Saturday, December 29, 2012

Day Two of Real Editing

Today went slightly better.  I'm really beginning to think that Stephen King was not messing around when he suggested waiting to read the first draft for 6 weeks in his book 'On Writing'.  I look forward to taking a few weeks completely off while my friend (or friends? depending on other possible volunteers) reads the draft I'm working on now.  So far I'm just mostly having to change around confusing sentences and fix up descriptions.  I remember from the read through, however, that there are sections throughout the manuscript where I will want to completely rewrite areas and add in new scenes altogether, so those days will take me a lot longer, I'm sure.

As of right now, I've finished the Prologue and Chapters 1-3.  I am getting more confident about the writing quality, though I still have terrifying moments where I think it's absolutely horrible.  No matter what, I'm going to stick with the editing until I'm done, then see what my friend thinks of it, and go at it again.  This part of the process has had a weird mixture of detached editing and creative moments.

So far it's moving along quickly enough.  I even had time to go to the Phoenix Zoo with my husband and daughter between edit sessions:

New Year's Eve is only a couple of days away!  I am beginning to think it's my favorite holiday of the year.  I love the feeling of changing my habits for the better and getting to share that feeling with thousands of people all over the world makes New Year's a pretty awesome time of year.  

Friday, December 28, 2012

Past the read through...on to the real editing.

This part of the process really freaked me out today.  I started off with this great superior feeling, thinking 'it's going to be easy to edit this masterpiece because I'm obviously awesome at writing', and by the time I got through the first page of my manuscript (it's part of a prologue, no right off the bat I'm hearing the critics in my head scream at me), I was sourly aware of the fact that this is going to be a long, hard road.  I really ended up starting to think I'm terrible at this.  What made it worse was when I read each sentence aloud and thought 'this sounds like awkward rambling'.

Just like every day of writing the first draft produced different qualities, I fear that every day of editing will change depending on my mood.  And today, I was in an awful, horrible, cranky mood.  I have no good reason why I've been so moody all day.  Maybe I'm coming down with PMS?  Who knows.  Maybe my thyroid medication is making me feel short tempered and easily aggravated?  I really don't know, but for some reason, I have been on the verge of snapping at everyone and everything all day long.

So even with my terrible mood and harsh mental critics, I still think I got through the prologue (which I'm still considering ditching, even though it feels right) and chapter one.  So that's pretty good for a first day, right?  And with 33 chapters total (3 is my favorite number, so even though I ended up with 33 chapters by chance, I'm planning on trying to keep that amount all the way through), the whole process should only take about 17(ish) days, right?  I'm actually going to put that in my little notepad (a moleskin storyboard notebook I got with a Barnes n Noble gift card from my sister for Christmas-I'm going to try using it to keep track of edits I want to make and issues I find with the story).  Since keeping track of my progress and working with a goal in mind worked really well for me with the actual first draft, I think I need to keep that kind of accountability for the editing process.

The plan is to finish the editing, then read the whole thing again.  If the actual overall story sounds okay, I'll make little edits here and there (silly grammar errors and issues like using the wrong person's name) then send it to Dan to read.  I'm hoping that happens before the end of January.  Then more edits in February and maybe I'll be ready to query it out by March (...I turn 30 on March 3rd...).

So here's to getting through the rest of the edit days without too much aggravation!


Thursday, December 27, 2012

First Read Through and New Year's Resolutions

I'm just about finished reading my book for the first time, start to finish.  I definitely have quite a few edits to make but there are both parts that I feel are extremely amazing, and parts I feel that really need work.  The amazing parts really do make me feel good though.  I would read a whole section thinking 'I wish I knew what I was doing the day I wrote this part because it's such better quality writing than the next page or two'.

I'm totally a New Year's Resolution type gal so, of course, I have a few ready for this upcoming Jan. 1st.  I will just go ahead and make a list for you...

1.  Make every effort in my power to get my book published.
2.  Make every effort in my power to get a good job.
3.  Enjoy exercising again (this past year was my first ever that I stayed active on a regular basis all year, so it has lost a lot of that 'fun' quality since becoming so routine).
4.  Do yoga more often (3-4 times a month, at least).
5.  Meditate more (5 times a week, at least).

My average amount of time of actually following my annual resolutions is only about 4-5 months, so I was worried about putting the first two resolutions on the list for fear that I'd quit on them just to stay consistent, but I figured number 2 is in crucial need of getting accomplished in month 1, and hopefully number 1 won't need more than 4-5 months (that's probably about when I'd get discouraged enough to quit for a while anyway).  Whew, that was a long sentence, but I think it makes sense.

