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Friday, October 21, 2011


The rough draft of Volume 1 is officially finished! I finished at 59, 026 words. I plan on celebrating with preliminary editing and organization of my notes. Tonight. Not now. Now, I eat breakfast. With any luck, I will be able to taste it. Thank you, Mr. Sinusy-Cold-Thing, for helping me to finish my book. :)

I've already completed a first read-through of everything up through page 174-ish, so I'm a step ahead there. The initial read-through with minimal editing is crucial to fixing the overall flaws before I fine tune anything. (Thank you for the basics of logic, Stephen King: On Writing!)

The last chapter and a half are a jumble of sketchy present-tense notetaking and straight third-person POV prose (hence ROUGH draft), but I think it'll edit out okay once I'm not relying on the Dayquil to get me through it. I go with the Moe Conn theatre adage "Done is good" in this case. The things I wanted to happen, happened, in some ways more abbreviated than others. In other ways, I'll have to cut and cut and cut. But getting the story out, start to finish, is a big deal for many writers. I work well under pressure, I suppose. It just took a few 1-3 week deadlines to make me get moving: Halloween planning, Wedding planning, dress making, NaNoWriMo, a head cold, sore throat, bleary eyes, new contact lenses, laundry, dishes, company coming, and a half-dozen other things. And instead of doing all the things above, I procrastinated today and finished the novel. :D I mean, I prioritized the completion of the novel so I could focus on those other things. Yeah. That's what I meant.

So, when I'm sick and I wake up two hours before my alarm goes off, I finish novels. Good to know!

Sighing in relief now!



Monday, October 3, 2011

Editing Under Hormonal Influence: A Translation Guide

Since I can't type on my novel at work, even on breaks, I printed the whole thing (minus the unfinished ending) and took it with me, hoping I would find some break time moments to do editing. Well, I got into the teens last night, but at the cost of some formality. When I read my margin notes, I could see certain, ah, influences that skewed the use and wording of traditional editing terminology. Eventually, I had to take notes on my notes, so I would understand what I meant when I wasn't rampaging through the text. So here I provide a translation guide for myself and for all who get the crazies every now and then:


Show, Don't Tell = The mantra of the ages in prose. Not as prone to this one as I used to be. Which doesn't say much.

B.S. = Cut out this passage or word

Whiny turd = Tighten internal monologue or flashback, or Cut and reveal through dialogue and actions. Consider story relevance.

Emo brat = Character's emotions are over the top and unrealistic to experience or gender. Rein in closer to reality.

Philosophical B.S. (P.B.S.) = Preaching, or interjecting personal opinions, OR character has slipped into an unnecessary, wordy aside in an internal stage whisper that detracts from the action of the story. It's like he's in a flippin' spotlight and all the other characters have frozen in place. Listen to Hitchcock, for cryin' out loud! Life, with the boring parts taken out!

Meh! = Weak sentence structure or word choice, or both. Punctuation determines how bad it is.

Really?? = What idiot wrote this crap? Number of question marks indicate how bad it is. Also, "WTH?" and "Stupid junk".

Again?? = Repetitive overuse of a word or phrase, either in the whole book or just in a passage. Number of question marks indicates how bad it is.

Sucks = Maybe salvageable. Also: "rewrite" or "fix it".

Doesn't suck that bad = Tweak a bit, and leave it alone.

Trite = Trite.

There. A distinctively Tamara approach to harshness in editing. In addition to the occasional new paragraph symbol, word substitution and punctuation adjustment, this is what I use. In the overview hard copy phase, this is the general editing that I do. I don't do crazy rewriting of every line because I'm writing longhand on a hard copy. But it does help me to see where a reader would get snagged and flag the passage for work later. So it works perfectly for me! :)