Friday, 26 February 2016

[FEB UPDATE] Cephalopod Book Club & Goals

I'm on time this time!! Woo!

~ The Cephalopod Coffeehouse Book Club : February Edition ~

This is definitely one of my fave books read in the last few years - which was a surprise, because I'm not religious, so not particularly into the romantic notion of angels, etc. However, these angels weren't romantic - they were jerks!

After reading Book #1, I wasn't entirely sure whether Raffe was a jerk or not, because what did he really think of the invasion of the angels? We didn't have much insight into his opinion by the end of this book - he always went silent whenever Penryn showed any distress over the state of the world she once lived in, a world largely destroyed by angels.

I quickly moved on to reading Book #2, and I enjoyed it as well. I did notice some unflattering reviews of Books #2 and particularly #3. And I have since read them both - thankfully I enjoyed them all. I must say though, that of all the books, Book #1 was the most incredible - fast-paced, action-packed, horrifying, and all in all a real page-turner. Generally, any book that makes me feel compelled to keep reading it, is a winner.

Currently Reading: Sarah Maas's Throne of Glass

Last time I posted about my goals, I mentioned that I was working on preliminary edits for ON THE OUTSIDE. Since then, I have updated my blog mentioning that I cut out a large number of words from Chapter 1, a very troublesome chapter (same old story). Well, I haven't done much since then. I've been grappling with the other things in my life, and the editing as fallen away. However, I still have the burning desire to keep going with it.

My studies began this week, so I have to factor them in (which I'm not doing too well at so far). I'm also still busy with kitty rescue stuff, but am trying to pull back from that a little. It so happens it's the busiest time of year for Aussie cat rescues, with lots of kittens being born during the summer months, and lots of people going on holiday and dumping their cats at the pound as they were too disorganised to find / pay for holiday care well ahead of time. We are all eager for this year's "kitten season" to end, though many in rescue say that kitten season never really ends.

So with all that, the editing has fallen away again. But I hope to at least get a little bit of it done this weekend. I'm still pleased about cutting out 8 pages of Chapter 1, though, even if I do have to add some of it back in for the remains to make sense.

Friday, 12 February 2016

First chapter update

Thank you to everyone who left a note on my IWSG post - it's great to get thoughts / encouragement from this awesome bloggy-writey community when working on a writing project. That's another thing I've been missing during my "I can't bring myself to write one single word or edit one single sentence" slump of the last few ... years.

I wanted to give a quick update on how Chapter 1 of ON THE OUTSIDE is shaping up. I haven't done much work on it, except that I cut a significant portion of the chapter - the first 8 pages, to be precise. I know I'm going to have to take a few snippets from those 8 pages and stick them somewhere in the remainder, because otherwise things aren't making sense. But I feel really good about the new point I've chosen to start the story at.

I really appreciate the offers from you guys to beta read my chapter for me. I am actually wondering if it might be a good idea to tidy up this new version of Chapter 1, then send both versions along to some betas & see what they think of the "before" and "after". But I wouldn't want to get anyone bogged down in 8 useless pages of writing bloat. :) Still, you could skim read!

Anyway...I'll post another update sometime soon. It feels SO GOOD to be motivated and actually doing something significant to one of my novels, again.

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

IWSG #18 - First chapter editing

It's IWSG day, so I thought I'd edit this and include the badge. I think my post fits the overall "insecure" theme, because I know often first chapters can be the most challenging in novels, and the most demoralising. In my case, I almost always have to edit the crap out of them to make them passable. But it can take a while for me to get to the point of being daring enough to take big steps.

* * *

Last time I posted, I mentioned that I had switched editing projects. I mistakenly said I was working on LOST & FOUND, when in fact I'm working on ON THE OUTSIDE. Maybe this goes to show that I have a stupid amount of novels to choose from when it comes to editing, and easily get confused between them all? ;)

Anyway, yes, I'm editing ON THE OUTSIDE. I sort of jump around a bit when editing, as there are so many bits I have wanted to edit, for so long (same with all my novels). This is the result of many skims / reads of the novel draft on my Kindle, where I put all drafts for convenient reading. But the bit that most troubles me about this novel appears to be the first chapter. It's a little bloated and boring, and I've already cut a bit out of it. But the other day I was thinking maybe I should just totally condense it down, and start off with the main point of the chapter - Livia (formerly named Nora...but it was too confusing having a Nora and her best friend Nina) is about to be abandoned by her bestie. Instead of a chapter that wafts around, slowly getting to the point, why not get straight to the point?

It's funny how editing can work - sometimes you'll tweak a chapter over and over, rewrite sentences, chop out a word here & there. And then one night when you're trying to get to sleep, you'll stare into the dark and wonder if maybe you shouldn't just chop out most of the pages in that first chapter. Your chapter is feeling bloated, it's suffocating you, and it's in severe need of a good hacking.

Well, that's what happened to me the other night. I haven't got my axe out yet, but I will be reading the chapter and considering how best to wield that axe.

It feels good to be in editing mode again.