Posts Tagged ‘editing’

I was glad to see folks enjoying the last few blog posts.  I hope you guys know that I write this stuff for you.  I’d be pretty conceited if I spouted this nonsense because I thought you should live the way I do.  My whole focus for writing to begin with is to relay my own personal experiences with things and maybe, just maybe, someone else out there might pick up a nugget or two that will help them as well.

As an FYI, for the next issue we’ll take a break from the book writing topic and pick it back up the following issue.  This book-writing series has many facets to it, I want to make sure to still give time to other topics along the way.

The Outline is Crucial, but it Also Isn’t
I’ve read a ton of different books on writing and was surprised to find that the outline seems to be one of the most disagreed-upon topics.  I wouldn’t call it controversial because to me the whole argument seems rather silly.  From what I can tell, the debate seems to boil down to personal preference.  One person will construct a detailed outline before ever typing the words, “Once upon a time…” while another will start with a single thought and just go.  Even the heavy hitters differ on this point.  Best-selling author Thomas F. Monteleone has never done an outline whereas Ted Dekker will generate a 40-page ‘story document’ for each book that describes every major plot point and provides background to every setting and character. (more…)


Istburn Update

Posted: August 30, 2010 in Writing
Tags: , ,

This last Saturday, I hit a big milestone and finished a complete draft of The Island of Istburn.  With this, the book is a scant few weeks away from publication (barring any unforseen problems).  I’ve been editing the book as I go so the only areas that may require any heavy rework should only be the last 50 or so pages.

I treat each piece I write (whether short or long) as a sort of experiment.  I like trying new things and finding ways to improve my writing.  When compared to The Thief and the Red Mandolin, everything about Istburn is bigger.  In Mandolin, the story jumped back and forth between two main story lines.  At one point in Istburn, there are four different story lines, but I bring all them together pretty quickly.  This book has a much larger cast than the first and covers a longer span of time.  Heck, the story is even longer than the first.

Finishing a book brings a sense of accomplishment as well as a sense of relief.  On one hand, it feels great to have completed a major task.  On the other, it feels like a weight off my shoulders, because, honestly, there were some nights it was tough to sit my butt down to write.

Finishing this draft also means I move into my favorite part of writing: re-writing.  Sounds weird, but I prefer marking and changing up my manuscript to writing the initial draft.  So, I’m looking forward to that.

But, enough of about that.  When I’m comfortable enough with the first chapter, I plan to post it for your viewing pleasure as a sort of teaser to whet your appetite.  I think I may go with Scribd.  They seem to have a pretty decent setup and if I like how they operate, I may even put both books up for sale there as ebooks.  Keep an eye out for when the preview goes live.

Alright, I think I’m done for the week.  My brain’s a little fried from writing all day Saturday so I think some mindless activity like watching stuff on Hulu or playing video games is of the order.  Take care, everyone.

So, I finished the edits on my book and noticed a few more things to tweak while I was reading through it.  You ever get that feeling like you’ve finally finished something big and you’re ready to close things out when you look down and realize you overlooked a detail?  Not necessarily one that would make or break your project, but you know it’s there and more than likely someone will notice.  That’s whappened to me after reading the first 10 pages of my novel.  Luckily, it’s an easy fix and it shouldn’t screw with my page numbers so I won’t have to reprint the whole thing (thank goodness).

I plan to make that change and peruse the manuscript for any other little adjustments that won’t mess up the page count.  I’m also hoping to add another 450 words here and there.  That’s how close I am to being at the 80,000 word mark that many publishers like to see.  And speaking of publishers, once the rest of the edits are incorporated, I’m going to submit this sucker like crazy.  I purchased a copy of Writers Market 2009 and I’ve picked out several publishers that look very promising, so wish me luck as I move forward with this thing.

Oh, one other thing.  I might as well go ahead and tell you all now that I’m going to complete the first draft of the next book in the series in the middle of July.  I’ve got a company-wide 4-week furlough coming up and I’ll need something to keep me busy so I figured this was as good a time as any.  The 30-day Novel approach will be used again, so look for the word count meter to show up around mid-June.  I realize I haven’t told very many of you the title of my book, much less what it’s about.  Trust me, once I’ve gotten some positive responses from an agent and a publisher, you will hear me talking non-stop about it.  Until then, you’ll just have to wait 😉

El Capitan

Some Lessons Learned

Posted: April 20, 2009 in Writing
Tags: , ,

Just to update everyone, I have finished the novel and I am working on the final edits right now.  I have already been sending queries off to agents.  So far, I have received three rejections and one agent told me he was too busy to take on new clients.  Ah well.  That just means they weren’t the agents for me.  I’ll keep everyone updated on my progress.

If you aren’t already aware of this, I completed the first draft through a 30-day novel program back in May ’08 and I’ve been working on getting it fixed since then.  It’s been a long process and one thing I realized is that cramming a whole novel into 30 days (especially if it’s your first novel) means some stuff won’t be right. Make that a lot of things.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad I got it done so quickly and I plan to use the 30-day approach again, but I will say I’ve picked up one or two things I’d do differently on subsequent books.

For starters, for the next novel I’d like to have my main characters, settings, and major plots points identified prior to the writing.  With this first one, I simply started with the name and occupation of one character and started writing.

Another practice I want to incorporate in the future is to print it off and read it all the way through with a red pen in hand, no matter how terrible the writing may be.  I delayed printing a  hard copy of my novel and marking it up simply because I felt it was so awful.  This also had the terrible side affect of bumming me out enough that I wouldn’t touch it for long periods of time.

One last thing I would do differently is have other little side projects to keep me going whenever I hit a roadblock.  I found that almost every time I stepped away from the book and worked on some other creative endeavor, be it writing another story, formulating ideas for another book, photo editing, or even trying something new in the kitchen, a new idea for the novel would present itself (which is why it’s always good to keep a small notebook handy) and at the same time, I’ve taken another opportunity to flex my creative muscles.

So, those are some things I plan to keep in mind in the future.  That’s all I have for this one.  So…have a picture:


For those who don’t know (which is more than likely all of you) this is Kenji, one of the main characters from my all-time favorite comic, (heck maybe even my all-time favorite story) 20th Century Boys.  I’ll try to write a review about it next time.

Take care folks.