We don’t need those fifty pages!

We encamped that night at Garion Danwsbrook.

And so began the saga that would become The Keeper of Tales. I mentioned a few weeks ago that what I first wrote evolved quite a bit through revisions. In fact, the first fifty pages are simply gone in what you’ll have the opportunity to read starting March 1, 2021.

How… how could you just chop off fifty pages?!

I mean, sure, if you watch deleted scenes from movies, you can usually see why they were cut. Maybe they didn’t move the story along. Maybe the acting was off. Maybe they just had to cut something for the sake of time. Cutting a single scene can make a lot of sense. Fifty pages, though? That’s a good chunk of a book to simply cease to exist!

And truthfully, a lot was lost when I cut those pages. Continue reading “We don’t need those fifty pages!”

Who needs sanity?

Last week I wrote about how writing is the beginning of the work. This week I lived it out.

I got back a novel I’d written from an editor. The novel isn’t short; the thing was about 600 pages long. The editor left on average three notes a page. Some of the notes regarded typos. Some asked deeper questions that required more thought. Some rewrote entire sections for clarity or punchiness.

As you might guess, that’s a lot of notes to look through.

This last week, my family went to go visit grandma, leaving me behind. I had almost an entire week where I didn’t have the kids distracting me. I still had work to complete every day for my day job, but it meant my evenings were free.

My wife takes the kids away a couple times a year to visit her mom, usually leaving me behind to tackle one or another project. Usually it’s straight-out writing; it’s the creation of the story. This time around, though, I aimed to go through the entire novel I’d just gotten back. All 600 pages. Every note.

And yes, it was work. Continue reading “Who needs sanity?”

My plot and my story are fighting…

My plot and my story aren’t talking, and that’s a problem.

Maybe that sentence seems strange to you. Aren’t plot and story basically the same thing? Nah. Here’s a video that explains:

It’s a brilliant video about one of the best movies of all time. I really suggest you watch it. But in case you didn’t watch it or just need it written out:

She’s Looking for Something Special

So she walks into my store, kinda timid like, but pokes her way up to the counter.

Can I help you, miss?” I ask, tapping my ash into the shattered husk of one of my wares.

I’m looking for a few worlds I can connect together. I’m hoping to publish a collection of stories about killer plants.” She smiles. Now that she’s talking, she’s picked up some confidence.

Ah. You’re an editor,” I answer. “Well, we got all types of worlds here. How many you looking for?”

She considers. “I’m thinking ten to twenty, depending how big they are.”

Right. Well, let’s see what we got here.” And I turn to gaze on the shelves behind me. See, lots of people string together words and create worlds. Not every world is great, but many are by the time they get to me. The problem isn’t the words or the creators. The problem is connecting the world with an editor just right. They’re usually looking for something specific, even though they don’t always know what they’re looking for. Continue reading “She’s Looking for Something Special”