Editing Status

My untitled story (I call the ‘Robert Story’ for now because that’s my main character) is in the process of being edited, which is almost torture for me. For many years I subscribed to the philosophy that the way I wrote it the first time is the way it was meant to be read. Five years of college later, I have seen that editing is needed for most of my work.

The story is about 75% done with the first wave of editing, which is comforting. That is until I begin the second wave of editing where I have to fatten it up without getting off-track and also find more errors.

Tonight I banged out four more pages to bring me to page 94 of 122. Now these pages are in Helvetica font, which isn’t the final font for publication, so the length is shorter than usual. Official word counts should be in Courier, 12. That brings me to about 160 pages, a big difference. If I can get it to 180 or 200, I can really have a nice written work.

Sometimes I find good lines that I can’t believe I have written. I don’t know how they happen but I just put them on a page. While they are few and far between, it’s nice to see them. I stumbled upon one tonight. It’s the final sentence:

“Did you want to call him now?” Randy asked.

Anita looked up, revealing watery eyes. “I probably should but I don’t know what to even say.”

Randy handed her a tissue. “You’re a mother. You know exactly what to say.”

Advertisements

Writing Exercise

Weights

I know I’m digging back into my High School days, but a good way to get your writing juices flowing is to have a sentence given to you and then you write a paragraph or three. It’s a nice way to jump start because you just make things up as you go and don’t worry about spelling, grammar or anything else.

So…. lets try one. Post your work in the comments. I may post some of them on here.

“I turned the door handle and entered the room.”

Good Inspiration

Inspiration comes in many forms. In this case, anyone who’s been slacking on getting that story written feels Brian’s pain.

Enjoy!

The Insertables

My untitled story is something that is driving me nuts in terms of length. As much as I hate to call it this, the story is a ‘human drama’ based on a teenager who gets picked on and how he gets through his day. The story has fallen short of the length I want, coming in at only 39,000 words (using the standard calculation, not an actual word count). When I started this book, I was shooting for novel-length.

I was speaking to a fellow writer last week who said that if I can add about 20 pages, it should fall right into novella length and it could be publish-able. In order to do this, I need to beef up some sub-plots. I came up with the idea of ‘Insertables’.

I figure that I can write an entire sub-plot separate from the book. This can just have characters from the story in it. If I write 3 or 4 chapters, I can insert them anywhere on an ‘as needed’ basis. I also figure I can write some additional stand-alone chapters that could help build backstory and insert them where needed or even break them up and use certain paragraphs.

By doing this and using this method, I think I can build up the length of this still-unnamed book. I need 80,000 – 100,000 words!

Tools of the trade

toolbox

When it comes to writing, environment plays a pretty big role. Everything from your computer to the chair you sit in all contribute to the content you put out. Everyone works differently and I have certain things I have going on while the thoughts flow to my keyboard.

1. Music. Music is essential to my writing. Even in college, I would always have music on as I wrote. I know many people who cannot write when there is noise but I am the exact opposite. Usually I will put on a certain artist that will help inspire me and keep me going. There are other times when I need music that sounds a certain way such as classical or R&B.

Most helpful music: The Smashing Pumpkins, U2, John Legend, Dave Matthews Band.

2. Drinks. For some reason when I write, I need a cup on my desk at all times. I have found that my kitchen being near my desk is extremely convenient. 95% of the time when I write I have a glass of soda or cup of coffee next to me. I have a Senseo coffee maker that brews a cup in a minute and a half, which means I’m never gone from my keyboard for more than 2 minutes for a bathroom & drink refill break.

Best drinks: coffee, pomegranate juice, Pepsi / Diet Pepsi.

3. No bullshit. Computers are great but also a burden. Thirty years ago when someone used a typewriter there wasn’t an AIM message popping up in the middle of a sentence. I’ve found that the internet needs to be turned off while writing. I keep two programs open: Pages and iTunes. Nothing else. Once I’m three sentences into writing, I am in a groove and do not want to be disturbed.

4. Literary References. I work on a Mac. Yes it’s better than a PC. Now that we’re past that let me tell you that if you write on a Mac, the best tools for you is the Dictionary Dashboard widget. This allows you to search any word in a dictionary and thesaurus without going online. It helps from you getting sidetracked. I look something up within a few seconds and get right back into writing. If you’re on a PC, keep (hopefully you’re using) Firefox open with three tabs: dictionary.com, websters.com, wikipedia.org. These are the three sites you need. Nothing else. When not in use, keep it minimized to reduce temptation to surf the ‘net.

These are just a few things that I do to write and they help with my environment tons. I bang out more work in this setting than in any other. In the future, I’ll post more tips.

How do you write?

Allow myself to introduce… myself

Hello world, as they say in the computer world.  If you’re reading this post that means one of two things:

1.  This blog is popular and you want to see my humble beginnings.

2. This is on the front page and I haven’t done more with this place.  🙂 

I’m hoping #1 is the reason, but for now thank you for coming here and following my journeys in writing.  I am currently 27 and deciding that it’s time I put my writing skills to use.  I have a work that is currently novella length that I am editing up and also a second story that is two chapters long.

As I go through my writing process, I will share thoughts, ideas and even excerpts from my work to see what you all think and also to just get it out there.  At times I may post audio or video entries and I may podcast some of the content as well.

Comments are welcome and I look forward to feedback. 

Enjoy! 

%d bloggers like this: