M. K. Theodoratus, Fantasy Writer, blogs about the books she reads--mostly fantasy and mystery authors whose books catch her eye and keep her interest. Nothing so formal as a book review, just chats about what she liked. Theodoratus also mutters about her own writing progress or ... lack of it.

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Thursday, December 1, 2011

What Are Your Goals for Your Piles of Words?

Do you have huge piles of words in your computer?. More than what you just wrote for NanoWriMo or the last novel or short story you're drafting? Completed stories/novels you are submitting don't count. Stories you sold, especially don't count in your answer.

Just put my Half-Elven novella in the closet to ferment before I go back and tear it apart. Yeah, it's got flaws, major structural flaws. So, now I have two recent things festering in there which I need to rewrite, a MG novel [Emma Kloken] and the above novella, The Somant Troubles. Now, to organize time to do it amidst the seasonal baking and presents and clearing off my desk which has piled higher and deeper again.

Went to procrastinate by reading some blogs, and N. R. Williams slapped me up the side of the head with a blog reminding me about how inadequate my description was in The Somant Troubles. Her article on The Writing Craft: Description is worth studying. Actually, if I remember right, she's doing a series on writing craft.

Perhaps my most sizable pile of words, sitting like a lump in the web-cloud, comes from blogging. [So far, I haven't figured if I can do more with them than leave them here.] I've been blogging for, maybe, three years. A good question: can anyone have anything new to say after you've blogged for a month? Six months? A year? 

Roni Loren at Fiction Groupie wrote a neat little blog on blogging stages the life cycle of a blogger. You might've missed it in the NaNo madness so I decided to link to it here. Just loved the pics, and wish I knew how to do the mechanics to dress up my blog with free artwork.

I hope I've avoided the problem of boring myself by commenting on other blogs and doing fantasy book reviews. Blogging is like self-publishing. As long as someone reads the blog each week, guess this blog will continue.

As any NaNo writer knows your words need to be polished before they are worth reading. No one will read a formless pile -- other than you first readers/writing buddies. They need purpose. Chuck Wendig, who's published by Angry Robots, weighed in with a list of reasons why readers will stop reading. I took the blog to heart because I often quit reading a book when I get bored -- after the cover blurb, and opening intrigue me.

My goal is to organize my time so I can revise/edit/polish my word piles. I plan to spend evenings revising. For the new year, I'll be writing new stuff, including a short story a month. I plan to practice taking a character, giving her/him an introduction, problem, complication, and solution in a well-described world. 

In short, I'm setting the goal to polish my craft skills. Oh, I'll be finding some new words to finish my NaNoWriMo story. Have toooooo many words piled up in 1/3 draft to ignore. 

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Then, there's the ever-present need to promote your words after you can see your face in them. Came across a great way to promote: tattoo your book's url on your forehead.

For more ideas, check out Angela Scott's 10 Ways to Promote Your Book. The smiles are worth the time.

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