So with the Christmas holiday coming to an end, and the New Year just around the corner, I'm really spending a lot of time daydreaming about what I want my 2013 year to look like.  The number 13 has always scared me, so hopefully this year gives me a reason to reevaluate why I let superstitions get the best of me.

No matter what happens in the coming year, I'll always remember 2012 and my final year in my 20s as the one I finally wrote my book :)

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

:) :D :) :D :) (but also a really really big :'''''( for the events that took place in CT)

I made it to 70,170 words yesterday!  And though I wanted to go up to 75,000 words, I ended up hitting the end of the story, therefore, I'm done writing my book!!!  I've finally written an entire book!!! I'm going through already for the first edit (Stephen King suggested waiting 6 weeks before the first reread, but I don't think I have that kind of willpower, especially since I'm unemployed NOW and might have a much busier life in 6 weeks).


The events that took place on Friday morning make me want to cry forever for the families who lost their young children, and for those children who didn't get to continue experiencing the long and happy lives they deserved to live.  I have no idea how someone could be capable of even contemplating such horrible actions and I wish someone could invent a time machine and give that day a do-over...and have it end with those kids getting tucked in like any other normal Friday night.


Sunday, December 9, 2012

17 Days :D

I will be finished writing my FIRST EVER FULL BOOK in only 17 Days!!!!!  You know, as long as I keep writing a thousand words a day for 17 days (and I'm way too excited about this book to slack off this close to the end).  It's moving along wonderfully too.  Some last minute decisions were made on the ending today too...things that will help for the next one.  There will probably be about four total, I think?

I can't wait to edit it enough to be able to start submitting it to agents.  Holy crap am I excited about this entire makes my skin tingle.

Changing the subject...

It's definitely the holiday season in the Dillman household.  My husband got me my Christmas present yesterday and was able to wait about 30 whole minutes before he had to give it to me (he did wrap it though).

A DSLR Camera!!

YAY!!!!  And I'm already having a ton of fun with it :)

                ~~~~Merry Christmas!!!!!!!!~~~~~~~

I also got a wifi SD card...which I purchased for myself a couple of days earlier.  It's called an Eye-Fi SD card and when it's used in a camera, it automatically uploads the photos taken with the card to the program of my choosing (iPhoto, please).  It has been working flawlessly and is really changing the way I use my camera.

So all in all, today was a really excellent day.  In fact, this weekend has been really amazing.  I can't even express how excited I am that I'm finally accomplishing a goal I have wanted to achieve since I was single-digit aged.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

74% and a Timeline :)

I am 74% through my manuscript and the story is parallel in its storyline to the amount of words I have written for it.  Today, I just took a really fun turn in the story (kind of an awful twist, but it had to be done).  The idea came to me while I was walking my dog the other night, and it was one of those 'Ah Ha!' moments.  What made it even better was the fact that it was over a mile and a half into the walk and I was passing my street and debating whether or not I should just finish the walk early.  I toughed it out and the creative book idea side of my brain rewarded me for it.

In this extra 3/4 of a mile, I pretty much came up with the final really exciting climax of the book.  The end is going to have to work itself out but I know pretty much how it needs to go.  This climax was something I didn't really have yet but it fit the whole story perfectly.

A week or two ago I purchased the book '2013 Guide to Literary Agents' on Amazon and I started reading through it a few nights ago.  I'm really excited about the whole process I'm going to go through to see if I can get my book published.  Here's my planned timeline:

December 31, 2013:  Finish the first draft

January-March, 2013:  First read through and edit (also take notes on major issues I need to work on..I'm going to take advice from Veronica Roth and her blog post entitled Revision, Day One: The Read Through).  

March 3, 2013: Turning 30 (AHHHHHHH)!

March, 2013:  Sending the manuscript to my friend in Louisiana for a first read through (thanks Dan!)

April-May, 2013:  Revisions and more revisions (tips from Dan and second read through after fixing major issues)

June, 2013:  Sending inquiries to agents

July and on, 2013:  Get an agent, publish book, become successful best-selling novelist. 

Some of those things might not go exactly as planned but it's a rough estimate.

So yea...lookin good! :)

I'm allowed to be disgustingly optimistic right now because I'm still just writing the first draft...after I get a million rejections I'll definitely change my tune.