Layering Into The Future

Ah, the end of the weekend is on the horizon. 😦 Oh well, I’ll just have to look forward to the next weekend. And start counting the days until the next long one.  No, they’re never long enough.  I don’t think that’ll happen until I can write full-time.  Ah, to dream.

It’s been a good weekend with good progress made.  I’m half done now, having finished editing Chapter 12. As there are 24 chapters in Where The Ether Flows, I call that halfway.  I refuse to use the word count to mark halfway since it keeps changing anyway. What are we up to now with that?  A little over 95k words.  Yeah, I’ve blown through the +17k words added point and I’m only halfway.  If it wasn’t turning out so well, I’d be upset.  I am definitely going to be over 100k with this book.  I’m not sure whether that makes me want to laugh or cry.  In either case, Devan’s being very comforting. 🙂

Why all the adding? I know I’ve mentioned before about having moved something forward and that causing changes to ripple back through the manuscript, but it’s more than that.  In the end, I’m finding that editing, especially that first round of it, is about layering in the things you only touched on or didn’t realize were that important when you wrote the manuscript in the first place.  It’s about adding the nuances and grace notes, and finding the best way to phrase things.  For me, that has the effect of adding a lot of words apparently.  Every book I’ve written so far has grown in the editing as I navigate this process, and go through making sure everything is consistent throughout the book. Ether Flows has simply been the one where it’s been most obvious, and where the word count has grown the most.  In contrast, Bound, which is mostly done now, grew by about 15k words by the time I finished about 6 rounds of editing I’ve done.  Ether Flows has exceeded that halfway through the first round.  That said, I think I’m also catching more in a single round with this book than I did in the first round with Bound.  Also, and here’s a moment of growth for me as a writer, Ether Flows is, in many ways, a more complex story, with a major plot, a relatively major sub-plot and two lesser sub-plots.  Trust me, Bound was a different story, one more tightly focused on one character and her story.  The fact that there is more that we actually see going on in Ether Flows will, inevitably, make the book longer.  If it didn’t, I’d worry.  I think that’s why I was surprised that the first draft only clocked in at 77k and why I’m not surprised at how much it’s grown.  If I was adding fluff, I’d be concerned, but I’m not.  It’s all necessary. I’m not trying to make it longer to fulfill some arbitrary idea of how long the book should be.  It just needs this extra stuff to be told properly.

As I’m going through this process, I’m also thinking about the outline for All Stitched Up and realizing that this is all going to ripple through that too.  I’m going to need to work on that before I start writing it and, looking at the timelines, I’m starting to wonder if I might have to rethink doing August NaNo. As much as I’d like to, the quality of the story takes precedence, and you all know I’ll write it NaNo style anyway, whether it’s officially NaNo or not.  I just find the pace works for me and apparently I don’t need the actual event to motivate me into writing that fast.  I believe that’s what my characters are for, driving me forward relentlessly.  Thank you, Devan, and you too, Tavis.  In any case, I suspect that it’s best to wait on re-examining the outline for Stitched until I’ve finished the edits for Ether Flows, as those ripples won’t be completely defined until then.  Oh well, I can live with that.  I think I mostly needed that first NaNo to kick me in the pants and help me figure out the necessary pace for me to finish the first draft.  I’m probably okay on my own from here.

I managed all of that in spite of the heat, plus notes on about 5 of the ideas simmering away on my mental back-burner.  This morning, however, I was delighted to wake up to a misty, drippy Vancouver.  Ah, I love this city and its weather.  It makes me happy when it drips.  No, I’m not being sarcastic or anything with that.  I love the rain. It’s honestly part of why I moved to this city.  This is definitely the place for me.  Now, back to work.  Must make the most of my glorious days of full-time writing, to savour every moment of it until it becomes my every day.

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About Julie

I'm a writer and photographer. I always have something with me to take notes for ideas or writing projects I'm thinking about or have on the go. I also like to go around with my camera and take pictures of anything that strikes me as beautiful or evocative. I'm perpetually working on one story or another, while waiting for enough distance to judge the last one (or more). I'm always working on several projects at once, developing the next book, even as I'm editing the last. Beyond that, there's always plenty of scraps and twists of ideas rolling around in my head, eventually turning themselves into full blown stories.
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8 Responses to Layering Into The Future

  1. Subtlekate says:

    It will be as long as it needs to be. You’ve had a busy week. 🙂

    • Julie says:

      Thanks, it has been fairly busy, all things considered. First round of editing is always rather exhausting, I’ve found. But so worth it to see the way things shape up.

      • Subtlekate says:

        It’s so exciting Julie. I’m getting to the end and really feeling buzzy about the whole thing.

        • Julie says:

          Yeah, it is an awesome feeling. Congrats on being close! I’ve been through it a few times now, and it doesn’t get old. I will say though that they get easier after the first round, and that there will always be a few rounds.

  2. quix689 says:

    The rain really is fun – as long as I don’t have to drive in it. 🙂 Congrats on all the progress you’re making! I’ve just started editing myself, though I haven’t gotten to the real problem areas yet. I’m curious to see how my word count changes this time. Usually my stories get shorter when I edit, but I’m not as sure with this one.

    • Julie says:

      Thanks. As I’ve said before, I’m a chronic under-writer, which is why my word counts always grow. Sometimes I wonder if it’s a result of outlining, but I don’t really mind. I find it easier to fill in rather than cut anyway, so it works for me. I generally say to just go with what the story needs. See what happens. Good luck with your editing.

  3. Daniel says:

    I always find myself tracking word count and setting goals, and then more and more words keep coming. The stories will be what they will be, and we just have to follow them.

    • Julie says:

      Oh yeah, I’m a big fan of setting goals, then seeing how far I can vault over them. It keeps me going. And I’m definitely following this story wherever it wants to go. That’s usually what I do, as it works. 🙂

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