Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Plugging Along... Or Should I Say "I'm Driving Down A Hill With NO Brakes"??

Holy smokes, I think I'm losing my mind...
I'm back to the point where NR won't leave me alone... I'm eating, breathing and sleeping the darn thing again and I'm wondering if it's going to be the death of me. No matter what I'm doing, it's there, nagging me to work on it... It could be editing, making sure the story itself is flowing, an idea for it hits me or if I'm actually adding new material to it. I can almost hear the characters in it telling me, no SCREAMING at me, to finish telling their story and let the world know about them and their journey.
Like I said on my Facebook profiles this morning, we writers HAVE to write... It's a necessity for us, in order to survive and feel ALIVE... It can't be ignored, we'll go out of our minds... Once we're bitten by the writing bug, there is no cure for it, we are GONERS! 
Anyone who writes at all for the love of it will understand what I mean, fully, and I can see y'all nodding and smiling because you know I'm just like y'all in that way. 
I'm also to the point now where I can't sleep, I'm wanting to work on NR 24/7... It's good for the drive and determination to finish it but not so good for my health. One needs to sleep, eat, and have a bit of real life happening else they'll get sick after all, and unless I remind myself to sit back, take a break and come back to reality once in a while, I'll make myself ill. My mentor reminded me of that just last night and she is so right. Like me, she's lost herself in her stories and has to yank herself out of them for a while to recharge. Writing may be part of our life-force but we do need a break from it once in a while after all!
Yesterday was one of those "all consuming" days for me... Hubby was home but since he isn't working today like I thought he was, he let me work... He turned the TV volume down to ultra low, stayed out of my way and didn't talk to me the entire time I had my earplugs in and was concentrating on getting Chapter 33 of NR out of the way.
It took me pretty much all day, into the evening and the early hours of the morning to finish draft 1 of C33, but it's done. I have to do a FULL edit on it (not a quick one like I did last night) and I'm seeing a few spots where it could use some tweaking but so far, it's getting close to my insanely high standards. 
The chapter is lighter than C32, a lot in fact. There are a few places where one sees some silliness and one character gets one HECK of a goofy shock (happy!) and there are some.. AHEM... spots that are NOT fit for anyone under 18 in the chapter. I thought after what happened in C32, everyone needed a bit of a break and the mood needed to be a little lighter... Things will get back to the "ninth level of hell" again but for the moment, things are evening out for everyone in the story.
I didn't start working on this story full time until fall of last year and looking back, I had never thought it would turn out to be so... Long. When I came up with the original idea in 2010, I thought it would turn out to be an average love story, or a short story. As time went on and the ideas, etc kept flowing and NR got longer and longer, it finally hit me that I was writing a full length novel and maybe, just maybe, I'll finish something more than 40,000 words... RH, my first full attempt, was under 36,000 and I didn't send it out to a publisher, it was too short and wasn't "good enough" in my opinion. 
Well, NR hit the 100,000 mark this past summer and it's gotten a LOT longer in the months since then. I haven't done a full word count on it lately but I'm betting it's pretty darn close to 130,000 words!
That said, I do see some spots where it wouldn't hurt the storyline if I 86'ed a few things, notably in the middle part of the story, near the area where we go from Part 1 to Part 2. It kind of drags in the areas I'm referring to and I'm thinking that if they were removed, things would be a lot smoother... And if it's taken out, it would add to the mystery that's revealed later on in Part 2.
Now y'all see what I mean about having a LOT more work to do with a story even after Draft 1 is finished, or before that?
I also see how many changes I've made to things after I got into it last fall... Remember the MMG file, or "interlude" as my mentor called it? I used to talk about in the earlier blog entries here but scrapped it after trying to write it up but kept failing. 86'ing that and adding in the occasional flashback to that "gap" was probably one of the best things I ever did in regards to NR. That part was NOT a pleasure to write... In fact, it was turning into more of a chore and something I didn't want to work on instead of a labor of love like the rest of NR has turned out to be! I still want to bash my head against the wall each time I think about working on that part and how insane it was to even think about putting something like that in the story! Good grief.
I'm finally starting to see a brighter light at the end of this writing tunnel... I'm thinking NR is about 3/4 of the way finished, first draft that is, and the closer I get to finishing it, the more I want to work on it... The more I work on it, the closer and brighter that light gets... And the cycle continues.
