Tag Archives: edits

Some days I hate to stop

Today was a writing day. When I have the place to myself, dogs excepted, it’s usually a decent writing day. Today was no exception.

I decided to work on my nameless team-up adventure. It feels like about 4000 words today, and I hate to stop. Old What’s Her Face will be home soon, and that stops it anyway, so it’s time to blog.

My characters did some spying with a drone, discovered that the bad guys raised the stakes with what amounts to a biological weapon, then identified a likely place to investigate further.

The new site is swarming with zombies, and the team was beaten back. A couple of the girls commented on Jason’s bare butt as he tried to help them avoid getting killed.

Lisa Burton was taken out of action by a huge electro-magnet. Computers and magnets don’t get along too well.

Gina decided it was time to fight fire (undead) with fire (undead). This led to a fun Voodoo ritual, and the game changed directions for a bit. That’s right at the point where I stopped, and there is a lot more to this part.

Clovis had to face a small bit of his past, in the form of zombies that he’d already made dead once before. He isn’t phased by much, so I doubt it will slow him down. I probably need to beef this part up a little.

Like I said, sometimes I hate to stop. It makes for a good place to pick it back up again.

Sundays I call my parents, so a lot of my quality time goes into that. This makes late morning a great time to address some of those Serang edits I need to get to. I’ve decided to do this in two parts. First, fix all the grammatical things, then go back to paragraph one and edit for content. To do this, I’m going to identify the key points, do word count between them, then assess if the between parts get beefed up or cut back.

Serang has been a little tougher to write, but it’s a great experience. It’s kind of a fictional biography, and there are some things from Lanternfish that cannot be changed. I’m enjoying the challenge of this one, but they are different challenges than the other story.

I’m off Monday too, so I’ll probably leap the team-up story ahead some more. At least that’s my goal.

I started my day with some sourdough toast, and it was great. I’m having a meatloaf sandwich now, and it’s great too. All in all, it’s been a great day. Hope yours is too.


Filed under Writing

One of those days

We all get them on occasion. I always have a ton of stuff to do, but never quite get to it all.

Last night the Rave Reviews Book Club announced another writing contest. I don’t always enter these, because I don’t always fit the mold. They had one for women writers at one point. Yeah.

This time, it’s about “Building a Better Me.” I’m sure there will be a bunch of redemption stories, maybe some about boot camp, or kicking drugs.

I’m a speculative fiction author. I stayed up late last night and wrote one anyway. I’ll probably get booted off the island, but when they asked about building a better me, I wrote about building a better me. What else would I write, right? Submissions open tomorrow, and I’m sending it in. If nothing else, I can use it for Macabre Macaroni come October.

I also managed to assemble and schedule a hosting post for a guest author. Then I assembled and scheduled the next edition of Lisa Burton Radio. Also on this front, I built the shtick for a future radio show and sent it back to the author. That’s going to be a really fun one, but it’s weeks away from appearing.

I picked through my critiques this morning. There weren’t a lot of adjustments to make, but they always see something I did not.

My wife turned on The Lord of the Rings about 10:00 this morning. It’s just after 6:00 and it just now ended. I cannot write new fiction with that kind of distraction. I wrote another guest post for when The Playground publishes. At least it’s something. If I add a couple of excerpts, I have enough for a blog tour. I won’t pick those until the last minute, but there is one with some creative dentistry that ought to draw attention.

I also tried one of those new Amazon giveaways. I have no idea what I’m doing, but I’m giving away three copies of Will O’ the Wisp through Amazon. If anyone is interested here is the link. It lasts for 15 days, and if it proves productive, I’ll probably do it again. Most of the regulars have read it by now, but maybe you can tell your friends.

We had the kids and grandkids over for dinner tonight. My wife makes awesome ribs and everyone left well fed.

All in all, it wasn’t a very productive weekend. There’s always tomorrow though. I took a vacation day tomorrow, and would like to add words to The Yak Guy Project.

I also received some feed back on The Playground, and need to address those issues. Distractions aren’t a problem when it comes to edits, so I’ll probably save those for the week nights. The best news is the book was well received. I honestly worry about that every single time, and until someone tells me – I have my doubts. My imagination is pretty far out there, so I never know if I’ve pushed things too far. That capped the weekend on a high note.

I kept all the email from those who volunteered for the street team. It won’t be too much longer and I’ll send out things to share across your social media.

I hope everyone managed more than I did. It seems like a lot, but it’s all little stuff.


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Weekend Wind Down

I’ve been hitting it pretty hard for weeks now. I admit, this weekend wasn’t really really productive. I got some things done, but I’m starting to wear thin.

This was a good weekend to work too. We’re between paychecks, and this means I can’t afford a lot of expensive distraction. It’s funny how the assessor never showed up when real estate prices were falling, but he made it right out when the market turned back up. My house payment is $100 per month higher now, due to taxes.

That same $100 could buy my cover art for Panama.

I didn’t write at all yesterday. It was the perfect day for it too. I needed to ruminate about a transition in my current story, and there was nothing I could do about that. My main character needs to go on the attack now, and shifting gears needs to get written the right way.

I managed to do some editing on Panama. (Coming soon to a Kindle near you.) These older works are good stories, but I’ve learned so much since I wrote them, that they need some cleaning up. I used to use a lot of filtering words, and killing them is dropping my word count. Panama is a short novel anyway, and I don’t want people to think they aren’t getting their monies worth. I managed to add more life to the jungle, and even included some smells and touch senses. If it’s still short, I may have to price it down accordingly.

I think Panama may need another editing pass once I finish this one. I want to double check the calendar and times in the story. Every writer runs the risk of saying something happened yesterday, when it was a week ago in the manuscript.

