Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Weds ROW80: A WIPpet and a Letter

Still discovering what I learned from participating in NaNoWriMo this year. Because some of my characters are historical personages, I want to accurately reflect who they were, and that requires good research, access to letters, and a flavor of their daily life. So when I discover a new fact (like the death of a child), I can't have the bereaved mother celebrating at New Year's Eve. So much editing to do! But I'm working on the editing and feeling grateful that this last round of ROW80 doesn't end until December 25.

WIPpet snippet: Here's where I share a little scene from Rivers of Stone, my current work in progress.  The math looks like this:  December = 12th month divided by 3 (that's today) = 4 paragraphs.

LOGLINE: Dougal and Colin, hired at the last minute to go on the Fur Brigade Express to Fort Vancouver, have left Cat behind at York Factory to work as a clerk at the trading post. Cat is still disguised as a boy. Months pass with no word. Finally, a mail pouch arrives with a letter for Cat.
Cat sat in the back storeroom and reread Dougal’s letter. He was not returning to York Factory. It was happening all over again. Just like when he wanted to leave Foulksay Island, he didn't want me with him. But I am his wife, her heart cried. He cannot leave me here. She looked down at her dirty pantaloons. Like this?  He left me like this?

She reread a few lines. "'Tis better if you do not come west. You need to find a new life for yourself, God willing, better than what you would have had with me." His signature was smeared. Cat could not tell if it were from his tears or her own. She crumpled the letter and sobbed.

"Are you all right in there?" called Murray. "I could use some help out here."

Cat shook her head and wiped the tears from her face. She did not want to continue breathing. She did not want to talk to anyone, let alone go back to work and pretend all was well. She did not want to continue her masquerade. If she was capable of anything, she wanted to stay in the dark storeroom, surrounded by animal pelts that hung from the rafters. She wanted to hide. "A few more minutes," she said. 

ROW80 Goals for the this week & progress:
1. Make measurable progress on Rivers of Stone. Done: Move scenes over to actual draft.  Done: writing 750 words a day. Not yet: Develop timeline. Write a little on the memoir project. OK, a little.
2. Prep for two presentations (luncheon speaker, library panel). In progress.
3. Blog at least 3x. Post a pic on travel blog x2. Done.
4. Read and review indie writer 1x. Progress? Not yet. Still reading E. E. Giorgi's Chimeras and via interlibrary loan Carolyn Podruchny's Making the Voyageur World.   Fiction up next: Jackie Ley, Angels of the Jardin Massey. Craft book? catching up on Writers' Digest.
5. Participate in other writing communities (ROW80, Wednesday WIPpet) by reading what others have written 5-10x. Done!
6. Revamp marketing/research plan for 2015. Seriously, so not yet.
7. Keep decluttering . . . quilt a little, rescue those 'lost' digital pictures, and resume life post NaNo. My e-mail's number 260 this morning (those buggers reproduce right in the IN BOX).

Check out what others have written for
A Round of Words for 80 Days HERE
and Wednesday WIPpet (a snippet from a work in progress).

Good news: Got two more reviews over at Amazon today for Years of Stone (19th Century Australia). 

"Cathedral Mountain" in Tasmania
by Tatters at Flickr

So, how many times do I revise and edit before a story is 'done'?
Let me count the ways . . . Perhaps I'm in the earliest stage of revising structure, story arc, and overall quality of story (setting, character, action, plot consistency). I estimate about 3-4 months of work at this level. 

Then comes proofreading and beta readers -- and more editing (another 2 months, maybe). Then comes formatting for e-books, and that truly does involve another pass at editing (just one intense month). Sometimes I think I just bash away until the story seems 'done'.

May you have a good week and a great month at the end of the year. If you would like to, please share how you approach editing.


  1. Man, that's rough. Poor cat. :(

    1. Yep. But aren't we supposed to keep making things rougher for our heroes???

  2. Argh!! No. :( Poor Cat. I'm sure she'll come out of it just fine but...grrrrrrrr.

    1. Love the way you connect hope with Cat's current predicament! :)

  3. You've made great progress. Love the snippet. This will be a must read when done!

    1. Thank you. The hope of having people read my stories keeps me writing!


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