Chronicling The Craft: Draft #2 Is DONE!

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What’s Next for The Keeper’s Curse, Plus a Final Excerpt for Your Feedback

“Chronicling The Craft” is an article series where I share my experience with working on my YA fantasy novel THE KEEPER’S CURSE, starting with the first draft and now into revisions. Each article contains a progress update as well as writing / revising tips and excerpts from the updated draft. Today’s installment celebrates finishing Draft #2 of THE KEEPER’S CURSE.

Well, the title gave it away – but guess what happened this past weekend?!?! 😀

I’m still stunned. When I sat down to work on revisions last Friday, I was convinced it would take two more weekends, bringing me to Saturday, March 12th / Sunday, March 13th. But that was before the “end-of-WIP” adrenaline rush kicked in… and on the last day of Draft #2, I plowed through the entire final chapter. My initial reaction? “Uh… Did I really just do all that in one day?!”

But hey, I’m not complaining. This story is another step closer to where it needs to be. That calls for a celebration!

Hogwarts Hats

So, what’s the final word count for Draft #2 of The Keeper’s Curse? What are my plans for Draft #3? And, how can YOU help shape the next round of Chronicling The Craft? Plus, I’ll share one more set of excerpts for your comparison and feedback. Let’s start with…

The Final Progress Report

Here are the final Draft #2 statistics:

Total Word Count: 110, 954 (20,767 words cut)

Total Page Count: 374 (67 pages cut)

Total Percentage Cut from Draft #1: 15.7%

How Long It Took To Complete: 4 days shy of 11 months (Draft #1 took 2 years, 1 month)**

Wow. Even the numbers boggle my mind. My goal was to get the word count down to 115K, so the fact that I blew past that milestone and almost reached 110K… It’s like hitting a stretch goal on a crowdfunding campaign. It makes this accomplishment a little sweeter and even more rewarding. Also, did you notice that it took less than half the time to revise Draft #2 than it did to write Draft #1? 😀

i-love-magic

That said, TKC is still too long. According to my tracking sheet, six (6) chapters are still about 1000 words longer than they should be, and another six (6) chapters are between 200 to 500 words longer than necessary. It’s possible that I’m squeezing too much into certain chapters and might have to split them instead. But I also don’t want to chop up the novel’s pace, either. That, however, isn’t a “today problem.”

On a positive note, the faster turnaround and the amount of words / pages cut are defiitely due to the pre-planning I did before Draft #2. By making a list of changes during Draft #1 to stop myself from self-editing, and then transferring those changes to the Self-Edit Saver Revision Checklist, I was able to remember and incorporate the additions, deletions, and other revisions I wanted to make. Writing additional notes before each session also helped me stay focused and made my time more efficient. Methinks I’ll have to make both items (the checklist and note-taking) permanent parts of my novel-writing process.

As for what I learned during this stage? Be patient with my process. I’m not a speed-demon writer, no matter how concentrated or prepared I am – and that’s OK. As long as I work diligently, make good use of my novel-writing time, and accept that I have no control over certain things, I’ll finish a draft I can be proud of without stressing myself out more than I should. Will there be a day when I’ll have to meet deadlines and reorganize my priorities so my life revolves around my writing career? Possibly – but I’ll adapt when the time comes. For now, though, I’m content with things as they are.

**NOTE: Due to my work schedule and other commitments, I tend to only have time for novel-writing / -revising on weekends and days off.

My Plans for Draft #3

“Wait. You mean, I can’t read TKC yet?!?!”

Yep. Sorry. :/ I’ve known since the beginning of Draft #2 that TKC would need three drafts before it would be ready for beta-readers. That’s still the case now. So, here’s my current plan for Draft #3.

I’m going to take another short break between drafts. Last time I took a 6-week break before starting Draft #2 (mostly so I wouldn’t worry about squeezing in time for it over Easter weekend). This time, I’ll also wait until after Easter, and for the same reason. This will give me a few weekends to prepare for the next stage and catch up on other writing “projects” (like TKC’s separate world-building and character profile documents) and non-writing stuff (like housecleaning… yeah *blushes*).

