Editing Goals

George Florence Editing Goals

I’ve been editing my novel, George Florence, since the beginning of January.

I’ve been doing really well keeping up with my routine. I’ve been editing every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday morning. Saturdays I’m able to edit more and I go to the bookstore to do it sometimes.

I wanted to have the whole draft completed by January 15, but I still have about 50 or so pages to go. So I’m hoping to finish it by the 19 instead. That will give me one more Saturday to really work on it a lot. Because I don’t write or edit on Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays.

I feel as though it’s always tough to self-edit. Once I finish the first draft the manuscript looks perfect in my eyes. Then when I start editing I realize how untrue that is.

A lot of my editing is rewording things because I tend to through random words in that don’t need to be there (you can tell I wrote the novel for NaNo). I reuse the same descriptive words over and over again because I don’t want to interrupt myself and get a thesaurus.

The draft I’m working on at the moment is technically the third draft, but I’m calling it the first draft.

The first-first draft was written in George’s point of view. The second draft was edited as George’s point of view. During all of this Lilah kept trying to take center stage.

I rewrote the novel in her point of view just to see how it would work and I have to say that it works much better. It’s a completely different story, which is why I’m calling it the first draft again.

I have a lot of editing notes that I’ve jotted down here and there to keep on the lookout in the next draft. I’m going to need to so some research before beginning the next edit phase.

First, I need to figure out the setting. I’ve gone back and forth between then being in a small town versus a big city. I believe they’re in a city, but it’s nameless and I don’t describe their surroundings much.

Second, I’ve always lived with my parents. I’ve never had my own house or rented an apartment before. My sister has so I’ve seen the inside of at least one apartment complex, but that’s about it. I don’t know anything about rent, leases, etc. Since a huge chunk of the setting if in an apartment building… Well, I should probably look into that.

Third, I want to make a map of Lilah’s apartment building, George’s house and firm, maybe the key areas of their city. Visuals are easier for me and than I should be able to describe things better from that.

Fourth, how does one become a private investigator? That’s a key part of the story, so I should probably figure that out.

Fifth, I have to do math. I dread that part because I clearly prefer English over math. But I do need to figure out a timeline of sorts. The year, the ages, figure out the robbery, figure out the murder, and so on. That part will be fun.

There are a lot of other things I need to research as well. Most of it pertains to the robbery and the murder as well as basic police procedure, autopsy reports, funeral homes, the works.

I have a lot to keep an eye out for when I edit the second draft.

What are your editing goals for your novel?

Long Week

This week I have gone to work and babysat more than usual. I edited my short story and sent it to a contest and also edited the second-first draft of George Florence. I sent it to my writers group and then realized I won’t be able to make it to the next meet.

But I at least got the first part edited, so I guess I can’t complain about that.

I have been so tired that I’ve been coming home and plopping myself down on the couch and that’s my day.

I get my writing and editing done in the morning before work so I haven’t been skipping any days, but now that I decided to solely work on editing George Florence I’m out of things to work on.

I mean, that’s not really true. I have a huge list of ideas of novels for various age groups and genres. However, I want my sole focus to be on George Florence.

I probably will edit the next part, especially since I’m not going to meet with my group until the end of October at this point.

At the same time, it’s kind of nice to take a break from writing a novel.

I have a few short stories I would like to work on, plus some original pieces I want to work on for Wattpad.

It’s funny because I usually have a hard time trying to decide what to write because I have so many ideas and I want to write them all at once.

Now that list has kind of turned into a “waiting list” as I put certain ideas on hold so I can focus on George Florence for the most part.

He’s an attention hog, I guess.

So I pretty much already decided that’s what I was going to do, but I thought I would recap.

Next week will be less busy, so I’m hoping I’ll be able to make more progress. Although, I think I did a pretty good job this week balancing everything out.

Easy

Taking A Break

I got a lot of writing, editing, reading, and blogging done this past summer. It was great! With no work and no school to tie me down, I was able to focus on what I hope to be a career someday (soon… in the near future… hopefully…).

I had plans to finish my rewrite of George Florence by July 31. That didn’t happen because the rewrite came out a lot longer than the original first draft. So I changed the deadline to August 31.

I still didn’t finish writing it.

I was writing it the other day and found two plot-holes. You know, because this is the second time I’m writing it so why would I have discovered a giant hole in the plot the first time around? Even after I’ve outlined it twice and everything.

I’m trying to figure out how to fix it. One problem is an easy fix; it’s just math (blech). The other problem might take a while. I know I need to go back and add in a few more things in order for everything to make sense and come full circle.

With that being said, I’ve decided to take a break from writing the novel.

I edited the first 20 or so pages of the story to the best of my ability (I keep a list of editing notes as I write to remember for the revision process). Now I’m going to send that to my writers group.

After a couple of months of them looking at the first half of the novel I’ll probably start writing it again. We meet once a month so I’ll probably start writing it again come January. So by that time they’ll have read roughly 100 pages (I’m including January’s meet).

I’ll pick up the writing again to bring in the new year because by then I should have figured out a way to end the novel and make everything full circle. Plus, I can incorporate any suggestions I get from my group.

Of course if I figure it out before January, then I’m not going to wait until January. I just want to give myself some time.

Does that sound like a good plan? I hope so.

In the meantime, I don’t want to stop writing completely.

