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... :-)
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.)
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...
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 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... )
- read-through edit of chapter 4
- Transcribe last week's edits on chapter 5
- Map out major changes for chapter 6
- revised action outline for chapter 6
- 10 pages of edit for chapter 6
- +3500 words
Chapter 6 is almost three times the size of my other chapters @7K. So I'm taking it in chunks.I already have a good idea where 1K of it is going to be culled. I'm really hoping that I don't have to do much heavy lifting with this one, I think it's kind of okay, but changes in chapter 5 have to be carried over into 6... so I'll see when I get there. It feel nice to be on the downward slope of this hellacious round of edits.
Chapter 3 @ ?/19,430
I'm a bit overwhelmed by this thing and the thought of rewriting the end half of chapter 5 is kind of daunting right now. I didn't have the energy to tackle it today, I opened it up, gave it one look and closed it back up again. But I will haul myself up and spend Saturday in a coffee shop trying to make a dent in it. I've not really hit any of my writing goals this week, but I suppose I still have two days. It feels like I'm wading waist deep through mud and words. I think this story has shown me that I am at the very least persistent. At least there is that.
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.
Chapter 2 @ 3,468/19,771
Still slow going but progress is being made. Work has been distracting and awful enough to get in the way of the focus I need to edit properly so well, things slowed down. On the up side, I spent the weekend editing/rewriting chapter 2 and it's finally taking shape. For me there's nothing more enjoyable than walking for miles then editing, and I got to do both. :-) Finishing up chapter 2 got me over the hump of "is this entire thing a loss" to "oh hey, this is starting to resemble something. I kind of like some of these words..." which is both relief-making and happy-making.
( Read more... )
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... )
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.
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... )
Chapters: 6 (draft 2)
Total @ 19,283
I FINISHED THE FUCKING DRAFT! This might have been one of my most difficult draft rounds. Way more rewriting than I wanted, but it was needed so it has been done. Now the story is vaguely story shaped, and some of the really hilarious non sentences, transposed words and confusing prose that happened during the fugue state that was my zero draft have been fixed.
Honestly I really don't have any idea how this draft is either. I plowed ahead and didn't look back once, I just made edits, rewrote where needed, tried to slash and moved on. I didn't want to dig in any deeper than I had to. I'm saving that for round... 4? The one after the part where I add in all of the parts I didn't know I needed when I started this thing.
The end is still REALLY rough. I cut about 1000 words from it today, after realizing that I had rambled past the interesting bits and was choking in the weeds of conversation and feelings talk. That shit can be spread out through the story I think. I don't really need/want a epilogue on this beast and that's what it felt like.
So now I print out this 85 page behemoth of wordy words and force myself to read it without editing it (I may have to remove the pens from the room), and then I will see what it really looks like. But that can happen tomorrow.
I'm a little nervous. I really hope it's okay. That said, I'm still very happy I am done with this round and somehow made my deadline.