The earliest I’ll start Draft #3 is Friday, April 1st. (Wait – is starting a new draft on April Fools Day a bad omen?) I’m planning to handle this draft differently than Draft #2, and here’s my thinking:

  1. Stage A – Print, Read, & Fact-Checking: I’ll start Draft #3 by reading a printed copy of TKC out loud. This should help me with gauging the flow of writing, word choice, paragraph / scene length, etc. in a way that reading it off a computer screen wouldn’t. I’ll also take the time to check facts such as timing (i.e., story timeline, pre-TKC events), redundancy, and consistent details (eye or hair color, setting, etc.).
  2. Stage B – Incorporating Changes: Once I finish Stage A, I’ll incorporate the changes I want to make based on reading TKC aloud as well as the items on my new self-editing checklist. (Yes, I created a new one during Draft #2. I couldn’t help it!)

This all is subject to change, of course. Last year I had an idea of how I thought Draft #2 would go; and about 20% of the way through, I realized said idea (especially my timetable) was unrealistic. This time, I think I have a better idea of what I’m doing. At least, I hope I do.

Do you know what’s neat about this approach to Draft #3, though? I could actually work Stage A into my weeknight schedule. Yay!

Anna Frozen 1

When do I expect to finish Draft #3? Ideally, I’d like to finish it before the end of 2016. However, between my parents’ upcoming move, being a bridesmaid in a friend’s wedding, and a potential (yet relatively small-scale) home improvement project, this spring and summer will be quite busy outside of writing. So, I’ll have to practice patience and diligence once again, and be happy with whatever reading and editing time I can make for myself. In other words, when I finish Draft #3 is when I finish Draft #3 – and that’s OK.

Questions and Feedback for the Next Round of Chronicles

A new draft means a new stage of Chronicling The Craft! Like last time, your feedback is crucial for guiding me in the right direction on where to take this series next. So, I’d like to ask for your feedback on the following questions:

  1. What did you think of the length of the Draft #2 Chronicles?
    Were they too long? Or did you not mind the length? Personally, I loved including tips as well as excerpts for your comments – but that often meant the posts were close to 4,000 words. :O
  2. Would you prefer writing tips or fun TKC-related “stuff” – or both?
    In other words, when a new Chronicle pops up on the blog, what are you most excited to read? The writing / revising / editing tips, or the novel-centric content? Or, do you enjoy both? Depending on people’s answers to #1, I may have to consider removing a section (most likely the fun stuff) to get future Chronicles to a more reasonable length.
  3. If we do fun TKC-related “stuff,” what would you like to see this time?
    This will also depend on your answers to #1 and #2. However, a lot of readers have expressed interest in hearing songs from TKC’s novel playlist – and I’d be thrilled to share somewith you! Would you be interested in this? Or, do you have another idea? Also, if we cut the “fun stuff” out of future Chronicles, should I make a separate series for that content?

Excerpts To Compare: The Final Page of Chapter 8 of The Keeper’s Curse

It’s been so much fun sharing these excerpts with you! The feedback you’ve provided (with great suggestions for Draft #3) and the excitement you’ve shown has been so encouraging and rewarding; and I can’t tell you how much I value it all. However, I’m also apprehensive about putting too much of TKC’s actual content “out in the wild,” if you know what I mean. So, today’s pair of excerpts will be the last for the foreseeable future. But, again, I do hope you know how thankful I am for all your input. (*hugs*)

Today’s excerpts are the final page(-ish) of Chapter 8 from each draft. The scene in question is an important conversation between Eva and her aunt Maji the night before Eva and her fellow Councilors set off on their quest. See what changes you notice when you compare the two excerpts, and let me know the following:

  1. What general comments do you have on the Draft #2 excerpt?
  2. Do you think Draft #2’s excerpt is an improvement over Draft #1’s? Why or why not?
  3. If you were reading the full manuscript, would the end of the Draft #2 version compel you to keep reading?

Flourish 1

DRAFT #1

I sat upright. Yes, there was another question, one I had been meaning to ask for a long time.

“Aunti?”

She turned to me. “Yes, dear?”

“Can you tell me what you saw?”

