Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wow, printing a complete copy makes it REAL!

Yep, that's the first paragraph.

My daughter Allison and I just picked up my first printed draft copy of my novel from Kinko’s. Throughout this whole process I’ve done all of my edits on the computer, so seeing a complete copy on paper was a bit overwhelming. It felt really, really cool.

Here are a few images I took when I got home. If you grab a magnifying glass you might be able to read the opening paragraph of the book (if you’re sneaky). 

I think I’ll be doing some shopping around for the next print job for a paper review. Even with a 25 percent off coupon, it was over $41. Yikes. 460 pages, b/w , double-sided with a comb binding and clear front cover. Oh well, it’s worth it and I really shouldn’t complain about bringing my dream to life.

This sounds gross, but I was surprised how thick it was.

Yes, there are words in there.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Finished first long edit

I'm too exhausted tonight to write a respectable post. So you get this instead. Tonight I finished my first long edit of the novel. It ended up being just over 90,000 words and 463 pages in Word. I didn't make any major changes during this run through, but made things consistent. I did tinker with the ending and I imagine that it will need some work again too.

This is another milestone I can be proud of. Good stuff.  No question that I'll complete it now.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

In the middle of my mistakes

I’m roughly halfway through my first full edit of the novel’s draft. In the process I’ve added about 2,600 words so far, while removing many plot points that just didn’t pan out. What’s surprised me so far is that there hasn’t been a great deal of text I needed to remove wholesale. I guess that’s a credit to my outline.

It’s funny how one character will go on talking about something that I expected to be a major point in the book, only to have it never mentioned again. I imagine that this is pretty common in novels. Sometimes your characters just get carried away. My editing has been to redirect them down the path I carved for them.

This second pass had helped me add motivation for my protagonist.  I can see that there were times that a reader might be thinking, “why would he be spending time on that?” He has to care about things in order to take action on them.

I’ve also brought some more life into the other characters. I’m still playing around with the mix of background. I find myself dumping information about one person after another. I’m not confident yet that this method works, even though it’s spread throughout the chapters. I’m not exactly sure how else to do it. This might be something my beta readers can help with.

My plan is to finish this first long edit all the way through, then print out an entire copy. Ever since I edited for a newspaper, I’ve found that it’s easier sometimes to be more critical of the work when it’s on paper. It’s more like a reader’s experience. The simple editing marks allow me to brush over an area without the ability to make wholesale changes right then. It’s like someone else is editing it. Not that that person is any smarter, because it’s stuck being me each time.

I’m excited to hold the pages in my hands. Maybe more nervous than excited.  Either way it’ll be a really big step.

Then I’m on to beta readers. Lets rip this thing apart. Hopefully it’ll be a good experience. I’ve got thick enough skin to know that my work isn’t perfect, so I’m up for the feedback – even the bad stuff. If it helps me get better, then its cool with me.

But for now I’m editing alone. So far the editing has happened in Spokane, Seattle, Denver and parts of Kansas and Missouri. I’ve had to do some traveling for work. It’s nice to do the editing in different settings. For some reason the hotel lobby in Overland Park, Kansas was my favorite so far. It was just me and the person at the front desk most of the night and she didn’t give a crap that I was there, trapped in my story, fixing my mistakes.