Thursday, July 28, 2011

Thursday Tutorials...editing the first draft

Dear Readers,

For today's Thursday Tutorial, I am going to talk about editing. I love editing. It doesn't matter if it's a research paper, a newspaper article, an announcement, a short story, an essay, or a novel I simply love editing.

I've recently been editing my forever ongoing project The Chosen One and I thought I'd share the method I've used on this round of editing.

Although I've done several edits on this novel before, I viewed this edit as a first time edit. On the first round of editing, I didn't stress about sentence structure or if I had chose the right word. Although naturally I did fix any errors I spotted as I read through.

However, what I really liked about this round of editing was that I kept notes as I edited. Any time a question or observation popped into my head, I typed it into another document entitled notes. My notes ranged from questions about plot, word choice, any inconsistencies I saw, etc. I opened another document and typed character observations into that one. Any thought that entered my mind I entered on these documents.

I looked back on my notes and was surprised by the depth contained within them. I almost have a summary of my novel just by looking at those notes.

The point is that when editing in the early drafts don't worry about grammar.

Just read through it type good notes on your observations and you'll be surprised the inconsistencies you catch.

I've found that taking good notes when editing is extremely helpful and bet that the same will hold true for at least a few of you.

And that is this time's Thursday Tutorial post. See you later.

~Danica Page

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Whimsical Wednesdays...Reflections

Dear Readers,

I realize that today is Whimsical Wednesday, but my thoughts are so preoccupied on writing that I can think of little else. Consequently, I’m just going to ramble on about that.

I’ve taken a week break from The Chosen One novel one and have been rewriting the sequel using similar strategies that I used when rewriting the first novel. However, I’m excited to begin reading the notes I took on The Chosen One (my system of notes will be explained in tomorrow’s post) as well as diving back into editing the second draft of my rewrite.

I’ve edited many drafts of this novel, but since I completely rewrote this novel, I’m viewing this as my second round of edit. I’m still not ready to dive into intense editing of sentence structures and word choice, but I’m ready to catch all the inconsistencies I noted and add more emotion to parts that felt flat. In other words I’m ready to flesh out what I currently have before I tear it to shreds for a few rounds before I send it out to other readers.

To change gears, yesterday, I reached my word count of the goal. 600,000 words of fiction written this year and that’s not counting what I wrote in my writer’s journal, my character sketches, or my summaries. I’m pretty ecstatic. I’m made a lot of progress this year.

I’ve joined writing communities and started a blog about writing and have decided to take my writing more seriously. I’m often asked when I’m going to start the publication process. The answer as soon as I finish editing The Chosen One. I’m thinking I’m about three edits away from embarking on that thrilling adventure of tackling query letters, synopsis, and snagging a literary agent. A scary notion that sends chills down my spine—partly in excitement and partly in fear.

However, I know that I’m ready to take the next step. With the support of you my readers, my other writing friends, and my family, I’m ready to start this journey and anxiously waiting to start this journey.

That’s all for today’s Whimsical Wednesday post. Enjoy!

~Danica Page
(who is amazed by how small the writing world is at times)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

To-Read Tuesday...Deadly Pursuit by Irene Hannon

For this To-Read Tuesday post. The book that I can't wait to read is the second novel in Irene Hannon's Guardians of Justice series. The next book is scheduled to come out in September and is entitled Deadly Pursuit is scheduled to be published.

This weekened I just reread the first one Fatal Judgement. I have read Irene Hannon's Heroes of Quantico series and was extremely interested in reading her new series. Irene Hannon writes incredible romantic suspense novels. I love romantic suspense novels. They are my guilty pleasure, and if it's Christian romnatic suspense even better.

Before I get into what Deadly Pursuit is about, I'll offer a brief synopsis of Fatal Judgement.

 From her website: Deputy Marshal Jake Taylor has seen plenty of action as a member of the U.S. Marshals Special Operations Group, including a recent stint in Iraq. But he’d much rather go back to that hotbed of trouble than deal with his next assignment: providing protection for federal judge Liz Michaels. His antipathy toward her is just as strong as it was five years ago, when her husband—his best friend—died in a possible suicide. But as Jake works to keep Liz safe, he discovers she’s not a cold-hearted workaholic wedded to nothing but her job, as he expected. Forced to reevaluate his opinion, he also finds himself grappling with a growing attraction. And when it becomes clear that an unknown enemy may want her dead, the stakes go up. Because now both her life—and his heart—are in danger.

Synopsis for Deadly Pursuit, once again taken from her website:

I love Irene Hannon and will anxiously be waiting until September when I can buy this book. Anything by Irene Hannon and Dee Henderson will always make it on my to-own shelf and is destined to be read over and over.

