Sunday, August 26, 2012

Schedule/Announcement/Editing :)


Hey guys! Sorry I haven't been around as often as I would like. I have a lot of news so bear with me. :D

1. I began graduate school this week. I am taking 3 online classes because I work 40 hours during the week. My masters will be in Library Science and Information Technology, and my focus is Young Adult and Middle Grade studies.

2. Because of this, I have myself on a strict schedule:



Basically, I will begin waking up at 5:00am to work out, working from 8-5, and from 5-9 I can work on homework, or what have you. From 9-10, I will ONLY work on my book.This way, I shove everything I need to do in each day.

3. I FINISHED THE FIRST DRAFT OF MY BOOK!


And I am almost finished with the first set of edits. I plan on finishing the remaning 76 pages today. I wanted to take you through my editing process this time because I am notoriously...bad at editing. I don't like it, I can't tell you how many times I turned in papers that weren't edited because I just didn't like it....(probably won't be doing that in Graduate School, especially since I came up with a way that I like to do editing).

First, I made a color coded charge of what my highlights meant:



Then, I searched "Things to look out for while editing" and chose what I felt were my top problems.

A. Passive versus active voice
B. Repetition of word use (this is something unexpected. As I was editing, I noticed that I really liked reusing words.
C. Cut the use of too many adverbs.

With these in mind, I began to edit. The first five chapters of my book are not as colorful (meaning highlighted), but the rest have been vibrant. Which isn't a bad thing, because I knew what I had edited most as I went along. Also, I am sticking to paper edits until I am finished with the entire book, then I am going to focus on my word processor edits.

This process has been really helpful for me, and I also made a page of changes (using colorful sticky notes) and today I transferred that to a new outline of the end of the book.

I have come to realize that PROCESSES are the best way to get things finished, and mine have worked for me. Another realization? You NEED to find things that made what you're doing more enjoyable. I'm not sure why highlighters and sticky notes make editing more fun for me, but I definitely like it more because of that.

Okay, so I am off to stick to my schedule. :) I hope everyone has a wonderful day! I will be blogging on Sundays from now on (PROMISE), and checking out blogs. I decided I would being using the RSS feed to make it easier to follow everyone and comment and read. (I have to use it for class as well).

Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Swing of Things

Well, I did not make my August 1st deadline, however, I am not too surprised, as days really do go by fast, lol. So, my new deadline is the 20th. At least it's within the month, right?

Once I finish my draft, I'll be posting about my editing/beta reader adventures, then onto more query letter posts cause we all love those right?

I wanted to talk about this rewrite in depth. I know everyone probably knows how bitter-sweet it was to let go of my old draft. It was something I had nurtured and attempted to patch up for years, and then one night, I decided to let it go thanks to a very good and insightful friend. At that point, I wanted to burn everything with it. Everything.

But I didn't.

And it was good that I didn't. I respect myself more as a writer after having gone through such a bitter 'breakup' with my old draft.

What has happened so far in this new draft?

1. It is more focus.

A few months back I wrote about how I was confused about my genre. My characters were too old, but was my writing adult enough to be considered Adult Fantasy? Then there was word count--I had too much story.

Now that I am rewriting, I am conscious of all these things. The ages of my characters are appropriate, my writing is for a YA audience, and my word count won't get too high.

2. I stopped worrying about what people would like.

Yeah. I didn't realize I did this before, but I found that I was constantly thinking about how people would react to something in my book instead of thinking about my story.

Now, I'm not saying that thinking about how people will react to your book is bad, I'm saying that while writing your book, I think it is imperative that you think of the story first, and then the reception after. Basically, take it one step at a time.

3. ...Speaking of steps...

The MOST VALUABLE thing I have learned: outlines are your friend. And you don't have to stick to the original outline or anything, but having a direction for your characters to go and having a story for your characters to follow is very helpful.

And don't think of outlines as your enemies, or as cheating, because it's not cheating...it's just not. I'm not sure why I thought they were so bad.


Okay, as far as job news goes: I get to write the newsletter!! I didn't have a very cool one this month, but I'm hoping September is pretty epic. :D

I also bought some things for my desk:


Also, I get to decorate my desk with a very important piece! 


YAY DIPLOMA!!

Okay, I am off to finish my book!

<3
Ashley