My Editing Progress

So far so good.

  • Mon – 2 pgs – 41min
  • Tu – 2 pgs – 35min
  • Wed – 7 pgs – 57min
  • Fri – 3 pgs 1hr47min

Chapter 3 finished after a century of sitting on my butt and ignoring it. Chapter 4 over halfway done.

Why did it take so long to get a little done some days but not other days? Some days there was more to change. Friday had a lot to change and a lot to think about. I kept making progress, going back and changing, resuming, going back, resuming, etc. It was slow-going and very involved.

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I even had to call my dad up once to ask his opinion because I couldn’t decide on the best way for writing the thought. Sometimes his ideas are so vague like, “Sounds good. I like it.” But other times he has such marvelous insight. This was one of those times. I asked him why he chose the sentence he did and his reasoning was so intelligent and literary that it made me feel like I don’t put enough thought into how I create sentences.

But if I analyzed every sentence for what hidden depths and meaning it might reveal to the reader, I don’t think I’d have any fun writing at all and then what would be the point?

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Who do you turn to when you can’t decide on the best sentence/scenario/etc to choose?

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Writing Goals and Scenes to Include in Stories

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Hahaha! Yeah, sometimes it makes me lonely when even the people in my head aren’t talking to me. Editing prevents this from happening though because I re-read at least a couple paragraphs leading up to the spot I’m working on before I start working.

I don’t even remember how often I’ve revised my book. Every run through has me taking out and adding scenes as I realize what does and doesn’t work. Hopefully it won’t take this long the next time around but I have a sinking feeling it always will.

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You know how in a previous post I said I needed to re-prioritize my life because things had gotten crazy? I sat down and made a loose schedule to fit everything in and life is flowing more evenly now. I found an interesting picture on Pinterest the other day that coincides nicely with that idea. Looks like it comes from 2013 Write Market Design.

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I never bothered to make such detailed goals for my writing before but I may try these goals next time I start a book (if I ever finish editing this one that is).

My current editing goals are pretty simple:

Daily:

  • edit at least 15-30 minutes

Weekly:

  • blog 4 times (2x for each)
  • edit one chapter

Any more complicated and I’d probably slack off within a couple days.

What writing goals do you have? Do you keep it simple and general or narrow it down to each particular step?

Reprioritizing and Editing

So far my prioritizing has been successful! Of course I’ve had about, what, 2 days to implement it. I can usually hold up the first few days in almost anything I try out.

Okay, fine, I know. It’s too early to tell yet. But it’s worked for the past 2 days at least. The hardest part has been to force myself to stay off the internet, off the iPad, and away from music. Music may help some people to write and it has, in the past, inspired certain scenes out of me, but on the whole, it’s become much more of a distraction than anything else.

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How true is that. That’s what I have to remind myself when I’m staring at a blinking cursor and a blank screen.

The first day after I reprioritized my life, I activated the stop watch on my phone because I couldn’t find my normal watch (not the HR one though I guess I could’ve used that come to think of it) and told myself I had to sit and edit for 15 minutes at least. 30 minutes and 6 pages later I was tired but felt happily productive.

I’m still on chapter 3 but I’ll print it out when I’m done and look over it later to do yet more editing. There are spots I end up highlighting because they nag at me but I can’t think how to change them yet or if they’re okay the way they are. I’ll figure it all out later. Best to keep on pressing forward.

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Which is harder: editing or writing that first draft?

Slow Days and Days and Days

Initially when I put down 25 books for the Goodreads challenge I thought it was a good goal. Then I went on a reading binge and thought the number might be too little.

Now? Now I’ve been on the same book since before my parents came a-visiting over a week ago. So I’m thinking 25 books might be a good number again.

As for writing, all of my writing desire gets put into my blogs (pfft) and my brain cells go into my fitness regime. I need to start prioritizing again or this is never going to stop and I’m never going to finish editing Night’s Treasure. I suppose I’m not really encouraging myself to continue though because I don’t like editing.

Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

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My mornings have already been heavily claimed by fitness and blogging so they’re out of the question. But those things also trickled down into my afternoon and evenings. The problem is that the fitness side of my life drains my energy and my fries my brain cells so that I don’t have the desire to do much by the afternoon and evenings. I even go to bed at 8:30 some nights.

My early-20s and high school self are horrified.

