1. zoupskim
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    zoupskim Contributing Member Contributor

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    Zoupskim's Resolution

    Discussion in 'Progress Journals' started by zoupskim, Jul 19, 2016.

    Editing for "Proxy Soldier" formerly "Straft" continues, a Cyberpunk Military Novel

    This journal will help me keep track of my efforts to transform my manuscript into a completed novel, worthy of beta reads and critiques.

    Current editing methods: Alpha Reads, and The Oral Edit. With the entire manuscript complete, I will read the story out-loud to myself and take notes.

    Goals of Alpha Reads:

    -Get open, first impressions of my story.
    -Get open, first impressions of my 'style'.

    Goals of Oral Edit:

    -Note any places where the phrasing causes me to stumble, the wording feels confusing or out of place, or my mind seems to wander from the text.
    -Record how long each chapter takes to actually read.
    -Ensure the theme of the story is present in the text, as opposed to simply in my mind.
    -Continue to check for spelling and grammar issues, and setting, character, plot inconsistencies.

    Manuscript Wordcount: 94,718

    Words Edited:
    Words Cut:

    New Critique Notes

    +My 'war story' reads like a 'war story'.
    +Interesting Characters.

    -Linebreaks lack style. They need to drive/separate/enhance the action.
    -Technobabble is still present. I need to explain what things are in a more clear manner.

    General Notes: I have two Alpha readers as of writing this. Their notes on the first chapter have already given me a wealth of knowledge and insight into the limitations and strength of both my story, and my writing 'style'.

    ------------------------------------------------------------
    COMPLETE

    Editing for "Straft" begins now, a Cyberpunk Military Novel

    This journal will help me keep track of my efforts to transform my first draft into a Novel-length manuscript, worthy of alpha reads and further editing.

    Current editing method: The Close-In Edit. With the entire first draft complete I will go through the manuscript from beginning-to-end for a complete rewrite.

    Goals of Close-In Edit:

    -Correct all spelling and grammar issues.
    -Check for and plug any major plot holes.
    -Check that all scenes are required to present the story, editing or adding as necessary.
    -Ensure the three main point-of-view characters properly present their ideas, their three voices conveying the themes of the story.
    -Ensure all setting information is consistent within the universe.

    1st Draft Word Count 183,465
    Remaining Word Count: 69,073
    Edited Words: 119,845


    2nd Draft Word Count: 94,718

    Words Edited: 5,294
    Words Cut: 1,171


    Critique notes:

    +I possess some technical skill, and am capable of constructing competent narrative arcs.
    +I can write action scenes that make sense, with some described as easy to follow
    +I am good at building tension, both with action and narrative.
    +My ideas and concepts are creative.

    -I am poor at establishing settings. I need to ensure the background is set before just getting into the action.
    -I insert needless "stage direction" during dialog. I need to let the characters just talk.
    -I overuse technical jargon, such as military lingo or scientific babble. I need to ensure ideas are conveyed simply.
    -Copulative writing. I need to rely less on weak, conjoined verbs.
    -Far too many 'was' words. Direct action is better than saying someone 'was about to do something.'
    -I use pedestrian dialog. I need to make sure secondary characters only speak if I need to establish them in a scene, I am trying to layer on their personality, or they actually do something.

    General Notes: I developed and adhered to a planned story framework, and the draft is divided into approximately 34 chapters of 3000-5000 words each. I wrote this draft without spellcheck, grammarcheck, or wordcount, transcribing every bit of story and idea I could into the narrative. I expect to edit out a lot of fluff and redundancy.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2016
  2. zoupskim
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    zoupskim Contributing Member Contributor

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    Tonight I spent two hours organizing my editing notes, and an hour actually editing the first chapter. Mostly the scene needed to be changed due to technical changes I made to the setting.
     
  3. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I have so much faith in you. :agreed:

    When you're famous, I want an autographed copy, I'll pay, or trade you for mine. :D
     
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  4. zoupskim
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    zoupskim Contributing Member Contributor

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    You're the best, and I'll send you a copy whether it's published or not.

    My biggest worry is that I am skipping the mandatory month/year/lifetime of cool-down time I hear mentioned so much, but I figure an honest, simple, 'ironing' of the setting and characters can't hurt right away.
     
  5. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    What I see in your writing is an incredible talent for describing a fictional setting in a hilarious way. Seriously, stuff floating off a desk in space where there is no gravity, and the characters taking it all in stride, that was creativity.

    I don't know anything about a mandatory month/year/lifetime of cool-down time, sounds too formulaic for me. I can't be bothered with traditions. I've been writing a novel for four and a half years now, but I've also been learning how to write during that same time period. I am pleased as punch with how it is turning out and I think I can honestly say, I know how to write now. Doesn't mean I don't have more to learn. But it does mean, to me anyway, that there is no one way to do this.

    You have a talent. If you don't yet know how to channel that into a novel, it's only a matter of time and effort. Go for it.

    When you are ready for a beta reader, I'm interested.
     
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  6. zoupskim
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    zoupskim Contributing Member Contributor

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    July 19th

    I finished organizing all the notes I made as I wrote the manuscript, combining phone documents, two smallish journals, and computer notes into an editing outline. It took me an hour, but this should be last big administrative task before time can be completely devoted to editing.

    As expected, most BAD writing was setting related, with some notes I made literally saying "add setting here". Sometimes, I drop the narrative POV smack dab in the middle of people interacting, without ANY set up, or any description of where they are.

    Character motivations seem consistent, and the plot rhymes with itself, with events all mirroring each other and emphasizing the same themes.

