If you have ever edited a manuscript before, then I’m sure you said, “that’s totally me!” the moment you saw the above picture.
Kris and I go to Barnes & Noble every Saturday morning. For the past couple of weeks I’ve been hand editing Detective Florence 2 and I have to admit that I have made that face quite a lot. I mean a lot.
I finished editing it, so now I have to type up the edits only to print that out and start all over again. As you type a new draft it’s almost like doing another edit. Not only are you reading the words in your head looking for mistakes, but you’re reading the words, writing them, and looking at them on page and on screen. When I say “look” at them, I mean you’re looking at the words at what they really are. You’re not looking for words that are misspelled or misplaced.
You know how people always say, “you’ll find it when you’re not looking for it?” I think editing kind of works that way.
As I type up my new draft, I start to realize… my edits need edits.
What is your character’s name? Does he/she have a nickname?
The male protagonist in the Detective Florence series is Detective George Florence himself. He does not have any true nicknames, but Lilah sometimes calls him “Jorge” or “Georgie” mostly to annoy him.
What color is his/her hair? What color are his/her eyes?
George has short, wavy brown hair with chocolate eyes.
Who are your character’s friends and family?
George has a big family that he doesn’t talk about very often. He has six siblings that he’s not very close to, but they still manage to help each other out. He’s also a bit of a loner so at the moment his only friend is Lilah as he doesn’t get out very much.
Where does your character live?
George lives in a small two-story building that is both his workplace and his home. The first floor contains his office, a bathroom, and a waiting room for clients in his private investigator agency. The second floor is the kitchen, living room, his bedroom, etc.
What is his/her biggest fear?
Failure. George has been laid off from the police department so in his mind he already failed once. Now that he has his own investigative practice he feels more worried than ever. If he fails, he’s not only lose his job, but most likely his home as well. It’s a big risk.
Has your character ever been in love and/or had a broken heart?
Yes and yes. Of course, I can’t say too much because then I would be giving away a crucial part to a future novel.
What kind of clothes does he/she wear?
George dresses professionally, but simple. He wears the standard suit and tie and has a favorite beige trench coat he wears when he goes out. That makes him feel just like the detectives in the old movies.
What is he/she doing on his/her day off?
George loves to prop his feet up, lean back on the couch with a cozy blanket and the fireplace roaring while watching a good film noir movie. He enjoys the peace and quiet and doesn’t like to do anything too fancy.
What is his/her overall personality like?
George, for the most part is pretty quiet. He knows when to be serious and when to be silly. He’s typically quiet, but can be loud; especially since he’s a detective. He can make sarcastic remarks and has the ability to lose his patience quickly, but he’ll try not to show it. If he’s annoyed, he’ll utter a remark to himself or subtly roll his eyes. However, now that Lilah is in the picture, George is opening up more and more.
Questions for the Character
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
“I believe my greatest achievement would be opening my private investigator agency. It’s not something I would have thought I would ever do—or ever needed to do for that matter. However, I did it. I just need to figure out how to get more cases, that’s all.”
What is it that you most dislike?
“Coffee. Ugh, I can’t even stand the smell. It’s so bad for you, too. It stains your teeth, it has caffeine in it which keeps you up all night, it dehydrates you… and yet, Lilah has it all the time. I’ve lost count how many cups a day she has. It’s completely disgusting.”
What is your greatest regret?
“I think my greatest regret is not being able to help my friends. I was unable to help my girlfriend and that ended in tragedy and a few years later I was unable to help my partner on the police force. That also ended in tragedy. I had no idea anything was wrong, either. If I had just said or done something differently, then maybe things wouldn’t be the way they are now.”
What is your best trait?
“I’m a good detective. I know that may sound a bit cocky, but it’s what I do. Through being a good detective I’ve learned to be compassionate, understanding, and I’ve learned when to listen. It’s all I know how to do. I went to college and received my Master’s in Criminal Justice, I went to the Police Academy, and I’ve worked my way up to detective status. I’ve done a good job on every case I’ve worked on. I think I would be lost if I didn’t have this job.”
What is your worst flaw?
