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Showing posts from June, 2015

Writing Update - June 21, 2015

Well I guess this is the last ROW80 check-in for this round? I've been unsure of the start and end of this whole round.

Editing

I read something recently that said that a book should be edited 5 times. I think that it's silly to put a number to it. I think it depends. Each chapter needs different things. Chapter 1 is the MOST important, so you might edit it 20 times. As you get closer to the end of you vomit draft, I think it's less vomit-filled, so you might need less passes.

The Page & The Magician

I was struggling with Chapter 9. Today I scrapped Chapter 9, 10, and 11. There are bits I'm definitely keeping from 9 and 10, but then I'm skipping ahead to where the story starts really taking off. Enough hinting and sub plot stuff. It's time to get into the meat of it and torture my protagonist. It's time to blow stuff up and turn her world upside down!

The Blood Waitress Club

I have a dilemma. I don't know if I want to keep it as a short story. I have an e…

Taking Chances

It may seem like everything that I have going on in my life is deliberate. The truth is that many of the good things happen because I take a chance that turns out better than I expected.

Take my writing group, for example. I went to a small press book fair at Jack Purcell Community Centre. I wanted to see what the small press thing was about and thought I may meet some other writers. I met two "old guys" who were excited to meet another sci-fi writer. They promptly invited me to come to one of their houses for a meeting on writing. I was a little hesitant, they could be creeps after all, but I figured they were probably legit as they were both there selling their books.

So I went to the first meeting last June, which happened to be the last of the year before a break for summer. It was fantastic! I was so inspired to write, though I didn't know much about how to critique another's work. I think I've improved in that regard as I used to get stuck on grammar suggesti…

Love and a cough cannot be hid

This saying has been attributed to George Herbert.

What does it mean? I think most people can intuitively understand that coughing, no matter how quiet, is still noticed. Unrequited love is romanticized.

What I think is more interesting than the saying itself is that we try to hide these things at all. Coughing is a natural body function. Yes it can be damned irritating in an office environment, but the cough is usually trying to clean your body of bad stuff. Instead of letting the coughing happen, we try to suppress it, which may actually make the cough stick around longer. Sometimes a cough does need to be tamed slightly though as it can lead to hurting other areas of the body if it's particularly vicious.

What about love? Why do spend so much time hiding our feelings for another person? What if, instead of thinking things like that the person may not feel the same way or inventing reasons why we aren't good enough, we just said something like 'I like you' or 'I wan…

Editing should be your friend: 4 reasons it isn't

Editing is your friend, or it should be.

1. Your first draft felt great to write, but it was actually you vomiting words onto a page. No one wants to read that.

2. Substantive editing turns that vomit into something beautiful. You learn a lot about story creation while doing this stage of editing because it is where you organize your story into something that makes sense and is enjoyable to read. You find things like where you say a character is in one location and then they are in another, but you never had them leave the first location.

3. Copy editing is where we hope to find things like jargon the readers won't understand without an explanation; where we've said the same thing multiple times; where we've used the wrong word entirely; and inconsistencies with style. Grammar is also corrected where possible.

4. Proofreading looks for anything not already caught like double word entries, missing words, misspelled words, incorrect grammar, capitalization errors, etc.

5. Formatt…

Another First

On June 6th, the first annual Prose in the Park was held in Parkdale Park. Over 100 Canadian authors and publishers were in attendance. Every seat was filled at both panel stages.

It was wonderful to see. I remember a meeting last June where the man with the vision, Ian Shaw who writes under the name Con Cù, began talking about how wonderful it would be to have an open-air literary festival. Initial discussions mentioned a date that was only a couple of months away, but everyone involved realized that was overly ambitious. A lot of time was spent by the organizing committee in making the connections and soliciting the donations needed to get this event off the ground. It was highly successful, in my opinion. Even the weather cooperated.

I helped out with the sound equipment as that was my assigned duty, but that was completed quickly. Next was chairs, tables, and tents. Then I helped direct traffic for pick-up/drop-off, registration, and parking.

There are some things that could be bette…

Music Ear

Lately music sounds different to me. At least the songs with guitar in them.

It's hard to explain it. I can't tune the songs out. They aren't just background noise anymore. Not simply filler for the dead moments in between conversations. They distract me and entice me. I find myself straining to hear whether it was a downstroke or an upstroke. Was it a hammer on? I can't yet tell if a pull off has happened, or reliably know strum patterns, but I believe that skill is forming.

I've begun the level 2 book by Hal Leonard and I'm really enjoying myself. I played for about an hour last night. It started with strum patterns, which is great because I need more practice with those if I'm ever to play Lego House by Ed Sheeran.

At some point I'm going to get a new guitar. I'm currently playing on a vintage cheap guitar. A Brentwood K-100. It's amazing it works at all. It was my mom's guitar and I think she probably got it in her 20s or 30s. My mom is in …

Writing Update - June 3rd

I think I'm having an unusual experience with editing as most of the time it seems I haven't written enough. I come across sentences like this:

"She tried pushing things away from her for weeks after and nothing happened."

Then I realize I should be showing her doing that.

"Josy’s face scrunched up in constipation as she tried to replicate what happened two nights before."

There will be more, but I think that's a better start. Yes, constipation. She's trying VERY hard to make magic happen.

Many of my chapters are expanding because they didn't have enough words in the first place. It's a wonder I made it to 50,000 words...

I'm currently at 62, 566 words and only on chapter 8. I realized a few moments ago that I never needed to join chapter 7 with 8, just refine a character. That probably makes no sense to you, but makes total sense to me. I decided it should be one character in both chapters rather than two. It's much easier to connect one …

My Values

At work we are defining corporate values. It’s gotten me putting a lot of thought into my own. I’ve never put the list of what I value together. I thought it might be a useful exercise. Here are the things that I try to follow in my life:

Know thyself.
Instead of complaining about how my life is, I do something to improve my situation.
When I make mistakes, I own them.
I earn the things I get.
If I have the opportunity to improve things for others without doing harm to myself, I do it.
I don’t flake on my commitments.
I live like there is no box.
Most things aren’t life and death.
There is always room for growth.
I don’t judge others.
Honesty

I’m sure this list will grow as I age and collect new experiences.

I’ve written an entire novel centering on the theme of knowing oneself, The Page & The Magician. A lot of the negative things that happen to the main character happen because she doesn’t know herself.

I can’t say I never complain. I whine from time to time, but I don’t allow myself to dwell…