Monthly Archives: March 2011

First Quarter Summary

Luck for Hire
Added 40,867 words to the manuscript. Finished a zero draft and have done 1.5-ish revision passes. Reading through on this second revision, I’m liking the book. I think it’s coming along pretty well. I just don’t want anything to do with it for a while. As I mentioned in my RoW80 update, I’m switching projects for a while. Eric will be doing a read-through along with some revision and rewriting. 

Model Species
Sent query letters/submission packages to 23 agents. Heard back from eight of them. Nothing beyond form letters, so I will just keep on keeping on. I’ve been mostly successful at getting two queries out every Tuesday, averaging eight per month.

Pas de Chat
The novel will finish posting on May 22nd. I still haven’t quite decided what I’m going to do with it after that.

Other Work

Analysis
Not much done other than Luck for Hire. Not a bad thing.

While I’ve been meaning to get back to writing flash fiction, that’s not where my energy or attention lies. So, I’m not going to worry about it much. I signed up for a contest a while back through Shock Totem and then promptly lost track of time and didn’t get anything written for it. I’ll keep track of 52|250 prompts and whatever comes next for them, and if lightning strikes my brain, so be it.

Otherwise, RoW80, Blogging A to Z, Readathon, and league finals are all on my April activity schedule.

Official RoW80 Round 2 Post

A Round of Word in 80 Days, Round 2 starts Monday!

Yeah, I know. The first quarter of the year is shot in the butt. I’ll have an overall summery of what I’ve done thus far in 2011 in a couple days. But first, time to look forward with RoW80 in mind.

During the first four weeks (aka April), I’m switching projects. While Eric does a Luck for Hire read-through, I’m going to give Divine Fire the "10% cut" edit. The purpose of the "10% cut" is to go through each scene and decide what the point of the scene is and where the tension is. And then get rid of bits that washout the tension, or add bits to accentuate the tension. Kind of like upping the contrast in a photograph. I’m also going to keep in mind what plot concerns I have with Divine Fire. This is were I have to be flexible with my goal. I might decide to write/majorly rewrite some things. That might cause my first goal to run longer than four weeks. But I’m probably just misremembering what problems I have with that novel.

Tentatively, the rest of Round 2 will be spent  back at work on Luck for Hire. I will definitely need a solid goal by the end of April. Summer and I don’t get along well, work-wise.

Also during this round, I need to do some things to get Lucinda at the Window out of the limbo she’s in. And maybe make some plans for Pas de Chat.

A to Z in April

Because I need more to do in April, I’m going to try the A to Z Blogging Challenge.

The deal is this: one post per day, Monday through Saturday starting April 1st, with each post covering a letter of the alphabet. I’m going to make each post semi-writing related. I have my list of 26 subjects, and we’ll see if any deep thoughts occur!

A Morning Without AdBlock

Today, the New York Times officially launched it new subscription scheme. I read a bit of the New York Times, but I’m not going to go out of way to get around the paywall. We’ll see if and when I hit it during the regular course of my internet browsing.

But this does again bring up a pet peeve of mine about internet advertising. Many site have ads. Many of the ads are at best annoying and at worst intrusive and resource sucking. Which is why I use AdBlock Plus, and have done so for years. Hope against hope, I occasionally disable ABP to see if the advertising is as bad as I remember it. Because I like website with good content and I’d like to be supportive of that content. Here’s how my day has gone:

507 – Darkness and Cherry Pie: David Lynch’s Map of Twin Peaks
Mildly flashy ad in header. Mildly, because it stops flashing.
Neat little article on Twin Peaks, its topography and location. Makes me want to watch the show again, even though I know my memories of it are better than the show actually is.

Borders Seeks to Pay $8.3 Million in Bonuses
Static ads in side bar.
They want to retain the executives that are a part of the business going bankrupt? I feel that I am missing an integral point.

E-mail or Email?
Flashy add at top. A screwy "squish-down" popup. Sidebar: static ad, two more flashy ads. This busy-ness and intrusiveness makes me not want to visit this site. At. All.

How the Sunk Cost Fallacy Feeds FarmVille Addiction and Bad Purchases
Flashy ad taking up a third of the content space.
The Sunk Cost Fallacy
Minor flashy ad.
Good article. I should bookmark this blog.

Cyclists: What To Eat and Drink For Long Rides
Static ads including an ascetically pleasing one.

Defending Vaccination Once Again, With Feeling
Generally appealing static ads.
My first NYT article behind the WALL! Good review, makes me want to read the book.