Aunt Maji cocked her head to the side. “What I saw?”

“When you named me.”

Her face softened. “Well. I thought you’d never ask me that question.” She walked back to the hammock and sat down beside me again, taking both of my hands in hers. I waited as we sat there silently and Aunt Maji’s gaze grew distant with remembering.

“When your mother gave you to me,” she finally began, “I didn’t see much at first. It took a while for the vision to present itself to me. Once it did, I still didn’t see much, only a grey cloud that never faded or parted. It simply hung there, unchanging. Yet I was moving forward through the cloud, moving toward… Well, I couldn’t tell what I was moving toward, because I couldn’t see it. Yet I kept moving with what felt like a sense of purpose, wonder, intrigue. I wasn’t afraid of the unknown. Instead, I wanted to embrace it, or confront it, or both.”

She then looked at me in the eye, her gaze more present. “I could have given you a different name, Eva. Maybe Iripana, for ‘grey cloud.’ Or Kelinyikara, for ‘the girl who walks blindly.’ But none of those names felt right to me. They implied uncertainty and recklessness. And, being your aunt, I didn’t want to give you that kind of name, especially since I didn’t feel uncertainty or recklessness when I held you in my arms. I felt courage, strength, and resolve. And hakria. Oh, you were bristling with hakria! So, I needed a name that would fit the vision I saw and the sensations you gave me within. I needed a name that was more than simply a name. So, I chose Isonyeva.”

“Unknown fate,” I whispered.

“Yes. I understand it sounds like a name of doom, but I intended it to be more like an affirmation. One that says you are willing and able to create your own destiny, to make your own choices in life. That you may not know, at this very moment, what lies ahead on your path, but you will meet it face to face nonetheless.” She watched my face, as if seeking my approval. “Does it make more sense now?”

My answer stuck in my throat at first. I was so stunned by the honesty and clarity of Aunt Maji’s story that I almost forgot how to speak. So I let my eyes fall to our hands, which were still clasped together. I could sense her hakria in her fingertips, warm and soothing on my skin. My aunt, my name-giver, the woman who had raised me as her own daughter and now held my hands, had decided not to choose my fate for me, but to let me choose instead. Name-givers were not supposed to do that. The names they gave Faerie children always matched the children’s character or hinted at their future. Aunt Maji, however, had not given me a name of unexpected strength and power, a secret reminder of free will. It was the greatest gift I had never thought to ask for, and it washed over me like a rainshower of joy.

Finally I raised my eyes to meet Aunt Maji’s again. “Yes, Aunti,” I said. “Yes, it does.”

Flourish 1

DRAFT #2

Yet that was not all. Something about Aunt Maji’s wisdom reminded me of a question I had been meaning to ask her for a while. I shifted so I could look at my ryenara. “Tila, I don’t know if I’m allowed to ask, but…” A sudden fear of never knowing the answer clenched in my chest, but I pushed past it. “Can you tell me what you saw? When you named me?”

Aunt Maji’s face softened. “I thought you’d never ask.” She took my hands in hers, and her gaze grew distant, remembering. Long moments passed before she spoke again.

“When your mother gave you to me… It took a while for the vision to present itself. Once it did, I didn’t see much. Only a grey cloud that never faded or parted. It simply hung there, unchanging. And I was moving forward through the cloud. I couldn’t see where I was going, but it didn’t matter, because I moved with a sense of purpose. I wasn’t afraid. In fact, I wanted to embrace the unknown, or confront it, or both.”

She looked me in the eye, her expression more present. “I could have given you a different name, Eva. Maybe Iripana, for ‘grey cloud.’ Or Kelinyikara, for ‘the girl who walks blindly.’ But none of those names felt right. They implied uncertainty, and I didn’t sense that in you. Instead, I felt courage, strength, resolve. And hakria. Oh, you were bristling with it! You deserved a name that fit the vision I saw and the sensations it gave me. A name that was more than simply a name. So, I chose Isonyeva.”

“Unknown fate.” The words left my lips as softly as mist.

