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Tag: editing

2020 will be the Year of Editing

This is it.

A new year. A new decade. Same old, writing self.

When I was going through all the possible projects for 2020, I came to the conclusion that I don’t want to start anything new. 

I have 7 projects in various draft stages and I have ideas for 5 more books. More will probably come because I know myself.

But I can’t just keep turning in draft 0 after draft 0. I won’t get anywhere that way. So I decided to start the decade by committing myself to editing.

In 2020, I want to focus on editing 3 different projects I have.

I want to finish editing the novel I’ve been working on in Q4 of 2019, to get it to a stage where I can send it off to beta. Though I’m not sure if it’s going to be ready for it by end of Q1 (which is my self-imposed deadline).

I want to substantially edit the Blood Magic project that I queried to agents in 2018 and see if I can improve it and figure out what wasn’t working. Because it’s clear something wasn’t working.

And finally, I want to take a look at a draft on my zombie werewolves novella I did years ago to get it in shape. I’m not sure if I want to split it into short stories or beef it up into a novel. But it’s been gathering digital dust for years and I want to do something with it. If it’s only to share it with my newsletter subscribers, who have been super chill with me and my lack of communication skills.

While I tried to be realistic in what I can accomplish in a year, editing does not come easy to me. It’s a struggle and I know I will have to push myself a lot this year. But I’m motivated and excited to see how much I improved over the years. And I know I have.

Wish me luck! 🙂

And let me know here (or on Twitter) what’s your goal for 2020?

2019 in Review – The Year of Experimenting

I’m not gonna lie, I don’t think I’m ready for the end of the decade. I wasn’t ready for my oldest niece to turn 18, but apparently, nobody cares, especially not time. So, like every December, I looked back on the year that’s about to end and took stock of where I am and what I accomplished.

2019 was a Year of Experiments for me

I tried new things in my writing life as well as my professional life. And it all went much better than I initially anticipated.

After querying my first novel in 2018 and receiving nothing but boilerplate rejections, I figured I need to work on my craft and hone my skills before I can send another manuscript out there. So I read some books on plot and structure, to see what I can improve on that level (spoiler, apparently a lot).

I also asked myself if the writing and editing process I employed so far was what fit me best, or if I was simply doing what I thought would work. And so my experiments started.

Experiment 1: Can I pants through a novel?

Answer: YES

During this year’s CampNaNo, I decided to write a novel and not outline it ahead of time. I had a couple of scene ideas and I knew where I wanted to take the novel and the characters. And then I proceeded to write it. I was skipping around, writing whatever scene idea I got, then working my way back to connect it to the rest of what I had. I kept my excitement up and I actually managed to finish a 50k draft. Success all around!.

What I learned:

Skipping around the manuscript is a lot of fun and was a great way to keep my enthusiasm going. But pantsing is not for me, I like to know where I’m going. And I don’t have to waste time figuring things out.

Experiment 2: Can I write a novel in a completely different genre?

Answer: YES

Another CampNano achievement for me. I had this crime thriller at the back of my head for ages and I finally decided to write it. I needed a cleanse from my urban fantasy werewolves stories and this seemed like a great way to switch focus. It was difficult because while I’m an avid reader of crime novels, I’ve never actually written one. 

What I learned:

I still have a lot to learn when it comes to pacing and foreshadowing. I think editing this novel will also teach me a thing or two. Right now, I’m just happy to have this idea out of my head. And though I now know I can actually write them, I don’t think my primary focus will ever be crime thrillers.

Experiment 3: Can I pants a crime thriller?

Answer: Eh?

I’ve done it. I’ve accomplished what I set out to do. But after completing the first draft, I know how much better the manuscript could’ve been if I had it all planned out. Writing it was a great adventure, but the end result could’ve been much better.

What I learned:

I really need outlines with certain genres and there’s no denying it, I’m a plotter and I work best when I have a lot of prep done.

Experiment 4: Can I improve my editing process?

Answer: YES

After the disappointing querying results, I wanted to see if I could tweak my editing process to make it easier for myself and to make sure my novels are even better. So I started to learn from books and youtube all while editing Draft 0 of my YA urban fantasy. And even though I’m not done yet with my first pass, I can already see the improvements!

What I learned:

Thanks to all the time I spent learning and researching and applying all the new knowledge, I feel like I have established an editing routine that will do wonders for my process and my future projects. I can’t wait to test out my improved editing skills on the drafts I have sitting on my drive.

2019 was a great year and I learned a lot about being a writer. I’m really excited about what’s to come, so keep your fingers crossed and wish me luck!

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