I used my cool fountain pen and wrote out some more character sheets. Some, or all of these characters will appear in whatever my next project is. For some reason, using a different tool makes you see things differently. There could be a shred of plot developing in my mind.

I also took some time off and just vegetated. I watched Django Unchained. Totally unrealistic, and totally fun. Lot’s of weapons errors, but I suspended disbelief well. I’m starting to really like Christoph Waltz, but I’ve only ever seen him in Tarantino movies.

Today, I laced up my writing boots and went to work. It didn’t amount to much, but there are 1152 new words on Will ‘O the Wisp. For those of you keeping track, I’m at 49,667 words now.

There is no absolute number of words for what qualifies as a novel. Popular thinking is 80,000 and that’s always been my benchmark. I used to always write long. I’ve learned to be more sparse, but now I have the opposite problem. It’s easier for me to trim than it is to add.

This blog update doesn’t mean I’m finished for the weekend. I’m about to begin reading the next book in the horror six pack I bought. I really enjoyed the last one about two thugs transporting a werewolf to an underworld boss. I have more editing to do too.

I’ll probably do a little bit of everything, but then I have a television appointment with the Walking Dead.

I always like the time changes when they come around, but I’m not looking forward to 4:00 AM Daylight Savings Time to start my work week.


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A Few Edits

It’s hard to write with a house full of noisy kids. They’re pretty excited about Christmas. Once they settled down, I slipped out to the writing cabin and went over my weekend work.

Lorelei showed up in another Christmas outfit, some kind of shiny green elf skirt. She spent her time decorating Doubt the raven’s tree. Now he had a Christmas tree to perch in.

I said, “What no Muse advice tonight?”

“You don’t need a Muse for edits. I just want to make sure you’re being nice to Doubt,” she said.

“Oh yeah, we’re getting along fabulously,” I said, sarcastically. I checked my outline, and I’ve already deviated. Everything’s still there, but it’s been rearranged quite a bit.

Kruk Kruk Kruk

“What’s he want?” I asked.

“Something could be wrong. He wants you to doubt something,” Lorelei said. “Remember, it’s up to you. His job is only doubt.”

“So he works like you? Inspiration only, doubt only.”

“That’s the way it works.”

I’d left out an important plant that was in my outline. I can’t use it a dozen chapters from now, if I don’t get it in today. I reworked the section to get it into the story.

Kruk Kruk

“Yeah, yeah. I know it isn’t perfect. Right now it’s a rough draft. I need to get it all down. I’ll make it better later.”

I didn’t accomplish much, and really wasn’t feeling it. I reached for the phone and hit the pager. “Lisa, do we have any more of those hot dogs?”

“I’m down on the elevator platform putting skiis on your gyro copter. I can make you one in a minute.”

“How are you answering the page from down there?”

“I hooked my systems into the whole cabin, and the gyro copter. You can even page me if I go to the store.”

“I’ll get the weenie. I just wanted to make sure the bird got a little meat.”

Lorelei smiled and winked. “You’re going to turn out just fine. He needs a varied diet.”

“Hey, Lisa. Get cleaned up when you finish. Let’s fly around and look at the Christmas lights.”

I heard, “Squee,” or something like that, then the elevator lifting the gyro copter into the yard. Lisa ran from the basement and turned upstairs.

When she came down she was in one of her Christmas pinup skirts, snowflakes instead of polka dots. She had a big fake fur hat. “I’ve got to make sure my tear reservoir doesn’t freeze.”

“The ‘copter has a heater,” I said.

“Oh that’s right.” She held up a hand and paused. “I just started the engine and turned on the heat.”

“Maybe having you out here’s going to be alright.” She ran up and hugged me.

“How about it Lorelei, wanna come?” I asked.

“Lisa’s heavier than you think. She has a battle chassis, remember. All of us will never get off the ground. You kids have fun. I’ve got a party later.”

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Morning writing

I have a habit of reading about the last dozen pages before I start. It helps with continuity. I don’t want to write about snow if it was sunny when someone walked inside last session.

I wanted to write a creepy tension filled segment.

The raven, Doubt, made a noise. tok tok blork

I pressed the pager. “Lisa, can you come in here. Tell me what this stupid thing wants. ”

“Sure boss, be right down.”

“I thought you were out front,” I said.

“I was just hooking up those holographic monitors you wrote for me. What’s up?”

“Listen to this stupid thing.”

tok tok blork

“What’s he saying?” I asked.

“I don’t know. I don’t speak bird.”

“But you’re a robot. You speak Bluetooth, Gaelic, mandarin, fax tones and everything else.”

“But I don’t speak bird.” She held her hand up and paused. “Ravens are considered the largest songbird in the world. They’re related to–

“Look, I just want to know what he wants.”

“They are now considered one of the most intelligent animals on Earth. They make a wide range of sounds and can even mimic human speech.”

“Amazing, how did you get all that?”

“I’m a big computer at heart. It’s called Google. You should try it. Where did he interrupt you?”

“Just as I was reviewing the last stuff I wrote.”

“Maybe he wants you to doubt that section. That’s his name after all.”

“Maybe it needs to be moodier, creepier even. Why am I taking lessons from a bird?”

“Lorelei wouldn’t bring him here without a reason. I have a hunch that rewrites are going to be a hoot. I’ll pick up a bottle of Dickle for when you meet with the editor.”

“Good plan.”

I wound up adding some things to the last section, and still managed a thousand new words.

I’ve got to go for now. My wife and I have an appointment with Smaug the Terrible. I’m going to Old Chicago afterword to work on my beer tour.

I may blog later if I get the time.

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