1. Bocere
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    Bocere Member

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    Hold me accountable!

    Discussion in 'Progress Journals' started by Bocere, Oct 7, 2015.

    Okay, solid, once I publicly list these goals there is (hopefully) no turning back!

    So I was filled with motivation - I was a writing/drafting/editing MACHINE for my current fantasy series... then I started querying the first book and in the midst of a storm of rejection the winds were 100% stolen from my sails... BUT NO MORE.

    Even if this project never sees the light of day, I will finish all four books, dammit, because I am a stubborn son-of-a-you-know-what.

    So here is my somewhat realistic action plan for the next few months:

    - Heavy edits on my second book, get draft number 3 to my crit partners. (deadline: November 7th)
    - Revise my full template outline for book three, hopefully do some preliminary drafting.(deadline for having something substantial on paper: January 1)

    :)

    Thanks, friends!
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2015
  2. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    You'd better be working on that second book right now or you're IN FOR IT. :supermad:
     
  3. Bocere
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    Bocere Member

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    Uh oh! BIG TROUBLE.
     
  4. Bocere
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    Bocere Member

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    UPDATE: Whoa. Creative epiphany time.

    While wrestling through my edits of book 2 in a bout of self-hatred today I realized why I am struggling so intensely with this - book 2 does a lot of character development, etc., but the main plot development that occurs in book 2 is centered around a character WHO DIES AT THE END.

    Why am I doing this to my reader? I feel like that's almost like reading a damned 300-page dream sequence, like "wait, so none of this mattered?"

    I mean of course SOME of it mattered, but not nearly enough to warrant a full book sidetrack like this.

    SO, new project: I am going to rip books 1 and 2 to shreds so that I can incorporate the vital elements from book 2 into books 1 and 3 while cutting out that dead-end story line altogether.

    Insane? Probably. Does it mean essentially throwing out 8+ mos of hard work? Pretty much, yeah. Will I have to revisit every character and rewrite every inch of what I have been working on for I-don't-even-wanna-talk-about-how-long? Yup. But this is the most excited, invigorated and energized I have felt about my writing in months, so I just know I'm headed in the right direction here.

    Putting a pause on querying AT ALL until...TBD, obviously, because I'm going to have to tear apart everything I've created and stitch it back together again, but I am the most confident in my plot that I've been in a long ass time, so I say - BRING IT ON.
     
  5. rainy_summerday
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    rainy_summerday Active Member

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    Wow, that sounds harsh. On the other hand, it seems like you are rising to the challenge. Maybe you are a writer who heavily relies on the inner perfectionist to drive you forward.
     
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  6. Bocere
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    Bocere Member

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    Yes and no, @rainy_summerday :) I am a perfectionist in many areas of my life so it's likely that's a giant piece of the puzzle here, but I'm also just a very new writer (in the sense of writing a full novel, at least).

    I think my first real attempt at a full-length novel series was a bit of a misfire in a lot of ways, but I truly believe in my overall concept, so I'm picking up the pieces and going for round two of this fight!

    Besides, the industry is always going to be pretty harsh, so if I'm harsh on myself as well I figure I might stand a better chance, both emotionally and professionally haha.
     
  7. DefinitelyMaybe
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    DefinitelyMaybe Contributing Member Contributor

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    I have sent the fleas from 1000 camels with the strict instructions to infest your socks should you not be working on your book.
     
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  8. Bocere
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    Bocere Member

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    Well that certainly sounds unpleasant, @DefinitelyMaybe - it's a good thing I have been obsessively drafting my new revised plot since I thought of this new potential idea! Tell the fleas to hold off for now! :p
     
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  9. Bocere
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    Bocere Member

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    Alrighty! I know I have taken quite a long break from these forums, but it was necessary. I was getting a lot of feedback, which is awesome, but it was getting to the point where I found I was trying to incorporate every comment and make everyone happy and I ended up hating everything about my story/life in general.

    Took a break, cleared my head and am now 36,000 words deep in my "revised" manuscript, although to say it is a "revised" version of the original is a gross misrepresentation as the story is going in a completely different direction. Instead of outlining it to death as I've done in the past I'm letting the characters grow into themselves and have a bit of a say in where their stories lead.

    I'm finding that I feel the results have been far better, and my faithful sounding board (my very patient husband) is liking this version of the story a lot better as well.

    The hardest part of all of this was being able to take a look at my original manuscript in the cold light of reality and say "This is not great writing." Were there some high notes? Sure. Some strong passages? I think so, but over all the story was a little clunky and there was nothing about the voice that screamed (or even whispered) 'unique.'

    I still have a long way to go, but racing toward the finish line ultimately left me with a pretty shoddy product last time, so as long as I'm working toward my goal and making progress that I'm proud of I'm not setting myself any concrete deadlines right now.
     
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  10. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Excellent!

    From the sounds of it, your first draft is what most first drafts are, especially for newish writers. So I wouldn't worry about that.
     
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  11. Bocere
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    Bocere Member

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    Back again!

    I have been a woman obsessed for the past few months, and I have just finished my first full draft of this new novel. It will be a stand-alone, no series, that's just where the story took me and I really like how I've ended things... Essentially to call it an "edited" version of the original is hilarious at this point, but my crappy first attempt was the starting point for this (hopefully much better) draft, so we'll call this a second attempt at that story.

    The draft stands at just over 115,000 words, so I'm getting kinda close to that 120k threshold, which makes me a little nervous. Obviously I know word counts are not the be-all end-all of writing, but I definitely want to make sure I'm not being verbose just for the sake of it anywhere in there.

    Taking a mental break from the work right now to get some distance, reading some of the published fantasy books on my increasingly long reading list to further immerse myself in the genre, and then I'll be back at it for editing sometime early in the new year, most likely!

    Hooray for positivity and taking a moment to listen to my own thoughts and ideas rather than trying to make everyone else happy with my work. We'll see if it ends up going anywhere as far as publishing is concerned, but as long as I'm happy with the results and proud of what I've written I think I'll be able to avoid slipping into utter despair like I did the last time I attempted to query.

    Thanks for reading! :) Happy Monday, and happy writing to all!
     
  12. Inks
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    Inks Contributing Member

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    I find that editing for most people brings word counts down as most writing is too verbose to begin with. By the time you refine and get precise in your words it is pretty common to knock 5-10% off in a simple pass. Congratulations on reaching part one of your goal, it is good to hit it huh?
     
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  13. Bocere
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    Bocere Member

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    Good! I hope I am able to shave off a little so I have some room to expand on any bare parts (only if necessary, of course) once my crit partners get a hold of it and bring to light all of the things I've left unclear :) And yes, it feels amazing to at least have the whole story down on paper, even if I know there's still a long way to go, it's all at least THERE, not just rocketing around inside my skull.
     

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