Writing again

by Doc Coleman on April 3, 2013 · 2 comments

in Novels

Last week I wrote about my life being on Pause, but now I’m back writing again. What gives? Well, this week things are getting to be more under control, and last week’s post was really explaining the past two week’s absence…

My wife has been more mobile this week. She’s even started walking about in the house using just a cane. It takes her a bit to tighten up the muscles, but she’s doing it. She’s also noted that some things that caused pain before, she can now do without pain. This is a really good sign. She is getting more self-sufficient, and that means that I’m getting more time to catch up on things. I’ve started on mundane things like dishes and laundry, but I’ve also been able to squeeze out some time to start writing again. My last post was actually written on my phone while I was riding to work. Now I’m getting a chance to actually sit down at the computer and begin doing some work.

The itch to write is also begging to be scratched. I’ve lost about six weeks on the Magic Spreadsheet since I finished up my Way of the Gun story. I used that time to get Welcome to Paradox edited and published, but I haven’t had a lot of time to prepare to work on a new story. I’ve been playing with some thoughts for my sci-fi story that I really should write down, but I was saving that for this year’s NaNoWriMo. I might start it early if I have another idea for NaNo, but I’ve got enough unfinished work going as it is. I may go ahead and start working on Bright Lands again, and apply the plotting tools to the second draft. Of course, the second draft of The Perils of Prague is crying out to be written.

I need to figure out how to work with second drafts. First drafts are easy as far as word count goes. You just write, and count the words. Second drafts are harder. You start with a whole draft written already and you have to go through and edit and re-write it. Adding things here, removing things there, or just changing or re-arranging a word to make it work better. In some ways it is tougher than writing that first draft, in some ways it is easier. The question is, how do you count it? Words written? Words added and subtracted? Progress through the draft, counting the words left unchanged for the spreadsheet? An interesting question, and one that I’m not sure that I’ve got an answer for.

So far I’ve tried to satisfy the itch by working on my blogs. On the 30th, I worked on writing up show notes for future Wayback Machine posts and managed to get some words in. I’m writing this post in installments. I need to try to work up a review for the Nifty Tech Blog just to keep things moving over there. I had a guest post lined up, but the person suddenly went silent on the final approval. I need to get back to her and make sure I can publish. I really should carve out some time to record a new episode of The Shrinking Man Project. That project has suffered greatly with everything that has gone on in my life of late.

I’ve finally begun working on the second draft of Perils. As I said above, I’m still not sure about how to manage my daily word count, but I’ve had a lot of ideas pop up lately about changes I need to make in the novel. I’ve already made a good start. I threw away the entire first chapter and the first scene of the second chapter, and wrote a new beginning for the new first scene. I think it is a much stronger opening now. I guess I need to hit up my Alpha readers for feedback. They said they had some notes for me, but I never got them.

If you’ve taken a look at our Appearances page, you’ll see that this weekend, we’ll be heading to Ravencon for the first time. This will be an adventure. Kee’s not entirely sure she’s up to it, but we promised Randolph’s Scriptorium Tools that we’d be on hand to help out with the booth, so we’ve got to go. I’m looking forward to attending Ravencon. I’m a little concerned that medical issues will prevent me from seeing what this con has to offer, but we’ll try our best. If anyone reading this is a Ravencon regular and you’d like to lend a hand, please let us know. We’d appreciate the help. Just leave a comment here, or ping me on Twitter @Scaleslea. Or just come up and say, “Hi!” Every little bit helps.

Hopefully, I’ll be back next week talking about how wonderful our Ravencon experience was. If not, I’m probably catching up on sleep. I’ll be back soon enough. Later!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Melissa (My World...in words and pages) April 3, 2013 at 7:44 pm

Wonderful! Glad to here your wife is moving better this week, and getting some free time to write for you as well.

I’m curious to see what you come up with on second drafts. I’ve been wondering on that myself with working on the Nano project. Even though I’m going through fixing stuff I have a whole leg of a journey that I need to write in yet.

Hope you have a great time at the con! 🙂

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2 Doc Coleman April 3, 2013 at 8:24 pm

Having let the story sit for a while, I’ve come up with a number of things to improve it. There are certain things in the character arc that need to be emphasized in different places, and some of the transitional scenes need improvement. And, of course, my villain needs more screen time. I recently heard someone say on a podcast that “the devil needs to be the coolest character in the book”. I think that’s about right. The bad guy needs to be bad, but he should also have style, and there should be something seductive about him. He’s the straight line to the goal and damn the consequences type, even if his plans are convoluted. So to do that, he needs more screen time.

Thanks! I’m looking forward to going to a new con this weekend. I just hope I can keep my writing chain going.

Doc

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