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bear by san

March 2017

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bear by san

Not really whinging so much as kicking the tires and slamming the hood a bit.

nolove from On Spec, 310 days. Meanwhile, sent out submissions to Ideomancer, Wicked Hollow (new market for me), and Black Gate today. We must! We must! We must increase our bust! (Actually, increasing mine would be a spectacularly bad idea, but you get the metaphor.)

Working on a paper edit of Bridge of Blood and Iron, which is approximately 50% rewritten. Currently I'm rereading, line-editing, and waiting for lightning to strike and the New Shape Of The Novel to rise shambling up in my head so that I can shout "It's Alive! It's Alive!"

It's possible that I've just completely broken it and I should have trunked the damned thing in September instead of wasting another two or three months of my life on it. But, you know. I'm stubborn. And it's really objectively not nearly as awful, terrible, massively bad and depressing as my subconscious wants to insist it is. I need somebody to hover over me chanting "You are a better writer than you think you are and you do know what you're doing and you can pull this off and if the book were actually that bad Jenn would have told you to trunk it and move on."

And, you know, reading it I can see what's good in it. Large parts of the worldbuilding, for example, are just downright bloody neat. The plot arc works, the characters are strong, the emotion is honest. I think if I were reading this book, I would like it.

I'm just so very, very done with these people. It's like being trapped in an elevator with an old boyfriend when you're happily remarried. Let this be a lesson to me: never try to re-open a relationship with something you've already had closure on, especially if it was cathartic and difficult the first time through.

You will merely wind up bored off your ass. In literature as it is in life.

Alas. I am allegedly a professional, and this is my job, and I will do a good job even though it annoys me in the process. My current technique involves scribbling in longhand all over the manuscript, and writing things on lined paper to stuff into it, and generally making a glorious mess and trying to convince my sulky inner artist that really this is a marvellous, challenging game.

I'll let you know how that goes. *g*

I've been doing so much revision lately that I've had to stop tracking my wordcount, which is a very odd feeling, because I've been doing that--a day by day spreadsheet--for two years now. (Which is how I know I wrote over a million words of fiction since November, 2001)

But when it's cutting and adding and re-arranging and stuff.... it's hard to track as wordcount.

By the way, my spam filter has gone positively squiddy, so if I seem even slower than usual in answering email, there is the possibility that I did not get it. Feel free to leave a comment and inquire.

Comments

Working on a paper edit of Bridge of Blood and Iron, which is approximately 50% rewritten. Currently I'm rereading, line-editing, and waiting for lightning to strike and the New Shape Of The Novel to rise shambling up in my head so that I can shout "It's Alive! It's Alive!"

Umm. Yeah. I, too, am waiting for the lightning. I hope it will also fill in some of those holes I know are ahead of me.

But when it's cutting and adding and re-arranging and stuff.... it's hard to track as wordcount.

I did track cuts and word counts for a while, but at the moment I've switched to paper pages gone through, or parts of chapters, things like that--I'm working on paper, so can't do easy wordcounts, and can't go by pages because I shrank the thing down before I printed it.

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It may be time to stop actually counting every word I write and worry about quality and overall progress.

But it's my security blanket.

*clings*
It's so nice to know that it doesn't get any easier. Which sounds terrible, but I'm sure you know what I mean. I hope you know what I mean anyway.

Don't eat me.

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Oh, yah. And if anything, it gets harder. Except you *know* you can do it, 'cause you've done it before.

But you also know that you always have one more bad book in you, and there's the dread that this one is it.
... if the book were actually that bad Jenn would have told you to trunk it and move on."


She would have, too. She's...agent-y that way.

current technique involves scribbling in longhand all over the manuscript, and writing things on lined paper to stuff into it, and generally making a glorious mess

Hey, it's how I work, too. Seems to get the job mostly-done...

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I think I need a 'whinier than the average spy' icon. *g*

Thank you. Somehow, that was exactly what I needed to hear.

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I mostly do that too, except instead of lined paper, it's the back of old MSs. Reduce! Reuse! Recycle! Revise!

---L.

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Hey! I think we may share an agent!

Not that that's -relevant- to anything, but it's kinda like discovering a long-lost cousin or something....

Badger
"You are a better writer than you think you are and you do know what you're doing and you can pull this off and if the book were actually that bad Jenn would have told you to trunk it and move on."

Absolutely. suricattus knows....

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Jenn! < waving frantically >

Badger

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Oh, good, now I need to figure out who you are in real life?

*g*

At least all three of us have the best agent in the business.

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Here's a hint: fun Buffy book!

And it's all...er...45 1/2 of you (that have the "best agent in the business" *g* *sweet*), though I've so far only discovered 6 with Live Journals.

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Well, sure. But I was only including present company.

