Monthly Archive: March 2014

Now commencing with the second draft!

Got the first draft of my work in progress done did up. It came out all right. I can see where it needs improvement.

Already started the revisions. The first chapter doubled in size. Added a couple more characters and changed the setting from a monastery to an embassy compound. Added a couple of Shiss warders- which reminds me that I changed witches to warders, because in this time, the Witches Guild has not yet been established.

I also changed the revelations about one of the main characters, little Tybis. I felt that her fate should be revealed with Warder Kreek present, since it’s Kreek’s story, and Tybis’s situation will impact Kreek’s decisions. Those decisions are the driving force behind the story. Kreek sees a grave problem affecting her society and devotes her life to changing things. She doesn’t yet know the cost, to her and her society. I hope to raise the stakes and make this a one person standing against all kind of battle. Conflict drives stories, so I want a lot of conflict in this puppy now.

I’ve stopped my participation in www.theNextBigWriter.com. I did so for two reasons. First, I was devoting too much time figuring out who I owed critiques to and responding to reviews. Plus, I did not feel the reviews I was receiving were really worth all the effort I put into my reviews. And it took so many reviews to get the credits I needed to post my chapters, the process was draining me. Second, I decided with the free time I opened by quitting the site I would devote to my pet project, Medimations, LLC. I’ve been screwing around with that long enough. Time to get that ball rolling, and fast. I mean, I went through three years of college online to get the skills I needed to make my videos. And I accumulated the associated debt. The payoffs from the videos will come a lot sooner than any substantial payoff from my writing. I had to realign my priorities. And something had to give. That something was the critique site. I also flirted with a site called www.fanstory.com. I did not like the way that site was set up and quit it the same day.

I will continue to write. Hopefully I can recruit some beta readers to give me insights. But my writing will now be more for my own personal pleasure than anything else. And with my extra time, I plan to get my videos kick-started into high gear. They will take a lot of effort, but if I do it right, I see no reason why I can’t make it all work out for me monetarily. Got to pay off the student loans somehow.

A Ghastly Gillion Stars update

The first draft of my latest work in progress, A Ghastly Gillion Stars, is coming to a close. I have one final chapter to hammer out, then I can feel good about calling this draft done did up.

There’s room for improvement on this one. I started out without a real map in place in my mind. Sort of winged it. But now that I have this first go-through out on paper (so to speak) I know where I need to dial things up, add a chapter or two, and broaden the cast of characters.

I’m thinking big here. Big and bigger and biggerer. I see now how I can make the central conflict hit at a personal level between the two adversaries, and also at a societal level. I want to ratchet things up, make the stakes huge. So large that the society that loses this battle will have a whole lot of troubles in their future. I figure this will be my final story set in my Ux-Blood universe, so I might as well go for broke. I mean, I didn’t even mention witchblood, or what the ux was, or how it shouldn’t be the Witches Guild here, but its predecessor. And the predecessor of the League of Cells is around, too. I made the opening setting a monastery, but I think I will change that. Have to go back and re-read parts of Earth Cell where I explained some of the early Witches Guild and the League of Cells. I decided now those are going to be creations of the three overworlds after the Pheelm Chaos hits, and in this story I plan to reveal what happens to the Pheelm society that leads up to the Pheelm Chaos.

Also going to add a lot more description of the two primary species. A lot of reviewers who’ve gone through this first draft have made remarks about that lack of description. I know how I can slip it in, too, right in the opening paragraphs of the opening chapter. Should be an easy fix, really. Just have to get what the Pheelm look like squared away in my mind. (See? I told you I didn’t go into this one with things a bit more thought out!) Then I think I’ll be good to go, with this first draft as a pretty solid template on what I want to do.

I recently read a book by a successful literary agent about how to write the breakout novel. I read a whole slew of how-to-write books way back when, a couple of decades ago at least. Reading this new book reminded me of a lot of things I forgot over the years. Boo! But with all that fresh in my mind, I can see now how to punch things up for A Ghastly Gillion Stars. And this will be great practice for my next novel-length manuscript, Dew Drops. Originally I planned to save Dew Drops for January, but after reading that how-to book, I have ideas about that story that just won’t be quiet. I’m pretty sure that’s my mind telling me to get cracking on that novel. So, I’ll put aside the few shorter works I had planned (most of them novella length, truth be told) and throw myself into my next large project as soon as my current WIP is complete.

It’ll be a few more weeks yet with A Ghastly Gillion Stars. I may tinker with the cover idea I have in mind before diving into the revision. Let the finished first draft percolate a bit more in my mental juices. And given how much I can make this story better, I’m looking forward to getting started. I’ll keep you posted!

My Monday Mornings are Your Friday Evenings

Thought I’d write a post about work. Specifically my weekends.

I work the night shift Satruday and Sunday nights at the local hospital, going in at 6:30pm and leaving at 6:30am. This is in addition to two eight-hour night shifts I work Thursday and Friday for a full forty-hour work week. The weekend hours might sound long, but they often pass by relatively quickly. Some days are busier than others- that’s one thing about the medical field. No telling what you’ll get any given day. (And I guess I should mention I work as a CT/MRI technologist, so you have an idea of what I do on these overnights.)

And talk about coincidence! I just spent the past forty minutes doing three CT scans right in a row- bam! bam! bam! Haven’t done a thing all night (well, since 6:30pm) then all the sudden… patients! But as I said, that’s how it goes sometimes in the medical profession. Or more specifically, in an ER setting.

But back to my main point. There are two times during my weekend shifts I feel really good. Sunday morning when I’m walking out, because I only have twelve more hours to go before my weekend. Then Monday morning as I walk, because… WEEKEND! And as a bonus, THREE DAY WEEKEND!

Yeah, that’s right! I get a three-day weekend each and every week! Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday off! It’s so wonderful. Being childfree and single, that gives me three whole days to myself, to do whatever I want! Admittedly I’m not the most productive. But sometimes I do finish off projects, like painting a room or installing shelves in a closet. During March I want to go through the boxes stacked in my bedroom’s walk-in closet and see how much of that I can discard. I should be able to get that all wrapped up relatively quickly because… three day weekend!

Additionally, whenever I take a week off, I get six extra days! Ten for the price of four! And when I do go back to work, it’s late Thursday, so I have most of that day off as well!

I think I’m going to be here on this shift for a good long time.