Eight Sentence Sunday #16

I present to you Eight Sentence Sunday, a blog hop hosted by Weekend Writing Warriors. This is some writing from the novel I’m writing for Camp NNWM: Conwomen.

They took the jewels to their accomplice. Ken had, in their opinion, an unhealthy obsession with cats and jewels. No comments would be made to indicate these thoughts though since he paid excellent money for both when they could be found.

Cho stood in front of the door, letting the bio scanner and her costume do their job. With a ding and loud unlocking sound the door swung open, revealing a lovely clean home with plenty of light, pleasant decorations, and a cat on every flat surface.

“Why do you live around here, yet have a flat that looks like one of those tabloid covers?”

“The question is why not Regina! With half of the money you can get twice the results in this part of the city.” The middle aged man walked around a corner with a glass of what looked like milk, a glass he almost dropped when he saw who was really standing in front of him.

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Self-editing and Critiquing #6

While some characters have obvious actions and tones of voice others are harder to distinguish. In the novel I’m editing I have a mother daughter combo as main characters. Since they are family my mind made them seem similar, with obvious differences in age, and less obvious differences in their life goals. 

But my beta readers have been saying that it is hard to figure out which one is speaking at which time because they are too similar. I’m trying to figure out the best way to fix this. 

It might be fun to make up some slang words for the daughter to use, but the mother doesn’t. Of course I don’t want to make it harder on the reader either. Making them remember what each word means, or worse look it up each time in a glossary, would take away from the story.

I had been trying to give each character word preferences, and I did make an attempt to have the mother use shorter more statement like sentences.Then again I wrote this during National Novel Writing Month. What I concentrated on one day was completely forgotten the next. I will attempt to add these differences more often throughout the novel, while small I do think they will help. If that doesn’t work I’ll have to go with my back up plan; give my characters catch phrases.

Self-editing and Critiquing #5

I’m in the throws of intense editing, also known as rewriting half a novel. I have found techniques which help make the process smoother, perhaps they can help you as well.

First I choose one scene to work on at a time, trying to look at the others as little as possible until the rewrite is complete.

Second I ask myself what I want to do with this scene. Who I want to introduce, what character development I want to see, and most importantly if I want it to end in an upbeat or a downbeat. 

What is that? When a scene ends with progress toward the characters goal then the scene ends with an upbeat. If a new obstacle appears between the character and their goals the scene ends in a downbeat. If there are too many scenes with one or the other in a row then it’s off putting to the reader which could make them put the book down. 

This brings us to our third point, I have to make sure that the characters current goals are clear to the reader. This can be simple, “His tummy rumbled, ready to devour the next edible object in sight.” Your character realizes he needs to eat, then his goal is to obtain food. These goals can also be complex such as a daughters need of acceptance from her parents. Clear goals are the way to help the reader root for your main character through their trials and tribulations. 

Kicking Off 2015 – Writing Goals

There are four major goals for this upcoming year and each major goal as three sub goals. As expected, one of my major goals is getting published. The sub goals for writing are as follows:

 

1)      Write and submit one short story per month. This nets me twelve short stories in the year and it will help me go through each stage of the noveling process in a small scale; plotting, writing, editing, and submitting. These shorter works should help me become a better author while not taking the time dedication needed for a novel.

2)      Write three 50k novels. One for each NNWM camp, and one for official NNWM. Go big or go home!

3)      Edit the novel from this year’s NNWM and send to publishers. This is a full year goal because the editing, beta reading, and further editing will take a lot of time. I’ve gotten a head start by doing edits on some pages I printed out.  I’m seeing new issues with every page, not just the ones I saw while writing. It’s disheartening, but I am determined. This book has the needed bones, they just have to be polished.

 

As a mini sub goal I will continue to post here, an estimated three times a week. A friend showed me Weekend Writing Warriors which I plan to make one of my consistent posts. With the amount of editing and critiquing I plan to do this year I think it would be fun to have a weekly post covering issues I have been seeing throughout the week. I might add ways to focus on these problems while self-editing and any easy ways to fix them. Not sure what my last weekly post will be, perhaps checking in on how the progress is going on these goals? Time will tell.

 

PS: I did send out one short story during 2014. I just got the word that it was rejected. Time for editing! It will be sent out again by the end of Jan, with whichever new story I might write!

NaNoWriMo Winner!

I finished National Novel Writing Month this year and am happy with the resulting novel. To be fair the novel is not complete, there are many scenes that I skipped along with oddles of editing to do. The thing is, I know what needs to be fixed. I can see the story through all of the bad spelling and typos. I know where it’s going and what my characters are doing any why they are doing them.

I guess what all those authors have been saying is correct, the only way to get to be a better writer is to write. Write a lot, write everyday, and when you aren’t writing read. It’s that simple and that hard.

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Progress

I went to the Sunday Writers Group where I finally finished the connection scenes between two huge chunks of storyline from my old NaNo novel.  This added about four thousand words to my story which is good, it’s been running short since I cut out a solid 10k words in editing. 

Of course those words really made readers feel for the main character, now my readers are relating to the male side character significantly more! I think I will need to go back and add some of the scenes I cut now, but at better places throughout the novel.  Now that the story is linear I can go back to editing what is already written. I better get cracking, only 144 hours until that novel needs to be handed to my alpha reader. 148 hours until I need to start writing a whole new novel.  At least the four hours in between are going to be spent at the NNWM Kick-Off Party!

Deleted Scene

The goat cleared it’s throat. James didn’t even think it was the goat, it sounded exactly like the elder from the village so he looked behind him instead expecting to see him.

“You two have done an excellent job taking care of the problem. I will now be able to restore the well to its proper position above.”

“How are you going to do that? You’re a goat.”

“That’s a small mishap, I’m actually a fairly powerful scientist from the future.”

“A what?”

“Scientist? Ah don’t worry about it. I’ll fix it all. Now if the two of you could be on your way, go canoodle in that cave section of yours.”

James face got red, “What now? we don’t canoodle.”

“Well that’s a shame.” The goat responded in the air of not caring a bit.

“Goodness that blush of yours,” Abigail commented which didn’t help James’ blush go down at all.

At least Abigail was understanding, “Let’s go,” she crossed the boards across the river and started up the rocks to the location that they left their torches.

As she got to the top she looked over to the goat, smiling and waving. Knowing that the wish that she had really made would be answered, little did everyone else know that it was a Wish for Love Well, a common product of the future accidently brought with the goat scientist into the past.