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Posts Tagged ‘First Draft’

The TARDIS Principle for Writing

November 5, 2012 Leave a comment

One thing that I dislike, but that seems to be rampant in the genres of fantasy and science-fiction, is over description.  Unless it is necessary, don’t tell me what color the tiles of the castle’s roof is.  If it’s Autumn, a short description of the color of the leaves is good, but a long, multi-paragraph description of all sorts of minutia that tells me it is Autumn is overkill.  Yes, occasional delving into literary prose is fine.  But fantasy and science-fiction authors do way, way, way too much of it at times in my humble opinion.

Those of us who read these sorts of stories do have imaginations after all.  Let us use them.  We can easily envision what the countryside our heroic knight is traveling through might look like.  So, again, unless it is necessary to the story, there is no need to go into great detail.  Besides, as I have already learned, great detail can lead to great problems with continuity.  The more detail you put in, the more you had better make sure that you remember it later on when you write the next scene where that detail comes up. Read more…

“When Are You Publishing?” He Asked

October 4, 2012 Leave a comment

A friend of mine, who adores my current WIP (Under the Darkened Moon) asked me, “So, when are you publishing?”

I don’t know, I said, probably once I find an agent and they find me a publisher.
Read more…

Under The Darkened Moon Update

May 4, 2012 Leave a comment

My review group has just finished up the first 26 chapters of my novel Under the Darkened Moon. Good feedback so far with several helpful comments. I have selected the ones I feel are addressable, some of them just aren’t, and have begun weaving fixes into the story.

Right now the novel stands at about 146,000 words. After originally trimming the story back from a 200,000 word first draft and down to 130,000 words, it has given me some room to make these additions over time.

My plans are to get my review group then next ten chapters or so this weekend and perhaps even tonight.

Submitting, Editing, Reflecting And New Stories

March 12, 2012 Leave a comment

So much going on. I have finalized my short story Second Chances and am going to starting submitting it for publication. Since it is based as sort of a prologue to my novel Under the Darkened Moon I had to get very close to completion of that project to work out any discrepancies first. As for that novel, it is still in the editing phase. I am about 80% done with my second serious edit. There have been three edits and four versions of the story in all (rough draft, rough edit, first edit and now second edit).

I have learned a lot by writing it including how petty other writers can be and how what one person finds thrilling others find boring. Overall however, reviews from people who have been reading it are positive. You cannot please everyone though. Lots of comments along the lines of, “better than much of what gets published,” in Fantasy literature. So I am encouraged by that.

Right now that novel is sitting as I am working on Her Lovely Blood which is turning into a story that will be not all that unfamiliar to anyone well versed in the stories of ancient Greek gods. No, it is not a copy of one such story. I only mean that it is similar in the sense of the players and how the plot will twist and turn with gods meddling here and there. The trick is going to be to keep the story seeming logical without any, hopefully, unwarranted excursions into the realm of doing something unbelievable to save the story’s heroine from peril.

Right now the novel is 16,666 words and growing by the day. It seems that it will likely be a trilogy or at the least a first book and then a sequel to complete the story arc. The overall ending is unwritten although I do have three alternatives that I am keeping in mind as the story unfolds. This first draft is being free written with very little editing so far.

Adapting On The Fly … The Winds Of Change Blow

February 8, 2012 Leave a comment

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I was almost finished with my rough edit of the first draft for Under The Darkened Moon when I stopped. I mean I was literally on the last chapter when I stopped.

Why did I stop? Because I decided to go all the way back to the beginning … and then some. I was not happy with the way the story started in Chapter 1. So I made it Chapter 2 and added a new Chapter 1 taking place eighteen and also fifteen years previously to add some context to the main character. This context and new chapter I believe will enable me to delete some of the text in later chapters which flushes out the backstory of the main POV character and make things flow better from start to finish.

We will see. A lot of cleanup is going to be needed because of this change.

“Under The Darkened Moon” Pacing

December 1, 2011 Leave a comment

I’ve been working on my novel “Under the Darkened Moon”, a sequel, if you will, to my short story “Second Chances”. Having completed the first draft, I am now editing it.

I have been having trouble getting the timing down and pacing the start of the story. While there was action early on, things seemed slow and I, as the author, was getting bored. If I am getting bored by the pace, I worry that the reader would have the same experience.

One thing that seemed to stand out was that the slowness seemed to stem from the length of the chapters, about 20-30 pages. They were that size because I was clustering events and scenes that happened within a day of each other as entire chapters separated by scene changes denoted by “* * *” breaks.

So, chapter 1 for example, consisted of three scene changes, the day the story starts, the next day’s morning then that next day’s evening. Chapter two then picked up three days later. I have, right now, split the first chapter into two completely different chapters so that now chapter 1 is the day the story begins and chapter 2 is the next day’s morning with a scene change to that evening. Chapter 2, or at least the start thereof, now is chapter 3.

By doing this, and maybe I am just fooling myself into thinking this, the story seems to move better and flow faster and smoother with shorter chapters. It is almost like the white space that follows the end of one chapter before the next chapter starts on the next page, despite being a break, causes everything to sound better.

Don’t know if I will continue down this path, but it seems to be working and the story seems more energetic and fluid.

First Draft of “The War Within” In The Bag

August 15, 2011 Leave a comment

Friday marked a milestone in my progress towards my first completed short story. The first draft of “The War Within” is sitting completed and ready for a fresh look in a week or two after I have let it simmer for a bit.

Total word count sits right now at 5,553.

In the meantime I will be revisiting project “Dark Moon”, my novel which this short story is based on, as well as “Sacrifice”, my other previously existing short story project. Also I have opened another new project file preliminarily titled “The Yoke” which I came up with during a brainstorming session on Friday. I will be putting down some ideas for it as well.

Getting Ahead of Myself

July 30, 2011 Leave a comment

I am still actually writing the full length novel hoping a short story presents itself. I have two ideas so far on that front from what I have written. Again, there are lots of back stories that could make good short stories but I have to be interested in telling them first and foremost. Only two are interesting to me right now.

It is funny how writing fiction seems to work for me. My mind is about 10 chapters ahead of my fingers. I even already have and ending, which seems logical and sound, flushed out. This is at times a little confusing though because sometimes the story starts to wander away from that ending. By knowing the general ending it helps me keep the story on track I suppose.

What I am doing is keeping notes on where I want the story to go with each successive chapter. Some days I just do not feel like writing but feel like only putting down ideas. And it all seems logical at the time. But when I sit down to actually flush out the notes into actual chapters things are working out a lot differently. But usually better at the time of actually writing it. Some plot lines get dropped all together because while they looked good at the time simply did not actually further the story as they were flushed out into the first draft. Or while they may have furthered the story, they would have added pages and pages and pages of story that when I thought about it were not going to actually add anything to the story.

Of course the whole story is still a rough draft.

Things appear to be happening slower in the story than I have outlined which helps too meaning I need less of these plot points to get from start to finish and make a full length novel. It just seems that I have to add dialogue and scenes to make the progression from plot point to plot point more logical. So that is what I am doing. There will always be hang ups though.

Then of course there are the ah-crap moments where when what I outlined just does not actually work out to be the way things have to happen.

Oh well.

Up to 87,000 words now in the story that I did not set out to write. Again, all very rough of course.