In other news, I went to a local wildlife park this morning with Pip as a pre-birthday treat for her. We got there very early, so a lot of the animals were actually still dozing, but we got to see tigers and meerkats, and adorable otters! They sneezed! It terrified Pip. I'm not sure why. Then we headed into Cambridge for brunch and shopping and I managed to achieve the one thing I've been determined to do all summer: buy a maxi dress. I found a gorgeous blue one on sale, so I snapped it up. Now, obviously, it's pouring with rain, but the point is I found the dress, dammit.
I also finished reading this:
I love this story, and it actually suits the graphic novel format really well. I have it on audiobook too, so I might listen to it tomorrow and see how they all compare. I'm slacking off for the rest of today because my beloved chaostheory is on her way over, possibly for more Lovecraft-related activities, but there is still some stuff I want to get done before the week is over, so let's have a list!
1. Edits for DARK HUNT.
2. Finish a short story about Ayla and Shannon, for DARK HUNT promotional purposes
3. Sort out my books and take a load to charity (to make room for all the new books I want)
4. Get back to work on Night Breed
5. Start the next freelance editing job
Will I achieve any of these things? Stay tuned for my next adventure...
In other news, WILD has picked up a nice review here at Aobibliosphere. I love the number of people who have picked up on the Vargulf/Kurtadam etymology - it's not like I've been particularly clever with the words, but I like that other people recognise them too.
Anyway. I'm very nearly done with the edits for my first Damnation Books assignment and plan to wrap that up today, as the edits for DARK HUNT came through on Monday and I'd like to get them done before I go back to work (Argh! Where is this week going?!). I'm really enjoying doing the editorial thing, but I am worried the author will hate me when he gets his book back... I've been tough but fair, I hope. And I've definitely realised that this is the direction I want my career to go in. I've loved getting up early and editing til noon, then writing in the afternoon. It's been hard work, but it's also incredibly fulfilling.
I finally managed to book a week off work! Come on, 8th August. *waits*
I was just checking over my writing to-do list ahead of this and came to the following conclusions based on the last time I updated the do-to list:
So my hope for the week off is that I'll have cleared enough of the editing stuff to be able to just write and watch copious amounts of Come Dine With Me. I'm making a start on the critiquing this Sunday (we have to go to a wedding tomorrow. I know!), and I'm trying to avoid social engagements for the next couple of weeks anyway because frankly, I think I've seen enough people this summer already. Yay! Pure, unadulterated writing time is just a few weeks away!
I've also just arranged a freelance editing gig, which I'm also very excited about. I have the edits for THE NECROMANCER'S APPRENTICE to get working on tonight (hoping it'll be a short job because it's a short novella and the editor did say it was a pretty clean manuscript). So basically: edits, edits, edits.
At first I was a bit worried about where I'd fit my actual writing in around all this, but now I've realised this is going to be good for my writing. Editing/critiquing for other people makes me more aware of my own work and strenghtens it, I think. And it will force me to be disciplined and not skip around writing on whatever fancy thing catches my attention whenever I like, but rather focus on the important projects.
In animal-related news, turns out Remic doesn't hate me or my perfume; he's getting ready to shed. He's gone off his food and spends all day loitering near his shoebox being pale and cloudy-eyed. Hopefully he'll have shed by the end of the week so normal service will resume.
Obviously that's a long way off. But if I can juggle the editing and writing well enough, I'd like to take on more editing down the line, once I have the experience, and look at ways of making that a bigger chunk of my income. If I can get to a part-time day-job stage, I'll be very happy. This has helped solidified my decision to not go full-time indie as a writer. That would be too much on top of everything else, I think. So for the time being my only self-published projects are going to be the Vargulf Trilogy and the occasional short story.
Anyway! I hope this is the start of something very cool ^_^
It was awesome fun! There was clown burlesque, which I'm not entirely sure I approve of, (where did the balloon go?!) but it was still fun. I'm classing it as part of my birthday celebrations, since why the hell not? I was tempted to keep the dress on all week to signal to the world that the birthday celebrations are a-happening, but then I realised I couldn't go to work like that. Just one more reason I need a new job!
Also in honour of my birthday, I'm going blonde again. I know! Kate Johnson will totally think I'm copying her. But I've decided, as much as I like the red hair, it's too much effort in terms of upkeep. When my roots come through, they're pure white so I look like a skunk, and who wants that? With blonde hair, the roots don't show as much, so I won't need to spend quite as much time and money redying my hair. This will also lead to a bathroom that isn't covered in streaks of hair dye, one hopes.
