Saturday, June 25, 2011


Last night at 10:20 pm, I finished the fourth draft of TOSOL. It was kind of a race to the finish line- my goal was to be finished by today, but I also knew that my friend (who is reading this draft) needed it and she seemed to be a bit stressed, so I thought I would give it to her early.

I'm not as happy with the draft as I could be. There are still two or three HUGE changes that I didn't make. One of them was something I've talked about before, that being the MC's mother being crazy. I was really stressing out about that, and I do plan to apply it, but after wailing about it to my critique partner, he finally said "Just leave it the way it is, let me read it, and we'll work it out together." This is why he's awesome- after that, I was able to step back and focus on the rest of the novel.

The revision was really hard, especially at the end. Even though I'd cleaned it up in draft three, I really cleaned it up this time. I made that timeline I posted a picture of, which was invaluable to figuring out what happened when. I cut some scenes and did a complete facelift on others, and I added a few, too.

Now that I'm "finished", I don't know what to do with myself. If I was ever bored, I'd work on my novel. Now... what? I think I may start plotting the rest of next year's NaNo, or at least time-lining out what I already have, since time is such a problem for me.

This morning, I put in the draft for my free proof copy from CreateSpace. They work with NaNoWriMo and give every winner a free proof copy of their book. I didn't do it last year because my book was nowhere near ready by June. While I know TOSOL will be undergoing major changes in the next few months, it's at a place right now that I want to preserve. I really like the MC's mother as a sane woman and I want to keep that draft somewhere before I have to dissolve her mind in the next one. Of course, just as with the films I'm in, I'll probably get the copy and hide it somewhere, but at least I'll have it!

Monday, June 20, 2011


For the past two nights, I've been doing something, writing-wise, that I've never done before, and that is tearing out scenes, rewriting them, and MAYBE sticking them in somewhere else.

Of course I've rewritten scenes before, I just recently pulled some scenes out (something I don't do a lot, unfortunately), and I've added new scenes. But last night, I knew I needed to buckle down and start finishing (start finishing? Odd and possibly incorrect pairing of words...) a few certain scenes in TOSOL.

The reason that this problem even exists is because I write out of order. While pacing-wise, the scenes were in the right places, they were almost the wrong scenes in the right places. My main character degressed from the maturity she gained halfway through the novel because I never revised the third training scene. In others, information was repeated or confusing.

This has happened before, but usually I'll just type away at them, cutting and rewriting until it seems like I've fixed the problem. But in order to fix this one, I needed to see all of the related scenes at one time so I could pick and choose what I needed from each one, as I knew a few would have to be combined with one another. I copied and pasted all of the specific scenes into one document, printed that out, and then tried to figure out what I needed. Once I knew the requirements for the first scene (which included much less from the original first scene- that'll be going in the third- and a ton from the fourth), instead of copy and pasting from the same document, I just retyped the whole thing. I'm so grateful I did this- copying and pasting allows me to be lazy, and I realized as I re-typed that if I had done the first option, I would have missed fixing a lot of tiny things.

Right now, I'm still trying to fix those scenes, but it's getting closer to the end. I'm actually kind of on a deadline right now: I really want the free proof copy of this version of the book, and one of my readers will be sans internet after the 26th of this month, so I need to get it to her before then. Rush rush rush...

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

My Novel is Playing Tricks on Me

Just the other day, I was revising in a very happy manner. Things seemed to be falling into place, and in a lot of ways, they still are. But in addition to the joy I can feel while working on TOSOL, I've also begun to feel the inevitable hate that (and, it seems, most writers) feel for their work at some point.

Right now, I like my characters, but I don't like their choices. Well, that's not true. Individually, their choices seem brave, sometimes selfless, and often something I wish I could do. But looking at them together, I'm starting to sense a message that I'm not sure I want to send. I can't even really say what it is, because I'm not entirely sure myself, but it runs along the lines of being rather anti-feminist, and I don't want that. I didn't set out to write a "I am woman, hear me roar" novel, but most of my characters are strong females and I think it's counteractive to have the cumulative message be what it seems to be.

I could be wrong about this. After all, it's been read a few times and no one's mentioned this. I'm very Type A, so there's a good chance that this is all in my perfectionist head. I also noticed that this "crap, am I being antifeminist?" worry only began to dawn after I began reading Libba Bray's fabulously empowering Beauty Queens.

My novel's also teasing me, as all of them seem to do, with knowing things about myself that I don't even realize. As I was revising yesterday, I started to see new meaning in some of the scenes I'd written, meaning that had always been there, speaking things I believe in or am scared of, but that I never consciously wrote to represent that. It's scary the way these things happen some times.