As a social worker with the Department of Social Services, Alison Taylor has a passion for protecting children and seeing that justice is served on their behalf. But now it seems she needs protecting. Someone is making harassing phone calls and sending her bizarre gifts. When her tormentor’s attentions take a violent turn, she calls in reinforcements. Her brother, Cole, comes to her aid, along with his new partner, Detective Mitch Morgan. As her relentless stalker turns up the heat and the danger intensifies, Mitch takes a personal interest in the case. Because protecting Alison has become more than a job; his future depends on keeping her safe.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Whimsical Wednesdays...Vindictive Stairs

To make the story short: I was pushed down a flight of metal stairs…naturally it was an accident, but still I was a little perturbed.

Needless to say I wrenched my back and behind and have been out of commission for awhile.

Just when I start to actually think I can fulfill my blogging goals…those vindictive stairs.

However, in the meantime I did finish editing The Chosen One. 

Yes, Alana did you hear that. I finished.

Nothing but silence.

Alana, are you going to answer me.

More silence.

Alana Monroe, answer me!

Alright, I’m here.

Why were you ignoring me?

I’m not overly fond of talking this publicly.

But you have been doing that for months?

That was out of necessity.

So now you’re back to being silent until I mess up again?

Yes, pretty much.

You’ve just left me in the middle of massive rewriting on the sequel and another round of intense editing on The Chosen One and you’re done talking.

You took good notes and until you mess up, then yeah I really don’t have anything to say. Maybe Telyn will.

She leaves me shaking my head and rolling my eyes.

That’s all I did all week. I laid flat on my bed and typed away furiously on my laptop and did little else…maybe just maybe those stairs weren’t as vindictive as I thought.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

the aftermath of a gentle prod

Dear Readers,

I have been blessed in my life and am surrounded by an amazing family and amazing friends. One of these friends is the reason for this post. That dear friend of mine wrote me a letter and at the end of it said, So how is your writing going, Danica? And when will you finish that novel of yours? The one that you've been working on for forever.

I cringed as I realized that I hadn't written anything of substance in awhile. I was still getting my 1k in a day, but I hadn't made progress on anything. And let's not even talk about my progress on my novel.

That prod made me guilty and fostered a writing frenzy.

Since then I've been on a writing high. I've written four short stories and edited over 275 pages this week. Yes, it's just a rough edit at this point, but still 275 pages! Yay!

The 275 pages I've edited makes up my ongoing project The Chosen One.  I am currently about 3/4 done with this current round of editing. I'm simply ecstatic. I am hoping to finish editing the remaining section by Tuesday evening and am on track for that goal.

My goal of the year was to make progress on this novel something that I was falling way behind on and now I'm ahead of schedule. Who would have thought?

So to that close friend, and yes you know who you are, thanks. That prod was what I needed. When I finally finish editing this draft, I'll owe you. And I hope you collect someday.

I decided to post this in letter format for fun and really liked doing that. I may do this more often.

But for now, ciao!

All my love,

Danica Page

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Belated Monday Manifestos Post.....Dear Danica, you're grounded!

I was enjoying an evening off or work and had curled up reading a great new book. As I work nearly sixty hours a week, which to some may not seem a lot, but to me seems like a ton of hours, I thought that I deserved this nice little break. Apparently, not everybody agreed.
Danica Page, I thought we had agreed you were going to spend more time editing my story. I tried giving you your space, but that backfired. So now I’ll resume pressuring you to write my story.  
What happened to the Alana who used to be so passive and submissive?
I tried that and you didn’t listen. I figured writing you a letter would solve the problem, but apparently not. So now I’m trying more forceful means. You are grounded!
Alana, you can’t ground me.
You think so, just watch me. You are grounded from reading until you at least make some progress on my story, as in actually editing at least 4 chapters.
(She has a point there. I come home from a stressful day of work and curl up with a book….like I was trying to do that night).
Can’t I just finish reading the chapter?
No, because then you’ll have to finish the next chapter and the next one after that and then you’ll have to read the sequel and you’ll never work on my story.
(I sighed and pulled out my story notes and started reading imagining Alana’s smug expression.)
Much to my surprise, I found myself actually liking my story. It wasn’t nearly as rough as I had made it out to be. I quickly started jotting some notes about discrepancies I saw and a few other things I needed to fix. I started a character sheet and just started flying through the story. Next thing I knew it was a few hours later (try five or six) and I was on chapter 8 and I had no desire to sleep. So instead of sleeping I kept editing and have been doing that for the last few days. Now I’m on chapter 12 and am continuing to fly through the editing process. I’m going to reach the halfway point.
I’ve been putting off editing this beast for forever. I’ve had good intentions, but well they haven’t panned out. I needed that extra push to get going and now I can’t stop editing.
I told you so.
Yes, Alana you were right.
Now if you don’t mind I’d really like to not be stuck sitting on that beach. Do you want to get back to work now?
Actually, I do. Am I still grounded?
Yes, until you finish this round of editing, you’re grounded.
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