Archive for the ‘ Untitled Story ’ Category

The Next Step

Hey, remember that other book I wrote? You know, that untitled one? Yeah. I should really work on that too, right?

I realized yesterday that in all my work with Spirit Hackers, I haven’t talked about my Robert book. There is good reason for that: nothing has been going on at all with it. A matter of fact, my last entry talking about it was on April 7th, where I talked about how I sent the book to some beta readers and I was waiting for the feedback. Unfortunately that seemed to not go according to plan. I had three beta readers set up and I received the following feedback: one reader gave me my Word file back with great suggestions, corrections and comments. The second felt uncomfortable (for reasons I won’t say here) and I only got a small sample (one page) with suggestions / corrections. The third read it but didn’t give feedback, but his girlfriend did. That feedback consisted of four sentences referring to an item or two within the book. Now I know the book is almost 60k long, but I didn’t expect things to go this bad.

Now before you comment on it, I know the Absolute Write forums has a beta area but I don’t want to venture there just yet. I need to really see what is going on with the Robert book and more importantly decide what I want to do with it. In my heart of hearts, I am unsure if the book is really that good and if it even has a chance. I look at my idea for Spirit Hackers and the work I’ve put into it and I feel much more optimistic with that WIP rather than the untitled story.

So where does this leave me? Perhaps the book is destined to be a ‘trunk novel’ and just live on my harddrive. I’ve considered putting it up for POD or perhaps podcasting it as a podiobook, but I’m not sure. I could always submit it out for agents or publishers but again I’m not sure if it’s strong enough. Right now, my plan is to go through another round of editing using the main beta feedback I got as a guide. I’m hoping to fatten it up a little and also get the story to flow better. One key scene my wife read needs a big overhaul.

It’s weird to have a book that I wrote that I don’t have such faith in anymore. Is it wrong for me to discount it? Should I just push on and send it out to agents? It’s difficult to say for sure. What I do know is that no matter what, I’ve written a novel and that puts me ahead of the curve as most people out there who think they should do it, never do. I will always have the satisfaction in knowing I did get to accomplish that goal.

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The Impending Feedback

One of my beta readers has sent me back my manuscript for the Robert book. To my surprise, this reader left me with over 500 comments in Word! Talk about feedback! While it does seem overwhelming, this type of feedback is vital to making this book a reality and giving it the best chances when I shop it to agents later this year.

I’m at work right now and so I could only go over some of the notes and such, but I’m glad I was ready for the feedback because it’s honest. This is the best thing I could ask for and I will say it’s not harsh. I won’t lie and say it doesn’t hurt a little and it does burst my bubble but it’s reality and I am by no means a bad writer. Like everything else in life, it needs work and refinement.

One of my other beta readers gave me a sample page of suggestions and thoughts, to see what I thought. I really liked the feedback and encouraged that person to continue. So far, the feeback I’ve gotten is going to help a lot. I know that within a couple of months, the Robert book will be refined, tight, flow, and most importantly be the best Frakkin’ book it can be.

I now know and understand the feeling a writer has when they get a reality check and see their story isn’t the polished gem they thought it was. This just drives me to work harder and make it work.

PS- I still don’t have a damn title.

Beta Time

100%

As of last night, I’ve finally completed the second round of editing of my Robert book. The story comes in at 130 pages (unformatted) and 56,000 actual words. I think this is a good length and I also think this book has potential to go somewhere. That, though is where my beta readers come in.

I have four beta readers ready to go. My wife being one of them, has started the book and has already made comments. I’m in progress of informing my other beta readers that it’s time to call in their generous offers to read my story. So this is where I now stop working on this book and try to focus on other projects. I haven’t touched Mars in a few months and I’ll probably end up picking that back up again to get the story working. I only have two chapters written.

I know my beta readers have all the time they need, but I’m guessing within a month, all four will have probably finished it and have a crap-load of comments and suggestions for me. I’ll take all that and go on another round of editing. Once that is done, I’ll be querying for agents to see where I can go. Hopefully things can happen.

For now, I just want to enjoy my accomplishment and revel in the fact that I’ve actually written a book. Not many people can actually say that. Now lets hope people think it’s good. ­čÖé

Slice & Dice

Swiss Army Knife

My second round of editing my Robert book has gone well so far. I’m not calling it the Robert story any more because I feel it’s more than a story. It’s a novel. I need to be in the right mind-set. Anyhow… I’ve expanded the book more with this round where I’m focusing more on structure and flow. I’m addressing all the sub-plots, chapter placements, etc. I have taken inventory of where certain sub-plots fall in the book and moved the around accordingly. I want to make sure they’re evenly spaced out and they fit.