I guess what I need to do is set aside 1-2 days a week for my blogging stuff and use the rest of those days for writing. I can always write up the blogs in the evenings after my son’s in bed. That gives me 4-5 days a week to focus on writing or, in this case, editing. It’s not daily but I can always work into that later when I’ve gotten things going.

Right now, anything’s better than nothing. Night’s Treasure is collecting dust! Well, figuratively speaking.

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What do you do when you find your creativity and writing urges being sapped by something else?

Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way

What’s my reaction when people say they don’t have time to write?

If you want to do it badly enough, you’ll find the time. (Incidently, that’s also my reaction when I hear people say the same about exercising.)

So what’s my reaction when I skip writing and tell myself I just don’t have the time or I’m too tired to do it?

The same. I hold myself to the same standards I hold other people. When I don’t write one day because I’m too tired or too busy, I try to fob myself off with excuses but in the end I sigh and admit that I didn’t want it enough to stick with it that day.

And that’s okay. Until you find yourself skipping every day and never getting any writing done.

“Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”

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If I want something badly enough, I’ll find a way to do it. Does this mean I’ll find an immediate way to do it? Maybe not, but eventually I’ll find a way even if it takes half my lifetime which is sometimes the case.

29 ways to stay creative-A1_FinalI think this picture is awesome for ways to stay creative. I wish I could take credit for it but I found it at Candies & Crunches, a fitness blog I follow. Her name’s Olena and she always has awesome information and pictures in her posts. It may seem odd that a fitness blogger addressed the issue of staying creative with writing but, if you think about it, no matter what a person is blogging about, they all need to be creative about it. Here’s a direct link to her post:

29 Ways To Stay Creative & 40-Minute Fat Burning Yoga Workout.

Kira Salak quote

What are you striving for with your writing?

BBC 100 Book List and Reading Challenge

Remember when BBC came out with a list of 100 books and claimed that the average person had only read about 4 or 6 books from the list? I must not have been average person at the time because I had read 20-30 of the books. Hopefully it’s even more now but, honestly, most of the books I read aren’t on the list.

Woe is me!

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About a year ago I decided to try to read as many of those books as I could. I think I got about 5 books in before my eyes protested and I developed a bad case of dry eyes. Ever since I’ve been using eye drops. And reading books I enjoy rather than forcing myself to read the ones from the list.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed some of what I read but mostly not.

The Time Traveler’s Wife for instance. I don’t care how good people think it is and how much it was raved about – I didn’t like it. I thought it was mega boring merely because of all the extraneous detail.

She woke up, walked to the kitchen, got bread from fridge and put it in the toaster to be toasted.

Ugh! Boring! Who cares about the stupid toast!

Anyway, I’ve decided to make another attempt at reading books from the BBC 100 books list. But I’m not trying to read all of them. I’m just trying to branch out and add them in while I tackle my REAL challenge:

  • Reading 25 books in 2014

This didn’t used to be a challenge and it could prove to be too easy in which case I’ll increase the number to 40 or 50. But I spend so little time reading (I really only sit with a book in sporadic spurts – reading 1 or 2 with zeal and then taking a break for a month) that I think finishing 25 might prove challenging.

We shall see.

If you want to keep track of my goal, I’m on Goodreads. Or you can click on the link on the right side of my blog.

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How to Show More With Your Words

I used to think the only way to describe something was to use adverbs and a lot of descriptive words. Consequently I was really wordy. People could’ve described me (and often did) as full of hot air.

I tried to stay away from clichés and common phrases/sayings but I was drawn to them like a moth to a flame.

Have I realized the error of my ways and changed my word habits? Yes and no. I have to pay close attention to my adverb-usage but they slip through the cracks now and then.

My biggest problem, however, is my use of common verbs.

For example: said, look, smile, sit, breathe, etc.

When I go back to edit, I always find these kinds of words. It’s true, sometimes “said” or “breathe” says it all because to use more words or different words would be too much for your reader. Everyone needs variation after all, but to use them like a crutch doesn’t work either.

I ask myself, “How can I say this without using a bunch of adverbs or by using multiple sentences to describe it?” Bearing this question in mind, I’ve scoured both my printed thesaurus and my computer thesaurus and have come up with a list of synonyms for the word “said.” A million words later, I decided to stop at 50. You’d be surprised at how many ways you can describe someone speaking.

synonyms for said

What other words can you think of to replace the word ‘said’?