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Pons, I'm glad reading is helping you with your own MS. I used to have a hard time reading while I was working on a MS. Thankfully it's gotten easier over the years because I'm way too addicted to books. Sorry about the agent passing but isn't it great to have a awesome feedback on your writing?  :)


Sarah, how's the shelved MS coming?


I haven't been on here in forever! Just turned in edits and feeling super nervous about it.  :hiding  [size=78%]In the meantime I am back to my revision land on my WIP, yay! [/size] :grin3
#541 - July 17, 2014, 03:53 PM
FROM WHERE I WATCH YOU/Soho Teen
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Well, it seems that after about 3 years on the same MS I am finally entering revision-land! Over the last 6-8 weeks I've rewritten almost all of the first half of my YA sci-fi-ish. I've finally gotten to the point where I can fit the new stuff in with the older stuff, which I need to revise the bejeezus out of. I'm really excited about this process since my MS is finally turning into the kind of thing that I would want to read.

I plan to check in here regularly, and also to read at least some of the 19 pages of other people's posts!
#542 - July 17, 2014, 05:48 PM
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I'm finally back...and it's nice to see so many familiar faces! I missed you!

Okay, so I took a longer-than-expected break after the following two events: 1) my agent quit the publishing biz (insert teeth-gnashing, hair-pulling, terror, and self-doubt) and 2) I quit my office day job and started my own music studio where I now teach piano, guitar, & songwriting to kids full-time (insert goofy dancing and improvisation mixed with bouts of terror and self-doubt).

But I made it through the year (hooray!) and am actually excited to pick up my WIP again. (Though Tara, I feel your pain...when I opened the document, I couldn't believe the original file was from 2011...how LONG have I been working on this one? Sheesh!)

Jody, how's the 30-day revision challenge going? My plan is to finish this revision over the summer and start the whole agent-search (gulp) all over again in the fall. Good lord.

I hope you're all having a productive summer. I'm glad to be back in writing-mode with you!
#543 - July 22, 2014, 06:59 AM

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Welcome back to Revisionland, Jocie and good luck on all your new endeavors.


I just read an article about how expensive it is to quote song lyrics in your ms. I have a chapter where I actually quote lines from four different songs. I am now on my way to revise them out. This is probably a good thing. All the quotes slowed the action too much. Time to come up with a different approach.
#544 - July 25, 2014, 10:41 AM

On the shelved manuscript, trying to figure out what the right balance is between character through direct behavior action, and the impact of such a character being gone. For example: for a depressed person, the piles of papers on the floor, and torn photographs in a house in disrepair. Or for a stage performer, the description of various acting props within their theater bedroom.

After trimming it down to 18,000 words, I'm seriously giving it some thought. As I'm still puzzled about how to get to even ten thousand words these days. (I used to have slice o' life arcs, that also set up the mystery that came next.)

Novels aren't just bigger paragraphs it seems.

Isn't first entering revision land a weird feeling? I recently revised a dystopian YA short story after like, ... I think maybe even written back in like two thousand eight.
#545 - July 25, 2014, 12:30 PM
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We're all different. I love revising and would much rather do that than draft.  :fireworks
#546 - July 25, 2014, 12:58 PM
« Last Edit: July 26, 2014, 09:28 AM by Pons »

I'm considering a home made audio book as a rough copy, and then listening back to it to see where my speech stumbles in order to figure out how to fix some of the errors.
#547 - July 26, 2014, 07:06 AM
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Pons: yes, lyrics can be expensive to license. But did you know that song titles can't be copyrighted? So you can use as many of those as you want!


And Sarah, there are a bunch of text-to-speech converters that will give you a decent playback of your manuscript. I used one on my WIP when I really needed to hear things in a new way. I think the converter I tried was called Sound Gecko, and it worked pretty well. You could even choose what type of voice the "reader" has. I used a free trial, though you could pay $ for all kinds of extra bells & whistles.
#548 - July 27, 2014, 09:35 AM

Thanks, Josie, for the Gecko suggestion. I record myself all the time and it would be helpful to hear someone else reading  :bananakilt
#549 - July 27, 2014, 09:57 AM
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Josie, I'm glad to hear I'm not alone with an ancient document (okay, maybe that's a tad dramatic).

