I am kaitco

a writer's log

No power Saturday, June 30, 2012

Filed under: Dorienne,Writing — kaitco @ 11:44 pm
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Sometimes, there just isn’t anything that you can do…

I was fully prepared to spend this weekend keeping up my editing momentum and continuing on with the first chapter again, but Mother Nature likes to do her own thing and I have no choice to bend to her wiles.

I’ve been without power since yesterday afternoon and, since the electric company is projecting to have the outage corrected by July 7th, (yes, seven full days and nights from now), I won’t be writing much.

I’ve finally found a hotel room, one with power and that actually had room available, but it won’t be available until tomorrow afternoon, so perhaps I’ll get the break I really need will commence with the editing once I’m safe in a hotel with power.


30-Day 5K – Day Twenty-Eight Thursday, June 28, 2012

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 12:05 pm
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I think I know why completing this edit feels so anti-climatic. I know and have known for quite some time that this is not the end. Unlike March 18, 2008 at 11:24pm, I know I’m not “done.” There’s more to do; loads more.

But, before I dwell on all the things that are left to do, I’ll focus on what has been done.

On Thursday June 28, 2012 at 4:07am, three months and ten days after completing the book, I finished my first edit of Damen.

On December 31, 2011, I had sat down and wrote a note to myself titled “My New Year’s Resolution, Version 27.2012.” Apart from losing weight and going to church every week, the number one item on the list was “Finish the damn novel (it’s been four years already).” I can’t say much for the other four items on the list (though, I’ve been on my best church attendance streak since I was first saved), but I can at least say that it’s possible that I may achieve this goal this year.

A primary edit of Damen is complete and that, regardless if there is a secondary or tertiary or quaternary edit to follow, is an accomplishment!

Since next week is the Fourth of July and I’ve got a day off in the middle of the week, I may save my Downton Abbey/Minecraft marathon for then, but now I can just revel in an achievement achieved for a brief time.


30-Day 5K – Day Twenty-Seven Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Filed under: Dorienne,Writing — kaitco @ 11:56 pm
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I’m not entirely sure how many words I finished today; it doesn’t really matter in the long run since I’ve decided to finish this thing tonight. I’ve been making life-changing decision like this all day.

I’ve finally made up my mind and I’ve decided to go back to school and get my Master’s degree in Computer Science. I know where I’ll apply and I spent a lot of today just looking into the preqs I’ll need to just take the preqs to get into the program, which led me to my decision to start this fall with some basic math classes to give me a refresher.

While I took up through three-dimensional calculus when I was 18, I have taken a math since and, at 27, I’m far too rusty to attempt this “Discrete Math” course I’ll need to take to even start this program.

None of this means that I’ll be giving up my master dream of becoming a published author, but my Plan B has been looking a little haggard lately and if I remember correctly, I was most enthused to create when it was a joy in my life in the midst of all my studying, rather than a second full time job with no benefits.


30-Day 5K – Day Twenty-Six Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 11:51 pm
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Between the early hours of this morning and the latter hours of this evening, I edited 6770 words (away at the end of the period). I have a bit less than 18K words left to review in the book and I’ve got exactly 40 pages left in the document, so the end is near and all that…

I haven’t much to post about this evening since I’ve finally hit some momentum after sitting and staring at my laptop for most of the evening and then daydreaming when I hit a block.

I don’t hit blocks very often, but when I do, I just want to have a temper tantrum. Nothing is more frustrating than a block, so I’ll end this now, lest all this writing about blocks creates one.


30-Day 5K – Day Twenty-Five Monday, June 25, 2012

Filed under: Gaming,Writing — kaitco @ 11:50 pm
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Today was a good day. I removed an entire chapter because all 2400+ words of it was just plain dribble and was summarized nicely in the following chapter. I got through a total of 6396 words tonight (sketch after sketch of Brit’s eyes) and have just 7 chapters left in this edit.

I also played around with some Minecraft texture packs and a couple mods and showed some restraint in not starting a brand new project to add a mini-Mincraft image site to kaitco.net since I’ve still got this novel to finish, so it was very good day.

In keeping with this good day, I’m going to do something I’ve not had the resolve to do for most of this month and keep writing after hitting my daily 5K goal. At the start of this month’s quest, I would write for hours, post and then keep writing, but my recent love of Minecraft has had me simply working until I reached 5K, posting and then going right back to my game. Not tonight, however.

With 52 pages and 21K words before I reach the end, I’m going to just push. Minecraft will be there for me when I’m done and I’ve already decided to take a day off from first-job once this edit is done to celebrate with a marathon session of both Minecraft and Downton Abbey. I may even sneak in a fanfiction I’ve been wanting to write since I found the old notes for it a few weeks ago. Either way, I’m going to finish this edit this week.

Since the end of this edit will only mean the beginning of the next edit, I’ll not be as celebratory as I was in March when I actually finished the story, but I’ll take my accomplishments one step at a time.


30-Day 5K – Day Twenty-Four Sunday, June 24, 2012

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 11:56 pm
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I reviewed almost 10K words today. Of those, 2766 are likely to be included in a final draft of this novel and the rest, I’m just not sure.

These 10K make up 3 chapters; 2 are entirely a part of the overall plot and one was like filler that made me shake my head as I was reading and highlighting through it.

