Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Edits Galore

I feel like I have let April down, the month April, that is. It is just ten days before the end of the month, and I don't have any word count. True, I wrote a poem, and perhaps I should count those few words in it, but still, I have no short story or novel word count yet.

What have I been doing instead? I've been working on edits. Edits for "Once Upon a December Nightmare." Edits for "Magna's Plea." Edits on the first chapter of Virtuoso. And, edits on the first three chapters of a secret WIP that I'll share with you. Edits, edits, edits.

I don't know about the rest of you, but it takes me forever to edit something of my own. I analyze each sentence and think "Crap, this is all crap." I work on it some more. Stop. Think. Pick it back up again. Reread what I have changed. And continue on. I worked for over two hours on Sunday editing "Magna's Plea," even though I edited once already on Saturday. In the end, I just had to realize it was the best I could do and send it off to Sword & Sorceress XXV on Monday.

Also, on Sunday, I edited the epilogue of "Once Upon a December Nightmare," which will eventually be published with Wild Child Publishing, if I ever get through these edits. Zetta, my editor, is wonderful, and she gave me a lot to think about, but as I worked through the epilogue, I kept wondering why in the world did they accept this story. It's all crap. I can't believe I used to even write like this, and it makes me want to write the entire thing over. But, I know I can't completely do that. I don't need to change the plot. I just need to fix the story. So, I finished working on the epilogue. It's just four pages, but it took me over an hour to do it. I've begun on the rest of the story. I finished four pages yesterday at work, and I'm hoping to get to page 10 today. It's a good thing it is only a 25 page story. I'm wanting to rewrite almost every sentence. It's not that every sentence is bad. It's just that I want to fix it and make it better, more like my writing now. Yet, I have to be careful. I don't want to lose the reason they accepted the story to begin with. It's such a fine line. I hope to have the basic edits finished by Thursday, but I might not send it back to my editor until Monday. I want to go through, put it in a new document, accept my changes (all that red is depressing me), and read through the story and see what else I can add that won't take away from the story.

Thanks to Zetta, I also realized some bad habits I had, so using my notes from December Nightmare, I went back over my first chapter of Virtuoso on Sunday. Right now, it is as polished as I can make it, so I'm ready to edit/rewrite chapter two.

Now, on to my secret WIP. Starting in January, I wanted to write 500 words a day in a new novel. I thought if I could get the 500 words a day, then I would be finished with it around the end of March and could surprise my critique buddies with it. Of course, we all know about plans and how they don't always turn out how we want. I managed to write almost three chapters in January. Then, I stopped. On Sunday, I finished up the last little bit in chapter three. Then, I read through it for the tenth time, using what I know now about writing (once again, thanking Zetta and my critique buddies, as well). I sent the first three chapters to Aubrie to get her opinion. And, once I hear back from her, I'd like to pick up the novel once again and try to get to that chapter four.

Yet, I haven't told you want the novel is about, so here it is. It's a contemporary fantasy (borders upon paranormal romance, but I haven't decided how much romance I'm going to put in to call it that). The working title is Hammered Home. Here is a blurb I'm working on for it: Librarian Regin Leif enjoys her quiet life at Springs College. Yet, everything turns around when Dr. Eric Schumann steps in. He is on an archaeological quest of epic proportions. He believes a runic tablet discovered in northern Germany contains the key not only to Mjollnir, Thor's Hammer, but the map to Asgard, the home of the Norse gods, and he requests Regin's assistance, since she knows the runes. With every fiber of Regin's being, she wants to decline, especially since Regin has secrets of her own. Yet, the librarian is oath-bound to return to her homeland for the first time in many years. Can she stop Dr. Schumann from discovering things no mortal should know and the people who are also out to seek the home of the gods? Can she keep her secrets hidden? And, most of all, can she find a way to accept her Germanic home once more?

So, there is my secret WIP. I think I'll work on it here and there until it is finished.

As you can see, I've been working on edits and more edits. I still need to write my short story for Raven and the Writing Desk blog, and I hope to finish it by the end of next week. Other than that, I need to get back to edits...oh, yeah, and those library surveys I need to put the data into the spreadsheet for work. The joys of being a library assistant. *laughs*


Aubrie said...

I'm reading Hammered Home right now and I love it! I'm half way through what you gave me.

Edits drive me crazy as well. When I finally had to go back and edit The Voices of Ire (writing from 2 years ago) I realized that I'm not even that person anymore, never mind that type of writer. It pained me to no end and I agonized over each sentence thinking it was all crapola.

I totally understnad what you're going through! Hang in there! If they deicded to publish it, then they saw a gem. You have to believe in their experience. :)

Cherie Reich said...

I'm glad you are enjoying Hammered Home so far!

Yes, I want to believe. Boy, I sound like Mulder. *laughs* I'm going to work hard to make the story better. I just hope I can do it. :)

Nicole Zoltack said...

I go through spells where I'll get a lot of writing done in a short amount of time and then, I'll go for an even longer while without getting much writing done at all. It's frustrating so I definitely know what you're going through.

I'm currently working on an old Nano story from several years ago. The story line is good, but it's incredible how much I have learned about writing and grammar since I wrote it. It's taking me forever to edit what I've already written (only about halfway done), plus I'm adding a paranormal element so it's going to take me several weeks before I can get to the point of actually writing the middle and end of it. Editing takes me awhile, especially with my older works.

Good luck with your S&S story!


Cherie Reich said...

Thanks, Nicole. Unfortunately, I didn't get into S&S 25, although I figured that would be the case. I sent it back out again to someplace else, so I'll have to see if I have better luck.