“Well, I am pretty decent at a lot of things… I guess I would have to say organization. Nothing in my house has its own spot. However, I do know where everything is. Then Lilah cleaned everything up one time and I couldn’t find anything. She found great amusement in that, but it was more of an inconvenience to me. I’ve tried to keep it neat and tidy since then, but it’s tough.”
What is your hobby?
“I enjoy doing puzzles. Word searches, Sudoku, riddles, or even floor puzzles. It clears my mind and relaxes me. I don’t like crossword puzzles, though. Those give me a headache.”
Who do you most admire?
“I admire a lot of people in my life. Everyone is so hard working and genuine. They all do the right thing even when it’s hard. If I had to choose I think I would pick my brother, Barney Florence. He has taught me so much about being a good detective and being a good person in general. He also taught me to never give up. When he was wounded on duty he came back to work even though he needed to be demoted for a while. That’s true dedication to the job.”
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
“I believe this is an obnoxious question. I don’t think I overuse certain phrases or expressions. Unless you want to count me constantly telling Lilah to stop, slow down, no, or something along those lines then I think I have a pretty well-rounded vocabulary. I try, anyway.”
2015 is officially here! It’s time to look ahead confidently and make this year really count.
Did I complete my resolutions for 2014?
Eh… yes and no. One resolution was to read more. I made a Goodreads challenge to read 20 books in 2014 and I read 24 books. I think I could have read more, but 24 was an overachievement.
Another resolution was to write more. I kept up pretty well with my Short Story Sundays on here (I think). I won two out of three NaNo challenged in 2014, and I also got pretty far in writing/editing my Detective Florence series.
What are my resolutions for 2015?
My resolutions are more or less the same as last year… I want to read more than last year. For the 2015 Goodreads Reading Challenge, I’m going to pledge to read 52 books. That’s one book a week. We’ll see how well I can keep up with that.
For writing, I’m going to focus more on my Detective Florence series. By the end of 2015 I want to have the first novel ready for publication so I can start querying.
On a side note, I want to start eating healthier. I give myself until the end of the first week, but it’ll be good to try.
What’s up for the blog in 2015?
I’m going to start posting regularly. There will still be plenty of “personal” posts on here. However, I’m going to have a few posts already written to make sure I can keep up with the blog. Also, the topics will be more about reading and writing in general as well as my own writing.
–Sunday: Short Story Sunday will continue. Each Sunday I will post a short story or poem or some other type of my own writing.
–Wednesday: I will post advice and tips about writing. I will also links to outside articles and blog posts about the same subject.
–Friday: Something short and simple, I’ll post a writing quote or picture. I think it’ll be a great source of inspiration/motivation.
–Saturday: I’ll post what book I read that past week and let you all know what I think about it.
–Every “first” of the month: I’ll post either a character spotlight on the characters in my novels or a WIP summary of my current novel. I’m hoping that will be interesting for all.
–Every “sixth” of the month: I will post six six-word stories. This challenge is brought to you by Adam Ickes. I found his challenge a long time ago and decided it would be something to try for 2015.
Depending on what days the dates fall, some posts will be modified as such. For example, if the sixth falls on a Friday I’ll either post the six six-word stories or the quote or maybe both.
There you have it. My new and improved blog for a brand new year. I hope you all enjoy the ride.
I feel like I wrote Goodbye, 2013! just yesterday. I blinked and now the end of 2014 is here and 2015 is right around the corner. Time sure does fly.
Last year, I decided to go through all my blog posts for 2013 and highlight them in one post in an attempt to recap and say goodbye to 2013. I am going to do that again to say goodbye to 2014.
Let’s see what happened in 2014…
January: -I went over my New Year’s resolutions
-I continued to write Detective Florence and completed it
-I came up with the Short Story Sunday feature on my blog
-I started writing Inspiration Station -I had a schedule of writing 5,000 words a day and changed it to writing 5,000 words Monday-Thursday, editing Friday-Saturday, and relaxing on Sunday
-I discovered the Reading Bingo and challenged myself to it
-It was Kris’s birthday
February: -I decided to write only 1,000 words a day when school started
-I completed two Reading Bingo squares by reading Coming Clean and The Hobbit
-I continued to post my Short Story Sunday throughout the month
March: -I planned on editing more than writing to help prepare for April’s Camp NaNoWriMo
-I completed another Reading Bingo square by reading I, Robot
-I was nominated for the Liebster Award
April: -Camp NaNoWriMo started and I wrote Diary of A Killer
-I discovered the website Noisli
-I was nominated for the Beautiful Blogger Award and the Howler Award
-Easter happened plus I was busy with work and school… I got behind on Camp NaNoWriMo
-I got 1,000 followers on Spilled Ink
May: -I lost Camp NaNoWriMo
-I discussed what “Success” is
-I joined Critique Circle
-It was Spilled Ink’s two-year anniversary
–Edited Detective Florence in preparation of Camp NaNo
–Camp NaNo: wrote Detective Florence 2
—Trying to balance life, writing, work, school, etc.