Anyway, on Sunday, once the cocktails had worn off and I'd consumed nachos, I hit Wild again to carry on with those final tweaks. I was amused to discover at the end of the day that, having cut the manuscript down from almost 90k to 69k over the past few months, I added 5k back in yesterday. Editing - I'm doing it wrong? I'm nearly done with the tweaking - just need to add a couple of new scenes and probably two new chapters, so I'm hopefully that pretty soon this beast will be out on submission. I wanted to write more than I did yesterday, but of course my arm started giving me problems, so I had to quit a lot earlier than I planned. But no matter! The end is nigh!
It was totally worth it though. I felt incredibly relieved and smug when I woke up this morning and remembered that I'd finished. I mean, I don't know if any of it is good or not, but I never do. But regardless, it's done. Yay! *all rise, commence rejoicing* And we can cross that task off the Accountability List.
Writing Life (in no particular order)
3. Finish Demonised, an Ethan Banning novella, for submission to Damnation Books.
4. Start on BAD DOGS, the sequel to SILVER KISS.
5. Continue with Afterburn, the sequel to AFTERLIFE.
So, according to my shiny list, Demonised is next, but I'm taking the rest of the week off writing wise to let my arm recover. In the mean time, here's an awesome review of AFTERLIFE for you to enjoy!
So, see you in a couple of weeks. Wish me luck as I dive back into the revision trenches!
She approved my crazy suggestions, and now I am back on track. Huzzahs! Just goes to show that most of the time, you probably already know what your novel needs. You just need to step away and look at it objectively, instead of dashing in, flailing your arms, screaming and hoping for the best.
I gave myself Friday and Saturday off because my arm was playing up, but then on Sunday I got cracking again. I was up til 10.30 last night working away, and went to bed finally feeling like I'd made some progress with the damn novel. It's easy to feel overwhelmed - I've cut nearly 20k from Wild since I started this particularl redraft, and written a lot more fresh material than I originally thought I'd have to, and I definitely came down with a case of The Fear last week.
But I overcame that and now the end is in sight. The new plot elements are firmly entrenched, and the older elements that I'm keeping in are slotting back into place slowly but surely. My one lingering fear is that I've reintroduced these older elements too late in the story, but never mind. I'm determined to keep ploughing on until it's done now, if only so I don't have to look at it anymore.
And I am very much looking forward to finishing the edits on Wild. The end is almost in sight, and I've got to tell you - I'm ready to be done with it, for now. Again, I expect to be seeing Wild again in the near future (I certainly hope to, anyway, because that might mean it's sold), but for now, I just want it to be done!
Once it is done, I plan to
Anyway. I cut almost 10k out of Wild over the weekend. Goddamn, that was traumatic. I lost so much material that I thought was blistering, well-written stuff (I say "lost," it's actually just in the Outtake file, which is now over 30k itself). But the upshot of that massive deletation frenzy is a pacier, more streamlined plot, refocused and revitalized, and with more ghouls masquerading as homeless people.
See, my Ex Agent thought Wild was too simple, so I added in a couple of subplots to complicate matters. Problem is, in retrospect, I can see that this was just panicked plotting on my part, and it made the whole book into the unruly mess it is today. By eliminating a big, big chunk of extraneous plot, I've been left with the bare bones of the very first draft. Now that I'm adding (carefully!) to that a few new ideas, the whole thing is started to just feel better. It's like I can see the shape of the novel in my head, and it is now an aesthetically pleasing Greek amphora, instead of a mind-melting Lovecraftian Thing On The Doorstep. What?
There's still a lot of hard work to do, and I am behind the schedule I set for myself (I blame day-job stress entirely), especially now I'm working on the edits for SILVER KISS too. But I feel pretty chipper because I know the hard work is paying off. Phew!
I got through 40 pages of revisions on Wild last night, which made about 60 altogether for yesterday, since I worked through my lunchbreak too. At the moment, there's a lot of little fiddly changes to be made - slight alterations in dialogue and scene setting to accommodate changes in the overall plot. I'm making a lot more use of Liverpool as a location in this draft, which has affected a few scenes quite drastically. I chopped the first two chapters of the novel out altogether, for example, and wrote one new first chapter to replace them, using my favourite night club in Liverpool as the setting. I'm always a bit neurotic about that kind of thing, because I'm convinced I'm making everything worse, but actually I'm quite pleased with the new opening, which sees Lizzie popping pills in the toilets. Glamourous! But actually, you learn more about Lizzie and her life through this version than you did through the old opening. A net gain, right?
( But wait... there's more! )