May 14

Copy Edits

Posted: under Echoes of Betrayal, Editing, the writing life.
Tags: ,  May 14th, 2011

Copy Edits are, in the best of times, a nerve-wracking proposition, because CEs, unlike one’s own marvelous, wonderful, thoughtful, brilliant Editor, are professional nitpickers.   If you don’t have a nitpicker mentality yourself (and most storytellers don’t) and if you have a feel for the needs of fiction as opposed to, say, a sociology textbook (and most storytellers do) the more rigid CEs will drive you batty.    Good CEs, as I’ve said before, are pearls beyond price and save your bacon.   Not-so-good CEs become embroiled in trying to rewrite your work to suit their notions, and in the process miss actual mistakes they should catch.

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Feb 17

Revisions (almost) Done

Posted: under Crisis of Vision, Editing, Life beyond writing, Revisions, the writing life.
Tags: , ,  February 17th, 2011

It took longer than it should have, thanks to getting sick (at which point my brain goes duuhhhhhhh… and can’t see the sense in a sentence) but Editor Revisions are second-run done.  Now to see if Editor agrees with what I’ve done with what she did.

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Feb 15

A Writer’s Day(s)

Posted: under Crisis of Vision, Editing, Life beyond writing, Revisions, the writing life.
Tags: , , , , ,  February 15th, 2011

Today has been not-quite-typical but sufficiently full of writing stuff that you might find it interesting.   Though it started not with writing stuff but with the car making odd noises the last time I had it out.

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Feb 03

The Juggling Act

Posted: under Crisis of Vision, Editing, Kings of the North, Life beyond writing, Marketing, Oath of Fealty, the writing life.
Tags: , ,  February 3rd, 2011

Writers with what I call Engineer Mind have perfectly organized desks and files.   I’ve met a few of those.   I’m not one.  I have what I call Writer Mind (in lieu of calling it Chaos Mind.)    All my organizational skill goes into the writing…none is left over for anything else.

This becomes even more obvious when I’m faced with competing demands on organizational ability.

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Jan 31

Shifting Gears

Posted: under Craft, Editing, the writing life.
Tags: , ,  January 31st, 2011

Shifting gears to working on revisions/corrections makes Book IV grumpy and me…a bit confused.    Did I really write that?   What was I thinking?   Was I thinking, or perhaps indulging in stream of consciousness?

In addition, while waiting for the pages Editor is sending with her markings on them (75 pages, she told me today…ouch!)  I have her notes and the notes and comments of two alpha readers and my agent.   One alpha reader deserves the honorable title of Nitpicker Extraordinary (and it is honorable, in this instance) and the other is a Characterization Maven who instantly notices a character acting out of character (or not showing the development that other events show must have occurred.)     Editor is multitalented, of course, so her comments range from deep structure to pacing to surface detail.

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Jan 29

Editor Comments

Posted: under Crisis of Vision, Editing, the writing life.
Tags: , ,  January 29th, 2011

Yesterday’s post was written before the call and email  from Editor, and now Crisis of Vision is back at the top of the priority list.    As expected (given the raw speed of revision in December) I missed some things.   Editor also wants a chapter moved from Crisis to the next book (did that this morning) to get Crisis under 170K.

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Dec 23

Annals of Revision

Posted: under Craft, Editing, Revisions, the writing life.
Tags: , ,  December 23rd, 2010

Herewith a post that may grow over the days, for your amusement, as I jot down some details of revising a big book at top speed (also lets me take a short break each time.)

1. How could I have gone over this chapter several times (which I have) and not seen that “he’d had a good” was not a complete clause in that sentence?  A good what??    Adjectives need nouns.   (Nouns often don’t need adjectives, if you use the right noun.)

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Dec 21

Writer As Whirlwind

Posted: under Craft, Editing, Revisions, the writing life.
Tags: , , ,  December 21st, 2010

The last “block” of Book III fell into place with the completion of the swordfight at, um, 2:15 am this morning.    So between now and January 1,  there are decisions to be made, and multiple rewrites/cleanups to be done.  More text may need to be added (transition cues, scenes that now,  though not formerly, need enhancement.)     About 4-6 weeks of work is going to have to be accomplished in 10 days, two of which are Christmas Eve (when I have two church services to attend and one to sing in) and Christmas (when I won’t be working on the book–I’ll be sleeping and recovering from Christmas Eve.)  Plus a necessary social thing on 12/26 (annual party at close friend’s house given by her kids…not missing that.)   Hence, “writer as whirlwind.”

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Dec 11

Yet More Surprises

Posted: under Contents, Craft, Editing, the writing life.
Tags: , , , ,  December 11th, 2010

This book…I’ll swear this book wants to drive its writer crazy.   Where did this new character come from?   And why, once she arrived, didn’t she behave like a normal character (if Kuakkgani are ever normal, that is?)    Not only do I now know a lot more about how someone becomes a Kuakgan (some of it I knew years ago, but I’ve learned more in the past couple of years) but I just found out what can happen to a young (in experience) Kuakgan during his/her first spring out in the world.

“The green blood is strong in this one…”

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Oct 12

Untangling

Posted: under Editing, Revisions, the writing life.
Tags: , ,  October 12th, 2010

Though I can almost hear the cries of Woe! No! from here, the braiding process always results in dropping some overwritten sections (or parts of them) and tightening this and adding to that.  Unlike cooking, where once you put the salt or the spices in, they’re in for the duration, writing allows do-overs…trying whether something works and then removing it if it doesn’t.  (Would love to have had that option the time I put way too much tarragon in the tarragon chicken!!)

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