–I accidentally saved over my Camp NaNo novel (150 pages and 44k words) with my Short Story Sunday with five days left of Camp NaNo
–I wrote 50k in five days to beat Camp NaNo
–I beat Camp NaNo in, more or less, five days
–I updated my Reading Bingo with many novels
–I discussed how my English degree is basically in nothing
–I got a new job
–Lucky Seven Challenge with Detective Florence 2 –I currently had 15 WIPs… yikes.
–I came up with a writing schedule for the rest of the year
–I went to Disney and discovered the “Writer’s Stop” store and met Peter Pan
–Reality checked back in after vacation with school starting, work, Sunday school, etc.
–I wanted to enter some contests, but missed the deadlines
–I turned 21
–School started with a few creative writing classes
–Cookie the Beagle joined the family
–I tried to come up with a routine to balance homework, writing, etc.
–I discuss why I became a teacher, go to school, became a teacher/director or the Sunday school, write, etc.
–I updated everything in my life with my sister’s wedding coming up as well as November NaNo.
–I decided to edit Take Over and plan to write Far Away for NaNo
–I started editing Take Over which I noticed I’ve grown as a writer in the past year or so
–I watched “Authors Anonymous” and the screenwriter contacted me. It also inspired a new potential story idea
–I watched a NaNo video on Blurb
–I decided to give myself a reward of one dollar for every 1,000 words I write for NaNo
–I changed my mind again and decided to write short stories for NaNo
–I bought a new fish named Nano
–NaNoWriMo started and I wrote Short Story Collection and came up with new ideas for novels
–I did my best in balancing homework with NaNo
–I planned on finishing NaNo by Thanksgiving and did it
–I came up with a new novel idea called Fire and Ice
–I won NaNo
–Thanksgiving happened and I made a list of all I’m thankful for
–I compared NaNo 2013 to this year’s NaNo
–I edited while on vacation and discussed how that’s the best time to write
–I came up with a plan for my Detective Florence series
–I finished typing the second draft of Detective Florence –I wrapped up yet another semester of my Bachelor’s degree and made it out alive and with good grades
–I hand edited the first draft of Detective Florence 2
–I changed the title of my blog, bought the domain name from WordPress, and made some slight layout changes
So much has happened in one year. Some good, some bad, but I think it was mostly good. I’m happy to be where I am right now. I have a wonderful job, I’m going to school, and I’m on my way with my writing. There’s nothing for me to complain about.
When I say “hiatus” I don’t mean that I’ll be going away from my blog for a little bit (despite the fact that I already haven’t been on in a little while). So, sorry for the lack of updates and lack of responses to the comments. Christmas was a busy time and now that it’s all over, I’ve been spending my time playing my new video games (who isn’t?).
Speaking of Christmas, I would love to share with you all how my holiday went and I would love to hear how your holidays went. However, that post is going to be saved for tomorrow… or the next day… or sometime in the near future.
Let me get straight to the point: we all remember that I said I was planning some “changes” to my blog for the new year, yes? Well, one of those changes is to change the blog as a whole.
In 2015 I’m going to work super, extra hard on Detective Florence. I have a schedule for myself through May (pray I stick with it) and it’s all writing, re-writing, and editing Detective Florence. My goal is to start querying the novel by this time next year. Hopefully sooner, but you can’t rush these things.
With that being said, if I’m going to take the next step to become a published author, I want a blog/website that looks more… professional, I guess you could say. Yes, I am finally going to change the URL name and buy the domain name from WordPress.
