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Far-Forwarding and Parenthetical Asides

I’ve made a game plan.  A well-defined (or as well defined as it can be) plan of action.

After many alternating days spent in an exhausted (sometimes strange, sometimes frustrating) headspace, it happened.  I put all things in their proper order inside of my head; I formulated my next several moves as far forward as far-forwarding things can actually go.  It feels good.

It’s funny that the planning actually happened on such a busy week.  It was such a busy week, in fact, that I didn’t do one bit of laundry.  I’m struggling now to catch up on that (along with other household type things).

All of this planning came after my last entry about paranoia getting in the way of things.  I did some thinking (especially after the very helpful feedback I received), and then I stumbled upon a new sort of understanding with myself.

I’m trying to figure out if I’d already sent the first book in my series to my friend by that point or not.  I’m not sure.  Well, I must have.  Or maybe not.  Either way, that understanding with myself was devised with myself at some point before the weekend.

That ‘understanding’ was me telling myself, “Self…you have to be smarter.  Slow everything down for a minute, THINK, and stop being an idiot.  Oh, and stop trying to rush everything for whatever reason.  Some things CANNOT be rushed.”

It seems easy.  Part of me thinks that it must have been because I can’t really remember when, exactly, I felt completely better about everything (it wasn’t immediately after formulating the plan, but sometime later).  But given how long it took me to really think – to stop for a bit and listen to what my heart was telling me…it couldn’t have been such an easy thing.  Or maybe the most difficult things can turn out to be easier than the struggle of them in the end.  Sorry, I’m rambling.  I honestly don’t have a clue what I’m saying; it was just a thought.

Husband and I went home (where I’m from, not where he’s from) for the weekend.  Saw some family.  Didn’t see some friends that I wanted to see quite badly.  Things happen; it’s neither here nor there.  But the friend who is currently in possession of my book came over.  It was the first time that I’d seen her in person since my husband and I got married several years ago.  I won’t go into the awesomeness of seeing her in general (because I could ramble for days and I’m attempting VERY HARD to start making my entries much shorter than the first few [also, personal conversations with friends are personal…she and I both know that it was a great time and I don’t need to go into that any further]), but will instead give a few thoughts on the matter where it pertains to my book. 

She isn’t finished with it yet, but I was able to sit down with her and go through some of the notes she’s made so far.  She asked me questions and I answered them to the best of my ability (so long as they didn’t give away relevant things (secrets) that come into play later).  She and I spent quite a while going over the prologue with a fine-toothed comb – tweaking it in all the places that bothered me.    It was the first time that I’d felt good about the ONE part of the book that gave me innumerable headaches.

I was happy about all of it while it was happening and immediately after, but I think it took some time for it to really sink in for me. 

You see, I always take some time after interactions with people about my books to really analyze everything – tones of voice, facial expressions.  I dwell on those things until I’m positive that I’ve deduced all aspects of a person’s feelings on the matter.  Not many people have read them, so all input (in any form it comes) is valid and extremely relevant to me.  It’s all important.  Everything is all something that could potentially help.

I know that my mother loved all of them, but not because she asked me a plethora of questions about them.  I get quite a lot of my opinionated being from my mother.  Though she saw the main character (and the situations, relationships, secrets) COMPLETELY differently than I intended for them to be seen, she didn’t bother asking me what they were supposed to actually be (regardless of my ridiculously widened eyes due to just how far from home her taking of them as a whole were from my own).  My mother was content with the way that she saw everything, which – though immensely baffling – was satisfactory to me.  So no, I don’t know that she liked them for that reason (seeing them the way I intended).  I know that she did because she read all four of them two times and my mother does not read.  I’m STILL trying to figure out how in the world she didn’t catch where I’d added TEN THOUSAND words into the last one.  I digress.

I will not get further into the other people who have read them (or how they felt, or how I felt, or anything, actually).  It’s not relevant.

I’ve been asked questions about them, sure.  People have listened to me ramble for days about them, sure.  My husband never needed to ask questions because – by the time he was actually reading the first one – he knew everything that happened in all of them, and the ins and outs of all the characters.

I’ve never had a…back and forth with a person about them.  At least not in the way that I had with her over the weekend.

It was very eye-opening – in a lot of ways.  And it was what I’d been waiting for.

