Tag Archives: critique

Morning Pages – April 24, 2014

So yesterday some interesting things happened. I actually, submitted my first story to CritiqueCircle.com, and in the process, I did quite a bit of editing on it. At least in terms of getting rid of a lot of extraneous words. I was pretty brutal, I though with about the first 3500 words of the story. I went through, and pulled out probably around 350 words, or 10% of the original word count. Which I thought was quite a bit, but perhaps it wasn’t really all that much. I do think the story reads better now, but I’m second guessing myself a lot on the content of the story now. Which, I suppose is an improvement, as I feel that at least the story works much better from a stylistic approach. But, after reading a few other critiques, of other peoples works, it’s a bit depressing. Knowing, that others are likely going to rip apart my writing. Mind you, it won’t all be worth it, if I get get a few good ideas. From what I’ve seen of the critiques on the site so far, a few are usually pretty good, but a lot are just opinion, and a few are really bad. The trick, is getting someone good to read critique story. And, even then, it’s just someone else’s opinion. What really matters, is how well the story sells. I think what I have written has a bit too much exposition at the beginning, and not enough dialogue, but other stories do that as well, so I’m not too worried about it. I don’t mind reading that kind of story, but I’m sure some of the other writers will jump on it. The thing with writing, is that there are a lot of rules written about it, but your totally free, to throw all the rules out the window. And, remember, this is just your first story. I think, if I can get it to read well, and be a bit entertaining, with good flow, then I won’t worry too much about the style it’s written in. I’ll always be free to change that as the second novel comes along. Remember, the key thing here, is to get the damn thing finished and out there. Go through the process, and start building a base of readers. That’s what you really need to do. Start a mailing list. Get it out there. If that book get’s really panned, you can always pull it down, or just do some revisions. That’s the beauty of self published. You can do whatever you want with it. It feels like I’m spinning my wheels with this editing, just because it’s taking so much longer than I thought, but in reality, I’m actually learning so much about it. I have a much better idea, of what needed changing, in my first book. I know, that it’s far too wordy to start with, and if I can write my first draft with a few less extraneous words, then the editing process will get better. I know, that if I spend more time outlining the story up front, that it will not only be much better, but it will go faster. I know, that I need to pay more attention to the whole scene and sequel cycle. I need to be sure, there is conflict in each of those scenes that is driving the story forward, and making it interesting for the reader. I know about structure, and that if I can incorporate the 7-point structure going forward, I’ll have a better starting point for subsequent novels. It is a lot to learn, and granted, there have been other things slowing me down, but if I can just get these process down a little bit smoother, and faster, which I’m sure I can, then this whole thing will be a more productive and enjoyable experience. That’s also what I’m going for here, is to make this an enjoyable experience. There is a core part of me, that really enjoys the writing, but at the moment, I feel that all the uncertainty around getting it done, is overwhelming me a lot. I just need to work through all the uncertain pieces, and keep moving forward, and eventually I’ll be successful with it. Which is incredibly exciting. The end game here has a lot of potential. This is the first endevour, where I feel like, once I get a bit of success with it, I can stick to it for the rest of my life. And that’s a first. It would be the first job / business where I think I’d like to do it forever. Which, is pretty exciting.

TIGERBLOOD: yes DAILYMOOD: good – anxious LOCATION: living room WORDSWRITTEN:editing PUSHUPS: 2:00 plank TODO: editing TV: californication, 70s Show BOOK: excerpts of a few zombie indie authors GAME: BitRunner, A Clone In The Dark EXERCISE: walk for 50 minutes WEIGHT: 170 BREAKFAST: bacon & eggs LUNCH: big ass salad DINNER: none SNACKS: orange, grapes ALCOHOL: none BEDTIME: 11:45 AWAKE: 6:30

 

Morning Pages Entry – April 22, 2014

I’m not sure what the deal is these days with dreams about planes, but I had another one last night. That’s two in a row. This one was odd, in that I was driving a car over a mountain top that had really nice scenery, but it was very difficult to keep the car on the road. There where actually like these two grooves on either side of the road, and I kept the car on the road, but keeping my fingers in the grooves. The really wierd part, was that I was driving the car while flying in the plane. I was a passenger in the plane, and I’m not sure how I managed to drive the car at the same time, but I did. It was difficult to keep the cars on the road at the time though. There was another plane related dream last night as well. Not sure if it was a totally seprate dream, or just another chapter in the same dream, but we were like in this big plane parking lot. And there were all these fighter planes (red I think), that were kinda small and stubby, but they were all launched by these elaborate elastic band type launching mechanisms. I think a single person could actually launch them. Which was all sort of cool and things for a while, as they launched about a dozen planes, but then the planes all started crashing back into the parking lot, where a bunch of us were standing. They were smashing into walls, and each other, while narrowly missing us, as we were running around, trying to stay away from them. Eventually, we all just ducked inside. Pretty bizarre dreams, and I don’t know what my minds obsession is with planes the last few days, but there you go. So, in my quest to get the novel edited, I’ve lined up Dave and Mark, to pitch in, but I’ve also gotten side tracked now at the moment, with the Critique Circle website. I do think, I need to submit some words to that site, and see how it goes. I should throw in a few thousand words and get some feedback. I did a bit of reading on some of the submissions, and think I have some idea of how to give feedback. I suppose, it’s really just a matter of telling someone what you thing of their story. I wouldn’t feel comfortable about the grammar side of things, unless I see something that is blatant. But, I could certainly comment on sentences that are worded awkwardly, and bits of story telling, that work or don’t work. It would be good for me to critique others (at least that’s what a lot of other writers say), in that it improves your own ability to tell stories. Plus, it gets your work out there in a non threatening way. I should clean up about 3000 words, and put it out there. It would really be good go have some feedback about all the stuff I’ve written. I’m a little bit nervous about it, but it’s a good way to get your feet wet I think. You can let others see your stuff, but do it in a safe place. One where it doesn’t matter if it’s bad. I think today, that is what my focus will be. Getting at least 3000 of my first few words out there, and see what everybody thinks of them. All the critiques won’t be helpful, but hopefully enough of them will be. And, maybe you’ll do enough networking with potential other writers, to find a few partners to help you down this path. That could be invaluable. Some real critique partners for future writing endeavours. Yes, the goal today, will be to critique someone else’s work, and to get one example of your work out there. Not sure how long it will take for it to get enough critiques, but it’s definitely worth giving it a go. Shouldn’t take me all that long to do. I should also mention, that today is day 53 without eating any refined sugar, or process foods, or junk food. There has been some alcohol. A few glasses of wine, and one apple cider with Gold Schlanger in it, but that’s it. That’s a pretty successful number of days to go. My wieght is still around 170. I would certainly, like to get that down. I need to be more consistent, I think in doing my walks. That would get me down to my goals weight of 155. I’m really curious, as to what I would look like at that weight.

TIGERBLOOD: yep DAILYMOOD: good LOCATION: living room WORDSWRITTEN: editing PUSHUPS: 2:00 plank TODO: publish on critique circle TV: game of thrones, sons of anarchy BOOK: none GAME: Mickey Mouse Castle of Illusions EXERCISE: none WEIGHT: 171 BREAKFAST: bacon & eggs LUNCH: big ass salad DINNER: hamburger patty, carrots SNACKS: orange, grapes ALCOHOL: none BEDTIME: 11:00 AWAKE: 6:30