Revision

May's Marvelous Manuscript Monday

May Progress Report

 

May is over in just a few days and my current word count is just south of 35,000 words! That means I am almost to my 40,000 word halfway point. When I say it that way I feel kinda like a badass. I’m also FINALLY done with my first person to third person point of view conversion which I should have finished doing around a month ago. So when I say it like that I feel, not so accomplished, but I’m not gonna let it get me down.

I’m also on track with my book reading goals. Man am I crushing it! So far 2016 might end up being my most gratifying year to date, when it comes to personal growth and accomplishment. We still have half the year to go but I’m confident it’s only going to get better. You might have noticed my good mood and that’s probably heavily influenced by the fact I don’t have to go back to my day job for another week. Yippy! The rest of my week will be filled with reading, writing, and the less enjoyable yard work. (It’ll be worth it, I repeat to myself over and over.)  I’m hoping to get another 5,000 words on my manuscript to get me to that 40,000 word halfway point. The only thing that keeps distracting me… my own ideas.

It’s hard to focus on just one story when your brain is constantly coming up with new ones. Other than my current manuscript, which will be the first in a three book series, I have three other unrelated story concept I am itching to put on paper. One post apocalyptic adventure of rescue, one science fiction and fantasy fusion tale and one romance turned grim murder mystery. If only I could write them as fast as I come up with them. My brain is starting to feel a little overheated just thinking about it all.

One goal at a time is what I’ll be sticking to. Finish my current work in progress by November 1st. If I can finish early then I can start working on another story. In fact maybe that will act as more motivation. Or maybe Bilbo said it best and I’ll end up feeling thin, stretched, like butter scraped over to much bread. We shall see, as it stands I’m feeling good about the coming June.

 

Also if you're interested in what I'm reading now or have been reading and how I feel about it, the best way to find out is to check out my Instagram account. @jamie_scifiohmy It's also a good place to see the most beautiful, sweetest, and smartest black lab that ever existed.  You've been warned.

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Post Frequency Update!

Post Frequency Update! I am proud to say that since I started Sci Fi, Oh My in February I have posted every Monday and Friday as promised. Hip Hip Hooray! It’s not always easy but it is rewarding. The only problem is, it’s getting trick to keep up with my goal to finishing the first draft of my book. So I’ll be changing up my scheduled a bit.

For the time being Manuscript Mondays will be a once a month post, (Monthly Manuscript Monday) most likely at the end of the month.  That way I can dedicate more time to the manuscript itself. I also believe it will help me bring better insight and quality to the updates and tips I’m passing on to you.

Fiction Friday will remain the same! It’s my favorite segment. It’s a great way for me to stretch my legs as a writer and try new things. I already feel like it’s helping me grow and become a more entertaining writer.  No changes there, look forward to new and continuing stories every Friday here at Sci Fi, Oh My.

Thanks for coming by and I’ll see you Friday!  

 

When I started my manuscript it was in a usual First Person Perspective. I found it easy to capture my main character's voice, and the way she perceived situations. My favorite part was how easy it was to show her sense of humor. I have read countless articles and blog posts all about the different kinds of writing perspectives or types of POV which stands for Point of View. There are many different styles but let's really just talk about the major two. First person, (the main character tells you the story) and Third person (an omnipresent narrator tells the story).

A lot of articles said that many writers find the first person POV easiest to write and I can see why. You just pretend you're telling a story that once happened to you. Don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely not saying writing in first person is easy. All writing has its rough patches, I’m just telling you what I’ve experienced. Doesn't mean that it’s always that way or that it won't be different for you.  (Little disclaimer for ya there.) It’s said that a common problem with the first person POV is you might, accidentally, end up writing yourself instead of your character. Although I feel like every character you write will have a bit of yourself in them, I never really felt my character was me. My heroine is much more extroverted, educated and far more clever.

I was loving the first person writing style. Then the dark cloud of reality settled in over my writing desk.  

As my story progressed and I discovered where I was taking my character and her companions things got complicated. It was becoming increasingly more difficult to give the reader all the information I wanted them to have by only telling the tale through my main character's eyes. That's when I started the POV research. After the information had it’s say it was clear to me I needed to change my manuscripts POV. Third person it is! That rain cloud over my desk started to pour!

In fact, I’m almost done with the conversion and I still don’t see that cloud letting up. I’m getting the results I want in some areas and falling short in others. I miss how easy it was to let my character do all my leg work. She who was much funnier and smarter than I, had been doing a fine job and now that I had taken over, it was all feeling a bit forced. I’m sure all writers second guess themselves, but I wish I would stop. I have to force myself to look at my outline and repeat how it would never work in first person, or more accurately, it just won't be as good. I need that omnipresent voice to pull my story to where I need it to go, instead of only where my heroine is going.  I have many moments I think about switching back to first person then I mentally slap myself across the face and say “No Jamie! Don’t you dare!”  Then I whine something like, “How will they know how funny she is if I can’t put in every little thought that runs through her head?” Oh boy. I guess you’ll just have to work for it, Jamie. Work on your dialog. Make her say it out loud, sing for your supper!  And the whiney writer in me says, “Fine!”, puts her head down and goes back to her laptop. Get back to work!

Happy Monday to all! As if there could be such a thing. (Insert grumpy eye roll here.) I hope your weekends were filled with unicorns and rainbows… and Deadpool. I know mine was. But I also made a lot of progress on my manuscript. By progress I mean I still haven’t moved on to new sections because I’m still hard at work revising the old ones.

Usually one wouldn’t worry about revisions until after their first draft was done. But due to my own lack of foresight and commitment this wasn't an option for me. If you read my post “I have no Idea what I’m doing” You might remember (or not) that I had taken an extra-long break from my story and when I returned all I had to work from was a hard copy of my first 20 pages. Did I also mention that those 20 pages were written in a First person POV (point of view)? A format that I have since changed to a Third person POV.  So… that’s a thing.

My personal and very small amount of experience with revision will be summed up like this...

You're having an argument with two different versions of yourself, in which both versions think that the other is a moron, and in the end they are probably both right. Once things start looking very bleak they will find a minuscule and unimportant thing that they both agree on. Through this stupid detail they find a way to work together to accomplish their goals. Much like a Buddy Cop movie. (Writers, please let me know if this has ever happened to you. Or something like it.)

Despite that summary, I still found things to be thankful for while in the midst of my revision mess. Before I restarted I took a little over a week and a half to just focus on my characters. I wrote an in depth character profile of each of my main and secondary characters.

Where they’re from.

Who their parents are.

What kind of education they received.

How their childhood was.

Where they work.

What they like to do in their spare time.

Skills and Talents.

What they look like.

Their personalities.

Even what kind of foods they like.

The list goes on and on. My principal characters ended up with around 5 pages of notes on each of them. It wasn't the most fun part and I really just wanted to get back to my laptop and start, but I forced myself to finish the profiles. Now that I’m knee deep in revisions I’m so glad I did. Now, when my mind goes blank and I think… Wait. When was that? or Where were they from? It no problem! Just pull out the character profile and the information is right there. Hooray! Second best decision I have ever made! Regarding my manuscript that is. The character profiles have been invaluable to my long, tedious revision process. Oh, and the best decision was getting Scrivener. Which I’ll be talking about in a future post.

The good news is, despite wanting to bang my head against a wall after rewriting the first three chapters, (for the third time!) I’m really starting to like the story again. And I foresee being done with the rewriting portion by the middle of March! I wish it was sooner, but hey I work a full time job too. If that all works out it will put me about 25% of the way through my manuscript. YAY! Woohoo for premature celebratory "yays"!