I’ve had a great many questions about them swirling around in my head for months on end now.  How would the main character be taken?  She’s very…strange.  I thought she would be extremely difficult to relate to (it was one of my bigger fears), but I’m thinking now that she won’t be.  I’m thinking now there’s a possibility that some people out there might love her nearly as much as I do. 

Would the hints be picked up? 

That was a big one.  The way that I’ve written both of my series is to drop hints about future things – whether that be scenarios, or simply character traits.  That makes it fun for me to write, and I’m hoping that will make it fun for other people to read.  I’m glad to say that – from what I read of her notes and analyzing her questions – some of them have been, and some of them haven’t.  The surprises are just so fun.

I think she was worried that her constructive notes would make me feel horrible.  I’ve wanted constructive criticism from the get-go.  I needed someone to look at my books objectively – to take ME out of the equation and see them for what they were…someone else’s story that I was telling for them.  I love every character that lives in that world, but I’ve done everything that I could for them without assistance.  I just want it to be told as well as it possibly can be.  This is one of those instances where my pride will not stand in my way.  In fact, with this one thing, my pride is basically nonexistent.  My pride will constantly get in my way, but I refuse to allow it to hinder the story any longer.

It was just so exciting – all of it.  I’ll stop with it there because I’ve already written more than I wanted to and still not said nearly 1/10 of what I could.

So basically, things are moving along in the book avenue.  I’ve got the next steps planned out, and now…I’m just waiting for everything to line up so that those next things can be knocked out.  I just…I just feel better about all of it as a whole.

In other news…

We’ve reached our monthly data cap for our internet.  For those of you who do not have to deal with such things…of this one thing, I am envious.  For those of you who do not know what that means…It means that, until our billing month is reset, my internet is moving slower than dial-up.  That is not an exaggeration.  SLOWER.  THAN.  DIAL.  UP.

And doesn’t it figure that Facebook – which I care about less than I can say – is moving along swiftly, but this website does NOT want to load ANYTHING? 

Please be patient with me responding to comments (or ‘liking’ posts because sometimes the ‘LIKE’ button will not pop up on the first go for me when I’m reading other people’s blogs).  I will try to do so as quickly as possible, but some pages take more than fifteen minutes to load…a LOT more.  My newfound patience for my books does not carry over to staring at a blank computer screen and waiting for something simple to load on it.  It’s been very difficult not to throw my computer screen at a wall.  Or out of the window.

That is all.  Have a lovely day.

I’m not sorry for all of the parenthetical asides contained in this entry (or in any other XD).

Also…I don’t write my books that way.  No worries.

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10 thoughts on “Far-Forwarding and Parenthetical Asides

  1. I just want to say that I am SO inspired by you and your progress.

    And I am empathizing with you on the Internet troubles. Those can make one crazier than a…than an…than a crazy person?

    • 🙂 That’s inspiring to me, actually.
      But you might not be saying as much if you knew that since writing this entry I’ve slid backwards a bit with the patience and whatnot. I hope you’re having a better time with your progress lately than I’m having with mine!

      I’m so sorry about your internet. I wouldn’t wish this sort of ridiculousness on anyone. Yes…it can DEFINITELY make you feel insane. It’s not helping with anything, I can assure you.
      XD

  2. It’s kind of funny: I’ve heard people talk about writing books for years, and admittedly? Your “saga” is about as close to my own as anyone’s I’ve ever read. It’s tough enough to write a book but to re-write or revise one that you wrote previously? It’s a daunting task. Many times the person that wrote the original version is not the person writing the newest. That’s not a schizophrenia reference. Your voice now is likely different than it was originally. I know mine was… IS.

    The first person to beta read the most recent incarnation of ENDWORLD – A Novel was a good friend of mine. We sat down over drinks at a bar and he spent two hours critiquing it. I smiled and took it in stride, but it was tough. Painful, really. I wanted to start smoking, again. And for a while, I told myself that it wasn’t THAT bad… that my other beta’s wouldn’t be as critical. Guess what? They were. Some even more so. I got depressed… decided I had no desire to re-revise what I’d written. I wrote a blog post about moving on to something else. But that novel? I needed to finish it. So I bit the bullet, went back, and re-revised the BLEEP out of it. I gave it to him again. And he critiqued it again, but only for about 45 minutes.

