Posted by oneofthedragons
Hope 2017 is a great year for you all! 😀
Doodled on my new art package XD
Posted by oneofthedragons
Hello, from Vacation Land!!! I know I warned you all about the blog silence (the holidays, Blah blah, etc.). Even so, I still feel like a jerk for neglecting you. Sorry about that. Today I’m going to give you the old fashioned typed out blog, instead of a video. The reason is because I’m in a house full of in-laws and I can’t seem to find a free quiet moment to myself to make a video. As I type this, we’re all gathered in the living room watching “Taken” and I’m multitasking. I do that. Obligatory life update: Christmas is awesome and I love my in-laws. They’re seriously the best mandatory family a girl could ask for. I told my mom and several other random people that my in-laws are exactly what my family would be if they all liked each other and got along. My family tends to be over-dramatic and angry half the time. Brad’s family is just super chill. We got a lot of cash for Christmas. Also, my mother-in-law taught me how to use the sewing machine that my aunt gave me, which means now I can pursue my dream of making fleece Pokemon hats to sell on Etsy and at cons. I’m quite pleased. We also bought a bunch of DVDs and some random gadgets, like an aux cable for my car so I can listen to my iTunes. I JUST learned that I could do this. I’m kind of technologically retarded at times. I don’t even have a smart phone (I prefer not to have such easy access to the internet ALL the time). Speaking of tech-retarded… I just now, as of an hour or so ago, finally got my first Kindle. I have already mastered it and loaded it with free eBooks. I even bought Frankie’s eBook, THE SCIENTIST’S DAUGHTER, which means I can FINALLY read it in its entirety. You should probably go buy that, too.
I learned about this reading challenge for 2015: http://9gag.com/gag/a8bQeNe?ref=android.s.fb
I’m going to give it a try. I’ve been meaning to read more. I’ve neglected reading for too long in favor of other hobbies–writing being one, though I don’t intend to give that up, either. There’s a FB group for the reading challenge if anyone else wants to try it with me.
A lot of my NaNoWriMo friends are also imposing writing challenges for 2015. A page a day, or 1667 words a day, or 5 books by the end of the year. I can handle something along those lines, but holidays and such are going to keep me from daily goals. I’m planning on writing at least one more book in 2015. I think I can manage three, even with editing and all that jazz. I work fast, and setting a goal of three will allow for other commitments and periods of burnout. A good, solid goal, I think, and I have MORE than enough ideas. The damned plot bunnies have been breeding like rabbits, taunting me as I edit.
It’s actually quite disturbing.
Now, on to the actual writing update.
I had set a goal of finishing editing by the end of December. There’s good news and bad news on that front. The good news is… I did it! Yep, I sure did. I got my ducks in a row. Deleted the scenes that needed deleting. Added the scenes that needed adding. Saved a scene that I couldn’t live without but didn’t need anymore. I cut 33,457 words in the first heavy-handed revision. 159,043 down from 192,500. That is no small feat. I’ve never cut that many words from a story in my life. In fact, I had expected to add about 20,000 words and delete about 15,000 words for a net gain of 5,000. I’ve surprised myself, and I’m quite proud. Cutting words isn’t really something I enjoy doing.
The bad news is, I still have a long way to go. The typical goal for a debut fantasy author is 90-120K. 159K isn’t TOO far over, so if it turns out I can’t cut any more than what I have, I’ll take it. I believe in my story. I also find solace knowing that Pat Rothfuss’ debut novel is 255K. I’m no Pat Rothfuss, but it gives me hope. That tells me that a bloated word count is NOT an auto reject for every agent. It also tells me that if my writing is good enough, someone out there will take a chance on my word count. That means I can either cut words or improve them if the rejections start to stack up. I can live with that. I’m in this to write quality works, anyway. If it’s shit, I don’t want someone to publish it. These are words I will never be able to take back. I don’t want to cringe when I see them again in 10 years.
As a side note, I find it ironic that I’ve trained myself to stretch my word count to what I consider the proper length for a novel (400-800 pages) only to be told time and time again that the upper limit for a novel should be 120K (about 400 pages). Such is life I suppose. Apparently only the cool kids are allowed to write long books, and I’m still too n00bish. *sighs dramatically*
There’s more good news, though. Last night on Twitter (ATTENTION: Writers who are following our blog who are STILL not on Twitter, you’ll want to pay VERY CLOSE ATTENTION to what I am about to say), I was having a conversation with another author about our main characters. We were comparing sassy heroines (I was talking about Heike) and I mentioned that I’d love to share my MC with her. We got to talking about our genres and what we were working on and such and I mentioned my word count issue. She sympathized and offered to have a look at my first chapter, offering to point out where I could cut words or what I could do in general to improve.
The answer to this question–if it’s a reputable source–is ALWAYS yes. When someone who knows what they’re doing offers a free and friendly critique, take that. So, I sent her my first chapter. The moment I made the decision, I felt sick to my stomach. Sharing my work is always terrifying. This is heart and soul and months of work. Sharing it with a person makes me feel vulnerable. It’s scary! But I knew I needed it, and this author doesn’t know me personally. I took it as a valuable opportunity, and mailed off my chapter one.
A day later (WOW FAST!), I got this:
Tags: Achillea, Agent, author, Beta, blog, book, books, character, Characterization, Christmas, critique, ebook, Editing, excited, family, goal, gratitude, holiday, improvement, kindle, NaNoWriMo, New Year, plot bunny, process, Query, Reading challenge, Twitter, word count, writing