Okay so chapter 1 is going to need a massive rewrite before I can start the line edits. The attempt at line editing has shown me this. (Surprise! You’re not ready!) I really shouldn't be too shocked, this story took about 5K of useless words to get the start going, to find something that kind of stuck, so yeah, the end results were that were just that, I have something that gave me a direction to go in but it's still a basic mess. Words on a page, but not the right ones. So I need to rewrite the start into something better. The upside is that maybe I can line edit chapter 2, that at least is more coherent. I think I know how to start it. I think. The downside is that I fear this story is going take me 4500 years. Maybe, maybe.
Read through 80 pages of the first draft at a coffee shop. I didn’t weep, so that’s a good sign, but man.. so much work ahead of me.... The one good thing is that I think the bones are still the right ones. But overall, the entire thing ranges from fair to middling to WRONG!! Oddly enough the parts I had written off as being difficult to write and assumed would end up the weakest bits (brawling and sexytimes) ended up being the strongest bits. O_o. The other parts (Cafe Society and laying things on the table) just made me tired thinking about how much work they would need. This beast will require so much redrafting to get off the ground. Where to begin, where to begin? So pretty much: chapter 1 and 3 not so great, chapter 2 and 4 marginally better but still will need to be more or less completely rewritten. (I looked back at the old blogs for when I started the edit on my last story and as usual, I seemed to have gone through the exact same thing with The Escape Artist, but perhaps more severely so. I think that thing took 8 drafts...) Well what will be will be. Tomorrow starts the blue penning of doom.
Complete @ 17500
I pinged my second beta after a year and a half hiatus. She's in! So now my story is in London awaiting a good look over. This is always a kind of exciting part of the process, shipping your work off to be scrutinized. But they always come back with crazy good suggestions and fine points that I have missed and save me from posting something with giant plot holes and crazy grammar issues. So YAY again for lovely lovely betas. (This one has been with me from the very start so she is near and dear to my heart.) I feel lucky that she took me on when I was so new to fanfic and fandom :-D
Complete @ 17500
I am in beta!! Its kind of crazy. I finished up the polish round last night at midnight after having basically dedicated all day Saturday and Sunday to editing. There were a lot of breaks and rounds of Candy Crush, and TV breaks for Doctor Who and Outlander, and True Blood and Teen Wolf, but I only left the house to get food and coffee.
I still think it needs work, but more of the noodly kind so far (pairing down overly used words, etc.). I guess the beta rounds will tell me if I've lost or not. At this point I really can't tell, which is the best time to send out for reserves. So it's currently in the hand of my technical editor friend. I apologized in advance for my comma abuse and grammar mishaps.
I think what I'm looking for is if the story fits into the string of previous ones, if motivation seems okay, if the characterization within my verse is consistent, if everything doesn't feel overly batshit crazy, and if I have any "defies the laws of physics" type action. I don't think I do, but when you work on something for so long you tend to forget that others can't see into your head and maybe you didn't translate something as accurately as you think you had.
So now I wait for feedback, then I make changes and send it out again. This is the both nerve-wracking and good part of the editing process. Having fresh eyes on any story is so needed. I just hope I've gotten what I want to on the page. You really never know. Also I have to start on something new! I still don't know!! I'm still at a complete loss as to the next story in this damn series. Not a clue. Hoping for inspiration.
Chapter 5 @ 18071
The final push is on! My local beta told me that next week is the optimal time for her to edit my story, and since her time is EXTREMELY limited, I told her by hell or high-water I would get her a draft by Sunday night. So today is the full on press. I edited chapter 2 yesterday and finished 3 and 4 today. (Just finished 4 a few minuted ago.) I keep telling myself that I'm going to finish 5 and 6 as well tonight, but 5 and 6 are about 50% of the damn story so I'm a little doubtful. If I can get through chapter 5 tonight then I'm looking good. It's been a good day with good food and good progress.
It seems surreal that I'll actually have this draft complete when I claimed I'd have it done! That never happens! Before the beta timeline shortening, I was content with finishing it up by the end of next week, but now, it's on. IT'S ON!!
I'm making mostly superficial changes but it's growing smoother for it so I'm so far happy with this round. Chapter 5 is almost 3K so I might take a Doctor Who break before I dive in. gotta check out this new Capaldi guy... :-)
Chapter 4 @ 18063
Rumbling along! Moving a little slower than I would like but progress is steady. I'm back to the triple rounds cadence. Editing chapter 4, transcribing chapter 3, and polishing chapter 2. It's nice to shake it up a bit by doing different things all at once instead of doing all three to one chapter at a time. I just finished a line edit of chapter 4 which is nice. I'll be more than happy to dig back into chapter 5 tomorrow. It is the roughest as most of it was rewritten last time round so it's still kind of zero drafty. It reads better but I still feel like the transition I need is too abrupt. (Less so than before but still there, so hopefully it only needs a wee bit more of refining. )
My word quota has dropped significantly as well... I'm not writing for writings sake anymore. I found that I was wasting my words on things I probably wasn't going to peruse just to get a quota out and that ultimately didn't seem like a good way to be spending my time. Now that I'm solely focused on finishing this story, I feel good, as now it might actually get finished. But I know I'll be at the risk of not getting the 150K done for the year. Slowly getting over that.