    Something random and unexpected is my paragraph length in the first chapters. Early on in the manuscript my paragraphs are much longer, stretching to as many as ten to twelve complex sentences. I do not know why this is, or if it is a problem.

    Words edited today: 2839
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2016
  7. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    "add setting here" I have those. :p
     
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  8. zoupskim
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    zoupskim Contributing Member Contributor

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    Long day at work, but I managed to finish revising the first chapter/prologue of the draft.

    I cut a lot today, editing out a lot of redundant movement. "He moved, then he moved, moving so move-like it was eerie in an... unnatural, movey sort of way."

    Words edited today: 988
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2016
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  9. zoupskim
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    Edited half the 2nd chapter that seemed pretty good. I fixed some setting inconsistencies, but for the most part just SPAG.

    Words edited today: 2,512
     
  10. zoupskim
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    I cut a lot today, but brevity is something I have learned to appreciate. A lot of sentences had sentences following them that said the exact same thing, only different. The outline seems to have served its purpose. None of my scenes so far seem needless, with setting getting layered on gradually as a battle goes on. We learn about an army and their city, then another army and their different methods. I am making a point to edit out a lot of military jargon, but I will need betas for the final say on that. There seems to be a fine line between sounding like a military story, while not getting bogged down with the insider babble that is radio conversations.

    Words edited today 1,976
     
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  11. zoupskim
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    I read a lot about editing today, Teach Me How to Edit! trying to glean advice from a lot of smart and caring members of this forum. A lot of forum member say I need Betas NOW, but I'm going to wait a little. I don't want to WASTE Betas on crappy, early writing. I want it to have some sort of proper story complete before I seek advice, as opposed to what I consider a slightly fleshed outline.

    Am I wrong? If I am tell me.

    I edited eventually. All jokes aside, outlining works. The chapter fed off the other two, while explaining questions raised earlier. I daresay a narrative is forming.

    Words edited today: 2,820
     
  12. zoupskim
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    I thought editing would be hard, and was honestly sooo afraid to actually start, but now that I am in full swing it is addictive. Its like ironing a uniform, the little creases and misshapen cloth forming under my will. I actually enjoy when I find a horrible part, because I get to rewrite and rethink, the story becoming fresh and crisp in my mind.

    I cut SOOO much fluff today, and it made me happy. However, I also ADDED a small scene today, one I determined was needed a few months ago as I wrote. Nothing special, just some setting establishing actions.

    Words edited: 3940
     
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  13. Iain Aschendale
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    I'll swap you that beta you offered when you're ready. Mine is still a long way off.
     
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  14. zoupskim
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    Thanks a bunch. Mines got a bit to go as well.
     
  15. zoupskim
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    I rewrote a whole chapter today, changing the entire content of a scene, while RETAINING its purpose in the story. This is due to setting adjustments I made in the middle of writing. It was fun to see old, random and ideas and concepts writing replaced by the later, more clearly defined setting. The core was in the earlier version, it just needed a better skin.

    After this change I took a break, then RE-edited it, to make sure it actually got a little actual editing.

    Words edited today: 4,859
     
  16. zoupskim
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    Late night editing bonus!: 500 words
     
  17. zoupskim
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    Today I began a series of extremely complicated, but carefully planned rewrites. The POVS in the next six chapters are mixed sloppily, with all three primary POVs sharing the chapters with no order. The content is there, it is just painful to slog through, and impossible to comprehend. It sucks.

    My plan:

    -Compress into three chapters
    -CH1: Character 2 and Character 3 views on setting
    -CH2: Character 1 view on setting
    -CH3: Character 2 and Character 1 statement of beliefs and plan of action for next part of story.

    This section is important. Motivations need to be clear for the next big event. The reasons for the decisions that are made must be clear.

    Words Edited: 1,657
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2016
  18. zoupskim
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    No editing tonight. Working a range.

    Words edited: 0 (failure)
     
  19. zoupskim
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    Still at range.

    No Edits: 0
     
  20. zoupskim
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    -CH1: Character 2 and Character 3, views on setting.

    Almost done with this chapter, just a few more paragraphs. Its funny. I had all the right elements for this part, but they were all over the place like a bag of inside-out hot dogs...

    You can keep that metaphor in your head for a while.

    I was all hot and bothered from not getting to edit or write for two days straight. It shows in how much I managed to cover tonight.

    Words Edited: 5389
     
  21. Lifeline
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    Lifeline The Dark - not in Wonderland Supporter Contributor

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    Keep on the good stuff here, I am learning from looking at your learning curve :)

    Also: me <- offers to Beta when needed.
     
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  22. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    If you'd like, PM me your best half chapter and I'll give you feedback on whether I think your Betty Baxter creativity carries over into your other work.
     
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  23. zoupskim
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    zoupskim Contributing Member Contributor

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    Can I just flat out READ your book? :)

    I'm afraid of you saying it's not any good, but that's too bad for me.

    Ill send something ASAP, although I'm trying to think of what's got the weirdest elements. You pick.

    *Content removed by me due to probably belonging in the workshop*
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2016
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  24. Lifeline
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    Lifeline The Dark - not in Wonderland Supporter Contributor

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    Hah! You wish! First.. will take a whole lot time to finish first draft - you know I am a perfectionist ;) Still not finished with ch2 but the ocean interferred (look at my status messages here) *sigh*. Slow going, but I am getting better *pats myself on the back*.
     
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  25. zoupskim
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    What I read from you was a lot better than my first run through.
     

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