Category Archives: dropbox

Zug Zug

Remember that little progress bar to the right? Take a peek at that sucker!

BAM! That’s right. Revision 4 complete! It took considerably longer than it probably should have, but Real Life™ tends to not care what we have planned.

I put every spare moment I had into getting it done (hence the disgusting lack of blog updates). The problem being that spare moments weren’t as plentiful as I’d hoped they would be. That said, in the interest of getting it done, I’ve learned a new skill.

I can now revise, out loud, in public places, with lots of distractions. Sure, people probably thought I was crazy, and it didn’t go nearly as fast as when I hide in my writing cave, but it was time to revise I didn’t have otherwise. I’ve now revised out loud in places such as hockey arenas, train stations, hotels, coffee shops, and book stores.

This revision was a game changer, and I have to say, I’m going to do an out loud pass on everything I write from here on out (yes, including this blog entry). It makes such a difference to the flow and clarity of the written words. There’s something about engaging the speech and hearing centres of the brain that catches all the crud the eyes miss.

Take another look at that progress bar, see the numbers under it? That’s 4,598 words shaved off the word count, all in the name of clarity. And it wasn’t just 4,600 words dropped, it was closer to 7,000 words cut, then more words built on top.

During this process I won a 40 page critique from Kat Ellis on her blog. Her feedback was AMAZING, and I tried to take it into consideration throughout the rest of the draft. I can only hope I succeeded.

I’ve put the latest in my DropBox for my Alpha Readers, and e-mailed copies to 2 of my 3 current Critique Partners (Colten Hibbs, Rachel Russel, and Clara Mitchell). Now it’s all over except for the terror… and feedback.

– Alex

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Filed under Alpha Readers, BookB, Critique, deadlines, dropbox, Editor, Ego, Real Life™, Revision, Word Count

Surviving the Holidays

Well, I’m here. That means I survived. If you’re reading this, then you too are a survivor. Congratulations!

The holidays, regardless of which ones you celebrate or why you celebrate them, are about tradition and bringing families together. Anyone who survives that dangerous mix deserves their due credit.
I didn’t do it alone, my wife and children helped me through it all with a continuous flow of joy and rich foods. My wife is an artist with food and confection at a level that I strive for with words.
I’d have to say the hardest part of the whole holiday ordeal was not writing. It’s not that I didn’t write or revise at all, but it certainly wasn’t to the schedule I’ve grown used to. It kept leaving me with a nagging sense that I was being lazy and leaving things undone.
I’m revising now, which means I’m learning a LOT about my bad habits and just how horrible and clunky some of my prose can be. 
I’ve got this fantastic thing I do, which likely comes from my personal speech patterns, where I use more complicated words when simple will do. I don’t seem to let it creep into dialog, which is a good sign that I’m not overpowering my character voices.
I’m enjoying the experience so far. Granted, I’ve only revised 6 chapters in to a ~50 chapter manuscript,  but some of them needed serious surgery. I’m talking the “hit it repeatedly with an ax until it stops moving” kind of surgery. Messy, somewhat painful, but necessary. 
I’ve started to receive feedback from my Alpha Readers on some of what they have so far and it’s been invaluable. It’s really quite amazing how much some of them pick up on. I probably drive them batty with how I’m dropping, revising, and re-dropping the same chapters to them on Dropbox, and I’m trying to clean up that process so they’ll have a frame of reference when I give them updated revisions.
I still aim to push it out to some Critique Partners over at CPSeek.com and on Twitter by end of January. The timeline from that to Agent Query Submission will have to be more flexible depending on feedback at that level.
This writing thing is a lot of work. It’s a good thing I enjoy it.

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Filed under Alpha Readers, BookB, dialog, dropbox, family, Feedback, Learning, Motivation, Real Life™, Revision, Twitter

BookB – Crow’s Blood

I’m on vacation!

Of course, being on vacation, that means I’m working hard on my revisions of BookB, which now has a working title: Crow’s Blood.

I’ve revised the first 4 chapters (Chapter 3 twice!) and have thrown a progress bar on the side panel. Those are on Dropbox ready for my Alpha Readers.

I’m finding the revision process both rewarding and exhausting. There is SO MUCH to clean up with this manuscript, but as I finish each chapter and push it to my Alphas it gives me a HUGE sense of accomplishment. The feedback I’ve received so far has been great and it’s not only helping with the chapters in question, but with the other chapters going forward as well.

I’m working in silence, which is somewhat odd for me as I usually have a sound-track when I work. Instead, I get to hear my own voice repeating and reworking sentences for hours on end, which is nowhere near as cool sounding as I’d really like you to think.

My end goal is to have this entire draft revised and edited and ready for critique by the end of January, so far I’m on track. I think the first half of my MS needs a good deal more cleaning than the second half as I was really finding my groove further into the story. With how much of a mess the first half is I’m hoping that holds true.

In other news, the wonderful @QuikChaos (AKA Mr. Fizzygrrl himself Andrew Heacock) set up a great new site at the direction of @Fizzygrrl (Summer Heacock), @WriteForApples (Dee), and a whole host of other awesome writerly types called cpseek.com. A great new resource for writers and aspiring writers to find critique partners and beta readers.

There’s even a large number of mentors on the site and a “SecretAgent” account (that I’ll be stalking) run by a gaggle of Agents who may pop in and give advice from time to time.

It’s fairly new and was launched just last week, but it’s already a thriving and growing community and I’m very excited to see where it goes. I know I’ll be a frequent visitor and an active member of the community. I hope to find some CPs there to augment my already awesome Alpha Readers.

– Grimm

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Filed under Alpha Readers, BookB, dropbox, Revision, Word Count

Not so easy now is it?

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?

– Grimm

P.S. If you don’t have DropBox, it’s fantastic and it’s free, and I get more space if you use my referral link to sign up, and I’m always hungry for more space 😀

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Filed under Alpha Readers, BookB, dialog, dropbox, NaNoFiMo, NaNoWriMo, Revision, Word Count