Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Manuscript's In The Mail

Merry Christmas everyone,
I hope all of you are healthy, happy and terrific! I certainly am. I wish you all a cool Yule and a frantic 1st!
As most of you already know, I have been working over my manuscript for "Three Seconds On, Three Seconds Off - Volume 1" since the end of July 2008. I carefully went through the manuscript four complete times, in these past five months, reading (aloud) many hundreds of thousands of words in the process. Whew!!! I felt like I was staring in the movie "Groundhog Day"! It was awesome though, and I'm so very glad I did the four additional edits. It amazed me to realize that I could still find errors - even after working so meticulously to get rid of them. That means only one thing - I really am just human. Oh well, did you expect more???
Anyway, the completed manuscript is now in the able hands of my publisher. Now I wait. The manuscript is expected to go past the eyes of the owner of Writing On Stone Press and then to a final-touch editor before I see it again. I don't expect any changes, but I'll know soon.
While I wait, I have resumed work on "Three Seconds On, Three Seconds Off - Volume 2". It is progressing much faster than Volume 1 did. I suppose that seven years of intense writing have taught me a little.
I have temporarily set my fiction novel aside, but still haven't decided if I will save it for NaNoWriMo 2009 or not. "In Ravenscrag's Shadow" is nearly finished, and I don't know if I can stand a 10-1/2 month wait before I see how it ends. The epic novel is a work of pure fiction, but there is an actual location that provides the setting for the story. I hope to visit that remote location in the summer of 2009. I cannot just go there on my own because the region is the home of grizzly bears. (Bears are intimidated by groups, not by individual humans - and perhaps the term intimidated is a bit too strong.) If I visit the region, as part of a group of five or more, we should not have any trouble, so I have to organize the event before I can be certain of going. Stay tuned.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

My Nanowrimo Adventure Novel

As some of you long-time readers might remember, in November of 2007, I joined Nanowrimo. It is a website devoted to authors who are in pursuit of creating a 50,000 word novel in one month. Last year, I managed to conceive a plot and then to write 14,638 words - all by Nov 30th , 2007. With the competition over, I put the novel on hold until Nov 1st, 2008. This year, I was ready and raring to go. I wrote every day of the month, building on my words from last year. By the end of November 2008, I had a total word count of 45,540! I was disappointed that I didn't make it to 50,000, but totally thrilled that, even with my super busy schedule, I was able to create a nearly completed novel. It was so much fun!!! I would encourage everyone who feels inclined, to sign up and participate for November 2009.

This morning, I was reading a blog that challenged the creation of words (in Nanowrimo) without employing the editing process. I have not edited my novel, but I will. If I think it is good enough, I will consider publishing it as well, but that is not the point of my writing it. I participated in Nanowrimo to stretch myself. Adventure is what you have when you explore uncharted territory - inside your mind or with you feet. It is true that I never made the 50,000 word threshold, but that is really not important to me. I participated. I had a blast. I did something great that I am very proud of. After I read the fore mentioned blog, I wrote a comment. I thought you would enjoy it, so here it is: (Jody left a comment before I did. She expressed struggling with procrastination and felt that she was getting off to a late start in life - in so far as writing was concerned.)

"I agree with Jody on several levels. Procrastination kills. An overzealous inner-editor isn't good either, but I don't like to kill him off as much as I like to team up with him. As far as my own writing goes, I am about to become a published author (of an 8-year-in-the-making non-fiction book). I also have a word count of 45,540 at Nanowrimo 2008. I lack, however, the perspective of authors who have already travelled farther down exciting literary roads than I have… but I do have an opinion. As far as Ian's question goes, I am left to wonder whether he was just asking, for the sake of provoking thought, or if Ian was really trying to infer that there is no point to writing without an anticipated editing process in the future. I agree that editing is essential to a published product, but I see only a benefit to writing - no matter what follows the creation process. I know people who go on hikes, not intending to reach the trails' final destinations, but to simply go as far as they can. While their experiences may seem pointless to some, these hikers do enjoy the sights, scents and sounds that they have the power to reach. Not every writer is going to be published, but that should not stop anyone from taking a stroll down Literary Lane. Who knows, maybe they will get farther along than they anticipated? I say, “Just write something and then see what happens.” The future awaits, and it isn’t written yet!"