Thursday, July 25, 2013

Almost There

I am doing the final edits on Unintended Consequences after changing the ending. As I go through the chapters, I have to stop myself from skimming because...I know what's going to happen. It's hard to keep focus when I have read this story a million times.

As I read, especially scenes that have survived from the first incarnation, I wonder if I am tired of it because of repetition or because it's a boring scene.

The first final draft went to half of my beta readers. The second final draft went the the rest of them. Now I am on the third and totally final - final draft. And I am wondering if I should float it by a few more readers.

This is the time of the most indecision. Is it the best I can do? Does it convey all the information I want it to? Tone, characters, setting, plot...have I hit all the right buttons?

One of my first readers said the writing was tight. Yay. But now I've added a layer. And changed the end. Did I fatten it too much? Dilute the tension?

Worry, worry, worry.

I don't want to fuss it to death. There's a point where you have to call it done and walk away.

And I expect that to be really soon.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

A soggy garden report

It has rained every day for three weeks now. Yes, it's summer and afternoon cloudbursts are common. That's not what we're getting. We're getting 1" and up...every day!

So the plants that like it wet are huge. Those that don't are struggling.

And with all that rain comes dark days. My vegetable garden doesn't get enough sun to begin with. Three weeks of clouds is really hurting it.

The plum tree produced it's first harvest. It looked amazing. Every branch was covered with fruit. I read that the Santa Rosa plum was an over producer and that you should thin the fruit...but I was greedy. Add the wettest summer on record and expect the worst. I think we lost half the crop to mold.

Luckily I decided to transition to raised beds this year. If not, the garden would be gone, washed away.

And the rest of the yard is a jungle because I can't get out there to work, because, ya know, IT'S RAINING!


Thursday, July 11, 2013

All gone

So my six-year-old external drive wouldn't work. I called my local computer repair guys. They're great. And they usually do a fabulous job. After an anxious weekend...and Monday...and most of Tuesday, I got the call. They can't retrieve anything.

Yikes. I'm not even sure what was on there. I know I've lost a lot of documents for my pay-the-bills job. All of which I can rebuild fairly easily. But I had a lot of my writing on there, too. And some without backups. Some old photos...artwork...sheesh...I just don't know.

The last time this happened to me I became obsessive about backups. That's why I bought the external drive. And somehow the backups stopped. I just put everything on that drive - to keep it safe.

What was I thinking?

Luckily, I was trying out a cloud storage and had put a few things there. And I had my backups from when I was still doing it. So I haven't lost everything completely. But a lot of my recent work is gone.

A part of me is screaming. Another part of me is contrarily happy for the purge. How weird is that?

So I need to make a new plan - lots of backups and stick to it!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Smashwords Promotion

For the month of July, Smashwords is having a promotional discount on books.

A Loss of Standards is free (short story - regularly $.99)

White Lies is discounted 25% to $2.24 (novel - regularly 2.99)

Catburglar is free (a flash - and always is free)

Here's a link to the Smashwords Promotion

Monday, July 1, 2013

Too Much Recapping

I just gave up on a novel because of the excessive recapping. I wanted to yell at the author "I get it!"

It was a multiple POV fantasy with a typical plot. The Hero fell in love along the way to gathering his Band of Stalwarts to defeat the Big Bad. The first book was a bit obvious, on-the-nose and predictable. But it was both a debut novel and the first of a series. I gave the author lots of leeway and plunged into book 2. I was hoping for improvement.

The second book is still very on-the-nose. People tell each other things they should already know. The characters escape a smidge too easily from their troubles and stumble into a haven of safety and fresh baked bread. Repeat...repeat. But what bogged it all down for me was the recapping through internal dialogue.

First the Hero thinks about all the things they've come through. He's worried about his friends and if The Girl loves him. Then we go to The Girl. She thinks about all the things they've come through. She's worried about her friends and if the Hero loves her.  AHHHGGH. This goes on for pages combing over the same ground from the two perspectives when we already lived through it with them!

Recapping should be for the reader's benefit, not to increase word count. And the events weren't that confusing. Especially since the reader witnessed it. It didn't tell me more about the characters or world or plot. In my writer's group I would have told the author to at least trim heavily if not cut completely.

Some books need regular recapping, mysteries for example. The sleuth will often put together clues during recapping. Pulling a solution, a lead or a revelation out of recapping makes it work much better. It gives the reader the breadcrumbs that the sleuth is following. Or if many chapters have passed since we last encountered a character or event, a recap might be needed. But I think they always need a light touch.