Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Back From the Abyss

Slowly but surely, The Dark InSpectre is crawling back from Internet Oblivion. Like a rash you just can't get rid of. A thrilling, compelling, irresistable rash of chocolate-covered joy. After doing several webby things involving domain names and DNS servers (I asked several people for help), I have registered and enabled my editor/publisher to host it. She is using the wordpress theme we picked out and is building the actual site. But it exists! Yes, if you go there, you will see an empty, under construction page. But this is progress cuz as little as one week ago, even this bare bones framework was not a reality. So yay! I suppose at some point, all the previous episodes will have to be re-loaded. I am not looking forward to that.

On the novel front, I have done the heavy lifting in terms of the revision my editor wanted, and I even have a nifty idea for what to do witht the first chapter she wanted me to excise. Hint: I will make it available on my web site as a promotional teaser! So now all that remains is going through the whole manuscript again and smoothing out the language. I'm more than half way done and steamrolling ahead. Soon, very soon, this book will be ready for the next round. Muaahaaahaaa!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Well, That Was Fast

One thing I'll say about my publisher/editor. When I send her something important, the feedback is pretty fast. I sent her the finished manuscript of my crime novel around late morning yesterday, and she gave me feedback in the late afternoon. I really don't know how she reads these things so fast.

The feedback itself? Ah yes. First of all, I asked her pointedly if she thought it was any good. Her answer: yes. So now there is one other person outside of my wife who thinks my novel is worth the electronic paper it's written on. Yay!

And of course she wants some revisions. The first is relatively minor, just go through the manuscript and fix some areas that exhibit a particular style of writing I tend to fall into, namely short, choppy paragraphs. Mind you, I actually like that style in some instances, particular for action/intense sequences. But she wants me to cut down on them, which is fine.

The next thing is not so simple. She wants me to cut out the entire first chapter and start with chapter 2. I respect the thinking behind this. A piece of well-worn, age-old advice for writers is to "start in the middle" and it often takes writers a chapter or two to really get into their story and build up steam, so to speak. It's often a good idea to just rip away all the beginning introductory stuff and start with the "meat" of the story.

However, I actually have a lot of good "meat" in my first chapter, as well as several developments that are integral to the plot. Her advice is to weave in whatever details are necessary into the next chapter or two, but eliminate that first one. I would almost rather she told me a character didn't work for her, or something in the plot needed to be fixed. To me that would be easier to tackle than trying to wend through line by line inserting dialogue and clever little asides meant to convey all the information from the first chapter that's necessary for the story. Cuz there's a lot of it.

Of less importance is the fact that I really liked what I wrote, and I will have to mourn the scenes that end up on the cutting room floor, including the opening, which I thought was absolutely perfect. But I guess that's what I'll do. I'll take this as a challenge, and try to make it work. Good thing I took off next Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday before Thanksgiving. I now know what I'll be doing.

And I suppose it could be much, much worse, right? She could've said it outright sucked. So maybe I should just get to work, cuz when all is said and done, this manuscript is one major step closer to getting published. And that's a good thing.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Good News/Bad News Returns

Yup, you guessed it kids, it's time once again for Good News vs. Bad News. Let's dive in and play!

Bad news: My online series, The Dark InSpectre, is still offline, completely absent from the Internet like it never existed.

Good news: I have recently registered the new url for when we start it up on the Wordpress blog, and the Wordpress theme is already chosen.

Bad news: It took a week and a half to get this done. I thought my editor was going to register the name, but she didn't, so I just did it myself. Also, for some unknown reason, she's not able to create the blog in the way she wants to, so she's waiting for some technical assistance. End result: we're still spinning our wheels.

Good news: I'm finished with my last round of revisions and I have sent in my crime novel to my editor (literally like 10 minutes ago).

Bad news: Now begins the tense, nerve-wracking period of waiting for feedback during which I convince myself that the past year and a half was a waste of time and my novel in fact sucks dirty bilge water (as opposed to the clean kind).

Good news: Maybe it doesn't suck?

Bad news: Just got a short story rejected.

Good news: Got some actual feedback which will help me revise the short story and make it better.

End tally: Good news 4, Bad news 4. We're all tied up. I have to say, though, sending in the novel outweighs everything else. But is that good news or bad news? Only time will tell...

Thursday, November 3, 2011

A Glimmer In the Distance

I have spent the past several days going through so many Wordpress themes my eyeballs have moved out of my head and sent me a postcard from where they'll be relaxing poolside for the foreseeable future. But success! My editor has at last approved of one of the themes I sent her. What makes this one different from all the rest? I have no idea. I don't really know what I'm doing. I've sent her dozens, they all seem okay to me. I'm just glad she likes one. Now hopefully she will use it to create a new Dark InSpectre blog, and we'll get rolling again. But I'm kind of resigned to the fact that I won't be able to post the next episode on Monday, which is when the next one is scheduled to go out.

It's just as well, that's right in the middle of the busiest week of the year at work. I'll be at a meeting in San Francisco all week, so there will be practically no chance to get any of my own writing done. However, on the plane each way, I am hoping to make a big dent in the last re-read of my novel. And then I'll send that sucker in. So hopefully I'll start to feel a little more positive about things. Just need to stay patient. I'm a writer, so I'm used to that. Sigh...