mugenmine: (John Watson)
Gloomy Monday
Draft 1
1-4 (@20K)


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.
mugenmine: (John Watson)
Gloomy Monday
Draft 1
1-4 (@20K)


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.

mugenmine: (John Watson)
Stuck
Draft 5
Complete @  18071


Finished the last big pen and paper edit!! I actually finished on Sunday, but today I finished the transcribing of my chicken scratch to Scriviner. The final chapter ended up expanding a little and so the beast is at 18K total. I have another round to do this week to see if I've gone off the deep end but I think I'm okay. Hopefully I'm okay. Fingers crossed that I'm okay... This past edit was supposed to be a lighter go, but I had zero drafted so many changes that I really had to go in and rework a lot of stuff.  And 73 pages of stuff just takes time. I know it's still a flawed story, but it more or less conveys what I'm trying to say and I'm okay with that. I need to move onto something new.

The goal is still to start poking betas on Sunday. It's been over a year since I've pinged my oldest and dearest beta so I hope she remembers who I am and has the bandwidth to take a peek. She has been with me since the start so it would feel weird if I did this one without her, but people are busy and editing takes time!  A new and very kind and talented person has also offered to look at my story so I'm going to give that a go too. (Hopefully they're still up for it.) And finally I have my local friend who has also started betaing my stuff. I edit all of her original fic so it's a good trade. Hopefully they can help beat my messy story (and all of its errant commas) into place!

(Just read through the draft... Took an hour! It's in a bit better shape than I expected. Some bits in chapter 5 are still a little squirrelly, but I can clean it up. The final moment also needs a little massaging but it's kind of there. All manageable things.)

Trust me.

Aug. 4th, 2014 04:21 pm
mugenmine: (John Watson)
Stuck
Draft 5
Chapter 5 @  18063


Managed to get through most of chapter 5 this weekend. I'm down to 3 more pages but there needs to be some serious reworking done on those three and I just grew a bit tired. Balancing the transition between hesitation and agreement is still a bit up in the air, but with each pass I grow a little closer to what I want to say.  (words you not work so good!)

I'm feeling a bit of the "have I gotten worse" syndrome that was talked about in tumblr_refuge the other week. I feel this one is weaker than the ones that came before and I'm not sure how to fix it. Everything feels a little "white room syndromey" which is the problem of not giving a sense of the space. It might be because I'm writing about 221B and that in itself is a known entity, but not having the desciption of things on the page sometimes makes me feel like everything is a bit barren.  I know my style is simple prose but it all feels a bit too simple.

The read aloud cleanup round is helping a bit. I'm adding as I go to the spaces that feel a little thin and hopefully when I'm done it will be a bit thicker. I think I've been reading a bit too much of the lush prose lately and it's making me feel significantly "un-lush". But at the same time I kinda want to call it a day and kick the fucker out the door. I think that is an official stage in the writing process.

Hopefully I can finish up chapter 5 today and jump feet first into the final chapter 6 romp. That's always been the most together of the chapters so hopefully it won't be too painful.  Must finish soon. I'm aiming for 75% good for this one. A highish middling...
mugenmine: (John Watson)
Stuck
Draft 4
Chapter 5 @  ?/17,827


So my draft has lost about 2K words over the last two months. This is at least something. I've never had a fic so completely kick my ass before. It feels like I'm treading water at the moment, inching forward with tiny edits, and I'm still not convinced that it's good. A while ago, I finished(ish) my third draft and sent it off to my beta and then we both decided, yeah, this needs work. So I mapped out the chapters and sections where I needed to clarify and simplify intent and stretch emotional arcs that felt rushed and cut internal moments that went on for far too long and what about that non ending?  Well, that's a lot of stuff.

And more stuff... )
mugenmine: (John Watson)
Stuck
Draft 3
Chapter 3 @  ?/19,771


Somehow I'm still managing to keep up with my one chapter a week editing pace.  This usually ends up with me throwing hours at it over the weekend and I fall behind during the week, but making slow and steady progress has felt soooo good!  I just finished chapter 3 and am killing an hour before I wander down the hill to watch Video Games Live at the Paramout. Yay videogame music! So far my thought that I would have to rewrite less hasn't really come true. I'm still axing about 40% of all words and still writing the story out from under the story. We'll see with chapter 4! Fingers crossed, though I already have a few ideas of some shit that needs to get excised... But I am 33% finished! Yay and yikes...

I've started trying to be more strategic about writing outside of my current story. I had been just throwing words onto the page and writing blind on my next stories, but it began to feel like I was doing more harm than good. These zero drafts are becoming unwieldy, so I've changed tactics and have been throwing my extra words on doing scene outlines for future stories instead. This way I can lay out the basic idea of the story and  can start thinking about it as a whole. I had re-started the next sub!john story on my list  6 times because I didn't know where it was going. But since I went and took the time to do a two page overview of the story I think I can now go back with some success. That is the plan at least. I'm excited about the next story which is a good feeling. Now if I can just keep the momentum up with this one.
mugenmine: (John Watson)

Stuck
Draft 3
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... )
mugenmine: (John Watson)
Tighter
Draft 0
Chapter 2 @  538


I hit 50.1K tonight, which means I'm 33% of goal and given myself a 30 buffer in case I fall off a cliff. Crazy!

 I've taken a week long break from Stuck, mainly to give me some distance so when I go back in, I might have some objectivity. In the mean time though, words must be had so I've been noodling on the two next Sub!John stories. One is about 3 chapters and over 8K and the other is much smaller, a 4ish K 2-shot that I hope to finish soon. It's only two chapters for fuck's sake but I've got 5 versions of it already and keep trashing them... I need to step back from all of these and do some mapping because I'm basically writing blind.


So this week I'm doing the plan/edit thing for v3 of Stuck. Here's the game plan.


  • Draft new outline with updated plot/motivation

  • Flag outline inconsistencies on text

  • rewrite to updated outline

  • read through and general story flow


This is a bit more than I usually do in a single draft pass and I might wait on #4, but then I'll run the risk of what happened last time, plowing through while not looking back and ending up with a disappointing final read through. This way I'm at least making sure I leave the chapter in a half-decent state before I move on.

I'm looking forward to digging back in again. Hoping to make some headway on this giant mess of a thing.
mugenmine: (John Watson)
Stuck
Draft 3
Total @  19,283


I was hoping that [livejournal.com profile] 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... )

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