I think this will be a good step in the right direction for me. I’ve been thinking about doing this for a long time now and I think it’s finally time for me to take action. After two and a half years, I think Spilled Ink needs a change. I need a change.
I also believe that once this is done, it will be sort of like a reminder to myself. My blog will be telling me, “You’re actually serious about this writing business, so you better not let yourself or your followers down!”
With that being said, I am not going to be randomly disappearing. I will not post once a day every day for two weeks and then disappear for three weeks. We all know that I tend to do that.
I have planned posts; some are written, some are not. However, I will be more active and my blog will be a much better place.
Why am I telling you all of this? Well, I’m going to be switching my blog over today. That’s December 29, 2014 for those of you in a different time zone or reading this on a different day.
I do not know how long/short this will take. I do not know how easy/hard it will be. Needless to say, my blog is going to be a hot mess for today. Maybe tomorrow, too. I don’t really know what I’m doing.
So, I just wanted this “slight hiatus” to be a bit of a warning… if anyone comes across my blog and it’s all jumbled up and confusing–fear not! Your computer is not broken, I’m just breaking my blog into pieces unsure how to put it back together again.
I’m probably making it sound much worse than it really is…
Anyway, I hope the next time we meet my blog will look fantastic and it’ll be brand new and everyone will love it! Please bare with me while I work on this. Thanks!
So, I made a schedule for myself for my Detective Florence series up until the end of May of next year. My first deadline was yesterday and guess what? I missed it.
School has officially ended so I don’t have that commitment anymore (yay!) and work is winding down with the holidays approaching. I have the rest of this week and Monday and Tuesday of next week and then it’s winter break. However, they’re still full days so it’s still six hours I’m missing from each day.
Speaking of the holidays, Christmas is right around the corner. I finished all my shopping and wrapping, but there’s still so much to do; clean the house, help with baking, prepare for upcoming Christmas parties, etc.
This past weekend alone I was barely home. I had work Friday morning and then a Christmas party that night. Kris and I went out Saturday morning to Barnes & Noble (so I got a little writing done then) and then we went shopping. Then we had company over the house that night. Sunday we had church in the morning and then went to my uncle’s house to celebrate his birthday. It was a busy weekend that flew by and before I knew it I had to wake up early for work again.
Yesterday I was supposed to have the second draft of Detective Florence typed up and ready to be printed for another hand-edit. I haven’t been writing the ten pages a day like I was supposed to. I have 30 pages left to go.
I plan on finishing it today. However, I won’t be able to start hand-editing the first draft of Detective Florence 2 today. So that will put me a day behind, but I’m hoping I can catch up with that tomorrow after work since I don’t have anything else going on.
In other news, I’ve been continually planning and preparing things for my blog for the new year. I’ve been writing certain posts that will be weekly or monthly. There are a few posts that will be written in advance, but most posts will be written as my day got on and I start rambling to you guys as usual. However, I need the planned posts in order to keep up a good pace with my blog and also because I have no idea what next year is going to bring. Between school, work, babysitting, and everything else under the sun, writing the posts in advance is a good choice at the moment.
So, after work I need to type up those last 30 pages of Detective Florence. Then tomorrow I’ll start on my next deadline. More on that tomorrow as well as an update of the second draft of Detective Florence and how well/not well it’s been going.
I typed up about 12 pages of the second draft of Detective Florence today. That puts me in a small lead since I’m supposed to do ten pages a day. I keeping thinking it would be nice to do extra pages and I probably will every once in a while, but… today is not that day.
I ended up doing two extra pages because three of the pages had the note written on them: “Simplify or take it out!”
Would you like to know what the three pages were about? Well, it was George laying out all his notes about the current case he’s working on. In other words, he summarized the entire novel from start up until that point. Um… why do we need a summary when we just read it all? There is no good answer to that question.
I wrote the first draft for NaNoWriMo 2013 so it’s obvious that I was stuck and just needed the extra words. That certainly worked at the time, but now I need to think about quality over quantity.
I ended up “simplifying” instead of taking it out completely. My mind may change in later drafts, but as of right now I think it’s a good move.