    I promise I have a point. I bit the bullet again, went back and re-re-revised it. Gave it to him. Guess what? He liked it. So did the others. Fast-forward from that damp, December night to now and guess what? The book’s FINALLY published. After almost 20 years my baby’s finally out there. I have no idea how it will perform long term. Whether it succeeds or fails, I can honestly say after looking at the finished product and comparing it to the first version I wrote almost two decades ago, all the critiques were justified. ENDWORLD – A Novel wouldn’t be what it is now without them. You’ll get there too. Just “hold fast” as they say. Take everything in stride and remember: Writing a book isn’t like writing a blog entry. It’s not a sprint. It’s a marathon. A really, really long BLEEPING marathon.

    🙂

    • Before I respond to what you said, I just have to mention that realizing I’m not the only person who will leave mini-novels in comments is amazing for me.
      Onward.

      Are you using ‘saga’ as my personal journey of writing the books, rather than the books themselves? Thinking about it now, I would imagine you must be (I was very confused reading that through the first time). And now I’m grinning at the cleverness of it. Also, I’m more than a little impressed with myself for catching it before responding (or catching it at all, if I’m being totally honest).
      I definitely understood what you were saying about having a different voice. In a sense, I feel like your own personal voice grows and adapts right along with the character, which can prove VERY useful (when used appropriately to its advantage) in the edits/rewrites. I actually enjoy editing quite a lot, but I rewrote the first two books in my first series and how I feel about that…Well…that’s an ENTIRELY different story. But yes, both are difficult in their ways. You have to pay very close attention to the voice changing and ensure that it doesn’t mess with the feel of the book (but at the same time, you want it to be as good as the ending, if that makes sense).
      A changing voice is the most rewarding feeling we can have as writers – not authors – I believe. It proves that we’re growing and becoming better at what we do. If that doesn’t happen, I would think something was very wrong.

      I also understood what you were saying about NEEDING to finish it – to get the story out. Some of them stick harder with you than others.
      I love the critiquing. I don’t look at it as, “You’re horrible,” but that might be due, in part, to the nature in which my friend is going about it. We did have a slight miscommunication over dialogue the other night (which resulted in a few excruciating minutes spent questioning EVERYTHING), but then I realized that detailed things should not be spoken about via text. Difficult to sit down in person (like it SHOULD be done) when you live eight or so hours away from one another.

      I’m SO glad that writing books isn’t like writing a blog entry. I don’t know that I’d love it so much if it was, haha. And WRITING the books isn’t the problem; it’s all the waiting afterward. You’re running so fast and then…nothing. It’s like being tortured slowly. It will all be worth it in the end, I’m sure – that moment of setting them free into the world.

      I’ll tell you…I am SO excited to think about having the moment you had (feeling like it all came together with the revising), and also the moment that you’re currently having. It’s amazing.
      And whether it succeeds or fails, at least you know that you put your best out there. That’s all we can aspire to do, while hoping for good things of course. I hope many good things for you. Well…I hope many good things for all of us, really.
      Thank you so much for your encouraging words. 🙂

  3. I hate to say it, but I think I would be a really bad beta reader for you. (I know this one is from a while ago, but I’m trying to read your old stuff.) I’m glad you have a friend that is able to do that for you. In my writing group, I always seem to have the least to say, plot wise and plot hole wise, just because I don’t think about that kind of stuff. I guess it would be a good idea to think about that if I ever want to get mine done. I’m always just the one that tells them there is a misspelled word, or comma out of place. And usually if I spot something out of place, I just tell them, then figure out what they were talking about in the next few sentences. Cause I’m a doof.
    I didn’t know you had a cap on your internet. That must really suck. I remember that back in the old dial up days. But that was a long time ago when I was in college. Fun times having to limit your internet usage. Good think you don’t use Facebook that much. I would probably be over my cap just on WordPress every month.

