editing inspiration learning Novel 1 Work in Progress

Novel 1, inching step-by-step.

Another week down, another week closer to rewriting Novel 1.

I refer to my first novel as simply “Novel 1” not because I don’t have a title for it, but more because it’s just easier. The working title is “Writing the Past” but something about the simplicity of the title bothers me; I’m not sure if that’s the kind of title I want the public to use.

Anyway, aside from that tangent–there was some shuffling of cards/plot (see previous post’s picture) and I think I have decided upon a new, re-structured plot to work with for revision. There are still many plot holes to fill in and also some character development to work on; throughout this process over the past three weeks, I have noticed some areas I need to improve upon regarding my writing.

One area I know I need to improve upon is how to end stories with a resolved, (relatively) satisfied feeling. I have been practicing writing some short stories/flash prose and, even though everything starts out with a huge force of momentum, the speed slows down by the end and suddenly things just stop. That, or they flop down in a lackluster fashion. Is the only way to improve in this area just through practice, practice, practice?

I finished reading How NOT to Write a Novel on Thursday; it was an easy, hilarious read, but it also gave me a lot of insight into what I have been doing wrong with my manuscripts and writing in general. I can’t expect to be perfect from the beginning, so I feel very grateful to have been able to secure a copy of this book early on in my career. A lot of the mistakes pointed out in the book were quite eye-opening to me: although I already knew I had horrible plot holes and strange characters in Novels 2 & 3, the advice given in How NOT to Write a Novel helped me figure out what I can do to improve on those aspects in my novels.

My beta readers gave me some feedback on my plot synopsis for Novel 1, so that helped me figure out which areas to expand upon for revision. The next tasks I have in mind are to do some research on certain topics mentioned in the novel, and to also just decide on how to develop the characters more.

This weekend and the next may not give me as much time as the previous weekends (due to Chinese New Year and birthday plans), so I will have to try my best to get some writing/revision time in during weekday mornings. So far, the journey has been very enjoyable, and I hope for the most part it stays that way.

#amwriting editing Internet news Novel 1

Blog mishaps & Laying out the cards

I apologize for the brief outage of the blog yesterday; I decided to upload my website and put it live on the web since I had been working on it diligently all weekend. However, all weekend I have also been racking my mind with how to make my blog show up on the homepage of my website. I had attempted to install WordPress on the server, but the program kept crashing and I could not figure out how to customize the layout. Due to the seemingly never-ending frustration with WordPress, I decided I would uninstall it and keep with this current blog.

Then, I thought I had figured out how to transfer/re-publish all my blog posts from this one to the FTP server…only to find that the blog posts simply weren’t showing up on the index page as I had hoped. I know there was some line of code I must have been missing, but I could not figure it out on my own. The Blogger Help Group was no help, ironically; nobody had an answer to my question. So, long story short, the blog has migrated back to Blogger for the timebeing. If any kind soul out there knows how to solve this problem, please, drop me a line here.

Aside from that, I did have a pretty good day of editing/revising yesterday. I laid out the PowerPoint slides I had printed out of Novel 1 and I was very impressed to see my first novel’s work all laid out on the floor (see picture above). Last night, I went through the cards and cut out a few nonessential scenes; the next step now is to shuffle some scenes, rearrange some parts of the plot. I also typed a brief plot synopsis to send to a few of my close friends for critique/insight; have received one response so far, and looking forward to the other responses.

I shared the first draft of one of my short short stories with one of the online writing communities I’ve been a part of for some time; got some tips and revised the story. The story, entitled “Tight Jeans” is now available under “Other Works” via downloading (.pdf) or you can view it on Scribd. Please feel free to read and review the short. Let me know what you think.

More works will be available soon. =)

editing Facebook Internet My San Francisco Chronicles Myspace Novel 1

Gorgeous Friday in San Francisco; More Book Work

It was certainly a gorgeous day outside today, so I decided to go out and take a walk at Lands End Park/Sutro District. I hadn’t been back since September, despite the location being relatively close to my place. The weather has been unseasonably warm and sunny here all week; today was my first day to be able to take advantage of the weather, though.

Even though I spent a couple of hours at the park, the majority of my day was spent back in my apartment before and after the outing. I woke up at my usual time to get some work done on my website; it’s registered, it’s there, but no content yet (was working on that earlier). I say that it’s scheduled to launch in February just to give myself these next couple of weeks to finish editing/revising a few short stories so I can present them on the website right when it launches. So, bookmark the page and stay tuned to this blog–there will definitely be content there soon. =)

I also signed up for Facebook and Myspace again…despite my feelings towards re-joining those sites for personal reasons. But, this time, I realize I am able to separate my professional self from my personal self–that I will try my best not to get myself caught up in the past again. I’ll only be using the websites for what the founders really wanted to use them for: networking.

Tonight I topped off the full day of progress by completing my movable outline. I’m noticing more and more plot holes in my novel than before; the rest of this weekend is going to be reserved for shuffling up the plot a bit before I go back and actually start micro-editing. I know editing is a long process, but so far it seems like I am going at a good pace. =)

#foodie editing Internet Novel 1 plug Twitter Work in Progress

More blogs, more progress, other updates…

I think I’m getting sucked into the blogosphere this year; within a week or so, I’ve started two additional blogs and there is another one coming soon (my writing blog/”blog book tour”). Let’s see if I will be able to keep up with all of these blogs in due time….

Anyway, yes, this morning I felt inspired to start a food blog: Cinnamon Juice. You’re probably wondering where the name came from, so that explanation will come soon enough. This blog will feature various food topics, including recipes, photos, additional insight on my Yelp! reviews, and so forth. Check it out if you can!

In other news, I have finished the initial step in the editing/revising of Novel 1, which was to figure out my story arc. Now, I’m working on a “movable outline” via Powerpoint, and hopefully will have a book synopsis ready for some of my confidantes to look at in the next week or so to help me figure out any plot holes and such. Progress is coming along well….

And, my Twitter has gone public again, after a month or so of being friends-only. Please feel free to follow me on Twitter now!

That’s about all for now; my arms have been hurting a bit at work due to a new desk chair. I sure hope I won’t be getting Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.