George was writing notes in am attempt to organize the events of the current cases (yes, there’s two mysteries going on). He added in a lot of extra stuff that no one needs to be reminded of, not even him. So I reworded it all so that he made a list of questions. You know, the standard who, what, where, when, why, how. He answered the ones he could and left questions blank that he didn’t know.
This definitely helped me keep everything in check. It was kind of like writing a list of plot questions that I need to remember to answer by the end of the book. I’m sure it will help keep the reader focused and organized as well. Plus, I’m sure real detectives sit at their desks and organize their thoughts like that all the time. Mysteries are a big headache.
Rewriting that bit took me from three pages to about four paragraphs which is just shy of a full page. So… yeah, I was clearly trying to boost my word count for NaNo.
I’m on page 156 in the second draft which is about 20 pages shorter than the first draft. It doesn’t seem like I cut out much, but I’m sure there will still be more cutting left; especially in later drafts. I’m sure there will even be some scenes that get cut, then brought back, then cut again.
Like I said, I reworded that scene because I think it’s a good idea now. However, when I’m on my Nth draft I may think it was a stupid idea and end up cutting it completely.
Another year of NaNoWriMo has come and gone. Did you all win? I hope so. If not, that’s okay. Writing is writing no matter how many words you managed to get down on the page.
Now that the NaNo hype is all done and everyone can finally relax again, we are now into December.
December is probably one of the busiest months of the year. It probably goes by the quickest as well because everyone is always so busy. December is also the last month of the year so people start thinking of New Year’s Resolutions and such.
I have been thinking about 2015 for the past couple of months. Call me strange, but I didn’t want to start anything “new” until the new year because then that would kind of sort of in a weird way make it “official.” Am I the only one who thinks that way?
Anyway, starting in 2015 there’s going to be a few new changes to my blog… posts and layout alike. I’ve been thinking about this for a few months now so I just need to put it all into action. Hopefully you guys will like the new changes. There will be more on that later… as in, the end of the month. All will be revealed/explained New Year’s Eve/New Year’s Day. Look forward to it… please.
I will say this, though: part of what I’m going to start doing regularly is working on my Detective Florence series.
I started typing up the second draft of Detective Florence back in October and stopped because NaNo started. I had only 140 pages left so now I’m going to continue that. Here’s my plans:
–Type up the last 140 pages of the second draft of Detective Florence by December 15 (10 pages a day)
–Hand edit the first draft of Detective Florence 2 (December 15-31)
–Type up the second draft of Detective Florence 2 —Outline Detective Florence 3 —Write Detective Florence 3
The first deadline will definitely hold up. I don’t know if I’ll be able to hand edit in 16 days with the holidays and work, but I’ll certainly give it a try. I would like to start writing the third novel by February at the very latest, though. We’ll see how it goes.
Those are my plans so far. 2015 is going to be the year that the first Detective Florence novel is going to be ready for publication… hopefully. I want it to be completed edited and polished by the end of December 2015.
I typed up ten pages this afternoon, so I’m on par for the first day of my plan. Yay! Now I just need to keep this up.
Every year my family and l go away for the weekend after Thanksgiving. It just happened to become tradition a few years ago and it’s great to get away for a weekend in the middle of work and school. It’s a nice break.
I am not a light packer. Anyone who knows me personally in real life can tell you that. I would pack the entire house if l could. Example: l have three unread books on my Kindle. Before we left l bought a fourth one. Because you know there’s that .5% chance that l would happen to read and finish all three books in two days with time to spare and how tragic would it be if l ran out of something to read? Now, keep in mind that l brought my Kindle in an attempt to save space by not bringing physical novels. So it kind of balances out… l guess.
Anyway, l brought my Detective Florence 2 manuscript along with two notebooks (one blank, one with the outlined notes), the notes and outline for the first novel, blank index cards, blank post-it notes, and about five pens with four highlighters and two sharpies. Again, you need a plethora of pens because there’s that slight chance they will all run out of ink in two days.
Back to the point… l did some editing yesterday and l plan on editing today as well. Now that NaNo is over, l plan to finish editing the second novel, type up the next draft of both the first and second novels, outline the third, and then write the third. I’m in for a fun ride.
So l’m texting my friend yesterday and she asked how l was doing and such. I told her l was editing.
Her response: “Why are you writing while on vacation?”
