Welcome to the Dragon's Pen, the blog of an aspiring kiwi author ... chatting about reading, writing, querying and publishing

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

So how's it going?

Thus far I've managed to troll through almost 16,000 words - no mean feat.

I couple of times I've wanted to bang my head against the keyboard, but that would do nasty things to the laptop that I know I would regret later, so I didn't. I hit the table instead.

I hate it when you're editing a piece of your writing and you just know it's not right, but you really aren't quite sure what's wrong with the ruddy thing. You tweak stuff and you move stuff around and you chop bits, but it doesn't feel right some how.

Well, I've been having a few moments like this lately. It's a problem with my early chapters that I don't seem to have later on - or so my alpha reader assures me.

What would we do without critique groups? They are a Godsend!

It's amazing how having someone look at your work can switch on the light and show you the glaring problems within your work. I'm sure I would still be bumbling around in the dark, tearing my hair out otherwise.

After getting back chapter five from my group this week I realized my biggest issue was superfluous conversation. You know, back and forth dialogue that could really be half the length. I'm sure this is sometimes okay and there's a place for it, but NOT in the middle of a high intensity, high action chapter.

My characters superfluous chatter was dragging at the pace of the story like lead weights on a marathon swimmer. It was killing the story.

Janice Hardy, YA Fantasy author, wrote a great blog about this recently. You can read it here.

Of course, once I figured out what the issue was I took to the pages with my scalpel. Stab. Hack. Slash. And knit back together with some delightful prose.

As yet the Editors Hat it staying on nicely. Thanks for asking. Hubby did suggest I might need the nail gun to keep it on, but for now the staples are holding well.

Happy Editing everyone.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Confession Time

This is my editors hat.

Isn't she beautiful?

Black. Formal. Sensible. But with a dash of colour that hints at a fun and adventurous side. Anything can happen...

Hi Everyone.

Thought I'd pop in briefly and say "Hi." It has been a while hasn't it?

It has been very quiet here at the Dragon's Pen. I haven't had much to say ... mostly, to be honest, because I haven't been doing much book-wise.

Maybe I needed a break - maybe I've earned one?

I started writing this book approx seven months ago, finished it on a high and dived straight into editing only to get 12,000 words in and grind to a shrieking halt.

"It's too hard!"
"It's awful."
"I can't write. I'll never be able to do this story justice."
"I just don't feel like it right now."
"I'd rather read or play a computer game..."
"Blah-blah... Wah-wah..."

All these things have trotted though my mind over the last week or so. I've read some good books and spent way too many hours playing games on my computer. :)

But now I'm dreaming about Book Two and I must get this one finished.

The itch is back. So, I'm rolling up my sleeves and stapling my Editors Hat to my head so it can't fall off again (painful but necessary, believe me).

And I'm telling myself:

"I can write, really, I can."
"This story is awesome!"
(Insert growly voice) "Just stick your butt in the chair and get on with it!"

And other positive stuff like that.

So here goes ... again.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

A Different Hat

The draft might be finished, but my work certainly isn't done.

Muse hat off. Editor hat on.

My manuscript still needs a through edit so I'll be wearing my Editor Hat for the next wee while.

Then it'll be ready to be printed off for my editors and readers. (I can't wait to hold it in my hot little hands!!!)

I'm thrilled that a few of my readers are from my target audience, avid young adults who have a very good handle on what they like to read and why. I'm really looking forward to their feedback.

So if it is a little quiet around here you know why ... I'm busy editing. Do keep an eye on my progress boxes, even if I'm not posting I'll still be updating them.

Happy writing everyone!

It is Finished - First Draft Complete!!

At 12.45 am last night, Friday 9th of April 2010, I typed the final words of my YA Fantasy novel.

Coming in at 90,922 words or 417 pages ...

My draft of Tremorgan's Gift is complete.

Because I tumbled into bed right after finishing last night, I had a little white wine and chocolate to celebrate today.

I was ecstatic last night, but today I feel sort of ... listless. I think that's the best word I can think of to describe my state of mind. I think I'm still getting my head round the fact that it's DONE!