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Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone! However you spend this day and whatever your beliefs, I hope that today is great one and that 2010 is fabulous!

The robin above isn’t exactly evocative of Aussie Christmas (though they are forecasting a cool day where I am – which is just fine with me because cool weather is better for eating yummy food and drinking yummy win than 40 degrees Celsius in the shade) but he was too cute to resist!

Making it shiny

Comments are starting to come back from crit partners and betas so my mind is turning back to the book. I’ll get Miriam’s comments later today but she’s given it the tick of approval (not that the tick of approval means no more work needed lol).

So work on draft three will begin soon. For me the process goes something like this:

Draft 1 – write version of book that is way short (about 75% of what it should be) and full of people talking and severely lacking in setting and description etc. Early in this process do a collage and a soundtrack.

Revision pass 1 (to get to draft two) – read draft 1 and make notes to self about stuff that is missing, stuff that doesn’t make sense, threads that need to be picked up etc and many comments along the lines of “expand” “what the heck are these people wearing” and “setting please”. Start thinking about solutions to some of these problems. Then I generally cut down the soundtrack and maybe add a few new songs to it and perhaps fiddle with the collage or make another one if I need to though I didn’t do that this time. If there’s structural stuff I want to do (ie shift stuff around or make major story line changes or fix pacing etc) or if I don’t quite feel I’ve got a handle on the book, I write a synopsis because that helps me see it a little more clearly. Then I get to work putting a lot of stuff in, circling back to layer stuff, cleaning up the language and getting it to the point where I’m not ashamed to let people see it. I prefer to revise fast but it takes as long as it will take.

Draft 2 goes to my agent and my crit buddies (either in full or bits) and any other beta readers. While they read, I chew my fingernails, become convinced the book is terrible and that my agent will sack me and try and distract myself by working on other stuff. The back brain also goes to work on the things that I think are still not quite right with the book.

The next revision pass depends on what the comments are and what my thoughts are. There might be structural things, there might be just polishing and tightening, there might be worldbuilding to solidify or subplots to tweak. I have my views on what the book needs right now and I’m waiting to see what else the readers see that I just can’t. So while I wait, now that I have some comments, I’m going to do some revision prep:

1. Do the first draft of the synopsis and a scene outline. This gets the “what happens” back in my head and shows me the POV balance and timeline.

2. Play with the soundtrack some more. The muse is still happy with the collage, so apparently I nailed that early on this time.

3. Do some braindumping/free writing about the comments and my concerns to see what turns up.

4. Whatever else the muse tells me to (look for images, watch certain films or tv shows.

5. Possibly bore people who gave me comments with questions and discussions.

Then I’ll do the next pass (and probably start to hate the book again and whine a lot) and it will go back to Miriam. Hopefully she won’t want another pass but you never know. If she does then, it’ll be lather, rinse, repeat until I get it right.

I got nothin’

Not the most scintillating week. It can be summed up as hot and busy with a side of the return of Mel’s stupid allergy that makes her itch. Phooey.

However, we have plunged into the joy (oh hear the sarcasm) of revising and so far have staggered through the first six chapters. So about a third down. I want to get this book to Miriam by mid December at the latest and the rest of the book needs a lot more work than what I’ve done so far, so it’s head down and type type type for the next few weeks.

Tomorrow morning though, I’ll be doing this as a bit of a mental break. So hopefully that will fire up the girls!

Onwards

Despite spending most of the day prepping for my class tomorrow, I managed nine pages. Didn’t end up watching Glee last night due to wrestling with Linux trying to get Write or Die up and running on my Acer netbook. I was eventually successful but it took awhile. Doesn’t help that I really don’t know much about using Linux and my recollection of doing things the old DOS style way is sketchy at best. Thank goodness for Mr. Google and wiser heads than mine who have already solved the problem and shared it with the internet.

No idea how many pages it will take to get to the end of this book. By my count there’s got to be at least two more sex scenes, some plotting and planning scenes, some targeted violence, a failed assassination attempt, more plotting and planning, a final confrontation and then mopping up the aftermath….but for now I shall believe my progress bar that says I’m about three quarters through.

Progress – Lily

New pages - Nine (Write or Die continues to be a page count boon)
Intriguing things - Moles
Annoyances - Drafty drafty drafty. Talking heads about. But only to be expected when mainly writing in word sprints
Linear/non-linear – Non-linear
Music - Crazy by Icehouse.
Location - Write or Die and Think.
Taking care of Mel - Nap. Soon to be physio/stretching
Muse food - Sewing, soon the delayed Glee and Burn Notice

Melodrama

I have a sneaking suspicion that my heroine is being melodramatic inside her head. Right now, the muse keeps throwing up songs that belong to her soundtrack and they’re all pretty much tragic heroine/lonely ingenue songs. At least, on a positive note, at least three of those suggest she is at least falling for the hero even if she thinks it’s doomed *g*). It’s going to be fun moving her through to the point where she can have a grand happy love ballad at the end. I’m imagining there’s going to be some angry stubborn chick music before we get to that point.

Luckily my hero is well up to the task of digging in his heels and refusing to take no for an answer until she sees the light.

Heh heh heh. Should be fun.

Another year

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How did another year go by? Apparently time flies when there is writing, sewing, knitting, alpacas, crazy orange cats, friend’s babies, conferences, day job, silly grey cats, parental units, books to read, friend to hang with, naps, dancing, flowers and many other cool things. Let there be cake!

Over here again

Blogging about part of my recent post conference trip with the 2007 GH girls. So come on over.

Not too far off

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Still buggy. Sadly my cats cannot say “bless you”, so I sneeze in silence (and possibly endanger my soul or whatever it is that saying bless you is meant to protect you from). Normal blogging shall resume when I no longer need shares in Kleenex.

Signs and portents

It’s hard to believe tomorrow is August 1st but it appears to be true…and that means we’re two thirds through Winter and Spring is headed our way.

I have evidence, even.

Smile…

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