“Yes. Not a gossamer-clear name, but I intended it to be an affirmation. One that says you are able to create your own destiny, to make your own choices in life. That you may not know at this moment what lies ahead on your path, but you will meet it regardless.” She watched me, seeking my approval. “Does that make sense?”

At first the reply caught in my throat. Fei names always hinted at one’s nature, passions, or destiny; and their meanings manifested as the fledgling grew. Mine had been a mystery, thick and inpenetrable, until now. Because my ryenara, the aunt who had named me and then raised me like a daughter, had not predicted my fate, but chosen to leave it in my hands. She had given me a name of power, and the revelation washed over me like a spring rainshower.

I moved my hands so they clasped Aunt Maji’s. “Yes, Tila. Yes, it does.”

What do you think of the excerpts above? Do you think the Draft #2 excerpt is an improvement over the Draft #1 excerpt? How are your WIPs coming along, by the way? Also, any feedback for the next round of Chronicles would be greatly appreciated!

37 thoughts on “Chronicling The Craft: Draft #2 Is DONE!

  1. Congratulations! It’s a fantastic feeling to hit such a major target and I know it is the culmination of a great deal of hard work. Can I make a suggestion, regarding reading aloud your manuscript? If you use Word 2010 or later you can use the ‘readaloud’ facility – if you have an earlier version you can turn it into a PDF file that also has the same facility. It does sound a bit like Stephen Hawking, but it has the HUGE advantage of reading back exactly what you have written instead of what you THINK you’ve written.

    In reply to your questions – yes… I personally would prefer some of the Chronicling the Craft articles to be shorter – I read on average 10 blogs a day and it is rather a chunk to assimilate and respond to. But I may not be your average audience – I know you have a large following.

    As regards the two drafts, the second is definitely the stronger – but my instinct is that it is still too wordy… I think Aunt Maji’s reply shouldn’t encompass the names she didn’t give her – but immediately focus on the name she did give her. It would provide more punch and impetus to the lovely emotional conclusion to the scene.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Sarah! It still feels weird to have reached the end, just because I wasn’t expected to finish revising the final chapter so quickly.

      Hmmmmm. I wasn’t thinking of Word’s “Readaloud” function. It might be worth trying… though I was also hoping to get away from the computer by printing out the manuscript with a different font. But I still like your idea… Maybe it might be worth it to print out the manuscript, then set up the laptop next to me and use the Readaloud feature while reading along? Or would I be making it too complicated for myself?

      If I were to shorten future Chronicles, what would you prefer to see? The writing / editing tips, or the novel-centric content? (In other words, if I wanted to share songs from TKC’s novel playlist, should I consider sharing them in separate posts?)

      Your comment about Draft #2 pointed out what I think is one of my weaknesses as a writer – and I’m really glad you did. I have a tendency to make my dialogue sections too long. And sometimes when I’m trying to cut down on the dialogue, I struggle with deciding what to remove – because it all seems important to me. :S That’s going to be one of the things I’ll need help with from my beta-readers when the time comes. So I’ll definitely take your comment into consideration when I work on Draft #3. Thank you so much. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I relly like the writing/editing tips that you do. There’s nothing I’d like you to lose – but consider maybe, making those looong articles three or more smaller ones?
        As for the tendency to write long dialogue – I used to have the same problem, but my old writing tutor, who is best-seller author Rosanna Ley, used to say the rule of thumb for dialogue is that no one person should speak longer than 3 lines before someone else cuts in… Maybe that will help you? It certainly gave me a solid baseline to work from.
        But all that apart, I think your achievement is remarkable, given how limited your time is – and all the other things you pack into your life as well:).

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hmmmmm… So, maybe include the progress report (which is usually the shortest section) and the novel-centric stuff in one post, and then the tips in a separate post? And maybe space the two posts a couple days apart? Is that along the lines of what you were talking about?

        That’s the first time I’ve heard that rule of thumb for dialogue. :S I’ll have to keep it in mind as I edit TKC. But yes, it should help with breaking up overly long sections, and maybe with cutting the word count some more.

        Thanks. 🙂 I don’t really know how I do it. I guess I’ve learned to make do with what I have… though I wish I could figure out how to make more time for writing without making too many sacrifices.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes! That’s what I had in mind… Apart from anything else, it might ease down your own workload with your blog if you spaced out the content into more manageable chunks.
        As for your own workrate – I think that is a very personal thing that each writer needs to work out for themselves – and it seems to me that you have sorted out a working pace that suits you:)

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh – and what I also meant to mention – I generally have a manuscript in front of me when I get the computer to read aloud to me, so that I can mark up amendments as I go. I ALWAYS do one of these as a final, final edit and it invariably brings to light some of those pesky small errors that otherwise slip through.

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  3. Woohoo! This is so awesome. Congratulations on reaching such a big milestone, Sara!

    I love your updated scene. It adds so much to the worldbuilding without being boring or overwhelming. I imagine it does a lot for Eva’s characterization, as well. I can’t wait to read the finished product–in due time, of course! *folds hands patiently* 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Kristen!! 😀

      Yeah, it’ll still be a while before the manuscript will be ready for other people’s eyes… but it’s getting there, slow and steady like a tortoise. 😉

      Thanks for your feedback on the excerpt, too! I had always pictured Eva’s aunt having a unique Fei profession, and the name-giving seemed very appropriate. And you’re right – this conversation will have a big impact on Eva as the story goes on. 😉

      Like

  4. Congratulations! This is a big accomplishment! I see big improvements in Draft #2 over Draft #1. It’s smoother and I also really like Eva’s name meaning. ^ ^ Some of your favorite quotes would be cool to see in these posts. 🙂

    storitorigrace.blogspot.com

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Tori!! It was weird to not work on it today. But it was also nice to do other things and spend a hour or so on my character profile documents. 🙂

      I’m glad that you like the changes in Draft #2! As for quotes from the story… I’ll have to see. A lot of the current wording is subject to change. Plus, most of my favorite quotes are very spoiler-ish. XD We’ll see.

      Out of curiosity, did you think that this round of Chronicles (with the progress report, tips, and excerpts) were on the long side? Do you think it might make sense to divide them into two posts (one for progress report and fun stuff, second for tips) in the future?

      Like

  5. What did you think of the length of the Draft #2 Chronicles?
    I don’t think the length was too long in terms of content, just simply finding the time in my day to read the whole post, and then provide comments (and this was just two Chronicles posts for me XD). I mean, you have great content, great tips, and great things to say; personally, it just means I break up my reading/commenting into multiple sessions between other priorities. Because I know you mentioned loving including the tips, as well, is there a chance of possibly breaking up your Chronicles into two-part posts? So when you plan one, have two in the same week, one with the tips and one with extra content? It’s the only thing that comes to mind in the search for how to keep content and keep the posts length-friendly, but I can see pros and cons to both.

    Would you prefer writing tips or fun TKC-related “stuff” – or both?
    I adore the writing tips, mostly because they’re so personal. You’re sharing your experience and your growth, and that’s what I keep coming back to. The “fun stuff” about TKC is awesome, too, but maybe you could simply keep those to your own post? I’m more of a “tips and tricks” kind of gal, though, so I’m a bit personally biased XD If you (and other readers) enjoy the “fun stuff,” though, I’d definitely be in favor of simply seeing those in their own posts 

    If we do fun TKC-related “stuff,” what would you like to see this time?
    I’m indifferent XD I love the idea of sharing songs from your writing playlist (but we’ve had this talk before: I LOVE finding new music and getting into the heads of fellow writers like this).

    As for my thoughts on the two drafts of your scene:
    I definitely noticed that it was shorter, and much more concise. Cleaner, in a way. As if in the first draft you were trying so hard to give the scene the tone of deep importance it deserved, so rather than risk skimping on the right words you overwrote. Then, upon rewriting it, you were able to pick out which of the words were the right ones. Its new, succinct quality gives it a lot more strength. I mean, a lesson that’s really hard to learn for any writer (it’s one of those things that comes with practice, and comes with multiple drafts, as well, as you’ve done here), is that it’s often much better to use as few words as possible, and the simplicity and matter-of-fact way in which you tell it will have more of an impact than relying on metaphors and the like. And I think that’s something I see here: you took a long scene – one that’s extremely important in terms of the main character discovering a bit about herself as well in revealing the close bond between Eva and her aunt – and you trimmed it so excessive words and descriptions were no more. I have so much faith that this scene is going to be even stronger once you get your hands on it again. I can’t wait!

