imagined. It’s been a rough year so far (and here I thought 2012 was bad). I’m trying not to let it stop me from working, but it’s hard when all I want to do is curl up with a book and forget that anything is happening in the real world.

I usually turn to Bridget Jones when I’m having a bad time, but both my novel and my movie are at my mom’s place, and I’ve been making due with The Lizzie Bennet Diaries instead. However, there is one piece of Bridget-inspired knowledge that I always remember…

It is a truth universally acknowledged that when one part of your life starts going okay, another falls spectacularly to pieces.
― Helen Fielding, Bridget Jones’s Diary

Right now, this is definitely true. I’ll just get back to editing.

Anúna: 1st Draft

About the project

Anúna is an adult, urban fantasy novel about rival Faerie Queens, fierce warriors, magic, mayhem, and the occasional latté. It is still in the writing stage.

two things

A tour of my brains hosted by the lovely and incredibly talented Serena @ solawless.com. It’s part of her awesome Future Shelves series featuring the poor and penniless writers among us ^-^.

And a tour of my scantily furnished apartment (especially for my loved ones who are near to my heart but far from my little hermitage…)

I give you…. my Writing Nook!!!! Yes, that’s what I’m calling it and I’m sticking to it until something better comes along.

 

Pink!Domo welcomes all with glee! GLEE!

 

Cat Castle Corner… He is so spoiled.

 

The Land of Nod… or, the Sleepatorium.

 

The pink room of resting and pinkness.

 

The Owls are not amused.

 

The nook o’ tea and crumpets! Yes, there are crumpets in my fridge. Pardon the mess.

 

The Imagination Station/Sun Salutation area

 

The guardian sprites.

 

Pink!Domo encounters the Didymus.

 

That’s all folks!

Adventures in editing, pt. 3

I’m averaging 5 pages worth of edits (print to digital) an hour, but only managing to get in about an hour or two of edits on weekdays. It feels like trudging along at a snail’s pace, but I know I’m making the story better with every change. Gotta keep myself going. I’m still trying to work out the whole living on my own/fending for myself and writing bit. It’s very time-consuming to manage on one’s own.

I’ve also noticed that I haven’t said much about the plot, I guess because I was still trying to work some of that out by re-writing, but I think I’ve got it pretty much squared away now. The blurb I’ve been using sums up the idea of the novel as a story about two rival Faerie Queens, but it’s about more than that… Anúna and Siobhan are twins, a rare thing in my version of the Other realm. Unwilling to choose one daughter over the other, the King names them both Queen of the family Clan… but when one sister doesn’t like to share troubles are sure to arise. There are secret plots and deadly assassins and sexytimes galore (okay, not galore, it’s not that kind of book), and even a touch of the ol’ self-actualization.

And right now, I’m dying to finish editing it so I can finally get some reader feedback! Ugh, editing is the worst. *says the girl who wanted to be a professional editor*

I’ll try to vlog again soon. I’m still relying on a borrowed connection while I wait for my internets to be activated.

 

Anúna: 1st Draft

 

About the project

Anúna is an adult, urban fantasy novel about rival Faerie Queens, fierce warriors, magic, mayhem, and the occasional latté. It is still in the writing stage.

Adventures in editing, pt. 2

I took the challenge and recorded my first vlog! Wherein I ponder the great editing task that is Anúna, my thought talking about writing, and more! Also, a shout out to the fab writers over at TheGreatNovelingAdventure.com because they are awesome.

After several attempts, I finally settled on Vimeo for my video sharing. This is the downside of cancelling my account with my old webserver–I used to blog less, so it seemed a waste of money to spend so much on a server, and I like the social aspects of WP.com, but the video sharing part leaves much to be desired. Oh well, it’s a solution for the moment.

About the project

Anúna is an adult, urban fantasy novel about rival Faerie Queens, fierce warriors, magic, mayhem, and the occasional latté. It is still in the writing stage.

Anúna: 1st Draft – in the editing/revision stage

Currently editing and reworking the first 5 chapters.

Adventures in editing, part 1

I’m a bit behind on my self-assigned editing schedule, but I just finished editing the first 5 chapters and will start making those changes on my digital draft tomorrow. I normally edit my “professional” writing straight on Word with track changes, but there’s something about editing fiction that is easier in print. I like being able to write in the margins and flip around as I take notes.

I’ve made some cuts and removed a few elements that didn’t add much to the story as a whole, but I know I will need a reader at some point to get some action/plot feedback. That’s kind of nerve-wracking. I have no idea where to begin with finding someone I trust as a reader. I respond well to critique, it’s something I learned to deal with in grad school, but who can I find who will be willing to spare the time to read Anúna? I don’t know where to start with that request.

Ugh! Too much to think about.