Of course, with 45.5 of us slaving away night and day to make more work for you, you have to be on your toes...

It's interesting to me how much transparency the blogging and newsgroup and mailing list phenomenons bring to the publishing industry. It's somehow demystifying to understand that there are people behind the amazing process of turning brain squeezings into books.

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Oh! <waves to Badger>

---L.
< hovers and chants > "You are a better writer than you think you are and you do know what you're doing and you can pull this off and if the book were actually that bad Jenn would have told you to trunk it and move on." < /hovers and chants >

Good luck.

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Thank you...... *g*
I ADORE THAT ICON.

I don't suppose you might be willing to share?

Tracking wordcount on revisions? I look at what I started with, subtract what I ended with, and pray that I don't end up with a negative number. Unless I'm supposed to, that is.

Badger

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Sure. It was a gift to me, anyway, and yes I will share.

Alas, that's how I would track wordcount on light revisions, but I'm doing the sort of stuff where it's perfectly possible to spend sex hours in intensive labor and come out with no quantitative change--but, hopefully, and enormous qualitative one.
I don't know much about the publishing industry, but in her Boskone report, kate_nepveu mentions
Tor is currently working on "Women in Fantasy" (targeting buyers) and Canadian programs.
if you're looking for markets...

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Thank God, I have my beloved Agent Jenn, to whom I pay a probably insufficient chunk of what I make from writing to worry about these things so I can Shut Up And Write.

*g*

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Hmm... based on the amount of notes taken, I have a suspicion this might have been the person sitting on the other side of me from mcurry. With Jacqueline Carey having moved to Warner Aspect for her new series, Tor is no doubt looking for something to satisfy a similar readership... Must review current projects now. *g*

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Okay, there clearly needs to be some kind of LJ gettogether at the next con. I'm tired of finding out after the fact about all the nifty people who also attended but I missed meeting face-to-face...

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Maybe we need little livejournal user stickers with our handles on them, for our badges. *g*
I've been doing so much revision lately that I've had to stop tracking my wordcount, which is a very odd feeling, because I've been doing that--a day by day spreadsheet--for two years now. (Which is how I know I wrote over a million words of fiction since November, 2001)

While I was revising the fantasy whodunit, I set up a wonderfully complex spreadsheet that tracked the amount of time I spent working on the MS. It meant using a kitchen timer with a pause button and wasn't ideal, but it did give me a way of tracking my activity. The spreadsheet converted the hours and minutes into points and if I acquired enough points during a month, I was entitled to a reward. Yes, sad and obsessive, I know, but it did help keep me motivated.

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If you're interested, I know of a little freeware time-tracking program called Veritime which is pretty decent. I used it during NaNoWriMo, along with this Excel spreadsheet (via here). It needs some tweaking that you're not writing 50k words in 30 days, but is otherwise rather versatile and useful.
I'd love to see your spreadsheet.

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I just use an excel spreadsheet; I plug in the current wordcount on a given project and it tells me how many words I wrote today, this week, and this year. I don't actually have much problem with getting motivated to do the actual writing. I just like to see the progress on the novels because it feels like--progress. And otherwise they can seem endless. *g*

I generally reward myself when I complete, sell, or deliver something. Liquor, sushi, fountain pens, and music are all common choices. *g*

Which is fine for when the work is wordcount. When it's scribbling notes in margins, it's harder to feel like you're getting anywhere. Especially when you know you still need to make all the changes to the virtual manuscript, which of course is the one that counts.

I do have 16 changes, questions, and additions that I need to make to Bridge figured out, though, and I've made some progress figuring out the subplot Gordian knot.

Also, a character who was Slated For Destruction is trying to make an end-run around me and survive, and he just might make it, because his justifications amuse me. Sneaky devil.

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My comment on spreadsheets was more addressed to llygoden's comment above.

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Thanks for the links. They look interesting, but I will womanfully resist the temptation to download and play with them as this would be pure cat vacuuming.

At the moment, tracking my progress is not a problem because I'm writing first draft. I have two spreadsheets the first is Lenient Word Count (which tracks any words written at all (even rough notes and scene planning) and words can get counted twice, i.e. when they're hand written and again when they're typed up. Strict Word Count counts only words typed up into the MS.

The year I was using the wonderfully complex spreadsheet I was trying to encourage myself to work "little and often" and make steady progress on the novel revision instead of nothing for ages (when I felt guilty) and then becoming obsessed for a while (when I pissed off my husband because I was ignoring him). Thus it rewards any activity with a points system. If this link works, you should be able to see what I mean. (Will probably only work in Internet Explorer.)

The other reason I write my own spreadsheets (and have Access databases to track story submissions and books read) is that it keeps my hand in with Office applications, because they're what I teach in the day job.