Bullet points for the win!

  • I went to Edinburgh for a few days last week. It was amazing–Edinburgh has such a wonderful vibe. It’s one of my favourite cities, but I think I’d need an actual reason to live there, rather than just waking up and deciding, “Okay, I’m moving to Edinburgh.” (Granted, you never know when you’re going to wake up and make snap decisions, so never say never?) I got to meet one of my ex-flatmates and we had a lovely time catching up etc.
  • I finished revising Draft Three of the werewolves while I was over there. Had breakfast, went back to my room, and thought, “Oh, wait, I could just finish the edits here.” So I stuck the DO NOT DISTURB sign on the door and spent six hours on them. I felt brilliant when they were done. And a little hungry.
  • Draft Three went off to readers over the weekend! One of them has already got back to me and is halfway through. I should be getting some comments by the start of next week, which is putting me weeks ahead of schedule. Looks very likely that querying will begin before the end of this month.
  • I started Draft Three of my new book today! It’s a YA steampunk with Alice in Wonderland illusions allusions. No, it’s not thanks to Tim Burton. I wrote the first draft back in late 2007, started a second draft, and then put it aside because I knew I had to improve to make it the best it could be. I went off and wrote the werewolves, which taught me a lot, so I can now say that putting the Alice book aside was a good idea. I also put a word counter thingy for it in the sidebar.
  • I got to bring out all my steampunk and Alice playlists, and I’m in the process of searching for all my Victorian history books. It’s set in an alternate London, but with enough similarities to keep it recognisable, so it’s time for a history brush up. Exciting!
  • The Cheshire Cat is awesome. Trust me.
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the joys of second draft

Every so often, about once or twice a month, I drag my laptop to the nearest Starbucks without internet. I settle in with a venti coffee, plug in my earbuds, and start to write. I usually manage to get a lot of work done, or at least make some decent headway.

Yesterday, I managed to work through a pacing problem in the first draft that had been annoying me since last October. I nearly pumped my arm in the air, drunk on that ‘this is going to be so much better than my first draft’ feeling.

So, yes, yesterday was definitely a good writing day. *g*

if I could dance, I would

After two months of metaphorically bashing my head against the wall (because, otherwise, that would hurt), I have finally found my groove in draft two of CR.

Right now, it feels like the possibilities are endless. I could do anything in this book (you know, within the realms of proper characterisation and plausibility). Things are sliding into place and scenes are moving together and neatly tying in with later ones. Above all, I’m finally beginning to see that this draft is a vast improvement on the first one (thankfully, or I would be in very big trouble right about now). I have no idea how long this writing good mood is going to last, but I’m going to follow it until I crash into the next mental wall.

Breaking silence…

So, it’s been a while!

A belated Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all since I was last here. Nothing much has happened since my last post, except that the rewrites to CHASING RABBITS have finally begun, after leaving it sit for three months. It’s slow going – I ended up trashing around 80% of the first draft, so the second draft is a series of slow, trembling steps as everything unfolds – but I’m very excited, and I think I’ve finally found my footing in the book.

The last major research I need is to retrieve all of my Victorian history books from my father’s house, mostly for the little niggling details that I glossed over in the first draft so I could keep on going. Everything that needs to be changed or clarified is being noted as I go. This odd rewriting draft stage is where I do most of my major work. The first draft is the easy one for me to write; the second where I do most of my tapping and shaping, so I spend a lot of time rereading what I’ve written the day before and do some very obvious syntax and word changes. Then I read it out loud and do further changes to what doesn’t sound right. It’s very slow going – a finished chapter can take up to a week when things are going bad, but it means my second draft is 95% finished, before I do a quick third edit and send it to readers for opinions.

It’s very odd that for this second draft, I do my best work in the mornings and early afternoons; I’m usually too tired in the evenings for the level of concentration I require for this. Yet in the first draft, I do some of my best work at night. I suppose it’s the amount of brain-work the polishing requires, or, more likely, it’s to do with my laziness. 😉 Still, it’s interesting to think about.

Signing off now.

Whoo hoo!

So I’ve spent the last few days staring at a brief outline of the end of the book. Most of my time has been spent drumming my fingers and trying to figure out what the hell was wrong with the ending – something just didn’t sit right.

And then I browsed through the Tragic Villains post in absolutewrite and I suddenly figured it out: my antagonist’s motivations were shallow, at best. I knew there was something under the surface; there had been enough hints scattered through, and I was so close to figuring it out. So I made a cup of tea and thought about it for a while, and then it all just popped into my head.

It’s going to mean even more rewriting than what’s already on my plate, but it’s also going to flesh out my antagonist, which is always a good thing.

I also have three days off in a row next weeks, so I’m hoping to have a good lot of the rewriting done by the end of that time off. Whoo!

How to know…

…when you’ve finally hit on The Book:

You contemplate leaving early from a night out with your co-workers because you’re getting that itch to write, and you can’t stop thinking about the work you could be doing at home. Heh.

The book is going well. I am very, very pleased with my progress so far. I’m not going to say much about it, since I suspect the second draft will differ a lot from the first, except that I’ve hit my stride on it and we’re starting to run.

I’d forgotten that I decided I wanted to write because of times that felt like this. 🙂