Category Archives: Editing Hell

Gearing Up for Learning!

Ah, the joys of feeling better combined with a lot of great classes in April.

I’ve signed up for 4 classes.  That’s right, 4.  All through two chapters of RWA.

What started it was getting a forwarded message about a couple of workshops being done by the Kiss of Death chapter.  After my Criminal Minds addiction (hey, a great tv show when you’re trapped lying on a couch is a mind saver), seeing their workshop on Behavioural Portraits of Criminal Predators was a no brainer.

Aren’t all authors profilers in a way?

They are also offering a course called Organic Writer’s Guide to Plotting as You Go.  I’m a panster, or organic writer, and I’ve been trying to figure out how to plot more in my books but drawing a serious blank.  It’s like it’s tailor made for me.  Thank you, universe!  Oh, and the Kiss of Death chapter, too.

And hey, since I was checking out this chapter, I thought, why not check out the fantasy, futuristic and paranormal chapter as well?

I blame them for offering a course on writing as a business, just after I’ve done my taxes and realized I need to understand the business side more.  Their fault entirely that I’ve signed up for their course.

And then, having now joined the FF&P chapter, they sent out a notice of a 2 week free-for-members editing class.  Editing, the bane of my existence.  Right up there with plotting.

It, too, was a logical must.

But now I look at what I’ve committed to and my eyes are bulging out, just a little.  It’ll certainly keep me out of trouble.

Why are all these perfectly-suited-to-my-circumstances classes offered at the same time?

The only thing left to do now is learn, learn, learn.  Ride that rollercoaster and not get motion sick.

I can do it.  I have faith in me.

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Scrivener

That’s right.  I’m giving Scrivener a try.  Taking my writing to a more organized level?  Perhaps.

I will say that even a few hours in, of just transferring over my work from NaNoWriMo, that it was already feeling more under control, more organized.  Apparently digital recipe cards work a hell of a lot better for me than the real thing.

Go figure.  I’m mildly disturbed by this.  I like my physical, hands-on world.  Going fully digital?  (Yes, despite my love and use of computers since the first one entered our house when I was eight.)  Disturbed.

Silly me.

But Scrivener seems pretty awesome so far.  If you have any experience with it, I’d love to hear your comments.

Deadlines are great encouragement

Or horrible depressing nightmares that latch onto you and refuse to let go until they have wrung the very marrow from our bones.

Deadlines can encourage us to get off our asses, or in the cases of writers frequently onto our asses (though treaddesks are fabulous for a different option), and get the sh*t done.

Meanwhile they can encourage ulcers (though apparently that’s genetic, not just stress), forge new gray hairs and set the eyelids to twitching.

Either way, I guess you could say it”s not boring.  I could use a little boring.

Writing location:  couch
WIP:  A Bottle of Djinn
Editing: 1.5 hours
Sent out into the world:  short story (hopefully) for an anthology

Two Steps Forward…Or Was That Sideways?

I finished (finally) reading Bob Mayer‘s the Writer’s Toolkit on Monday night.  Yes, I was partially avoiding my current WIP due to the aggravation that results from spending too much time with only one thing for too long.  Rather like being cooped up in a small white room with one other person for days on end.  Sometimes you can get a bit testy with the other person.  I was testy with my novel.

So I finished reading the Toolkit’s final chapters which focused more on submissions, the next and terrifying step of the publishing process that I must face.  And did it help me get ready for the publishing side?

Perhaps.

But what it really did was give me even better insight into ways to tighten up the ending of my book and a few other ‘flavor’ changes to make to the story.  Those changes that are relatively small (no big plot changes) but that add depth or intrigue or emotion to the story.

<bangs head on desk>

Not that these ideas aren’t great, they are!  But that means going back through again.  I’m caught between the desire to finish!!!! and the need to take a break.

This past week would appear to be a break as I did not finish my editing as intended.  But don’t let appearances fool you!  The story, Broken Blessings is the title btw, has been simmering on the burner (not even the back burner) as it works on telling me what it needs.  Or vice versa.

There is definitely a frustration to the feeling that every time I feel that I’m getting close to done, that some new realization comes to the fore and I’m back into the editing trenches.

When I finished actually writing the novel (first draft), there was this toe-to-hair-tingling sense of achievement.  Does that ever happen with editing?

I hope to find out.  And soon.  But not as soon as I’d originally thought.  Because in the end, I want to be selling the best story possible.

Back to the land of the red pen I go.  Tomorrow.  Tonight I think I’ll just relax and try not to think about it at all.  A night off.  Sounds good, don’t you think?

~Samantha

Movies will Never be the Same

I don’t know if this is typical for pansters, but I personally have a hard time with editing.  I just couldn’t see how to do it.  After all, the words are there, written out in the way that seemed most appropriate at the time. How do I change them for the better?

The answer to that has been my quest for the past two years.  And I have learned much.  It even appears that some of it is has made an impression.  Maybe even usefully so.

A couple of the things that are currently stuck in my head to watch for:

  • Does the characters’ actions flow naturally from their natures?
  • What’s the conflict in this scene?  This question has some subsets about where the conflict is, is it external or internal, is this the moment when the protagonist has their call to action? Or the moment from which they can’t turn back?  Things like that.
  • Logical fallacies or other plot failures.

These are great things for me to watch for, things I need to work on in my own novel.

But now they’re in my head.  I’ve been infected!

There I am, cheerfully enjoying the, let’s face it, relative mindless entertainment of a movie, and what does my brain do?

Oh, look, there’s the protagonist’s save the cat moment.  Ah, and now the training montage.  And it’s about time for, oh yeah, the stakes just got raised.

I’ve turned into a dissector of movies, books as well, but for some reason it strikes me more with the movies.  Maybe that’s because it’s that one step removed from the novel-writing process (where obviously novels, aren’t).

My friends are sitting there enjoying (or not, but that’s the movie’s problem, not mine) the flick, and I’m sitting there debating the strengths and weaknesses of its plot and characters.  Was that realistic?  Did the writer force that situation or did it flow so naturally that you believe that it couldn’t have gone anywhere else?  Could they have made that conflict bigger?  The stakes higher?

So much for watching the movie and just enjoying it.

I feel like I have passed some barrier, that I have entered a new stage of my editing skills.

But will the joy in movies return?  Or will I always have the little voice in my head deciding the quality of the writing?  It’s very distracting.  And it’s not like I need another voice in my head.  😀

For now I’ll take the change in my editing perspective.  Maybe I’ll just need to start watching a better class of movies.

Nah, I just love watching things blowing up too much to ever give the action flicks up completely.  Guess I’ll just have to enjoy picking them apart, too.