Well, I’m here. That means I survived. If you’re reading this, then you too are a survivor. Congratulations!
Category Archives: dialog
Remember when I said “the words were easy”? Yes, well. In the days since, not so much. I wrote that post having just passed 80K words. Tonight I wrestled my way past 90,000 words, just barely keeping on track to finish NaNoWriMo and this last 10K has been quite the struggle.
I’m neck deep in the climax of my book and all I can say is that it’s going to need a LOT of revision to make it flow. I’ve got a fight scene that feels like a badly choreographed, by the numbers, blow by blow account; I’ve got some not-so-engaging and oh-so-stilted dialog, and I’ve had to struggle to get every sentence on the page.
The annoying part is I can picture it all in my head and it’s just so much fun when it tumbles around in there. I just have to get it out to share it with everyone/anyone in a manner that’s as exciting and engaging for them as it is for me. The last thing I want on the page is a dry and boring step-by-step technical manual on how to get your ass kicked.
I have 4.5 chapters left of my outline to finish writing, which at approximately 2.5K words per chapter should put me just over 50K for NaNo, and 100K on the draft as a whole. I intend to take the first week of December off in it’s entirety and not look at it. I can’t promise I won’t, as I tend to obsess over these things, but I’ll sure as hell try.
Then it’s time to dive heavily into revision and clean-up and there’s plenty of that to go around.
The good news for the Alpha Readers is that you’ll be getting revised chapters dropped into the DropBox bin on a fairly regular basis. They’ll be in order, and they’ll add up to the whole book when all is said and done.
I’ve got another week of writing (and possibly a bit more) to go, then my two week break before that gets started, so let’s just let me stay concentrated on finishing NaNo first shall we?
I’m going to keep this blog entry short, as I’m completely bagged and need to get to bed.
I mentioned in my last blog entry that I was moving to a single Main Viewpoint Character, and that I was going to have to drop a few sub-plots.
There was one particular subplot that I really wanted to keep, as it punches up the story and really adds a level of individual conflict for a particular important character. I think I’ve found a way to bring that back in and hopefully make it fantastic. We’ll see.
I know one area I’m going to have to do extensive work on after this draft is polishing my dialog. The chapter I’m working on currently is pretty dialog heavy and I’m trying to keep it tight, but I know some of it is going to look like a train wreck in a day or two. I don’t think it’s horrible, but it could certainly use sprucing up and “destilting” (despite spellcheck that is a real word, Google it). I intend to finish this pass on the draft and use the age-old method of reading it aloud to see where it goes off the rails.
I’m nearly back up to 40K words after reworking my outline and slashing and burning a few chapters worth of material. I still have a LOT of editing to do to the chapters that are there to clean up the story and get it all on the new track. It’ll be worth every silent little scream.
I’m setting a deadline for this draft to be done in late December or (paying job workload dependant) early January. Then I’ll do some cleanup and get it out to my Alpha Readers as a more complete book.
That’s all for tonight.
Ah… That feels good. Just under 1000 words tonight, not the greatest pace, but better than nothing, and I’m not falling asleep at the keys. Things have been absolutely crazy here since the last blog update.
Did a good stretch of writing today, and expanding some of my outline points nicely tying up a sub-plot. Got about 3/4 through a very important scene, of course, I haven’t touched the most important part of the scene yet, I’m getting too tired to do it justice and I don’t want to mess it up.
So, the title says “Alpha Readers?” I wonder if that caught anyone’s attention? Here’s what I’m looking for in an Alpha Reader. Someone who:
- is willing to take this on as a bit of work and return comments in a timely manner
- isn’t going to worry about spelling and grammar
- can deal with horrible early drafts and not hate it.
- doesn’t mind reading little bits of a story without the whole story
- doesn’t mind reading a story in a disjointed out of order state
- isn’t just looking for a preview
- realizes this is a work of love for me, even if it sucks 😛 (a lot of it is tripe at this point, that’s what revising is for)
- is willing to give me real feedback, not suggestions on how to fix it though, just what’s broken.
Basically, I’m looking for someone who can help me make sure scenes make sense, dialog flows nicely, and characters are believable. I don’t need help with spelling and grammar (most of that will be corrected in later drafts, speed is too important right now to get caught up in all the little crap). I’m trying to sort out style and voice, and make sure my plot and sub-plots work in the end.
What you get for being an Alpha Reader? Well, you get my never-ending thanks (and possibly a call-out on an acknowledgements page if it ever gets published), and yes, you do get a preview of a book so early in it’s inception that it may be entirely different and you may hate it by the time it’s done 😀
I’ll be connecting with my Alpha Readers privately, who you are will never be made public until/unless the book is published and I have your permission to do so. I will arrange to get you PDF versions of individual chapters in various states of disarray, which you can mark up with questions and comments and return to me. I’m new to this, so this will be a learning process on its own.
You have the option to back out of being an Alpha Reader at any time without any hard feelings. Just thought I’d put that in there. I can’t be angry at someone if they bail out of some hard work they’re not required to do for me as a favour. That’s what it is, a favour. I can’t pay you anything but gratitude (and possibly the occasional cookies or tea if you live close enough).
Of course, if I don’t get any Alpha Readers, I’ll just soldier on until I need Beta Readers, but that may take a while.
Lots of dialog written today. It’s definitely going to need some polishing and cleaning. Currently it’s mostly the dialog itself without many tags or descriptors to flesh it out. I was just trying to get the flow and pacing right. I’m going to have to seriously come back to some of these story elements and tweak and retouch them, today’s dialog almost got away from me and went off on a tangent. Not necessarily a bad thing, but certainly not a good thing when trying to stick to an outline.
I’m considering myself on contract with my potential readers. I intend to hold up my end of the deal and have been working to take my writing more seriously and dedicate more time to it. I’m trying to form the habit of writing, which can be quite tricky to do in a house full of people while they aren’t all sleeping.