Organizing My Thoughts

I write. Sometimes I write a lot. When my inspiration is running high, like during a NaNo challenge, I run 2000 draft words a day. That is a respectable pace, so I’m happy with that.  I used to do more before health issues interfered, but that 2k a day is as much as I can physically manage on a steady basis.

Some things, like most fanfic, I only do light editing or fill in missing facts, like the name of a specific space station in the setting.  Some fanfic requires more work to check on continuity in the 100k project. Fun stuff and parodies like a Gilligan’s Island piece go up faster.  But original work, especially heavy world-building make for a whole other kettle of fish. I feel fairly confident in my core ideas, my lead characters, and my overall plot. It’s the rest that I’m kind of wobbly on. I know theme and secondary characters are weaker.

So it’s revision for original works are my problem area, especially as I can’t afford an editor. So I want to have something top notch before I send them out.  A second opinion and noting brain-farts is more important than spelling and grammar at this point. Finding that honest opinion without giving away the cow is an issue. I have two original novel drafts, and I’m reluctant to start another novel until I figure out a better way to revise and finish those novels. I still want a thumbs up or down before I decide whether to seek a real publisher.

globe clear light bulb

old style light bulb, from pxhere

I’m still looking after ten years for a method better for editing than flailing about and running through a piece until the thought of one more pass makes me want more to shoot myself than look at it one more time. I’ve read articles and done classes, and I’m actually happy with a major revision I did last month. That is the exception, and the longer the work, the lower the confidence.

Sadly, several instructors I’ve found who seem compatable, are still in the 20th century, where piles of dead tree pages and huddling over a dining room table chaos is part of the writing package. People today, are more mobile, moving from place to place, and in between meals don’t have that luxury of spreading out and static resources.  Why can’t I apply digital analysis and tools to my work? This is organization and analysis if my work, not the raw rush of creation.  (Yes, I looked at Scrivener and yWriter but the latter just got in the way)  I want a tool that I can drop my finished draft in and let me organize and note things easily. Maybe  notice oopsies like the best friend only has 20 lines but a minor villain was featured for twenty pages.

I think something that lets me tag sentences, paragraphs and scenes with characters/roles/themes with checkboxes, and like a good modular code inherits from the higher level.  I may have to design my own database. It’s been a long time since my last and I am not looking forward to the timesuck. But I really want a better way to revise and work without scattered piles of dead tree pages.

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Belated Year in Review

Well, that was 2015.  With three cases of flu/pneumonia, I’m only getting up to speed again here in February. 2015 had some new writing achievements: I published several flash/short collections. I submitted for several publications, and I participated in an indie invitational collection. The collections haven’t sold all that much, but discussion seems to point to ten or twenty items for sale before it begins to snowball.  So for that I need to do a LOT more short fiction.
Read the Writing State of the Union

Whew, that’s a Big Task!

Now that I’ve had a couple of days to relax after that big sprint that is NaNo, I can look at revisions. The last original NaNo novel, a moderately epic fantasy about empowerment and freedom bogged down, because I could see problems overall, but had no idea what to do and how to start.

Shuffle them words!

Shuffle them words!

This year I decided to work on shorter fiction. Novels end up being like you putting all your eggs in one basket  and feedback (and hopefully) compensation lag way behind. So I worked hard, and finished five collections of mostly flash stories. I might be able to finish another set before the end of the year. I’d hoped for seven, so I could release an omnibus with fifty with the new year. Usually during most NaNo runs, I can write my 2k words plus a few short stories and such as a break.  This year, just NaNo was finished by the skin of my teeth.

I doubt I can sustain the 1500/day that I could do before the arrival of two new roomies. That doesn’t even include non-fiction writing, like blogs and tool/app experiments, and those can’t be cut much. It’s beginning to appear I cannot do any mix of short and long fiction.  Long is so much more labor intensive, and there I need second opinions. But I did make minuscule Kindle sales with the shorts. Which should I put my efforts towards for December? I can’t stop writing for the holidays, or it takes months to regain momentuum. Revising the NaNo w could take all my time for months, but so can the shorts collections treadmill.

As the Word Turns, pt 1

Still leaving aside the continuing drama of computers and routers (latest score: computers limping before final death 2, defective or fraud computer purchases 2, working router 1, router maker reluctant to send a RA 1) I’m trying to keep up on my writing despite these issues. I hit my goals for here and flash stories already.

I returned to work on a revision, because leaving unfinished projects gnaws at me. At issue is that I have three major revisions, one which has a July 1st deadline, the others less strict.  These revisions are jockeying for my attention and I want to work on them all.

But I can’t duplicate myself, and time is limited. I worked on one over the weekend, but while I’m not exactly blocked on it, the rewrite is not exactly flowing either. I planned to start the July one in earnest next month, as it’s copyedit stuff. The third has more extensive revisions and I want the others off the deck first.  Later tonight I may try to coax the one computer in hospice to cough up a gimp-made image for my flash collection.

That and watch Flash tonight.  It’s research… right?