Rewriting My Fourth Novel, Secret Matilda Pt. 2

Besides the shoveling of snow, I’m moving right along!

I was flying through my edit when BAM! I ran headfirst into the middle of the draft.  I found some repeated bits (some are way better than others) and other parts that are just in the wrong place.  It’s definitely slowed down my daily count, but progress is progress.

To be honest, I’m not that surprised as that is when the process I used to write the first draft changed drastically.  It just became easier to follow one character at a time and complete their part of the story.  Doing it that way has left me a ton of work to look forward to.

It’s a different editing experience that’s for sure.  I end up searching for the pieces I know I wrote. Then I can stick the bits in their proper places, nip, and tuck them for a precise fit.  It almost feels more like video editing!

Did I mention that I had to do a lot of searching?  Because I have a lot left to do, oh boy.  But I am enjoying the experience!  And I’m enjoying the story too!

And that’s the important stuff.

Image by kalhh from Pixabay

An Author’s Insight discussion!

Lyndsie Clark wrote a post about her journeys as an author. She invited a few authors (including me) to give their thoughts on a couple of questions that have plagued just about every writer out there. You can check it out here!

She has written in great detail about her thoughts on the various publishing routes available, which I found very informative. She has links to these in her post as well!

Rewriting My Fourth Novel, Secret Matilda Pt. 1

This’ll be a short one but, whew!

I bit the bullet. The current first draft of the last book will be split into two.  It’s just too long. I mean this monster is huge (and now two-headed. Maybe too many Ray Harryhausen movies lately? Or maybe just enough!) 

Despite the cause, both Secret Matilda and Waltzing Matilda have a semblance of linear order! And that’s great!  It took a while (so long, I swear), but the pieces are cobbled together in the (mostly) right order.  Now I can grind-edit these things into books worth reading!

And that, my fiendish friends, is the big task that I’ll be pounding away during NaNoWriMo (and beyond).  Editing fills my future for the foreseeable days and I am alright with that.

Crazy thought… I might rewrite the end of this whole thing!  Kind of blows my mind because that was always the part I knew from the very beginning!  But now it doesn’t quite fit in… and it’ll be fun to change it!

The end is so much closer than it was at the beginning of this year! Can you smell it? Or is that turkey?

New Work In Progress!

If you enjoy fantasy, then you should give Laura Maybrooke  a look! I enjoyed her book, Immortal Defiance and I have Down a Darker Path loaded on my reader.

One of the things I like about her as an artist is that she creates and designs her own covers for her works.  You can peruse some of her art on her page (I would recommend taking a look around).

She has a monthly contest where, if you win, she will design one of your characters. And I won! Now the hard part, which character should I choose?

Earlier this year, I worked on another project as a mental break from the series. Luckily, I was able to get some of it done (structure, character creation, and the opener to it).  I really dig this guy. I want to know more.

I was curious to see what she came up with, so I chose him.   And here he is! Jojo Jubilee, the wooden legged wizard from the East!

I like her version better. She made him look so much cooler than I initially had in my head! I couldn’t be happier with how he turned out.

Ooh, I can’t wait to jump back into his story!

NaNoWriMo 2020?

Am I doing NaNoWriMo this year? The real answer is no.  I still plan on joining virtual write-ins but it won’t be for a new project.

I will be devoting all of my spare time on getting Black Matilda ready for print.  And just like that, Black Matilda is off to the beat readers.  I look forward to their thoughts and findings.

The rest of my time will be spent editing the next and last books in the series.  I am excited and trepidatious about this part.  But getting a massive jumpstart on it is worth every minute of it.  Everything feels fresh and new while I’m knee deep in the story.  If this keeps up editing will be a breeze.

Fingers crossed!

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Rewriting My Third Novel, Black Matilda Pt. 5

Wow…  Now that is a lot of red ink (maybe blood, sweat and tears?) 

When I received the edited manuscript, I wondered if my editors used up all their red pens just for fun.  Some pages were minor corrections while other pages were hard to see past the sea of red.  But every correction was completely worth it.  I can’t really thank my editors enough for all the hard work they went through even if it means more hard work for me.  I owe them a lot.

But you know what?  The big edit is done!

