A Week of Editing

This week I spent a lot of time learning to edit my work.

I know, I should be concentrating on writing, adding more content in pursuit of my NaNoWriMo goal, and I have, just not as much as I should have. Basically, a little bit of boredom set in on the writing spree and I ran out of easy scenes to add to my projects, so naturally, I turned to avoidance behavior. It was avoidance behavior with a goal, just not the primary goal.

Two things happened that keyed me into improving my editing chops. First, a friend pointed out an online tool called ProWritingAid.com that writers can use to evaluate a manuscript and have it provide a detailed analysis. The reports are pretty extensive and cover areas of writing I’ve never even considered before when editing my stories. Long sentences are identified, overused word lists generated, glue words highlighted, and dozens of other writing issues are identified and left to your discretion as to whether they should remain or be edited out. It only took evaluating a couple of my stories to see its benefit. I now expect to use it on all my future material before it leaves my computer.

The second stimulus I had this week is a new desire to create audiobooks of my stories. The idea is to expand where people might encounter them online and help drive them into purchasing more of my other stories. Creating audiobooks can be expensive, but the inexpensive way is to narrate them myself. So I started practicing on a story and immediately realized that those complex sentences that read just fine are tongue-twisting torture when trying to speak them aloud. They need even more editing to make the narration flow.

Now, one of the early techniques I learned was to speak a characters dialog aloud, to hear the person as others would, to get their speech patterns down, and to help tighten and focus the dialogue on what’s important. I do this all the time. Trouble was, I wasn’t doing it nearly as much with the rest of the text. Going forward, I’m going to make a more concentrated effort to speak aloud everything I write, to listen to its cadence, and generally get it in shape for narrating into an audiobook.

OTOH, I did manage to add a few thousand words to Alexiandrölarn this week, do some additional plotting, write down a couple more story ideas, and generally keep myself busy. That’s all a good thing too. With turkey day next week I’ll be away for several days visiting family and that will effect both my word count and editing pursuit. Then upon return the interior painters finally arrive for at least a week of home disruption as every room gets a new coat of paint.

Posted in Alexiandrölarn, editing, progress, writers | Tagged | Leave a comment

Movie Review: Mr. Holmes

Mr. HolmesWatched the movie Mr. Holmes, starring Sir Ian McKellen and Laura Linney last night and enjoyed it immensely. An elderly and retired Sherlock Holmes is haunted by the memory of his last case, one in which a young woman lost her life. It’s a race against time to try and uncover the truth while dealing with early dementia and crippling isolation.

I found Sir Ian McKellen did a remarkable job at portraying both the younger dashing Holmes and the aging Holmes we see through most of the movie. In one he’s just ending his successful career while the other battles to retain the one thing that made him special, his acute memory and insight. But he’s haunted by the fragmented memories of that last case, and in trying to write down the true events, as opposed to Dr. Watson’s account, he continuously faces his own impending mortality.

It’s a quiet tale of the famous detective that provides some new insight into his character that we may have overlooked before. How does a man so different and with such special abilities deal with normal folk. In this story we discover the answer is not well, and in accepting that we see Holmes struggle to reset his world view and attitude as the logic of his conclusions force him to accept his own failures at the end.

Wonderful story, aptly told, well worth watching when you want a quiet evening of detection and old world charm to fill your living room.

Posted in movies, reviews, writers | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Mid-NaNoWriMo Report

NaNoWriMo depressionFor my very first attempt at it, NaNoWriMo is going well.

I’m not going to make the 50k words goal of the normal NaNoWriMo, but I think I’ll get to 30k without too much trouble. And that 30k will make a big dent in two major projects, which is a good thing to happen. Nor am I just doing stream of consciousness writing, but I feel like I’m hitting a good clip and not hitting any real plotting problems so far.

The first project being worked on is Rambles book #2, Festival of Murder. It is over 23k words at this point and everything in the plot is setup or in place. Things have been coming together well on it so far. Am struggling a bit with having so many characters but we’re almost past the intro stage so things should settle out a bit from hereon out.

The second is my reworking of An Empire Forgotten into four novellas of around 30k words each. The first novella is called Alexiandrölarn and describes the meeting of Ancher and Hieronymus and why they must flee the city. It too has been going well at almost 10k words in the last 4 days.

In my spare time I’m working up some short story ideas to release next spring. Would dearly love to remain on a one release a month cycle of something, but come February things are going to get serious around here and I may not have the time. We’ll just have to play it by ear once we get there.

That’s all for now.

Posted in An Empire Forgotten, fantasy, mystery, progress, Rambles, short story, writers, writing | Leave a comment

Chronicles of Bulinnärm Available!

Chronicles of Bulinnärm ebook coverEverything’s in place, this Thursday is the day. my first new book in almost 20 years. It’s taken over 2 years to write and release enough stories to make a book of collected shorts possible, but it’s finally happening.

Chronicles of Bulinnärm goes on sale this Thursday, Nov 12, 2015 in ebook format ($2.99) and Nov 13 for printed editions (140 pgs, $7.99) exclusively from Amazon.

It contains several epic adventure fantasies covering people and events that cover some 1000 years of history. From the legendary Skar Doorishmurk, to the mysterious Hieronymus, and companions alike. If you loved Lord of the Rings, Conan, or even play games like World of Warcraft, Rift, and others, these stories should interest you.


Posted in adventure, fantasy, pre-order, printed, self-publishing, writers | Leave a comment