• Tag Archives editing
  • Holidays ahead

    So this Tuesday I get to make the drive down to my aunt’s for Thanksgiving to see my grandmother for the first time since my move (although technically I saw her while the move was in progress). These things always end up being weird for me, because I have this thing where writing when other people are around is completely impossible. Having anyone in the area acts as a distraction I just cannot get over. As such I end up both looking forward to the vacation and dreading it.

    Thanksgiving with the aunt tends to be a fairly nice affair though. She has a very nice house located in a pretty area. That side of my family is a bit weird, but in all honesty we get along together surprisingly well. Obviously I hope that the topic of politics doesn’t come up, considering the tense emotions that are running all over with the election results, but to tell the truth that hasn’t ever been a problem with my family. Hopefully it won’t become one this year.

    Following Thanksgiving I’ll be finishing up the second book, then at some point will be heading down to visit memere and pepere (my other grandparents) for Christmas. In fact, that trip is largely why I want to finish the second book sooner rather than later. They have a very nice house, but it is an older style without much privacy compared to things that have been build more recently. Writing isn’t something I’ll be able to do while there, but editing is another matter.

    Depending on how things are this winter I may need to stay with them to help shovel snow. Both memere and pepere are in poor enough health that they aren’t physically capable of doing such any longer. Obviously I hope that isn’t necessary, but we’ll have to see. A large part of it also depends on my grandparents themselves, and if they want another person hanging around (my mother is already staying with them so they may decide they don’t need any more help).

    Anyway, that is what is going on with me through the next few months!

  • Caring and Research

    So during my trip to Colorado for my brother’s graduation I ended up reading 4 books during the intervals where I wasn’t driving. This is pretty typical of me during travel, since it is pretty difficult to do much of anything else in a car (or plane), and my Kindle always has a backlog of books just waiting to be read. I’m not a slow reader by any means, and tend to binge read, so a stretch of several days can see me devour several books in quick succession without any problem at all.

    Generally I find that most books I pick up have their good points. This isn’t to say I like everything I read. There are certainly books I pick up and feel ambivalent about as I work my way through them, but I’m generally able to understand what the book is and identify why it doesn’t work for me. Often this just comes down to such fickle things as voice, themes, and my mood at the time. People tend to be natural story tellers, we do it all the time, so in my experience telling an adequate story isn’t all that difficult (telling an exceptional one is another matter, however).

    That said there are things I see occasionally that just bug me. It ends up showing that the author just didn’t care, and in every case comes down to a lack of research. This is something I’ve complained about before, though mostly in private, because it is the type of problem that is really easy to avoid. In many cases a simple Google search is all that is required.

    I’m not going to name and shame here, because this isn’t a problem I’ve only seen in that book, however I am going to use examples from it to illustrate my point. Writing is quite difficult, I understand, but I feel that only makes it more important to avoid the simple mistakes.

    Continue reading  Post ID 628

  • Better: Enemy of Good Enough

    There are a number of little tidbits of advice I got when I was young that either didn’t make sense at the time, or I never realized I had been given until later. One that sticks out in my mind was a saying I heard an old, retired engineer relate a story about how the designers at the shipyard he worked at were always given a deadline by the Navy, after which they could no longer make improvements to the ship plans unless definite safety concerns were raised. Apparently this was necessary because the engineers were always tinkering with the plans, trying to squeeze out every drop of efficiency possible.

    “Better is the enemy of Good Enough,” he said.

    Continue reading  Post ID 628

  • The Emotion Cycle

    As I’ve just recently started work on the sequel to In Honor’s Shadow and the second book in my new Honor’s Path series there’s been something on my mind about the emotional changes that dominate the different stages of a project (at least for me). I’m not sure if this is something unique to myself, though by talking to others I get the impression that most people doing creative work undergo something similar.

    Perhaps this will be useful to someone, somewhere. If not, perhaps it will give a bit of insight into my personal creative process.

    Continue reading  Post ID 628

  • Images For My Books

    As of today In Honor’s Shadow has officially hit Release Candidate 2. I doubt this is the version that will be released (there are still a couple of improvements I have in mind). Still, at this point I’ve started to focus more on the actual layout. The result has been actually a little eerie for me because I’m starting to get something that looks like a professional book, only it is my story.

    Getting everything to look nice has really forced me to dig into the formatting options available to me. The tricky part is that a LOT of the formatting with ebooks is handled automatically by the reader, so what might look nice on one platform can look simply bad on another. That said, most of it is just pushing text around subtly, checking to see how it looks, and then tweaking things again. There are a few flourishes that really make things pop though.

    Continue reading  Post ID 628

  • Some Thought On Favored Words

    One thing I noticed early on, back when I was a teen and becoming truly ravenous with my reading, was that most authors have words or phrases they really like. Sometimes it is a particular “verbal tic” they have, other times I think the sound of the word is just appealing to the writer. From my personal experience, I doubt these are ever intentional. They most likely slip in under the radar without the author ever realizing it.

    This is one reason why I take special note of words or phrases that I feel are being overused in my own writing while doing revisions. Typically, early drafts are rife with them, which I hope is not unique to me. Gradually certain phrases/words will fall by the wayside, but they are replaced by new ones almost as quickly.

    Why bring this up now? Glad you asked! As of now my story is through editing and ready for publishing, pending the handling of a few minor details and a final review to ensure nothing slipped through. However, in the final stretch I noticed a few words that I apparently really enjoy using. Here they are:

    Continue reading  Post ID 628

  • Rohai to In Honor’s Shadow pt. 2

    Previous Post: Part 1

    If you missed my last post, and don’t feel like reading it, the short version is I talked about my first major attempt at a book-length project. There were a lot of problems with that story, but it ultimately convinced me that writing books professionally was a realistic possibility. In the end, I put the project on hold to re-examine my goals for it and where I wanted it to go.

    Continue reading  Post ID 628