A Tale of Editing and Insanity

ddd

Day 1: I have killed off a character. Well, not killed so much as erased all traces of his existence. Sorry, Quade. You didn’t fit into the story like I originally thought you would. On the bright side, I can use his name in another story now. (I get irrationally attached to the names I give my characters. Not the characters themselves, just the names.)

I managed to get the prologue and chapter one edited. There is a scene that needs to be written that I’ve decided to add. To make up for getting rid of the one character, I’m giving another character his own voice. He’s a criminal, so his POV should be interesting.

Unfortunately, I realized that my fun-loving and carefree character is a bit more timid than I thought. Poo. Get your shit together, Wild. YOUR NAME IS WILD FOR FUCK’S SAKE. COME ON.

Progress: 10% done. I’m already falling behind!

giphy

Day 2: Shit. Is this really my novel? Err… not too sure of this anymore. Maybe I’ll become a rapper or something. Writing doesn’t seem to be my thing.

I’ve added more scenes to be written by my new character’s POV. He was a total asshole in the first draft, ready to abandon Wild without any qualms, but now he’s being forced to leave her and he feels kinda bad.

The good news it that I’ve already made Daivat more surly, though he’s less likable now. His fascination with throwing knives also seems a little unhealthy at this point, but that’s for the best. Also I got into a fight on Facebook (well, I was yelled at) because Daivat is apparently a pedophile for finding Wild attractive before he knew her age.

Catcaller: Yo baby let me see some ID.
Female Passerby: *hands over driver’s license, birth certificate, and proof of insurance*
Catcaller: Oh yeah baby, 18, damn you fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiine.

(That is an OFFICIAL excerpt from Wildflower Crown.)

Also, I’ve somehow increased the word count? This is good, but I’m not sure how this is happening. Chapter two is edited, as is chapter three, and some of chapter three has been extended to start chapter four.

Progress: 29% done. Back on track!

red

Day 3: I have Senioritis. Does that happen in college? I think it does. Why go to class when I could be editing?

Anyways, I switched one of the scenes to the queen’s POV because she kind of comes off like … a nice Umbridge. So her thoughts help show who she really is despite her outwards appearance. Plus, this will make it less weird when I have the next POV of hers since that was the only one in the book.

Problem: I have no idea how old my character is. You see, in Kiss of The Fey I established Cadmus being around Xenos’s age, who was 30, and now in Wildflower Crown Cadmus is just a boy. I want to make him 13, but I also want him to have left right after Johara was born, and I don’t know how old she is. It’s between 19-25, but that’s a big window. I don’t think this is something readers would ever notice, especially when Cadmus’s age isn’t given a number in Kiss of The Fey, but it still bothers me. Bah humbug.

I’ve made it to the start of chapter six this time. Woo!

Progress: 47% done. Almost halfway!

hurdle

Day 4: I’m cutting even more stuff out. I had to give Daivat’s ex-lover a name so I asked my Facebook friend (who has trouble with the ladies) for a heart-breaker name and he said Sarah. Well. Alright. Sarah it is. Boring, but whatever. I think I only mention her like twice.

I got through chapter six and part of seven. I got distracted and ended up stopping in the middle of a scene, and it happens to be the first sex scene. But at least I got through all the horse nonsense (which has nothing to do with the sex scenes, to clarify) that was a jumbled mess before.

Progress: 63% done.

panic

Day 5: Oh, right, picking right back up in the middle of a sex scene. Not only am I not happy with how late into the book it takes place (I don’t know of a natural way to push it forward, either) but I put a line break, meaning that I was planning to add something, but now I can’t remember what. So whatever brilliant line was there earlier is gone now.

I just…. I just found an error. Like, a big deal. I called my character by a different character’s name. It was the main character. Her name is Wild. I called her Wren. That is the main character of Only in Whispers. And… I almost missed it at first. A+ to me. Good job.

He was wearing one of his mother’s older dresses.

One letter makes a big difference, guys. Don’t forget that.

