Sunday, July 28, 2013

Status Update

I've been editing Dead in the Desert (sequel to Dead in L.A.) for over a week, with short breaks for cover designs. My brain is fried, but I'm close to finishing. Of course, I'll have to immediately jump on editing a novelette.

My writing process has changed since I started. I penned Hanging Loose and Last Stop in a thorough, chapter-by-chapter way, so I was able to send them to my trusty beta-partner, Josephine Myles as I went. The problem with that method was that I write slowly and even halfway through the end seemed unreachably far away. During Last Stop I lost steam twice, and was in the danger of not finishing at all. I had to seriously rally to get back on track. And that book is only 55,000-words long.

So now I rush toward the finish line—as much as a turtle can rush. If something threatens to bog me down, I leave it for later. I write "naked dialogue" without tags or beats. Often times, instead of going into details, I give myself stage directions. If I notice word repetitions or other things that need fixing, I highlight them and move on. I leave notes to remind myself of things that might need research or checking details in previous books.

The end result is that I have two passes of edits before sending the MS out for beta. First, I go through the story and fill in all the wholes, do all the fine-tuning. Next, I compile the story into a mobi format and upload it onto my Kindle app. Then… I do nothing for a few days, because at the point I just need a damn break. When I finally get around reading the story, I highlight problem areas, take notes, and follow it up another round of edits.

Interestingly, in case of every story comes a point when I just hate the whole damn thing. That's when I know I'm almost done.

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