    • LoL, I don’t know why you would WANT to read my old stuff on here. I honestly can’t remember anything that I said past five minutes ago. haha

      When talking with beta-readers, I mostly ask what they think about specific things (events/characters/etc.), or where they believe there is potential for improvement. (Where details could be added, which I always think I need more of, and I usually get ‘don’t need it’ or some variant of that, haha.) Also, especially with this series, I’m always curious where there are ‘difficult’ sentences. Aster is really ‘flowery,’ which makes for some difficulty sometimes. She’s definitely not the easiest MC I’ve ever written. O.o
      Yes, misspelled words and out of place commas (and the like) are really important. I’m always worried about typos. Basically, I’ll take anything they’ll give me. ha

      And asking people to beta-read is kind of like >..<

      • I’m just not an accomplished editor. I would get so into the book that i would forget that I was supposed to look out for things, make changes, pay attention, etc. I basically get jealous of how much better people are at writing and just enjoy it. Then I find that there is nothing really to contribute. I think sticking with your established people is a good idea. I’ll just stick with paying for the book when it comes out (SOON!). I can’t wait to dive back in. It’s gonna be fun!

        You do a masterful job on Aster. As much as I love her as a character, I would have no idea how to write her. I don’t think like her, but then again, I haven’t been a servant since I was young. It would take monumental effort for me to write her and you have nailed it. If I’m not writing about a dude that is almost exactly like me, then I struggle. Maybe the second and third time would be easier. Not sure. All I know is that I respect your skills for doing such a great job with her.

      • You see, I used to be like that. I could pick out stray typos in published books or whatever, but they wouldn’t bother me. My last few attempts at reading have not been enjoyable ones. I’ve started picking absolutely everything apart, and it seriously makes me unhappy. :/

        Aster is a weird one, for sure. Then again, I think everybody is weird in their way. Yeah, I’d imagine it would get easier to write more dissimilar characters after taking more shots at it. I like writing ones that are a lot different. Makes me sit here like, ‘. . . . You’re gonna do that? Really? Well . . . alright.’

        Thank you. 🙂

      • Let’s hope you don’t back to Reave and pick it apart. And as far as I noticed there was nothing wrong in that book, so don’t even try….
        I totally agree with you on everyone being weird in their own way. I have quirks that I’m sure almost no one else has and I’m okay with that. It’s the people that have a hard time with doing anything “weird”, or things that people look down on, are the ones that have a hard time in life. I accepted my weird a long time ago and haven’t ever struggled with what others think of me. That is why even though Aster is weird, I kind of dig her. She kind of makes me laugh to be quite honest.
        I couldn’t let talk of books pass without me mentioning that I am going to start focusing back on it at lunch and leave blogging for other times. I decided at my writer’s group on Saturday to focus on making one particular scene work, or actually the backstory of my character’s dad and the villain and what their relationship is and how Brandon came to be, and how they are involved. It seems silly to focus on this one scene, but it is so absolutely essential to the story, that I can’t move on without knowing all the details. It is a really tricky balance and one that needs to work itself out organically in order to explain the world and how it works.

        I’m sure you have gone through the same thing with yours. Or maybe you haven’t. All I know is that it has been fun this week going back to it. 🙂

      • I COULD go back through Reave and pick it apart. Problem is that the cover is only formatted for the number of pages it has . . .
        So . . . can’t really.
        (Now the E-BOOK, on the other hand . . . >.>)
        There were a few things I wish I’d done differently with it, where formatting and whatnot is concerned. But there was a really ridiculous typo in the print version that I still want to change. Drives me nuts.
        I caught a few things in the print version of this one and am just leaving it all. (A word not having an apostrophe is really it where actual mistakes are concerned, at least that I’ve caught.)

        Hey, I think weird is interesting. I don’t know why people have such issues with other people being even remotely different from them. It’s like I said in an earlier comment (at some point tonight), everybody is entitled to like what they like. (That goes for ‘being who they are’ and similar things.) Makes life interesting, I say.

        Aster cracks me up. She’s a strange one. I’m glad she makes you laugh.

        I know I’ve already asked you how your writing is going, but you talked about it in this one too, and I really am curious.
        I don’t think it’s silly at all to focus on that one scene. I know with mine, when I’m having issues with writing it, more often than not I just need to get past a certain scene. That makes sense to me. You need to figure that out so you can get all the details for the rest to make sure it all lines up. I get it. How is progress with that? Did you get it worked out?
        I’m glad that you are (were?are?) having fun with it. That’s really the important thing. Have fun and get it out.

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