Camp Nano Week 1

So, week one went about as well as I expected with company here. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed spending time with my dad. Lord knows I don’t get to see him nearly as often as I would like to, but it also left little room for writing.

With that being said, I got a grand total of two and a half chapters revised on Stop The Raven and nothing else.

As apparent by the fact that I’m just now writing out this blog to be posted on Friday. That being said, I have no kids for the night and none in the morning and a handful of writing sprints to catch up on so maybe I’ll get something accomplished.

Crossing fingers here

Honestly, someone just needs to take The Sims game away from me and I might actually accomplish a tad bit more. I’ve also got to go back to work this weekend after two weeks of being away from the place.

So Monday is looking like a good day to catch up, right?

We’ll see.

I’ll also be looking into the EverGreen Writing Retreat that takes off this afternoon. If you haven’t heard of it, its a free virtual retreat hosted by a slew of fun loving authortubers. There will be workshops and various panels that you can attend over the weekend or re-watch any time through youtube.

Website is here: if you are interested in attending. At least give it a peek and see if there is something that you might be interested in.

(Also they have stickers) Just saying.

As you’ve probably guessed I don’t have anything to do with this, I just love the idea of a virtual retreat and am looking forward to watching all of their videos.

Though that might also mean little to no work gets done. Either way, it’ll be a learning experience.

But that’s the update for Camp Nano.

I hope all of you attending Camp this year is making far more progress then me and until next time!

First Day of Camp Nano

A week ago I announced that I was going to do Camp Nano by editing my MS Stop The Raven and today kicked off with an interesting start. While I did manage to work on a writing project it wasn’t Stop The Raven. I spent the day between editing my short story Eldrich’s Forgotten for a submission that just opened up and cleaning my house.

This is a story that I wrote last year for a Black Hare Press submission that got rejected and thought I would tidy it up since I’ve realized some of my common mistakes since that time and submit it some where else. Crossing my fingers it finds a home here, but we’ll see what happens.

And yes, I know I could have done all of the cleaning and editing this past two weeks but I’ve been in a writing slump. Including editing anything that needs to be looked at.

Part of the reason I said I would attempt Camp Nano is because I’m hoping it will give me that drive needed to complete this long ass project.

But that’s not to say that all is wasted. With Eldrich’s Forgotten finished and just needing another read through and my house mostly clean I can focus on Stop The Raven for most of the day tomorrow and ot to mention I have this July 4th weekend off that will allow me to hopefully catch up in the coming weeks. So the first day went kind of sideways, but I worked on a project, and I’m proud of myself for that.

Was it the project that I really wanted to work on? No.

But after two weeks of goofing off and not working on anything it was good to just deep my toes back into the writing process and for that I always be excited about.

So here’s to the first day of Camp Nano officially in the bag and here’s to hoping that the rest of the month goes without anymore hick-ups.

Until next time!

Favorite Editing Tools

There’s a long lists of how to edit your story. What steps need to be taken to get from point A to B and I can focus on those things in a later blog. Lord knows I’ve been through those trenches enough to know a thing or two about surviving. I believe there’s a whole blog about finding what works for you that includes a list of things that happened to help through that particular process.

And there’s plenty of other blogs out there that spell out some of the best methods of writing, hell there’s whole books. I’ll get to those in this blog as well if you’re looking for some ideas on what to read.

But there’s few on the tools that a person can use to edit their novel and I’ve had to do some deep diving myself to really find what works for me. So here’s a few tools that I’ve found that makes my editing process so much easier and takes off some of that stress.

  1. Notebooks:   No, this first one isn’t anything online and if you’re a writer it’s not a huge secret to you. Having a spare notebook next to you as you go through your first draft just to jot down some quick notes is a literal life saver. Especially when you’re doing most of this on the go and don’t have quick access to a computer. You can even do this while you are writing your first draft and just make notes of changes that you think of as your story progresses. Because we all know that story is going to change mid structure. So scribble all of your notes down during the original drafting process and again when you are doing the first read through and when you are finished make those changes you feel are still relevant.

  2. Grammarly:  Grammarly and other such editing sites is one of those easily over looked tools that people tend to ignore because it is a computerized editor reading data in your work and giving you feed back, but for a person who sucks at grammar, like me, its a life saver in getting those simple mistakes out of your manuscript before sending it off to beta readers and CP’s who’ll catch a misplaced comma a mile away.

  3. Text to Voice sites:  This is a relatively new step for me. Before I would have suffered and read the words aloud and gone hoarse in the process. Now I’ve found a way to have the story read to me. Which makes it so much better because I can listen and take notes or make changes without having to lose the rhythm of the story. Admittedly, it gets paused on several occasions while I’m going through it and I do wind up rewinding to listen to the same sentence twenty times but it’s not my voice that’s being worn out and it really came in handy in my last short story edit.

  4. Scrivener:   Okay, yes I know scrivener is an all around tool but make no mistake it really shows it’s usefulness while you are editing. You can pull up split screen so that you are staring at your original first draft and all its notes and be able to type out all the edits on the other screen. You can switch out scene cards if you decide the scenes need to be mixed up. You can jump back and forth between chapters and storyboard mode. All of your additional research notes, characters cards, and world building information is right there in the story binder so you’re not flipping through a hundred other folders on your computer, fretting that you’ve accidentally deleted it in the last folder clean out.

  5. :   Or any other book or site that allows you to have a list of words that mean the same as that word that you’ve used over a hundred times. You know what I’m talking about. Going through the first draft most of us have gotten into the habit of fast drafting thanks to challenges like Nanowrimo and so we’ve got a hundred instances of “look” and “rushed” through out our entire novel and a good thesaurus always helps in finding another word before we go through and just completely rewrite the entire paragraph.

So, yes. There is my 5 favorite editing items that I use before I send my manuscripts out to beta readers and cps. Cause let’s be honest. Even when we tell them that it’s a second or third draft we still want the best we can do on our own sent to them before their eyes land on it and every little bit helps in the end.

Until next time. Happy writing!

A Slight Update and Possible Mistake

So I’m still in the middle of the revision process. I’ve taken all the beta suggestions that I’ve gotten and have it all listed in Scrivener and as I revise my story, I work through what needs to be changed and what doesn’t.
The problem, I feel like I’m making the story worse. I’m not even sure if this isn’t starting to sound like another half-assed first draft and I honestly thought this was supposed to be the better version. So, I can either keep pushing through, do another round of beta reads and see if it’s gotten better or…
and here’s the real doozy … stop and start over on the revision process with a whole other outline, character arcs plotted out better, etc. etc. and just go from there.
It’s been something that’s been eating at me for some time now and I really feel like that would be the better option, but it feels too much like I’m ripping it apart again and starting from scratch. Which I don’t want to do, because I do like this version of the story. It’s just missing some elements. Not to mention there are still characters that tend to appear and disappear and that’s not going to work so…
Here we go.
I think I’m starting my revisions over. Not sure if I’m deleting all of the fourth draft, or I should just call it 3.5 at this point because I’m fixing to trash what I have. Lord help me this is so much harder than I thought.
Also, I think I need a bigger notebook.

Thanks for listening to my rants and Until next time.