I am kaitco

a writer's log

Chipping away Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 11:45 pm
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I’ve brought the book down by another 1100 words tonight. To be honest, I’d hoped to be into the 150s by now, but I’m chipping away at these chapters little by little. Since I’ve still got 30 chapters left to scrutinize, hopefully I’ll find a way to keep up the 1000-word cut per chapter for a while longer.

I remember reading somewhere (a blog or an article, or it’s possible I just made it up) that cutting parts of my story should hurt (maybe it was something about editing films…). The more I love it, the more it should get cut. I immediately shook my head when I saw read heard came across this because it just sounds too hard.

How can you cut something you love? I love the fingers on my left hand because they’re double-jointed, but I can’t imagine the pain of cutting those either. So, I’m left to wonder what I’ll do when I starve this novel down to almost bare bones, but I’m still over 120K. And 120K is still far over the upper end for most first-time authors. I’ve read that the book should really be no more than 100K, but I knew I’d never get this down to 100K from the moment I thought up my protagonist.

I suppose I can just pray that someone, somewhere will want to pick up this long-winded book and, perhaps, between the lengths of your Twilights and your Fire and Ices and the fact that eBooks are thriving, no one will really care about the length of my story when I’m done, as long as I’ve written well.


A vacation Saturday, July 7, 2012

Filed under: Dorienne,Writing — kaitco @ 11:49 pm
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Between spotty power and even spottier Internet service for the past few days, I’ve used this week as an overall vacation from my second job. Everyone needs a vacation right?

Aside from wondering if it was possible for my skin to actually catch fire in these multiple 100-degree days, I’ve been reading a little. I started my umpteenth re-read of Persuasion, officially began my first read of Pride and Prejudice and continued with Darth Bane: Rule of Two. Whether I’m reading Austen or Star Wars books, I still feel like a geek when I read a lot; a proud geek, that is.

Being on “vacation” this week, I’ve not kept to any specific schedule with regard to this edit, but I’ve been able to cut about a thousand words from the first 3 chapters. At this rate, however, I’ll maybe get it down another 13K, if that, which means I’ve got to take another approach at this.

I’ll finish up the fourth chapter this evening since I’m already in the middle of it, but I think I’ll just sit and scan through the entirety of the book tomorrow and list all the “events” of each chapter as if I’m writing my own SparkNotes entry. This way, I can quickly determine which parts are superfluous and make large, but poignant cuts in proper places, rather than keep reading and reading only to trim a word or two from every other paragraph.

At this point in the book, it’s not the prose that’s causing the length, but portions of the story that have got to go. As my short term memory is notoriously shot, the only way I’ll be able to make this edit a success is to completely change the way I’m editing. I suppose that old saying holds true in that if I continue to do the same thing over and over, I’ll never get different results. Expecting different results from that is also a sign of insanity, says Einstein…but that’s a subject for a different post.


30-Day 5K – Day Nineteen Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 11:53 pm
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I may have written the finest 400 words of my life (to date) this evening. I love when I have that sensation while writing; the thought that not only am I in “the zone,” but that what I’m writing has some meaning, some depth.

Still though…it’s taken me far over word count. Ugh…word count…

This evening, the delights of strong prose aside, it occurred to me that, while I’m down to 183K words, I’ve less than 100 pages left for me to edit in this file. Estimating about 5-600 words a page and I’ve got more words to edit from the book, than I have words remaining. It’s a very discouraging thought and this means, for certain, that I’ll have to do a whole new edit before I can have a file that I can proudly call a first draft.

I know I wasn’t as fierce with my Delete key in the first 10 or so chapters, so that leaves me with a bit of peace on this endeavour and, if I really focus, I’m sure I can knock down at least another 10K from now until I reach the end of the book, but still…a whole new wave of edits is very daunting.

The good news is that I’m already resigned to the fact that I’ll not be able to start sending this until September, which should give me some wiggle room and a chance to even tell myself I’m “ahead” of schedule if I’m ready some time in August.

Still though…a whole new wave of edits…

Oh well…I wrote 6932 words this evening (All I can remember is before and after) and tomorrow I’ll start Chapter 30. I suppose I can hang my hopes on the fact that I’ve never been this close to creating a publishable work in my life and I’m only weeks (albeit, many of them) away from completely my goal.


30-Day 5K – Day Ten Sunday, June 10, 2012

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 11:44 pm
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Well, my plan from yesterday worked; Chapter 27 ended with 4647 words, a couple hundred below the limit, which means that I may have a new mechanism in place for getting through the rest of these chapters.