I'm probably going to be bald and more than half insane by the time I'm finished NR (that includes proofing and getting it published!) but I think in the end, it will be more than worth it. I'll finally have their story finished and out there, and maybe, just maybe, the darn thing will stop haunting me day and night!
Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone... And for my fellow CSI fans, don't forget the Season 13 premiere is TONIGHT! Y'all know where I'll be... It'll be nice to have an hour's break from the writing to enjoy someone else's story for a change!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Ride Gets Wilder...

Another week and two more writing marathon days behind me.
Chapter 31 was started, the roller coaster ride continuing a little more and some strong revelations come out in that chapter. Some characters do some soul searching and find out some things about themselves, and some changes are made. I attacked 31 on Wednesday, managed to wrap it up and move on to the start of Chapter 32, where the next shot of the roller coaster ride begins.
Yesterday was a very intense writing day for me. Once I got into the writing, it went so quickly that I was done over 7 pages worth of intense, very emotional and sometimes scary material by the time my son got home from school. Since I wanted to wrap up the scene (it's a LONG one!) before I lost the rest of it, I worked on it even after both Hubby and Son were home... Thankfully, my husband did his best to keep Son occupied until I had it finished and did a quick reread on it.
I managed to write over TEN pages worth yesterday and by the time I was done, I was exhausted, both mentally and physically, but I still had the "writing high" I get when I get on a roll and after Son's computer time was finished and he was in bed, I dove right back into working on NR. 
Due to circumstances, I didn't get Chapter 33 going but I did get some editing done on Chapter 32 and other things in it between chatting with the crew in Sanctuary and some of my friends from another larger forum in Facebook.
I'm now looking at Chapter 32 and thinking maybe it's too intense to put all of that in one scene. It's worse than a roller coaster ride, it's in the "ninth level of Hell" by times as a friend of mine from MW would say. I may rework it a little bit to give the characters a few hours to catch their breath, I just have to find the right way to do it and the right spot to do it in. So many things happen so fast in that area that it's hard to find the right spot to put a break in. I'll find it, it's just a matter of time. 
Otherwise, I did get everything out that I wanted to, and more, plus developed the characters a little more in that area. One sees their strengths, their weaknesses and a lot of the changes they go through exposed and ripped raw in that one chapter. I think it's some of the best writing I've done in a long time, quality wise.
I'll be slowly working on things again this coming week. I only have one writing day (no school on Friday) so I'll be diving into things as much as I can be when things are somewhat quiet around here. 
I am slowly starting to see the light at the end of the writing tunnel. I'm thinking a few more chapters before the grande finale and the epilogue... Maybe 5 to 10 at most, it all depends on how detailed but quickly I can get things moving and wrapped up again and if I can do it JUST RIGHT, maybe I'll have this story's first draft finished before the end of the year if things fall into place. If not, hopefully by the time school gets out for the summer in late June!
After NR's first draft is finished, the work will not be done on it... I still have to edit it with a fine toothed comb to death, have someone else look at it (Mommy-in-law!) and proofread it a zillion times before I can send it out to publishers. If I wind up going the self publishing route, I'll be sending it to the copyright office myself and doing a LOT more. It could be at least another year after draft 1 is done before it finally hits the shelves, either in traditional book form or as an e-book.
Recently, talk about different things related to writing, publishing, etc came up in different spots and my thoughts are... If I can publish ONE book somehow, sometime, and have ONE person like it, my work is done. I don't need to be a best selling author or make a zillion dollars off of my work... I'm one of the ones who write because it's something I love to do and can't live without writing something!
My main problem is the fact I'm a perfectionist when it comes to my work. If I don't think it's up to my insanely high standards for my own work, I rework it... Sometimes to death! In some cases, that's a good thing, others, not so much. I have to find a balance between going overboard with things but yet not go the way of not enough. Talk about a fine line to walk! Sheesh.
Have a wonderful weekend everyone. 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Rewrite and a Roller Coaster Ride...

School has been back in session only a little over a week but things are picking up steam when it comes to my writing. I'm officially back into writing mode almost constantly and new ideas keep popping into my mind without warning.
Yesterday was one of the best writing days I have had in months... Word count wise, it was an average day, a little over 3000 words, but the quality of it is what I'm referring to...