I just realized how often my characters blush. I think that’s a thing that gets annoying to readers. Like I don’t know, I just think that’s a thing. I’ll have to cut out all of Wild’s blushes during the next edit, but I’m keeping all of Daivat’s. Also, I’m watching Final Destination 3 while trying to edit, so everything in the novel seems creepier than it is.

Progress: 75% done.

yes

Day 6: Okay, I admit that this gif has no relation at all to my writing, I just wanted it in there.

I added an entire chapter of scenes to write. Haven’t written them yet, of course, but it should help with how rushed the first draft was. I have a scene where Rosabel must bathe in the blood of the innocents skin a rabbit cause fuck you, honey, you need to learn about the real world, and then another sexy scene between Daivat and Wild. Can’t have enough of those, can you?

I’ve managed to extend things enough that parts of chapter nine are now in chapter eleven. Wooo! I know you’re supposed to take away during editing, but I rushed to finish the first draft with a lot of bullshit that I know I’m going to delete, so I need to extend the rest of it.

Progress: 93% done. So close!

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Day 7: You know, I’m quite proud of myself for the scene where Rosabel breaks into the castle. It won’t be perfect until I go through it with a few more rounds of editing, but it still makes me happy to see that everything I wrote isn’t complete shit.

For the rest of this, though… the gif above about covers it. I had a whole ridiculous fairy gathering with like naked fairies living in trees and that is ALL being cut out. All of it. I don’t need such a silly plot to get this story finished. I don’t know what I need to finish it, but it’s not that. I think instead I’ll add a scene with Cadmus’s POV of meeting the girl he has to marry for the second time and having her be way less charitable than Wild.

Progress: 100% done!

giphy (1)So… what did y’all get done this week?

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NaNoWriMo for Newbies – Part 4, Outlining

Brace Yourselves

Unfortunately, because of a computer breaking only a month after I got it I MEAN SERIOUSLY WTF A MONTH??? malfunction this post is coming a little late, but better late than never, right? Write. (Heh, see what I did there?)

So, for me, outlining is simple. Very simple. I was taught rigorous outlining methods in middle school for our research papers. Here was the basic format:

I. Something
A. Something more.
B. Something even more.
1. Oh lala, more detail.
a. more detail about that detail
b. Ron Walrus for president 4030
2. And you gotta have at least two for each section with more detail
a. dunno
b. why
i. stupid
ii. rule
II. Something else.

Obviously, to do it with that method you just have to make the roman numerals into chapters and break down everything in the chapter. That’s what I usually do, that way I can know what happens when and look right to the next thing when I need to write on, with the roman numerals and the letters having the real action and the smaller ones having the detail I came up with when planning the scene. I did NaNoWriMo with an outline like this one year and it was the easiest NaNo I’ve ever done, hands down. Need to get ahead on your word count? Your next scene is right there. All the detail is right there, all in chronological order.

Now some of you, myself included, either don’t have time for such detail or can’t come up with so much on the spot for plot ideas. Well, that’s fine too. This year I’m going a general outline, which just looks like this.

  • Wild meets the outlaws and agrees to be the princess.
  • The Queen finds Wild and wants to behead her, but the King doesn’t. Says they need her.
  • Wild tries to sneak out but can’t find the outlaws.

Basically like that. Just all the points I can think of now, without assigning them to a chapter or putting significance in the bullet. I wrote it out (though those of you who don’t have to run to the computer lab for computer access may want to type it) and left spaces in-between bullets for new ideas that came to mind. I just bulleted my way from start to finish, though there’s an easier way to do that for those of you who are terrible at outlining.

Fill out these:

  • What happens to start the story off?
  • What is happening in the middle?
  • What happens to set off the final events?
  • How does it end?

Once you answer those, fill out the points between them, even if you don’t know anything. If you know that MC and his love interest will hook up in the second half, put that in there. Will the MC see a bad omen in the first half? Slide that in. Any ideas you take the time to write down will help you when you’re stuck and you don’t know what to write. It’ll make everything so much easier if you have some sort of outline, even if it’s just a general direction of where you want each chapter to go.

Next time I will be covering general tips for reaching 50,000 words (assuming my head doesn’t implode from the stress of not having a computer).

If you missed it, part one on plot was here, part two on your main character was here, part two and a half on your love interest was here, and part three on your subplots was here.

Madness

This is a haiku
Because I hate this dumb class
Like, fucking-a man

Powerpoint slides, *dies*
I am incredibly bored
I need a smart phone

Forty-five minutes
Of graphs and correlations
IVs, DVs… Ugh

Participation
It is graded, so I’m here
No other reason

8% of grade
It’s totally not worth it
This class is torture

Forty minutes left
Will he notice if I leave?
Just sink through the floor?

If you are reading this
I have probably passed on
To a better place

My pillow is great
But Professor keeps me here
My bed weeps for me

I could be sleeping
Or painting a masterpiece
Or robbing a bank

Thirty minutes left
The wind is blowing fiercely
But that is outside… 😦

I think he’s lying
He didn’t take attendance
I could’ve just skipped

Professor comes near
Quick! Hide all evidence
Yes, I’m listening…

Is the fine worth it?
To pull the fire alarm?
I just won’t get caught

You! Girl who speaks now!
Shut your mouth, your question sucks
Brain cells crawling away…

Look, it’s a zebra!
Not really. I like zebras.
Stripe stripe stripe stripe HOOF!

I’ve put up a shield
In one ear and out the other?
No, I hear you not

Twenty minutes left
Endless agony and grief
Tetris would help me

Spiral, spiral, square
But what do the doodles mean??????
Negative pi- ELF!

Did you see the elf?
He just ran by in pink tights
No, I’m not on drugs….

So hungry, nom nom
I have eaten my finger
Desperate times, man!

Fifteen minutes left!
Marbles, marbles everywhere
Marbles should be pugs

My hair is slinkies
Not really, but I can dream
Hahaha, slinkies…

Stop staring at me!
Those beady eyes, that mean glare
Oh, it’s a trash can

I am a tea pot
Short and stout with a big knife
I can’t trust the scones!

Class, in summary
You all fail, epically fail!
Go be homeless now

I am almost free!
I shall make a break for it!
Anarchy!

Friday Fiction – Doctor’s Demise

You are sitting across from one of the most dangerous super villains in modern times. His arms and legs are chained to his seat, and his blindfold is made of lead. He has been given a strong dose of a medicine known to repress superpowers. If it wasn’t for the fact that you’d felt the drug’s affect firsthand, you would not consent to be in a room with this man.

“Tell me, Arnold, why you started killing people,” you say. Arnold remains silent. He struggles silently against the chains surrounding him, but they don’t budge. Arnold is a tiny, ugly man who has no hopes of breaking out of prison now that he has been caught. “Well? Was it something someone did? Did they push you over the edge? Make you mad? What was it, Arnold?”

“I will not respond to that name,” he replies. You nod.

“Very well, Asphyxi. Will you answer my question now?”

“Of course.” He grins. His teeth are yellow. Luckily, the blindfold means that you don’t have to hide your look of disgust. “My first kill wasn’t a who.”

“Come again?” you ask.

“It wasn’t a who, but rather… a what. You’re asking the question wrong.”

“Fine. What was your first kill?” you ask. It had not been your original question, but you’d take what Arnold was willing to share.

“My sister’s puppy,” he says. He is smiling, as if caught in fond memory. “She’d just gotten in as a present from our grandmother. Grandmother had never given me any gifts, so I’d tried stealing the puppy into my room one night. I got mad when he wouldn’t listen to any of my commands, when he so obeyed my sister, and all of a sudden he stopped breathing. It was the first time I’d used my powers.”

“And how old were you?”

“Six, I believe.”

“That’s an uncommonly young age for someone’s powers to manifest.”

“But then again, there’s nothing common about us, is there, Doctor?” Arnold is grinning again. You have the feeling that he can see right through his blindfold, though that would be impossible.

“How do you know who I am?” you ask calmly. Doctor had been your superhero name. You’d had a brief stint with the local superheroes– flying around on Arrow’s back and covering for Bolt when raiding evil lairs– but you’d quickly grown tired of using your powers in such a way. It wasn’t exactly evil, as you’d been helping the heroes, but it still left you feeling ill inside.

Your power is the ability to give or take away the madness within a person. Since you hadn’t been cut out for a superhero– nor a super villain, for that matter– you retired your mask and buckled down for eight years of schooling until you could call yourself a Psychologist. You immediately began work at a mental institution. Innumerable people had been cured under your care, and you were able to work anonymously.

That is, unless the local league of superheroes decided to call in a favor. As they had been the ones to pay for your schooling, you couldn’t possibly turn away their request.

“Oh, please. I’ve killed hundred, and yet I’m not in jail yet? They tie me up and have me interrogated first? Do you think I’m an idiot?”

“Interrogation is standard for new prisoners,” you say.

“I’m sure it is. This kind of interrogation isn’t, however. Except for Ooze, perhaps. She was one mean son-of-a-bitch.”

You look at Arnold. “Let us return to the topic at hand.”

“Of course. So would you like to talk about the first person I killed, then? Because the puppy wasn’t the only animal I’d done away with.”

“Yes. The first person, please,” you say, rubbing your temples. Arnold is a psychopath, no doubt about it.

“I don’t know her name, of course, because I just hired her off the street. May have called herself Ruby, or Scarlett, or something like that, ‘cause she had bright red hair.” He pauses. “We went behind a dumpster and she got down on her knees, but I choked her without even taking my pants down.” His grin is savage. “I remember the feeling of it. I took the air out of her lungs, bit by bit, until she couldn’t breath at all. She tried fighting me, but she didn’t have the strength. I teased her a bit, letting her breath just before she was ready to pass out, but that grew old after a while. The fun in killing is seeing the life leak out of them, don’t you agree?”

“I wouldn’t know. I’ve never killed before.” You glance at the guards in the corner of the room, the ones who’d been there silently the whole time. They look ready to beat the prisoner within an inch of his life. You know that they’d never been faced with a criminal such as Arnold. Their usual super villains had solid motives for killing. For him, it’s just because he’s a sick bastard.

“Oh, surely you have. I saw some of your tapes from your moonlighting days. (Nice spandex, by the way.) I watch the way you could just look at a person and scramble their brains. They’d be weeping and clawing at their eyes and talking to spirits in seconds. Didn’t it ever tempt you to turn the whole world mad?”

“The world is mad enough as it is,” you say. “I returned each of the villains I cursed back to their original state. I don’t enjoy watching people suffer.”

“What differences we have, Doctor,” Arnold says. “Watching people suffer is what I live for.”

“That’s enough.” The comment is directed at the guards who have taken a step closer to the madman. Arnold smiles up at you.

“What? Had enough? Am I too mad for you?”

“Don’t worry. I can still help you.” Your powers are greatest when making physical contact so you reach forward for Arnold’s shoulder. He jerks backwards violently.

I don’t want your help,” he hisses, and then it seems as if all the air is suddenly gone.

“A-Arnold.” You struggle, grasping your throat and falling to your knees. The guards act the same way. The drug has either worn off or has no effect on the madman, for he is calmly releasing himself from his bonds while choking you to death. “Asph…yxi,” you say, once he ignores you.

“Yes, Doctor? What have you to say?” Arnold asks. His hands are freed– you struggle to think how this could be happening– and he takes off the blindfold and stairs down into your eyes. You are curled up on the floor, now, still gasping for air that has fled the room. “How pitiful you look. And old, too. I confess I expected something else. Those tapes are outdated.”

Stop this, you want to say, but you can’t get the words out. Your vision is growing fuzzy. You wonder what has happened to the people monitoring the room.

“Goodbye, Doctor. You think any jail can hold me? You’re wrong. All of you are so wrong.”

You vision turns completely black, and then there is nothing.

For the Friday Fiction link up from http://nikkiyoungwrites.com/