Pons, I second your preference for revision. At least then you're playing with the semi-formed parts of something. It feels a bit less scary...

In other news, my "revision" has pretty much turned into "rewrite the whole thing"... It's for the best, and I'm weirdly unattached to all of the stuff that is going buh-bye.

The audio recording thing also sounds like a great idea. I often read aloud to myself, but probably playing it back would be helpful too.
#550 - July 27, 2014, 10:09 AM
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Anyone else at the 'I've looked at this 80, 000 times and I can't tell if I'm making it better or worse' stage?  :beating
After I finish this next round of revision, I'm sending it off to my CP, so I guess I'll find out the answer.  :bangcomputer Until then, back to work!!
#551 - July 27, 2014, 11:45 AM
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Yes, I know I can use titles and I'm going to keep one, but that chapter really needs a rewrite anyway, so I don't mind skipping the lyrics - at least not too much. If I'm honest with myself, I think I have to admit that I was using the lyrics as a shortcut.
#552 - July 27, 2014, 11:49 AM

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I totally understand that feeling. I'd read my opening chapter so many times I almost had it memorized and I didn't see the need for anymore changes. Then a serious family situation came up which has prevented me from revising or writing. Last night I looked at the first chapter again and immediately caught several things that need to be changed.
#553 - July 27, 2014, 11:53 AM

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Ah!
It's been a while, but... just sent a revised draft of my MG off to fabulous agent! Yay!
it's going to need another round of cleanup/polishing, but it's getting close to going back out into the world.
#554 - July 27, 2014, 03:18 PM

I'm wondering if it would be better to switch back to the lighter fare Nymphs Of Winter Fire originally was. Though I'd have to rename it something like Chef And The Thieves. Relocate it back to the French tropical island. (It became more like a winter landscape, when I first started penning it.)

Thinking about that W.I.P, I found myself getting into bad habits to get a higher word count. Like Using the long way to say the same thing. In the end, that only netted me 20K. (Which was paired down to 18K.)

Now I'm not sure if I can do another novel. (I could do a YA novel with the same inspiration.)
#555 - July 27, 2014, 06:07 PM
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Congratulations Lindsey!!! That's a great feeling! Here's hoping for a quick and insightful response. :)
#556 - July 28, 2014, 06:37 AM

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Still writing and hoping and waiting for a good word. But, this is normal and I am used to it but I keep on writing with no end in sight. Do you write a book that will have to have a sequel? I just realized that I cannot keep going like I am because no kid is going to want to read a children's story that is as long as "War and Peace".

You know what this means? MORE REVISIONING! ARRRRRRRRRGH!  :hb2
#557 - July 28, 2014, 09:02 PM
"Typically, it turned out to be a much bigger job than I anticipated, but—everything does, if you aim high enough."

Neil Peart on writing a book.

I am jumping into this thread. I am in desperate need to company, as I am currently revising a book that is due to my agent by the end of August and my five month old baby just finally started napping in her crib instead of my arms. (Yes, I did a little typing one-handed, but it's hard to keep up with my thoughts at that speed.)

Anyway, I am taking the werewolf out of my lifeguard-with-a-werewolf-stalker book and making it straight realistic. I think I might have only ten more scenes to write, but the productivity level depends on how well the baby naps--and yesterday was terrible. I also worry that I'll end up with a flat ending as I plow toward any kind of finish.

Bon courage, mes amis!
#558 - July 30, 2014, 10:08 AM

I'm starting to consider a second novella in order to boost the length to 40K, instead of trying to pad out the length from 20K to 35K. I tried adding a subplot, but in my opinion adding one just felt unnatural.