My last round of editing on Friday brought me to a sub-plot that I didn’t know what to do with. I ended up cutting a lot of it out because it just didn’t fit. I did salvage some of it by modifying it and making it work better so it’s more of a small trait of Robert and not an entire plot-line.

I don’t have much more to go, so we’ll see what happens. I’m going to need to put my beta readers on alert that their services will be needed soon. I’m estimating I’ll be done in a week or two.

Working the Ends

Edited Document

I spent most of Friday working on my Robert story and focusing on a major item on my to-do list: the final chapter. This chapter is kind of a wrapping up of the loose ends and it’s something I’m finding somewhat difficult. Specifically, I’m trying for it to not sound rushed nor try to cram too much information into it. The first thing I did was split it into two chapters. I saw that the bulk of the chapter dealt with items relating to most of the climax but then there were items wrapping up a sub-plot. The sub-plot was moved to a new final chapter and I am going to need to expand it.

The now second-to-last chapter was something that I feel flows better and I’ve bulked it up pretty well. I need to give it another once-over but I think it’s damn good in its current form. I’m going to focus on the now-final chapter when I edit next time (hopefully tonight) and work on expanding it. All I did was cut & paste the text into this new area and I haven’t touched it. This new end consists of two paragraphs. Hopefully by the time I’m done with it, it’ll be about two pages. I’m also thinking of turning it into an epilogue but I don’t know if that is even worth it. Aren’t those cliche?

For now, the editing is going well. Still no title, but I’m adding bulk to the story. Every time I turn around, my word count has grown. I remember reading that a book really adds words during the editing process and I didn’t believe it at all. Only until I began this process did I see it’s totally true. I always associated editing with cutting out things but with each word or sentence I delete, I’m adding twice that. I hope this all comes through to my beta readers and on the final draft when it’s published.

We shall see.

Still Editing

So I’ve spent the past three hours editing my robert story and I’ve made some decent progress. I’ve found that a lot of my editing has been making lists of certain areas of the story to see where they happen and to make sure it’s balanced and not too much of one part.

The editing has three main things that I need to work on:

1. I have a sub-plot that I don’t know if I should keep or not. I’ve dropped parts of it in the story and I can’t tell if it should stay and get expanded or just be cut.

2. The final chapter needs to be expanded. I have a lot of wrapping up in the final chapter and it happens in only three pages. I think I need to slow it down, expand it and even break it up into 2 chapters if needed.

3. The title. Can I friggin’ think of one already?!!?

On another note, I have no idea what is going on with the blog carnival, so I apologize for no posts this morning. I am going to try to come up with an alternative friday item to post so next week is covered. The always helpful Auria Cortes has given me some ideas, including a ‘Friday Feast’ she participates in.

So that’s it for now. I’m updating the sidebar of the blog to include my new page / word counts and I’m going to edit for another 20 min.

Working on the beast

Writing

My procrastination for editing my untitled story came to a head tonight and I finally forewent TiVo and got some much-needed editing done. I’m using a great little program called TaskPaper to keep a running list of items to work on. As I reference an item, I make edits to the list entry and it’s been helping me so far. If you’re looking for a fantastic, yet simple to-do list program, this is it.

I worked for about an hour and a half and was able to get some important items taken care of. First, I deleted all scene changed that were separated by a line in the middle of the page. On 99% of them, I just made a new chapter and on a couple, I just continued the chapter it was on but added another paragraph space, so there are 2 instead of 1.

I had submitted one of my chapters to my writers group a few months ago that deals with a fight between Robert and his nemesis. The chapter got good reviews but my structure and wording didn’t. The biggest gripe was that I opened the chapter with the dictionary’s definition of ‘impact’ and then proceeded to use it multiple times. I can gladly say that I have used the handy search tool to weed out any uses of this word and replace them with other synonyms. I also re-worked the definition style at the top of the chapter. Overall, I think it works better.

So that’s what I got. Another good side to this editing is that the book has actually grown a little! I never thought that would happen, as I believed you only paired down a book during this process, but I stand corrected. I have gone from 123 pages to 127 pages, and from 57,631 words to 57,754 words. I gained 2,000 ‘words’ using the 250 x page numbers method, bringing my ‘word count’ to 63,500.

Overall, a productive evening. Time for home made ice cream and some Chuck on TiVo.

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