I had written Chapter 30 for NR a few weeks ago during one of the few "all nighters" writing sessions I managed to squeeze in during summer vacation and after reading it over and discussing it with my mentor a few times, it didn't "feel" right to me... I admit during the time I was actually writing up Chapter30, it did feel right and I thought it was a brilliant idea... Until I remembered it was a situation that was used so many times in other romance novels... The "let's pretend we're a couple to keep others from bugging us" scenario. It would have worked for NR's second half but the problem is that I would rather use something that wasn't used a zillion times in a romance novel. 
So after careful consideration, I 86'ed most of C30, starting from a spot where I could "switch gears" easily without having to rewrite the entire chapter. The characters were already in the public place I wanted them to be and the first few lines of dialogue were very general so it was easy to go from there.
However, the concrete plan I had for the rewrite took a few turns and I went with them. What is now Chapter 30 isn't ultra long like some of the other chapters in this story but I think it takes both the characters and the reader on one heck of a roller coaster ride... The biggest one of the entire book so far, before the last chapter or so that is (I have already decided how things will end in it and am slowly building to that point!)... I was getting frustrated with myself for taking my time in getting things moving again with different things but with this chapter, I managed to finally get things on the go again and will be getting things moving even more in Chapter 31. I'm still trying to decide the best way to proceed in that chapter though. I have several ideas but I'm not sure which order to put them in or how long to let the characters "breathe" before pushing them on the coaster again!
I'm still editing Chapter 30... I did notice some grammatical errors yesterday and saw a few "bare" spots where more detail could be added so I played around with that after Son was home from school.
If things go as planned, I'll have TWO writing days a week for the next couple of weeks... Hubby is now working the shorter day shift mid-week along with his full shift on Friday daytime... So y'all KNOW what I'll be doing during those days! LOL
Have a wonderful weekend everyone! I'm also starting to get a good idea of what to put into my next Autism blog entry... I know I promised to have one around the beginning of summer but with the way things were going here, and the fact I didn't have much to report, it kind of slipped onto the back burner. Sorry about that!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Back in the Writing Saddle Again, WOOT!

It's official: I am no longer chomping on the monitor, wanting a full day to work on NR!
School started yesterday and today was my first full day alone in two months, so I took advantage of both Hubby and Son being gone and dived head first into the writing.
The gap between where I had left off in the main manuscript file and the MBECWA file was driving me crazy all summer long. I did a quick reread on the first fifteen and a half chapters and jumped into wrapping up Chapter 16. I was determined to finish the darn thing, come hell or high water!
It was slow going at first but thanks to my determination and stubbornness, I managed to get Chapter 16 done!
When that was finished, I realized that I could finally do two things I've been unable to do until now... Splice in that darn MBECWA file!
After that was spliced in, I also did something else... I spliced in what I have written up so far in Part 2 and now have everything I have written up into the Main Manuscript file.
Today's actual writing was only 5 pages and 2350 words worth, upping the main manuscript's main file at 135 pages before the splice... After the two splices, that number jumped to 248!
After Son got home from school, I continued to work on NR, editing, which doesn't require as much concentration as something like the actual writing does. I had not inserted any chapter breaks into Part 2 yet because I wasn't sure exactly which chapter it would start off on or exactly where they would be, so I worked on that while I was making supper and into this evening.
I am now officially at the start of Chapter 31. Everything I added today, from the new material to both splices made the main manuscript file jump a full fifteen chapters!
I am so cross eyed right now that I'm seeing quadruple but at least I managed to get things moving with NR again. I was so scared I was going to lose the rest of the story and I didn't want to do it, I want this story to be told, one way or another.
By the way, my mentor got word of her manuscript from the publisher she mailed it to a few weeks ago and they are not interested. *SIGHS* So she's going the self publishing route for now. I already have her Facebook author's page set up and it will go live when she has everything set up and Book 1, "Homecoming", is officially up for sale. I'll let everyone know here and include links for her FB page and the book itself (for people with e-readers and the computer app that allows a desktop/laptop user to read e-books) when the time comes.
It's been one heck of a crazy summer vacation and now that it's over, I'm wondering exactly where it went. It moved by so quickly and now we're on the cusp of autumn already. I'm not complaining about it, I'm still amazed school is back in session when it feels like only yesterday I was looking over Son's final report card from his Grade 1 year.
Have a wonderful weekend everyone!