What I might do instead is a early YA sequel. You know the feeling right, whenever the bad guy lives in a children's story, it feels like it sets up a sequel? Otherwise it's just kind of a downer.:/ I'd only do it to make sure the bad guy is really defeated though, I personally dislike series that go on forever.:/
#559 - July 31, 2014, 05:51 PM
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At this point, the MS must continue to a next book (is that optimism or what?) because the story has gone way beyond what the original story started out as. It may even get to the point where I may have to drop 50% of it to make room for what I am thinking up and writing about now.

It started as a simple Chapter Book and now the story is flowing along one central theme with new characters being added along with new elements of what they are dealing with. I have also seen my writing grow from simple little chapter stories to writing longer chapters, describing more scenery, character actions, expressions, dialog, etc. (See. I'm running my yap too much right now) so I guess I had better let it go where my mind takes it and see what happens. I mean I just write down what pops up in my head. Thats the way it's supposed to go, right? RIGHT? ISN'T IT?  :eyeballs:
 
P.S. HOW COOL! A co-worker just handed me a Klondike Oreo Bar! Problem: Do I pick at it and remove the chocolate covering piece by piece like we did as a kid or just eat the thing. Hmmm...better go old school.
Life is OK sometimes...
#560 - August 02, 2014, 12:00 AM
« Last Edit: August 02, 2014, 12:07 AM by Mark6b »
"Typically, it turned out to be a much bigger job than I anticipated, but—everything does, if you aim high enough."

Neil Peart on writing a book.

Quote
I'd only do it to make sure the bad guy is really defeated though, I personally dislike series that go on forever


And then there's the series where you THINK the bad guy is dead, but it turns out they really weren't. ;)

Quote
because the story has gone way beyond what the original story started out as

I'm a fan of the "write to find out what the story is" method. You get some great surprises and twists that way. I say let the story lead.
#561 - August 02, 2014, 08:54 AM

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I love it when life hands you a Klondike bar! Keep plugging away, Mark. You can always cut later.

I say that, yet I find that in this revision, I'm adding more than cutting. I cut three whole chapters a couple weeks ago, and then felt like I had so much room to fill in other areas that my word count is still the same. Hee.

I think I'm on the home stretch though. Today, I need to really give some weight to an emotional scene. I tend to gloss over moments and sketch them too lightly. Once this scene is done, then it's on to Act Three and I don't *think* I have a ton of work there. If I can do 1.5 chapters a day, I can maaaaybe even finish this week.  :crossedfingers

Happy writing everyone!
#562 - August 03, 2014, 05:47 AM

Hey guys,
I can't possibly catch up with everything that's been going on.  My computer is out of action (laptop died and pc is a temperamental relic). So, I just thought I'd pop in and say hi.
Writing is going well, as is my chocolatiering. I was at a family wedding and read my first edited chapter to a couple of kids. It went down a storm, so I am happy.
Our SCBWI meeting on Saturday. One of the girls just found she's expecting fraternal twins so we're all excited.
Anyway, sorry for such selfish post. I will catch up with you all eventually. Probably new year when I might just afford a new laptop.
Happy writing!
#563 - August 05, 2014, 03:55 AM

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Looks like there are a few of us picking up steam even in the doldrums of summer!
This is that time of year when I start to feel like I should be getting ready for something (probably a Pavlovian reaction to school starting in a few weeks. There were only a few years between when I finally stopped being a student, and I had a kid starting school every September) Too many distractions from real writing time.  :feelbad
But working through the last revision, I feel like I made huge strides in my general skills as a writer. I'm about to start a from-scratch redraft of a story I knew wasn't going well, and now I think I've figured out why. Thanks previous manuscript!




