Book Update: Juggling

As they say in England, things are hotting up here:

  • Jaime is about 1/4 of the way through the Book One manuscript. To recap, she wants to read it once through as a story and then I’ll work on Draft Three and fix typos and other issues. The story will expand and contract where appropriate.
  • I just finished chapter three of Book Two. Unlike Book One, I don’t have a working title for this one yet. I figure it will reveal itself as I make progress.
  • Book Two has required a fair amount of research, lately. I really don’t want to pull people out of the story by way of ill-informed fiction. But I don’t want to enumerate the parts of a carriage, either. Being informed of the topic is my strategy for giving a touch of realism without getting too bogged down in specifics.
  • It feels good to get back in touch with the characters, and advance the plot. If nothing else, some of the Book Two material could get assimilated by Book One, depending on what makes sense when I get back to editing that manuscript.
  • This is Classic Me, by the way. I went from “can’t write a book” to “I’m working on two at once.” Typical.
  • No, I have zero interest in NaNoWriMo. Just saying, preemptively.
  • Barring the unforeseen, this is shaping up to be a trilogy, because what other way is there to produce fiction? I really don’t want to beat it into the ground like Dune and its many sequels.

Anyway, back to it. Here’s hoping this pans out!

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Book Update: 30% Better

Well, I can’t officially say that, as the draft is still getting overhauled, but I’m coming up for air for a moment to say that yes, the second draft is about an hour away from being finished. This means it’s on to Draft Three from there.

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Yes, that’s UP from 101,000 words the first time out. I wrote an entirely new chapter and expanded on some other ones, to punch up the action or to add clarity to what had been happening, etc. After this draft is done, it has to be printed for hard copy review (and red-penning to death) which will take nearly a ream of paper, as noted above.

It’s still not time to declare myself an author or query agents. FYI.

I will close by saying that I really, really, like these characters. I was editing an earlier chapter and the characters felt like a comfortable pair of shoes, or broken-in jeans. I read the words on the page and they just felt right. In need of editing, sure, but the essence, man, the essence! It felt bittersweet to reach the end once more. I can’t wait to experience them again in book two. Gotta get this one done, first.

/flops

The Wisdom of Glenn the Temp

Many years ago (1990-1994) I worked for Panasonic. Toward the middle of that run, three area warehouses converged into one super-sized Distribution Center. For the vast majority of my time with the company, there was a 50-50 mix of permanent employees (such as myself) and temps (we didn’t call them contractors, as is fashionable now). The most influential of the bunch was a highly educated guy named Glenn.

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Book Update: The Second Wave

Now that the book has been officially written, in that there’s a first draft and I can say with a reasonable degree of certainty that I know how it ends, I took a few days off before working on round two: Formatting, rewriting, and editing.

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Yeah, yeah, here I go with the blur-o-vision again. And no, the page “shown” isn’t formatted properly. That’s just where I left off when I made the screen grab.

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Sketchbook: RFA Lesson Four Homework

I finally made time to play catch up with the ongoing beginner drawing tutorials at Rapid Fire Art. I left off at Lesson Four: Proportions.

There were four homework sketches for this lesson. I posted one here earlier. Here are the other three.

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Sketchbook: Gracie

I’m taking a break from the book for a few days to let some ideas settle. While that sits and stews, I got in some art work on Wednesday:

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This is very much the rough cut, kind of like the state the book is in right now. This reminds me of a police artist sketch where it’s not an exact likeness, but in the ball park. Meet Gracie.

Of the bunch, Gracie for me is the most fun to write. She’s in her early 20’s (21, I think) and trying to sort out what to do with her life. She’s bold and opinionated, but learning that having all of the answers aren’t the same thing as having all of the solutions.

I tried to sketch up the hair cut she gets during the story, but I really didn’t get there. It’s supposed to be a fade on her right side with a pixie cut on the left, more or less. I’m not that hip to women’s hair styles.

Gracie is the polar opposite of her middle sister Agnes. I had fun writing scenes with the two of them, as they really challenged me: I want the characters to be recognizably different from one another, just by dialogue alone. The things they wear and other affectations are window dressing. I believe I have succeeded, just in the rough draft.

I’ll tighten up the draft soon and work more fictional magic, but anyway, it was fun to visualize my favorite character and get some sketching in.