The problem with this filler (and any other filler I’ve encountered in this process) is that it’s not usually just fluff. It hits very specific parts of the story, like noting why Anthony was raised by his grandparents, that don’t get told elsewhere, but are entirely necessary. None of this is central to the plot, though. I’ve the last few months, I’ve learned to tie these fillers into something substantial, but now I’ve got to break it all apart and since I’m not entirely sure how to do that at the moment, I’m left shaking my head at the laptop screen.

Despite finding another deterrent to finishing this edit before the end of the month, I finally managed to just let go of a character. I’d added a brand new character in this edit who helps bring together a couple plot points and enhances the characterization of others and this evening, instead of just pushing to make her more relevant, I just let her go.

It’s fine…She’s still relevant and necessary, but she is no longer cluttering anything and I no longer need extrapolate further on her because she’s fine with what I’ve written…It’s fine.

It’s very hard for me to just let characters go, especially when I like them, but I suppose it’s necessary at this point. I’ve just got to remember that it’s not like they’re gone forever. I’m free to take a minor character from Damen and use her in Jill (which I worked on a lot today) as much as I want…once this project is done.


30-Day 5K – Day Twenty-Three Saturday, June 23, 2012

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 11:53 pm
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Well, this month is winding down like this book.

I finished editing one chapter tonight and did my initial skim of a second chapter, that actually leaves me with a little hope as far as word count goes.

Despite being rather far in this book, probably too far to be making major character or plot changes, I think I’ve got no choice but to do so. At some point, there are just too many outlandish events happening to one or two characters and what is supposed to be literary fiction starts to look like some lame attempt at science fiction.

So, this means that I’ll likely spend all of tomorrow rewriting Chapter 32 from scratch rather than blow through 2 or even 3 more chapters, but that hope I mentioned lies in that there’s a chance I might be able to bring this book which still stands at 182K down to about 175K, my goal for this edit.

I think all writers go through this dilemma of having so much to tell, but so few pages to introduce the world to our imaginations. There’s little new under the sun, so I suppose I’ll have to battle through these issues like all the world’s storytellers before me.


30-Day 5K – Day Twenty-Two Friday, June 22, 2012

Filed under: Dorienne,Writing — kaitco @ 11:19 pm
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I feel as if I’m running the 1600m in high school track and I’ve just passed the last 400m marker, signalling my last lap around the track. I know I’ve got just a little bit farther to go, but sprinting that last 400m makes your heart feel like it’s going to explode when you’re so tired from the previous three laps.

I wrote 5614 and I’m there…or just really ready to be “there.” These are the last bits of the book and with such short chapters remaining, it’s just a matter of putting one foot in front of the other to get back to the finish line.

I’m not even worried about needing to complete another massive edit of the novel. That’s a race in a track meet weeks away from now! I’ve just got to focus and not give up on this last lap. Maybe if I just keep repeating that, I’ll finish like I did in those high school track meets. I might come in dead last and look half dead when I cross the finish line, but not many people can say they’ve nearly sprinted a mile and not many people can say they’ve finished and edited their own book, either.


30-Day 5K – Day Twenty-One Thursday, June 21, 2012

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 11:51 pm
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I now remember the most infuriating thing about getting to this point in the novel. I’ve spent the previous 100K words laying the foundation for these characters so that my audience can understand and care about them and only get to move along the full story in quick bursts in this last bit of the book.

I edited 6455 words and both chapters I reviewed took me less than 20 minutes to read a piece since all the other details were lain earlier, so I can just speed ahead with the plot.

Also infuriating is that I have so little to cut, but I’ve said this dozens of times in the last 5 days…

I think I’ll just focus on finishing this. I’m on Chapter 31 of 40 and there’s 8 days left in this month. I’m going to finish this…I’m going to finish this…I’m going to finish this…


30-Day 5K – Day Twenty Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 11:37 pm
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I sometimes wonder if it’s normal for your own writing to invoke your own tears. There are two parts of my novel that brought me to tears as I made the notes for them, gave me more tears as I wrote the full chapters and then gave me tears well after I’d finished editing them.

I know I’ve said this before, but I’ve often got to “become” my characters to write them properly and when they discuss horrible things, I do just what they do. When they cry, I cry. When they get red-faced, I feel my temperature rise. I suppose this all has to do with the characters choosing the writer and so forth, but the fact that I can get so emotional over fictional events for fictional people that I knew were going to happen because I created the events myself, leaves me a little…rattled.

While writing Flight, I intentionally left my most fiendish antagonist fuzzy and blank because to write him properly, I’d have to “be” him and I really didn’t want to be him considering the things I was having him do. In writing Damen, I don’t often want to be Corey or Jessie or especially Damen in the end, but unlike my Flight antagonist, I can’t leave these characters ambiguous. I have to see life through their eyes to write them properly and so, when they emote, I emote.

I completed Chapter 30 in just one day, which is probably a record in this month-long challenge, finishing 5996 words (quadratics and The Old Man and the Sea) and bringing the chapter down almost a thousand words. From yesterday’s calculation, I’ve got less than 38K left to edit and, since this is when my drive to finish in March took it up a notch, I know that editing this last 38K is going to be a battle. My editing sword is ready, though; I may even finish this edit before the end of the month!


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