Thundering - maybe you've told us this before, and I missed it (sorry!) but are your chocolates available online anywhere?? Glad to hear the writing is going well, even with computer issues! My laptop screen decided to blow out a while ago, so now I have a frankenputer hooked up to an external monitor. It gets the job done, though!


josie - I do the same thing with the "big scenes" They have to wait until I can set aside the time and prep myself to deal with them.  I know where they should be, but in early drafts, there's no time to slow down  :horse


HD, Mark and Sarah - Yeah, I was there with the last manuscript. Cramming too much in. If it all has to get worked in, it's going to take more than one book! On the next one, I am going to work the other way around. It IS going to be a stand alone book, so if it doesn't fit, it's got to go. Time to get ruthless with the trimmer  :mower:




Here's to a good week of writing!







#564 - August 05, 2014, 10:22 AM

Got the first three chapters edited. Not sure how this will effect the final word count.

Though I have a plot for another book. I'm going to see if it becomes a novelette or novella. My last writing bit totally exhausted me to the point of only writing poetry for a bit. (20,000 words in three weeks.)

I'd like to do a poetry book with a fairy. I haven't done sketches of any characters yet, as I'm not sure of a name or look. Not a high tension book, but an "inner story" book one reads by the campfire, on a starry night. Length of a long chapter book, tonally speaking like a picture book. Technically I have the original story written, but it's a bit dark for a picture story book.
#565 - August 05, 2014, 08:37 PM
« Last Edit: August 05, 2014, 08:45 PM by SarahW »
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Lindsey, nice to "see" you again! It sounds like you're in a much better position to write this story now...best of luck with the redrafting!

Thundering, I second Lindsey's question. Can we find your chocolates online or do we have to drool and pine away and settle for these  :cupcake ? Sorry to hear about your computer troubles, but I'm glad it sounds like everything else is going swimmingly.

Sarah, I loved fairies *and* poetry *and* dark tales when I was a kid (still do, really), so your new idea would have been perfect for me. :)

As for me, I only have TWO chapters left! Hooray! I just poured a steaming cup of coffee, I'm going to turn off my internet (thanks, trusty Freedom App!) and buckle down. Have a great day!


 
#566 - August 06, 2014, 06:48 AM

Down to around 18,000 words. It's looking more like normal chapter book length. This was a weird experiment, as I'm used to flash fiction. And now I think the sky is spinning around.

These are more like "skull-fairies", or spirit messengers. I started their lore with Emelie's Train.

I ended up doing with Nymphs Of Winter Fire and Pocket Watch Fairies, similarly to how one "re-imagines" a story, using the same characters. But twisting the plot to be more SF.

The results were, interesting. Not great, but interesting.
#567 - August 06, 2014, 10:22 PM
« Last Edit: August 06, 2014, 10:33 PM by SarahW »
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All right, everyone. I sent my revision off to my CP and I'm leaving tomorrow to visit my hometown in Wisconsin. Fingers crossed that CP will have some good feedback waiting for me when I get back.

I hope you all have a productive August!  I'm sure I'll see you again in a few weeks!
#568 - August 07, 2014, 06:58 AM

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I'm glad to see that everyone is being productive. I've been doing alright too, although it was sidelined for a week or so while I defended my PhD. Sorry, shameless brag right there... well, not really shameless ;).

Lindsey, that's awesome about seeing so much improvement in your writing over revision. I think that's where the improvement becomes really noticeable.

Josie, good luck with your sent off revision!

Sarah, it's interesting to rework a story with already developed characters since you already know them so well.

I'm still doing a lot of rewriting as a result the ripple effect from some substantial plot changes. It's really fun, but I'm also in this weird state of being bombarded with ideas for other books or even series to work on. For me, this is inevitable when I near the end of a project. It's also fun and I'm jotting the general ideas down so I won't forget without allowing myself to actually write the stories. There's not enough time for all the ideas.:(

Anyway, keep up the momentum everyone!
#569 - August 07, 2014, 06:17 PM
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Congratulations on your PhD defense. That's great!
#570 - August 07, 2014, 08:42 PM

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