I rewrote and edited 7806 words today (the middle of reading Animal Farm again). This could have been more, but after pushing myself to church today and spending most of the afternoon trying to troubleshoot my “TV” laptop again (Seriously, though…), I only got started a little after 8:30pm today.

Chapter 28, at first glance, looks very promising in that this will be the first chapter where I’ll be happy to make edits. I knew it was far too long when writing it, but this chapter delves into some interesting politics from multiple sides, which allows me to play devil’s advocate with myself, while trying to prevent my own politics from coating the book too much. Not to mention, I know I’ll have a lot to cut, and at 190K words, I might just push myself into the 170s if I focus.

I’m beginning to see light at the end of this dark tunnel of editing and I may even be able to keep all plot points I’d wanted by the end, too.


30-Day 5K – Day Seven Thursday, June 7, 2012

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 11:10 pm
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Goodness, I hate Thursdays. I think it’s because I’m so tired after Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday that I really need Thursday to be Friday, but when I wake up and realize that it’s not actually Friday, I get depressed and the whole day sours before I even get out of the bed.

I wrote 5760 words this evening (but neither Brit nor Damen laughed with her) and I know if I pushed a little, I could have probably wrote a bit more, but today being Thursday and all, I’m tired and ready to just play Rock Band and then veg on the sofa.

Some of this fatigue is coming from just looking at the amount of editing this chapter needs. Once again, my problem comes from the desire to “show” but the need to “tell.” Somehow, I’ve got to make peace between to the two to save the word count, especially since I’ve “shown” so much about something that is really just a peripheral story.

I’ll figure it all out tomorrow, I suppose, when I’m less tired and more willing to take my literary axe to this chapter and make meaningful, but concise. For now, however, I’ll concede to the Rock Banding (yes, that’s a word) session I’ve earned this week.

Edit: I knew I wouldn’t remember this until the WordPress Dashboard mentioned it. I can’t believe I’ve done 400 posts in this thing! Woot!


30-Day 5K – Day Five Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 11:55 pm
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Well, it’s finally happened.

I knew that I’d reach a point in this novel where the writing was tight enough that there would be very little to cut and I’ve reached it.

I wrote and edited 6939 words tonight (even think to add this to her book) and, even after doing two reads over this chapter and splitting into two, I’ve still had little to edit, which means that after I finish this edit, I’ll have to cut even more from the beginning chapters to keep what really is important.

My success for tonight, however, (since I’d like to think I’ve succeeded in at least one thing) was in re-writing the scene where Anthony quite literally, throws Damen from the house a little more realistic with regard to Anessa’s reaction. Previously, Damen showed up battered at Brit’s house and then the family tries to continue with dinner until it becomes necessary to react, but this time around, I’ve added a “What would I do if this happened to me today” thought process to the scene and now, it no longer feels so forced.

So, cheers to me for making my 5K word count today and here’s praying that I can figure out how to cut another 80K words out of this book before August.


30-Day 5K – Day Two Saturday, June 2, 2012

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 11:42 pm
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For the past couple days, I’ve been musing over Dana Barrington’s character a lot. A quick search on this blog shows I’ve been rather perplexed by her character for a very long time as I’ve gone back and forth, hopelessly trying to come to a decision on her.

Some days I think I’ve got her purpose all figured out and then a few months later, everything is muddy again. I’d figure out a reason to keep her, but then decide to nix that reason and wonder if I should even bother with it.

I suppose the only reason I’ve even given her any thought at all is because I want to keep this whole “Dorienne Universe” going and I’d like it to start with Flight, not with Damen. If I got rid of Dana Barrington, I’d lose my link back to Flight and I really, really wanted all of these stories to link together in some way.

So, this has been my thought process over the week as I pondered on Dana’s purpose in Damen, since, as far as word count goes, she is the most expendable character I’ve got given that her presence has little to do with the overall story…had that is.

I’ve had another conundrum while writing this book which is that it has been missing some of the intrigue that I knew I had with Flight. With Flight, there was all this mystery around my unnamed murderer and also around what had actually happened to Olivia and I know those parts moved along the whole book. Damen had none of that, but I think I’ve finally got it and best of all, it surrounds my character Dana Barrington.

I mention this because I’ve come to this place so often with regard to Dana, where I finally figure out a reason to keep her despite a zillion reasons to nix her, and I think this will just be really funny to me months later when I have to end up cutting her anyway.

I wrote 7592 words today (ten seconds later: no prob damen-mon) and read through what will be the 24th chapter; all 13K words of it. Tomorrow’s endeavour will be to trim all the fluff down to 5K or split the chapter and focus on cutting more in Chapter 25.

All in all, I’ve cut the book down to 199K, leaving me with just another 80-90K to trim, but at least I’m pushing…


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