Thursday, December 31, 2009

December Sum-Uption

Well, I managed to do a large scale revision on the Cass book to give the CWCers an updated draft. Since I had already worked on revising the first half or so, and since my revision plan was focused on rearranging/adding fairly big chunks vs. fine tuning, I thought it'd go quickly. Ha!

But, the good news is that I got almost everything I wanted to change changed. The last twenty-ish pages still have a detail I'm going to axe, but I ran out of time. On the whole, however, I'm satisfied that the novel is more cohesive. We'll see what the gang thinks.

This month flew by, and I did some over-reaching, but I got a lot done. Now for about a week and a half of break, then it's back into the trenches with the beginning of spring semester. Whew.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Small, Slow Edits

I'm making slow, but steady, progress on my big revision expedition. Right now I'm still going through the first part, which I went through once already a few months ago. The edits right now are small, but my pace is not as quick as one would think.

The funny thing about these minor edits is that you lose time on the scavenger hunt part of it. A little bit here, a little bit there, and you have to find the spots first. Up to a certain limit, big edits go faster 'cause it's just a matter of taking out a certain page and re-writing it. You're honed in, focusing on just that certain scene.

Small edits, tweaking edits, are more all over and they creep up on you unexpectedly, like when I was doing one edit and realized I had to pause to do a find & replace jobbie on two characters' names that changed over the course of drafting.

Once I get further into the pages, I expect my pace will quicken as I run into the parts that need bigger chunks revised. Or, maybe there'll be so much in those big chunks that I'll slow down. Hard to say right now. I'll find out soon enough, though.

What about you? What kinds of edits can you do the most quickly? What kinds of editing take you the longest?

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Not-So-Restful Break

Boy did I ever pick the wrong month to submit a whole novel to the CWC bunch. Between defending my thesis, finishing up a semester, and picking up some seasonal work, I've been going pretty much flat-out for weeks. I've had too much other stuff going on to focus on Cass, and now I've got a week to finish editing and make copies for our next meeting.

Gosh, where does the time go? But, time's not going to slow down just for me, so I've got to speed up. I'm at the coffee shop right now, doing some out of the house pages. I'm making decent time, thank goodness, but I haven't gotten to the parts that are going to be pretty labor-intensive. Instead, I'm starting at the beginning and working through in order.

Right now I've got about 27 pages down out of a 203 page manuscript. However, I have some additions to make, so my final draft this go-around is going to be closer to 225 or more. The advantage, though, to doing all of this at once is that there's no down time for me to forget details/plot points/etc.

I tell you what, though, come December 29th, all I'm doing all day is sitting at home in my PJs and watching TV.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Ending WPW

I've decided to discontinue writing prompt Wednesdays for the time being. They were fun for a while, but now they're feeling more like work and I've got plenty of other work to focus on.

Thanks to everyone who played along!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

A Poetry Hijacking

I spent some time at the bar the other night, listening to a band and reading over a few of Jenny's serial killer poems (Jenny talks about them a bit in this post). While I was there, I ran into a gal I know and her first question was, "What are you reading?"

When I told her I was reading a series of poems about Ted Bundy (I had read the Edmund Kemper series earlier that day), there was some eyebrow raising, followed by, "Can I see?"

I handed her one. She read it. Then she motioned for me to hand her the rest of the stack. I passed over about thirty more poems. Right then in there, in the dim light of a crowded bar while a local band played loudly on the other side of the room, she read every single one of them.

Now, I've got to say, if you've never had the experience of watching someone else read a series of poems about a serial killer, it's interesting. Mostly there was a lot of big eyes. In a few places, her hand flew to her mouth in classic startled/horrified form. Once or twice, she leaned over to her boyfriend (who had tried to read, but couldn't on account of the bad light) and read a stanza or two out loud to him.

I did get the poems back, eventually, but I had to wait patiently until this woman was finished, because I would have had to wrestle them away from her otherwise. I didn't want to risk it, so I took another sip of my cocktail and turned to watch the band while she read.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Everything Is Relative

Sasha: How'd it go last night?
Phil: Well, a lot of things were broken, sinks were puked in, people were punched in the face, and there was a minor incident where the end table caught on fire.
Sasha: Pretty quiet then.
Phil: Downright mellow, even.