Tomorrow, the fun begins.

Mantis Knights Revision

I had two scenes left and so I finished the worksheet portion of revision. I felt like I had some pretty good thoughts on how to straighten up the story so today’s work went smoothly. Tomorrow, I’ll break out the red pens (or perhaps a different color, depending on my mood) and start the hack and slash part of revision.

Also compiled my title options for “Green Stone” and posted them in a class board on Holly Lisle’s forums. That story is one step closer to being ready to send out.

Tick Tock, she fights the clock.

Mantis Knights Revision

Today seemed like one of those days where my brain just seemed to click along just right with the task I was trying to do. Worked through the two biggest scenes of the story. The first one I did will need a lot of work, because holy exposition dump, Batman! Way too much for the first half of the scene.

I also realized that I have a common theme that’s been hinting itself throughout the draft and as I’ve been examining the story. My main character is in a time crunch. Every part of the story either can, or already does, hint that she’s fighting against time, and it’s running out faster than she can react, though she’s doing her best.

It’s definitely an underlying element I want to keep in mind when I move into the write-in stage and start making the real changes.

Breaking it down

Mantis Knights Revision

Began the scene breakdowns for the story and made my way through 2 of the 6 scenes I wrote. Lots of clunky world-building that needs to be smoothed out when I get to the next phase of the revision, and I definitely need to increase the tension. Everyone is way too casual with a massive deadly creature nearby!

Brief Character Work

Mantis Knights Revision

Fairly simple examinations of characters for today’s work on revision. Because I have written and revised quite a few short stories now, I’ve begun to learn the importance of keeping named characters light. If every character who waltzes across the screen has a name, it can bog the reader down. By keeping only the most important characters named in a short story, you can keep the focus on them.

I only named three characters in the rough draft of the story: Cordy the main character, Mace the mentor to Cordy, and Peerka the mantis mount belonging to Mace. Everyone else in the story is only there to enrich the world, but the important ones are Cordy, Mace, and Peerka.

Revision musings

Mantis Knights Revision

I felt like I made good progress on the worksheets, including figuring out how to remove a loop-hole in my world and deepening the motivation of my main character.

It never ceases to amaze me that plans and ideas that I have in the brainstorming phase of a story sometimes completely break down when I read over the first draft later. So many obvious errors and holes and ways to shoot the story apart. The frequency of these things has not changed in the many years I’ve been writing, though I think my ability to spot them has improved.

When I was a young writer, from about 9-years-old and on, I thought that my ideas were pretty much brilliant and that the story was basically perfect as-is for first draft, other than maybe some spelling and grammar mistakes. That’s what I thought revision was–just fixing spelling and maybe adding in some better words here and there.

Experience has taught me different. While there may be occasional, small parts of my rough drafts that are brilliant, the vast majority of the story is full of broken bits, dropped threads and plenty of things that defy reason and plausibility. Flat characters move across white, sterile settings amid plot holes galore.

The trick is to keep growing and learning, while understanding that your best work today, probably won’t be your best in a year or five.

Mantis Knights Revision Begins!

Mantis Knights Revision

Revision on Mantis Knights has begun! I started out my writing time by reading the entire story out loud, then taking a little time to ponder what I liked and didn’t like about the rough draft. Holly Lisle’s How To Write Short Stories class has a whole chapter dedicated to revision, so I began working through the worksheets on that.

The first 25% of the revision process will be going through the worksheets, with the next 50% being the actual write-in process. The final 25% will by type-in.

Titles and High Waters

Took longer than anticipated to brainstorm an adequate list of titles, but this morning I handed the copies of my list to my husband and 12-year-old with the order to cross out any they don’t like. I did the same, then compiled the lists to see where there were common picks across the three of us. Since I still had too many to choose from, I’m looking for round 2 helpers on my Facebook page. That should narrow my choices down a bit.

I plan on beginning the Mantis Knights Revision tomorrow, as today I’m distracted by a large to do list and the news of all the flooding happening in my home state of Montana. We personally are far enough from the rivers to be safe, but our church’s youth camp is currently going on this week and the roads to the camp are questionable, though the camp itself is high and dry (and stocked up with plenty of food until Friday). My bestie is there, plus a lot of other good friends or kids of good friends. Prayers for the roads to be safe come camp end on Friday is appreciated!

Particularly sad to see the destruction currently happening along the Yellowstone River between Livingstone and Yellowstone National Park. I’ve driven that stretch many a time in my life (and rafted down it a couple times!) and the road is completely washed away and many homes and businesses have been ruined. I haven’t heard of any loss of life yet, so prayers for the people to stay safe throughout.

Delayed but done!

Green Stone Edits

I wasn’t intending on taking a week off from editing, but scheduling and life in general made decisions for me. Today I had to make a serious effort to just walk away from the ever-growing to-do list and spend a bit of time in my office.

Now the edits have been made to Green Stone and I began the process of coming up with some new potential titles, since Green Stone was simply the working title that I used back when I brainstormed the initial story and named the file after the green stone object that was a key in the brainstorming process.

Getting the title figured out the rest of the way will probably be tomorrow’s task, and then next week I should be able to begin submitting the story to potential publishers.

Then I’ll get to revise Mantis Knights!

Easy like… Wednesday morning?

Green Stone Edits

Easy editing day. Just a few word clarifications and some sentence structure things. This section had pretty good feedback from the folks who read through it for me, so most of the changes were minor.

I wanted to keep working, but there’s a fair bit of chaos in my house this morning and the interruptions have been pretty steady. I’m hoping to get an early morning start to this tomorrow, before everyone else wakes up, so I can work through the last sticky parts theoretically without interruption.

The Type-in begins.

Green Stone Edits

Only got the first 4 pages of the story typed in this morning, but it was one of the scenes with the most substantial changes, so it took a chunk of time. I was able to make decisions on some of the sticky parts, so I’m happy with the progress.

Also had a rejection from a publisher for “Wings of the Heart,” so I had to spend a little time finding a new hopeful home for that one. I’m tempted to make a progress bar for number of rejections. According to my overflowing Persistence Game chart, I’m at 84 rejections now.