    As for my own WIP:
    MONSTERS AND MAGPIES is coming along! Hoping to reach 40 k by the end of the weekend, and things are getting a bit complicated to write because the relationship my MC develops with the new characters I introduced is a very precarious one; I need it to play out with the right amount of tension, as well as the right amount of eventual understanding between them all, so I’ve actually slowed my process a bit so I can approach these next scenes with care. Wish me luck!

    And I know I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: congrats on finishing your second draft, Sara!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know I said this on Twitter already, but I’ll say it again here: You always leave such awesome comments, Rae. 🙂 Thank you so much for going into so much detail here.

      I really like the idea of splitting the Chronicles. Sarah Higbee had suggested the same thing, and it’s a great way of still doing all three things (progress report, tips, and fun stuff) while making it more manageable for myself and for readers. And yes, the split would be the progress report and fun stuff in one post, and tips in the other.

      Ha ha, yes, I remember our music and playlist discussions before. 😉

      Thanks for your comments on the excerpts! Yeah, concision isn’t one of my strengths as a writer. The first draft was 132K (yikes!), and I knew overwriting was one of the big reasons why. But in some ways, it’s almost better to overwrite than to skimp, because then you can cut and trim and condense in later drafts. I still have more cutting to do in Draft #3, but I’m really happy with how much I did in this draft as well. 🙂

      That’s awesome about Monsters & Magpies! And it’s good that you’re aware of how those character relationships need to develop and play out. I have faith in you. 😉 Go get ’em!

      Like

      • Aw, Sara! I’m so glad I’m saying constructive things XD

        Splitting the posts will probably do everyone a favor. You, so you don’t have to have so much done at once; your readers, so they can read + reply quickly. It’s a win/win, and you don’t have to lose any awesome content 😀

        And trust me: I’m terrible at concision, too! First time around, at least. I’m with you on the bandwagon: it’s much better to have too much content and cut later, than to have too little and have to add. It’s a lot easier to condense than to expand, because you already have what you want to say; it’s just a matter of finding a shorter way to say it. What word count are you aiming for in Draft #3?

        And thanks! I reached 41k last night. Can’t believe how fast this is going, and I’ve even started an edit list for when I tackle a second draft (so much easier to have the edit list than to freak out about not remembering/be tempted to edit while writing).

        Liked by 1 person

      • “Splitting the posts will probably do everyone a favor. You, so you don’t have to have so much done at once; your readers, so they can read + reply quickly. It’s a win/win, and you don’t have to lose any awesome content.”

        ^^ I couldn’t have said it better myself!

        Not sure yet what my word count goal for Draft #3 will be yet. Maybe 105K? It will definitely be less than 110K, since it’s already less than 1000 words away from that mark. I’ll have to look over my tracking sheet’s statistics before I start and then figure it out.

        I do the same thing! I developed a bad self-editing habit during Draft #1, and once I realized how much it was slowing me down, I started keeping a list for things to change in Draft #2. It worked out so well that I did the same thing during Draft #2, to apply more changes to Draft #3.

        Yay! Keep up the good work, Rae. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  6. CONGRATS ON FINISHING DRAFT #2!!!!!!!!!
    I hope you treated yourself to something nice to celebrate? 🙂
    As everyone above mentioned, I like the tips, progress, and fun stuff of Chronicling the craft. I like the suggested idea that posts be divided into two. I think it will be much easier for you and for readers.
    I like the playlist idea, btw! I’d like to plan something like that too, in the future. 🙂

    Draft #2 is once again an improvement. I will say that there’s something about Draft #1’s last paragraph that I like: the imagery and how it was explained, but it was word-heavy too. So maybe mix a little more of #1’s last paragraph into #2’s last paragraph, while still keeping things concise and not too wordy? I liked learning about fei names and their meanings; to me, it was important. Either way though, Draft #2 really is an improvement.

    As for my WIP, as I’ve mentioned, I finished Draft #3 the same weekend you finished yours. 😀 I’ve started in on #4 a bit, but I’m taking it slow and really thinking things through. I’m more assessing the story as a whole rather than actually editing, at the moment.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you!! And congrats on finishing your Draft #3! 🙂 So you decided to dive right back in without taking a break?

      I did treat myself. I took a day off from work to relax, then had dinner at one of my favorite restaurants (Not Your Average Joe’s) with one of my friends. 🙂 Did you anything for yourself as well?

      It sounds more and more like splitting the Chronicles in two is the way to go. And I agree, it should make things easier for everyone.

      Thanks for your feedback on the excerpts, too. I’ll have to see what I can bring back from that Draft #1 paragraph without making things too wordy again, or without losing the Deep POV I was going for in Draft #2. But I’m glad that everyone so far has said that Draft #2 is an improvement over the original. It tells me that I’m on the right track. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I saw this a week ago, but I waited until I felt a little less braindead to comment –

    I second the splitting into halves thing. While I like long blog posts, I have trouble remembering the whole thing when I go to comment (but I just usually go back and skim it.

    As far as tips and tricks vs. “fun stuff,” I think it’s a good idea to split those along with the posts themselves. For instance, pairing revisions with tips, and fun stuff with facts about your progress. And you know I’m all for the playlists. Bring on the music. A musical soundscape (even if it’s just in the author’s mind while they wrote) is one of the things I always want to know about. Also, I will happily read two posts on the same subject (especially if it’s a novel project) in a row. Of course, you could “bookend” a week with them or something too.

    Now – the Draft #1 vs. #2. Again, #2 is much stronger and more streamlined. The dialogue is still a little long (as a repeat offender in everything involving “long,” I know how this goes). I agree about the naming details. While it’s really interesting, I don’t know if it’s necessary. You could always leave out the definitions of the other names? (And put them in a glossary for anyone interested). Also, I agree with E. about the last paragraph of Draft #1. I liked the feel of it too. The importance of Fei names, and the thought that goes into them, really came across in that spot. It brought clarity as to why this was such a big deal to Eva and her aunt. Adding back a little of that might be better than having the names that weren’t chosen.

    I would keep reading after both of them, to be completely honest. I love little worldbuilding details like names and languages, and they both held my interest. However, #2 reads better overall, you’re 100% right.

    As for my own writing . . . I’ve been typing down a few stray sentences at every opportunity, but that full scale rehaul of TLCS hasn’t even started yet. I DID download some of your super helpful revision sheets though, and I plan on using them once I get going 😉

    (eek, see what I meant about “long”?)

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    • GAH. I thought I had responded to this earlier, but I hadn’t. Sorry about that.

      Thanks for your input on the future Chronicles. I’m definitely going to split them: progress and fun stuff in one, tips in the other. That should be more manageable for all parties. 🙂 And yes, the playlist sharing will happen!

      And thanks for your feedback on the excerpts too. Looking back, I think too-long dialogue is one of the story’s current problems. So I’ll have to make shortening / condensing it a priority for Draft #3. And I’ll see what I can do to find a happy medium between the #1 and #2 versions of the last paragraph. 😉

      Hey, you’ll get to revising TLCS when the time comes, I’m sure. How about the vintage sci-fi story? (I forgot its working title… ) And that’s cool about the worksheets! I hope they’re helpful for you.

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  8. The only comment I have in comparing the two excerpts is that the second one felt a lot more comfortable to read. In other words, when I glanced at it, the length of the paragraphs and the pacing of the words made me want to read them. But the length of the paragraphs and the pacing of the *first* excerpt kind of scared me away from reading it… haha! (Despite the broken-up dialog at the beginning!)

    I guess this means you are tightening and cleaning up your manuscript really well! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, wordiness was one of the biggest problems of Draft #1. It’s still an issue with Draft #2 in spots, but not as much now. And I’m glad you thought #2 was an improvement over #1. Thanks for reading and commenting, Brianna!

      Like

  9. Pingback: Time Flies!: March 2016 | Sara Letourneau's Official Website & Blog

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