Posts Tagged ‘Editing’

Just a short note:  The inestimable Jessica has returned a well-clawed manuscript back to me, thus beginning a three-day effort to incorporate them into the final manuscript.

If you’d like to read something I sent out in my Bill’s Worlds newsletter earlier this month, take a gander at one of the characters in Riddled Space, Celine Greenfield.

Remember, launch date for Riddled Space is Monday, August 28th!


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As promised, here are some Happenings since July.

Agent Search:  Still going on.  No new queries since October, of course.  I should restart this.

Three Day Novel:  Yes, I took part in this one.  We’re still waiting on the results.

Paradisi Chronicles:  This one deserves its own post.  An open universe, tied to a Future Chronicles anthology by the incomparable Samuel Peralta.  I was invited to write a short story and submit it.  The story has survived canonical review, and is awaiting Sam’s approval.

National Novel Writing Month:  As previously reported, I am one of two Municipal Liaisons for this fantastic organization.  In November, one is challenged to write 50,000 words in 30 days.  That I did, despite being out of state for about half the month.  Although the novel degenerated badly, at the end, I did write two very nice treatments of hard SF topics which I will extract and polish.  So it was worthwhile.

StarShipSofa:  I was offered the chance to narrate one of their stories, which I jumped on.  SSSofa is a Hugo-Award winning weekly podcast heard by thousands.  I recorded the narration before my brother passed away, did most of the editing, and then John died.  I couldn’t focus enough to revoice the MC, but they liked the product anyway.  They also added a nice tribute to my brother in the intro, which I found very touching.  Click the link and listen.

Princeton Writing Group:  Every Tuesday, I lead the meetings at the local Panera Bread.  This is where I got most of my writing and editing done.

Speaking of editing, I have finished the First Flensing of The Honorable Thing.  I cut it down from 221,000 words to just under 106,000.  The Second Flensing will whittle that down further to 85,000 or less.  It’s now out to Alpha Readers, so that I know it is at least somewhat readable before I invest more time in it.

Oh, and I’ve submitted stories in a few spots.

And…that’s about it.  Sorry it seems like I’ve been dogging it.  John’s Estate sucks up a lot of time.  I really miss him.

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This seems like one of those obligatory posts that must be in all writer blogs. I’ll hit this topic again (hence the ‘Part I’), but I thought I’d give you a link to read first

Need more? Here’s another one.

We could do this all day. You could put “Show not tell” in your favorite search engine and waste a tree printing out all of the links. Or you could just read the two links I sent you and just thing about what they are saying.

SNT is a problem I know I have in my writing. I am still working on it. Whenever I get some insight into it, I’ll let you in on it. For example, in Part II, which I’ll post before the end of the year.

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It occurs to me that some of the writing I have to flense in The Honorable Thing (THT) isn’t really all that bad.  Oh, I’m not going to spend time polishing it, it’s just writing that can’t or shouldn’t be part of the finished work.

It’s writing that will get thrown out.  And that, sometimes, is a shame.

Rather than fling it into the bit bucket, I figure, why not let other folks read it?  After all, I’m never going to get paid for it, it matters not if I give it away online, as long as the piece does not encumber the manuscript’s status as ‘unpublished.’

So, I put in a new page in the THT blog, Deleted Scenes.  Should be interesting.

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Which is something I haven’t been doing lately.  By that, I mean writing posts.  You might have written this off as a moribund blog (one of millions), and to a certain extent, you are right–I’ve not been maintaining it as much as I should be.  There is, certainly, a reason.

I’ve finally finished parting out The Honorable Thing.

What that means:  Over the course of four (that’s right, FOUR) NaNoWriMo events, I wrote the incredible mass of verbiage that is The Honorable Thing.  I erased nothing: every false start, do-over, go-back-three-chapters-and-try-again was retained.  This was done for several reasons, the most shallow of which was to keep my word-count up. 

It also meant I had 219,000 words written for a 70,000 word novel.  I had to get this monstrosity onto the literary version of Biggest Loser, and fast!  Enter Scrivener.

Everyone I know raves about this program.  So, with a 30 day trial, I figured, what do I have to lose?  Besides the month, and I wasn’t really getting anything done anyway.  So, I loaded the whole fetid landfill into Scrivener and began

For each scene (and I read them all), I wrote a short one-line synopsis and created a short document.  (Control-K.  Wonderful tool)  It took me some time, because I had to read the stinking thing, and 219k isn’t a lazy weekend read. 

I have 183 scenes.  Some two dozen or more are do-overs, so it’s pick one over the other.  Some scenes are 400 wors long, one is 5,000.  Some I absolutely know are in, others, just as certainly, are out.  The rest are in the vast gray.  And so comes the rebuild of THT. 

Head over to my blog for The Honorable Thing, and I promise I will post the blow-by-blow building of this (hopefully) epic tale.

The scenes that get cut?  They might just be reworked into character sketches, additional blog fodder, and setting descriptions.  Everything one needs to know everything THT.

Thanks for hanging with me, folks.

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Well, the primary writing for The Honorable Thing has wrapped up.  Here are the stats for those inclined to look:  about 172980 words and about 775 pages.  This is far too large for commercial fiction for a new YA book.  The man who challenged me to write this said “Give me 70,000 words, and if it’s good, I’ll see what my people can do with it.”

Thus, the flensing.  I have to trim 103,000 words from this work, some 59.5 percent.  That’s some reduction!  It’s OK, though.  Some of the material can be repurposed for character studies, blog posts, and other worthy ventures.  Short stories, too, I think.  We’ll see. 

Think Biggest Loser is going for massive reductions?  Wait until you see what gets carved out of The Honorable Thing!

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Well, here we are.  I’ve been cranking out works and entering competitions for about a year now.  I have a total of two credits.   I had a birthday recently, and got a rejection email at 1am.  I have a total of two in the queue–one to a market that is not responding at all (they might be dead) and the other one is Three Day Novel.  Kinda disheartening, you know?

Then it occurred to me: I have an large stable of work, written and rejected to various contests.  It is easy to consider them as write-offs.  After all, if the theme is orange rabbits, and you write something specifically to that theme, who else would publish it?  Well, I am starting to think that some of these stories would not necessarily be dead losses after all.

I should actually go back and rework those stories, especially since I went to all the trouble of garnering feedback on the stories (as detailled under the tag ‘feedback’)  The editors were kind (and brave) enough to give me feedback, I owe it to them to employ that feedback, rework the story, and submit it elsewhere.

There exist markets with continuously open calls for submissions.  By concentrating only on themed contests, I have missing a significant percentage of the available markets for my work.

I’ve got some work ahead of me….

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