I made all the needed corrections and fixed others that came up in the process.  It took a few weeks with other craziness jumping in the way (I am looking at you, old motherboard, crashing connections, old and new windows, and a host of other things… yeesh).  I mean, you get used to the COVID restrictions, breathing in the smoke from the forest fires, never mind the election process and all that jazz, but did I really need more stuff on my plate?  Does anyone at this point?

Anyway, it feels really good to have moved forward on this one.  I am doing a finesse edit then its off to my beta readers again to catch any last foibles in it.  Fingers crossed that it’s all minor stuff if anything at all.

I can’t wait to get Black Matilda out there for you guys to read!  I am pretty excited about that.  I could use the accomplishment this year, if you know what I mean.

While were on the subject of change, (this is a really bad segue, but sometimes you gotta force these things) get out there and vote for your congress people, your senators and your president!

Image by Predra6_Photos from Pixabay

Restarting My Fourth Novel, Waltzing Matilda Pt. 7


… and done! I can still smell the smoke coming from that last page.

It feels like ages ago when I wrote that a story needs an ending as much as it needs a beginning. And true to my words on that day, perseverance was the key. Though, it took over a year to get there. But I am there! I am actually there!

It kind of blows my mind, especially with the madness that has been 2020. The Covid-19 pandemic continues its slog worldwide. Protestors fill the streets in US cities pushing for needed cultural change even while others stand in the way. As ‘anonymous’ once said, “little by little becomes a lot.”

Here’s to making cultural change, even if it’s in baby steps.

That sentiment held true for each page of this book, as well. Some days, I dropped a couple of thousand words without breaking a sweat, while other days I eked out a sentence. Those little steps kept the story growing.

And strange things occurred within those little steps. New ideas sprouted up, new questions needed answers and they all pushed the story forward. And all that got that first draft done! This story is literally (haha puns!) the longest thing I have ever written. It’s lengthy enough that it might end up being two books! Can you believe it? Two! No wonder it took me so long to get it down.

When I started this story so many years ago, I initially thought it would be a single book. After that first one was done, my brain said maybe it’s a duology. Then it was a quadrilogy and now it might be a pentalogy (now that is a nifty word).

But you know what? I don’t care about the number of books since the complete story is on paper… well virtual paper.

And I have to give a ton of thanks to my writing group, Wry Wit Writing Fellowship. Getting together and forcing writing sprints got me the jumps I needed. And I really have to thank She pushed me every day for many weeks to get it done. I don’t think it would be completed right now, without that push. Thanks, Lyndsie!

On to the next stage. Editing this one is going to be a beast. I had to change my writing process to get it rolling forward. A good two-thirds of it are not in a connected, linear path, but they do follow particular characters. Piecing that puzzle together into a narrative is going to be… interesting. I am curious to see how the story changes by the final edits.

What happens now? I jump back to book three! I need to get those edits done and Black Matilda out before I can give book four the care it needs. Then I can baby it to completion.

Man, it feels good to have the whole story in front of me!

Image by 愚木混株 Cdd20 from Pixabay

Restarting My Fourth Novel, Waltzing Matilda Pt. 6


The finish line!  I think I can see it.

Wow…  Has it really been over a year since I last dropped an update on book four?  Well no, now I see the last one was intermixed in a post from 2019.  Go me for being on top of things or something… what was I talking about?  Oh yeah!

I only have two more plot lines left to go and my brain is being a brick about it.  So, what does one do in this sort of situation?  Outline the living hell out of it.  And that’s what I’ve done.  The plot points are fully mapped out and I am halfway through the first of them.  It’s not pretty and reads like someone (me) threw words on a page but it’s another step closer to a completed first draft.

Writing these novels has been an interesting experience in different writing starts.  I’ve gone from a minor idea, full-on “seat of the pantsing,” and now to completely outlined down to what transpires in the dialogue.  And, to be honest, “seat of the pantsing” is the most fun.  When the characters take you by the hand and lead you down a bunch of rabbit holes you didn’t know were there is seriously one hell of a trip.  This full outlining is cumbersome in comparison.  It’s like pushing a boulder uphill and realizing you need to build stop gates every six inches.

But I wouldn’t be where I’m at without it.  Every day is a little bit closer to completing it even if I only get a paragraph, a sentence, or an outline down.

Now I can finally see the light!  Man, I hope it’s not a train…

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay