Pardon my absence, I've been busy working...

And by working, I mean, writing. And by writing, I mean working on my actual book.

Back in high school I wrote a 321 page manuscript (roughly, 95k words). It's a young adult fantasy currently going by the title Runenaeth's Falling. That manuscript was banished from my thoughts a while back when I got mad at the publishing industry and called it quits as a writer. However, with my recently renewed sense of purpose and a desire to write I've decided to give that story an overhaul and again work toward seeing it published. So, if for extended periods of time I disappear from creating brilliant and witty blog posts that manuscript's my excuse for absensce.

Last week I stuck with my goal of 7 hours/week of writing time; I hit just over 7.5 hours. This week I've done less blogging and a lot more of just knitty gritty nitpicking at my drafted novel. I did previously have the manuscript read over by a professional editor (thanks to my supportive parents), but besides the actual grammatical and spelling errors which have already been brought to my attention, I want to give the whole thing a makeover.

Here's my current plan (someone see that I stick to it, please):

  1. Reread my entire manuscript through, like I would a book written by another author, trying to judge it objectively. (As I am reading through I am taking notes and jotting down potential ideas and edits, but for the most part I am trying to read it with the eyes of a young adult reader)
  2. Actually make change & polish it up to its very prettiest
  3. Publish (right now looking into self publication methods as a starting point)
Overall, I know I love writing fantasy and the bones of my story are good. (Some point soon I will get a synopsis posted for you, to hopefully peak your interest and get some feedback as well!). However, I know it could also be better. I want to write with excellence and craft my stories with the pride and precision of a skilled artisan.

Major concerns with my book currently include:
  1. Passive voice over active. I made the mistake of greatly overusing a passive voice, rather than one of action (Example:"She began to think" or "He was starting to" versus "She thought" and "He started"). Not only does passivity unnecessarily bulk up my word count, it also sort of drags the story along at a slow pace. I want to rewrite all those points in the story to accelerate the overall flow and drive the story with more force.
  2. Too much internal dialogue. The story is written in the third person omniscient form of narrative, meaning the reader has insight into the character's -mainly the protagonist's- thoughts and emotions that the other characters do not. You, the reader, are all knowing, while the characters, like us in real life, cannot see into anyone else's minds. Nothing's wrong with that form of narrative and I will still be using it, but I want to lessen my use of literal written out thought processes going on in my main characters head. I sloppily overused "she thought to herself" type moments to reveal the plot; I would rather the plot be shown as it unfolds in a natural way, not told. Reader's are smart. If it's well written, they will figure out what I want them to see without being told to pay attention.
  3. General laziness in description. I don't want to just tell a reader something about a place or character and then just move right along. I want to make a reader feel and see and known things, like they are there experiencing them. Again, showing, not telling.
  4. Arbitrary and unnecessary fantasy. I write fantasy, therefore it's fantastical. I don't have to play by the rules of the real world, and that is fun. However, it can also be a crutch. I have a couple instances where major problems are "magically" solved because, hey, it's a fantasy book and I make the rules (Not from my book, but a hyperbolic example would be something like "Oh darn, here is a locked door and we need to get in now! Wow just so happens I have a mystical key which can transform itself into the shape of any lock in my pocket, and I failed to mention it up until now"). Sure, it can be fantastical, but it needs to make some sense within the story line or I will lose all credibility. Can't just be pulling my "fantasy card" left and right if I want my story to be taken seriously.
  5. Any cliche. Fantasy is a genre that has been done and overdone, but fortunately it can always be made fresh. While I am adhering to a rather "typical" good versus evil type plot with a female heroine of the "chosen one" type persona, I want my story to be new and still unpredictable.
So there we are, please excuse my tardiness from blogging. Just didn't want anyone to think I was slacking off already due to my lack of posts, and I also wanted to get my goals written out nice and concisely for the benefit of us all, in hopes that I will better stick to achieving them. I'll keep you posted. In the meantime, I'm on to Part Two, Chapter Seven. Word by word, sentence by sentence, page by page, chapter by chapter, meticulously manicure my story from a draft into something I will feel proud to call my art. Slow and steady, folks. Now, back to work...

This entry was posted on Thursday, November 19, 2015 and is filed under ,,,,,. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response.

3 Responses to “Pardon my absence, I've been busy working...”

  1. Wow, Bella, you have great self-awareness and literary knowledge. Sounds like the perfect combo to rip into that puppy and make it, as you put it, its very prettiest!
    As you gaze at your computer screen, imagine an assortment of Northeast authors behind you in the room, waving pom poms and holding various signs like, "Go Bella" and "YA Fantasy Rocks"!!

    1. Thanks for the encouragement Chris. Having not really touched my ms in 4 years I really have fresh eyes to judge my writing. And of course, fresh motivation.

    2. Thanks for the encouragement Chris. Having not really touched my ms in 4 years I really have fresh eyes to judge my writing. And of course, fresh motivation.