Once I start a new story then it will be all word growth but until then I'm kind of treading water. But progress is progress. I'm at about 95K for the year.
Right now all I want to do is finish this damn thing and kick it out the door. I'm so close to beta round, I can feeeeeeel it!
Chapter 3 @ 18063
Progress is being made. I've pushed through the first two chapters of line editing and am making decent headway on the third. Line editing is a fun yet sometimes nerve wracking thing. Occasionally I'll hit a paragraph that refuses to unfuck itself. You know the ones... the action is there but the words are not in the right place or it's not quite conveying what you want to say and you shuffle words around trying to get it to read right. I've set up a general rule. If I can't make it work in ten minutes then perhaps it really will not work. So needless to say there's been a bit of culling. Which is always good. I'm feeling more or less okay about the story as a whole, but I'm a little worried about what will come next.
I always know way in advance what the next story in the series will be. I have a line of them all queued up and more or less ready to start. But this one has thrown everything into a spin. I have no idea what I'm going to do next. I know what has to be done, but not the story that will get them through that arc. This is both exciting and worrisome. I suppose that's the nature of stories. Sometimes they shift slightly and knock down your foundation... well no. I guess I just thought I was a bit more rigid in my planning. But the motivation, no matter how much I think I've planned has a way of changing out from under me. For the better I believe, but I kind of wish I'd give myself a heads up somehow instead of bumbling through a reset each time... :-)
So anywho, I'm out there looking for a story spark that doesn't make me roll my eyes, or cry foul. I suppose like my AU Sherlock who has to figure out what he will do next to sort things out, I have to figure out what to do next to sort things out. After I post this current story I might have to pick people's brains... brains....
Chapter 1 @ 18063
Finally the noodley work can proceed! Fun things! I did the draft 4 read through the other week and it was okay. As usual, there are some bits that flow and most of the freshly rewritten parts are hella rough. But thankfully it's the right shape, although it's deflated in some bits. This week I ended up adding about 1K to chapter five as the big decision part was so abrupt that it was laughable. It went something like this:
Yeah I had thought I had fleshed out the whole eventual transition but it still needed some buffer inbetween to not feel so damn rushed so I took a few days padding that one out.
I've finished my rewrite!!! It kind of felt like it would never happen, but one word at a time does eventually get you to the end. (Go figure!) I'm happy to put draft 4 to bed. From here I refine and cull. I'm at 17.5 but I really hope to be at a smaller number when I'm done. I've included all of the feedback and changes I received from my first beta and tomorrow after I get all my hair cut off again, I'll read all 17.5K words. At this point I have no idea if it works or not or if the changes will fit, but I hope they work. So much has and hasn't changed, and hopefully it's a cleaner story for it. It's at least a simpler story.
The rules for the read are as follows. Don't pick up the pen, no matter how hard you want to strike through that extraneous word, no pens. Just reading. And perhaps coffee. And there's this lovely apple pull apart cake thing I like... I might go for that to help the words go down easier.
This is still the longest one yet by 2.5K. Not much but they do continue to grow. It will be lovely to continue the story. I really have no idea what folks will think about this one. Well I suppose you never really do.
Chapter 2 @ ?/17,827
After another day of not writing due to presentation rehearsal, I've finally gotten back to the story. Making headway, however small, is a good feeling. I've finished the initial rewrite of chapter 5 which was to basically extend the emotional arc of the scene, so hopefully I've been able to do that. I've not gone back to see my results as I'm plowing ahead in the goal of getting this round of rewrites done and then I will go back and start adding the spackle. So today is the chapter 2 rewrites (which are significantly smaller.) That chapter is more or less okay, there's just one bit of melodrama that needs to be toned down and I know what needs to go.
( More rambling below... )
Chapter 1 @ 1555
Finally! I'm getting there! I've hit the editing sweet spot. I've been waiting forever for this! For me the best part of writing is after a few rounds of edits and the story is pretty nailed down(ish) and you get to start looking at things on a line level and focus on word choice and the fun stuff.
I'm attempting a kind of a hybrid version of this. I'm still doing quite a bit of rewrites, while also massaging the text. I'm hoping to combine draft 3 and 4 in a way. This round will probably take a bit longer, as I'm doing two large steps at once, but I think this might work better then doing two rounds. I've gotten it to the point where I can start to read it out loud as I edit, as it's finally useful. The goal is that when I get out of this MEGADRAFT I'll be close to beta time.( Read more... )
Total @ 19,283
I was hoping that percygranger's prediction that the draft would be better than I expected would be a reality, but unfortunately it's actually the opposite. Holy crap there's so much work that needs to be done. My first read through left me a bit numb. That kind of numb you get when you suddenly realize that you are light years behind where you hoped to be. My second idea was to shelve it and call it a loss. I just don't know if the story is strong enough to want to plough through it. My third idea was that I was a hack and really shouldn't be doing this kind of thing, but that faded after sleeping on it, and sleeping through 4 alarms and being late to work this morning.
Idea 4 is that I think I'm going to keep on working it.
( Read more... )
My head is spinning, I just did the final round of edits and have sent the story off to my first reader…
Somehow the story is now 15,050. I have shaved this llama down by 6k. I think that is my record, slashing 1/3rd of my story… I have no idea how it got so bloated!! WIN!
Why is it 1:00 AM? I’m taking tomorrow off.