Yahoo Mail
Ugly animated ads.

Sucker Punch, Part 1: The Story That No One Is Talking About
No ads, because the blog is the ad…for Tor’s books.
Interesting "reading" of the movie. This is what makes any kind of art tricky. How I see something as a writer, and intend it in my writing, might be completely different than how a reader sees it. That could be devastating. Or really freaking cool.

The experience hasn’t been too bad, but I wish ads weren’t so ugly. I’d like to see some research about what internet ads really pull attention and get hits. Is it only me that would rather see and might pay more attention to a well-done static ad? (That research has probably been done, but I need to move on to other things. Including less internet skimming.)

Not an RoW80 Update

Daily-ish, I’ve been going back through my LiveJournal entries from 2001 and reading what I wrote a decade ago.

I used to journal more about day-to-day things. I don’t anymore because I even I am tired of saying the same things over and over. But on the other hand, it’s kind of nice to have that record. I use Twitter for much of that daily stuff. And I’m kind of scattered between keeping track of life via other writing blogs, Facebook, Tumblr, and Miso. Twitter and the latter three are less of a record and more of a stream; here and gone. I don’t have anything profound to say about any of this, I’m just mulling.

But I probably should make some effort to do a little cross linking and recording.

Where am I on the web these days? Not much of anywhere.

  • We’re up to Ch. 40 with Pas de Chat. I need to get the rest of it scheduled to post. And then what? Don’t know yet. Should probably talk with Eric about it.
  • Over at Reading Notes, I’m gearing up for the 24-hour read-a-thon on April 9th. I’m also taking part in a Spring Reading Thing and musing on the to-be-read lists I make.

Otherwise, I’ve had a very low-key (non-existent) internet presence in March other than participating in RoW80.

It’s been a quiet weekend, marked by little sleep. Sort of took Friday and Saturday off from writing. Today probably too, although I might get some administration stuff done. Been playing lots EQ2 and reading. Eric is building his new computer, finally. I might end up back in my office area soon. Begrudgingly, I will admit I sometimes like working here in the back room with him.

Retro: March 26, 2001

Ten years ago, I posted a to-be-read pile at LiveJournal. How did it turn out?

Finished:

Just the Facts Ma’am: A Writer’s Guide to Investigators and Investigation Techniques Greg Fallis
Dark Thoughts On Writing Stanley Wiater
Ligtning and Thunder Natalie Goldberg
American Psycho Bret Easton Ellis
A Darkness at Sethanon Raymond E. Feist
Circle of Friends Maeve Binchy
House of Leaves Mark Z. Danielewski

Did not finish:

Early Poems James Russell Lowell
Some of the Rhymes of Ironquill
I’ll Tell Them I Remember You William Peter Blatty
Between Us: A Legacy of Lesbian Love Letters Kay Turner, Ed.
The House of the Spirits Isabel Allende
Haunted: Tales of the Grotesque Joyce Carol Oates
The Forest for the Trees Betsy Lerner
The Templars: Knights of God Edward Burman
Savage Richard Laymon

I think I still own all those books I did not finish.

#RoW80 – End of Round 1

My original soft goal for Round 1 was to add 50K words to Luck of Hire. The hard goals were 10K words every fortnight, with minimal rewrites. The overall goal was to have a complete draft of Luck by the end.

I stuck to the 10K-a-fortnight for the first six week. Rewrites weren’t as minimal as I would have liked, but I’m not a fan of leaving too many broken things behind. Then I did a editing pass as Eric worked on outlining more scenes for me to write and doing some rewrites himself. During this part of the process (or thereabouts), we cemented a few relationship between the characters that made the story more interesting. I wrote the new scenes, did the rewrites. Rinse, repeat. My goal for this week was to do a quick four-day editing/note-taking pass before ending RoW80 Round 1 and putting the manuscript aside for a while. Alas*, in the first quarter of the manuscript I had a few questions that blew a couple scenes open. And then the obstinate five-year-old in me said, "No!" Not "no" to the additional scenes and rewriting, but to the pressure and the deadline. And I caved. So, I won’t be taking a break; I’ll be taking a deep breath and working through the break to get this stuff done.

Now, Kait said to focus on the positives. That’s difficult for a personal pessimist, but here are the numbers for RoW80 Round 1:

Words written (including rewrites): 45,782
Words added to the manuscript: 39,528
Current manuscript total: 50,837 words
First draft: Finished. Working on first+n draft.

Not my best three months of work, but not my worst either. I could have done better in the last half.

*Or maybe "Yay!" Writing is like that.