Now let’s discuss…
I love writing. I am going to do it whenever and where ever l can. It relaxes me. I don’t see it as work. Sure, it would be nice to write full-time for a job, but whether that happens or not it will always be a passionate hobby of mine.
To be honest, l think vacation is the perfect time to write for a few reasons.
1. It’s a new environment. I tend to write at my desk at my house in my office/den l share with Kris. Sometimes, in the same room, l will write on the couch using the ottoman as a desk. Sometimes l go in my bedroom. When home alone, l’ll go in the kitchen or dining room. I even write while taking a bath. If l get a moment alone at work l’ll jot down notes. You can write anywhere you think of.
2. There are barely any distractions. When writing at home l have the Internet. There are many websites l am on that l can get to with a click of a button and before l know it, it’s time for bed. There’s also the cleaning. The dusty room around me just stares me down and it bothers me. There’s mail to get–l love getting the mail. I don’t know why, l never get anything good. If l’m not at work l usually keep an eye out for it. There’s also video games, friends to see, homework to do, etc.
3. There are no other responsibilities. Kind of like the previous point, there is no real cleaning to be done. As long as l clean up after myself before l go home, l’m good. I don’t have to worry about doing homework. I don’t have to worry about anything so my mind is cleared up for everything.
4. It’s relaxing. Why write next to the heating vent at my house when l can write next to the fireplace? There is no fireplace at my house; therefore, l cannot write to the soothing crackling sound. Well… l can, but those sounds are on websites. There’s no pretty flame or heat so it’s not the same effect.
I’m sure there are many more reasons, but this is what l can come up with for now.
My friend loves that l write and she supports me with it. She’s always asking how my novels are going, what they’re about, etc. However, she knows l want to write full-time which would be my career. Career is work. Therefore, she thinks writing is work. Technically yes, as it’s a lot of hard work and it’s a long process and such.
What she doesn’t realize is how much fun it is and how people need a certain passion for writing. Writers don’t see writing as work. Writing is just using the imagination and being creative.
I won NaNo two days ago on the 26th. I completed NaNo in 17 days last year. Just looking at the dates alone it seems as though last year was easier. But was it really?
Last year l wrote Detective Florence and l loved it. Half of it was outlined and planned. When l ran out of outlines, l outlined as l wrote keeping track of everything for my edits later. For a first draft, the novel was pretty well done (if l do say so myself).
This year l wrote a Short Story Collection. This was because l was unsure what to write. I thought about doing short stories to come up with new novel ideas and just try different varieties of characters, genres, etc. It didn’t go as well as l thought it would. A few days into NaNo l wanted to continue writing my Detective Florence series, but l needed to do some edits first and the next novel wasn’t outlined yet. With that series, l feel it better to have it outlined before writing.
Point #1: l wasn’t as enthusiastic about my story idea this year as l was last year.
Conclusion: last year was easier for NaNo.
Last year l was working at the private preschool because it didn’t close until December. I was a lead teacher position and l worked 10am-6pm. Some days l got out earlier, some days l stayed a bit later prepping. Sometimes l took things home with me to work on.
This year l have a new job. I’m an aide so l don’t have any “teacher responsibilities” like staying late, going in early, or taking things home with me. Plus, l work 8am-2:30pm. So l’m home earlier and l’m working less hours in the day.
Point #2: I was working less this year and had less responsibilities.
Conclusion: this year was easier for NaNo.
Last year l was working on my bachelor’s degree. I was taking five full-time online classes. Five is a lot; especially when you’re basically teaching yourself (and some of your teachers aren’t that good at their job…).
This year l am still working on my bachelor’s degree and again l took five full-time online classes. However, one of the classes was accelerated so it ended November 8. For the majority of the month, l only had four classes.
Point #3: school was less work this year.
Conclusion: this year was easier for NaNo.
But wait! There’s more…
Last year, even though l had five classes, l barely had any homework.
This year, even though l technically had four classes, l had a ton of homework. It was hard to balance homework, life, writing, work, etc.
New conclusion: last year was easier for NaNo.
Do you see how much has changed in one year? Some things got easier, some got harder. I don’t know which year was easier for me, but l won both years and that’s all that matters.
I wonder what NaNo 2015 will bring? Where will l be one year from now?