Beginning Revisions

My nano novel this year was more of a novella at 35K words. However I’ve decided not to give up on it. Just like revising and submitting Hindsight will only make me a better writer, revising Heroes in Name will also make me a better writer. The biggest problem I have is revision. I’ve done a partial revision on With Teeth, back when it was called something else and have since decided to rewrite it rather than revise it because most of the draft was crap and I wanted to go in a different direction.

I had been planning on doing the same with Heroes, thinking that a complete rewrite would be the only way to make it good enough. However today I took another look at it and there are gems hidden throughout. Not sparkly gems, they still need some polish, but I can keep the basic plot of more than half the written scenes. Of course to make it a novel, I’ll have to add several, over 50 new scenes, which shouldn’t be too difficult once I get a grasp on it.

So how did I figure this out? By going scene by scene and writing a brief sentence describing the main action of each scene. Then I went scene by scene and marked what scenes are basically keepable as is, which scenes need work but can be kept and which scenes make no sense now. Overall, between in tact scenes and workable scenes, I have about 43. The beginning  needs a bit of work and the ending needs to be fleshed out and I need a whole lot of middle, but there is something there that tickles me, that makes me want to delve back in.

So new goal. Revise Heroes in Name, at least one full revision in 2014. I’d like to get it out to Beta readers sometime this year and so that is my stretch goal.

I’m not done examining what I already have. Following Holly Lisle’s How to Revise a Novel, I’m now working on figuring out the plot that I got and the conflicts that I’ve started to develop.

New Years Resolutions

I am terrible at goals.  I make such lofty promises to myself and then I fail, making me more miserable. However without any goals at all, I don’t accomplish anything. So the obvious solution is to make realistic goals. That’s my new years resolution this year as well, to make realistic goals.

It’s hard for me to make a goal that lasts all year but I’ve tried for this year to have a single goal of having one novel finished by the end of the year. And by finished I mean either queried out or self-published, depending on the route I choose for that book. I haven’t even decided what book that is going to  be but that’s another blog post.

My stretch goal or as you could call it my impossible goal, is to write 500,000 new words this year. This can include fiction drafts both novels and shorter pieces, blog posts, critiques, etc. Whatever I feel like counting as new words. I don’t know how many words I’ve written in 2013. I completed a novella that was 35,000 words and a short story that topped out at 20,000 words. However I’ve written more than that this year, other short stories that were never finished, partial revisions and a full revision on that 20K short story, bringing it down to 6k right now.

Speaking of Hindsight, it is currently with readers in the critters program that I am a part of. I’ve already gotten 3 critiques and the story was posted on Wednesday so that’s exciting. The critiques are very useful for things that are not clear to the reader but also very kind and include praises for what they liked. I’m trying to focus on the correction pieces though. I had put up the first scene at Absolute Write and got mauled. I’ve since rewritten the scene (the rewritten scene is the draft that the critters got) but it’s still far from perfect. I haven’t got the guts to repost it to absolute write yet and I’m not sure I will. Not because of fear (though I am afraid) but because I’m not sure where I’m going with that story. I don’t know how much I’m going to fix it. I know I should. I should just get over my hesitation, revise again based on feedback and send that sucker out. It’s going to get rejected but hey. That’s the writer’s life.

So now that I’ve talked myself into it, my new added goal for 2014 is to submit Hindsight to multiple short story markets to get a sea of rejections. Who knows. Maybe someone will love it.

Now not all my goals have to be writing based. I have some ideas on what I want to focus on this year in regards to my health, both mental and physical. It’s just hard to quantify.

What are your thoughts on new years resolutions? Are you like me, making them every year just to see them fail? Do you find resolutions foolish? What resolutions do you have this year?

What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up

During a conversation with my husband, he admitted that he didn’t have a dream, or at least he didn’t know of one, that he still didn’t know what he wanted in life. The thought of not having something to strive for, something to reach for, depressed me. He assured me that he was far from alone. That at 27 plenty of people had no idea what career they wanted. But it wasn’t about careers to me, it was about dreams, even the impossible or improbable. How can you not know what you want in life?

But truthfully, while I know what I dream, what I want my life to be, which is writing, writing and more writing, I couldn’t tell you what I’d want to do with my life if I can’t write. So is there just a disconnect between us, both of us thinking different definitions to the question of dreams or am I just the dreamer in the relationship and he’s the doer, bring home the money so I can follow my unpaid dream while we share the responsibility of raising two little ones, a dream I think we share, to give them lives full of love and laughter and education and responsibility and civic duty and obedience and worship and on and on. But we can’t live through our children and I don’t think either of us wants that.

So now I want to help him find his dream, find what he wants to strive for, to give him the freedom to pursue what some might call impossible. For he has given me the gift of understanding and loving for me to pursue what fulfills me without expectation. And that is why my husband is the greatest man and I love him dearly. And no, I’m not letting him go.