There are a few contests I would love to try and a few literary magazines I would love to submit to. I have a couple short stories under my belt and a few more ideas for short stories. I’ll be working on those for the time being.

I will also be working on other novels… or novellas, however they turn out.

WattpadI recently joined Wattpad and have a few ideas to put on there. I have yet to write them so it might take a while before these stories are posted, but I’m working on it.

Feel free to follow me on there so you can get updates! I’ll most likely give updates on here, too. Let me know if you have an account on Wattpad. I’ll follow you… I need friends on there.

I want to get more of my original writing out there to share with you guys other than the Short Story Sunday and Time To Write features. Those are usually silly, quick things I write. Some turn out better than others. So I want to show you guys that I can actually come up with a plot and make it work.

I’ll probably post it once the whole story is written so I can update regularly.

I’ll let you know when the first story is up, which might be a little while.

In the meantime… Wish me luck!

July Wrap-Up

July is coming to a close, so here’s an update on my July Goals.

Reading:

My goal was to read two books a week totaling to eight books this month. I ended up reading more books than that. I have to say I really love having no work.

I ended up reading ten books, two more than I planned. If you want to see the complete list of books I read during July, head on over to my Reading List. I just updated it and it has a link to all the book reviews from July (and the whole year).

Writing:

I queried my children’s book, Nature According to Bobby, to five more agents. Some of the turnaround times are kind of long, so we’ll have to wait and see for that.

I also submitted a poem to the magazine Ladybug. The wait time for that is three to six months.

I wrote Hunter for Camp NaNoWriMo and hit 50k on July 19. I didn’t finish the story, but I think it’s almost done. It might have another two or three chapters? I’m not entirely sure. I wanted to finish the overall novel, but I got distracted with George Florence so Hunter is kind of the back burner for now.

The rewrite of George Florence is still in the works. I took a good break from it because I was writing Hunter. My plan was to write both at the same time, but I think that was a little overambitious.

I had hoped to finish rewriting George Florence by the end of July, but there’s still a lot I need to do. The rewrite is turning out much, much longer than the original first draft. A lot of new additions (good additions, in my opinion) got added when I switched POVs.

Blogging:

I posted a book review every Tuesday and Saturday like I hoped to. I ended up reading two more books than planned, as well.

I also started the Time To Write feature every Friday. I hope you guys enjoy that.

July was a pretty good month for me. I think I got a lot done. Here’s hoping August is just as productive.

 

 

Short Story Sunday #63

SSS Mystery Man Four

            “Dr. Laurie Dawson, it’s very nice to meet you.” A tall woman with short, blonde hair shook George’s hand and then Lilah’s. She smiled sweetly to them and then turned look at Joshua’s body on the ground.

She sighed, “I was his therapist. I have known Joshua for a long time… ten years, to be exact.”

“Therapist? Was he sick?” Lilah questioned.

“One doesn’t have to be sick to visit a therapist.” Dr. Dawson lifted an eyebrow at her. Lilah took a step back suddenly feeling small.

“Then tell us why Joshua has been visiting you for the past ten years.” George said firmly defending Lilah.

“His brother and sister-in-law passed away in a horrible plane crash. They were on their way to a business trip across the ocean. The plane malfunctioned and crashed into the water… no bodies were recovered; only little bits of the plane.” Dr. Dawson clutched a file folder tightly to her chest. She stared down at Joshua and sighed.

“He was grieving,” she continued, “he was grieving and he was suddenly a father-figure. He wasn’t ready to take care of a child. He came to me for help; for advice. He even brought Abigail with him for a few times. Now she’s my patient as well.”

Lilah twisted her head to look at Abigail. She still stood in the doorway staring down at her dead uncle.

“I took Abigail as a patient because she was only three years of age when her parents passed away. Joshua told her they were on a business trip, so she never fully understood that they died. To be honest, I still don’t believe she fully understands.” Dr. Dawson explained and then lowered her voice to a whisper, but Abigail didn’t seem to be paying any attention.

Lilah nodded her head. No wonder Abigail acted so strange; she was living a life based on lies. She probably expected her parents to come home any day now and they were never going to come. She looked up at George, who kept his gaze fixated on Dr. Dawson.

“So, Joshua was riddled with grieve. For ten years?” he pressed.

“He began to believe James had come back.” Dr. Dawson paced around the body.

“James?” Lilah looked up at George. “The invisible person?”

“Excuse me?” Dr. Dawson stared at Lilah puzzled.

“There’s a photo upstairs in Joshua’s bedroom. It’s a picture taken by him of himself. His arm looks like it’s wrapped around someone’s shoulder, but no one else is in the picture with him.” Lilah turned to look at Abigail. “Abigail mentioned that James was in the picture with Joshua… but again, no one else was there.”

“Ah, yes.” Dr. Dawson nodded her head with a sad sigh. “Joshua began to believe James was alive again. He was seeing James everywhere. He was hearing voices.”

“So he was sick…” Lilah muttered.

“I think I know where this is going.” George grunted.

“Dissociative Identity Disorder,” Dr. Dawson nodded her head in agreement with George, knowing exactly what he was thinking.”

“Split personality?” Lilah gasped.

“Joshua was so stricken with grieve and stress that he looked to his brother for help from beyond the grave. He thought it was a good way to cope because the deceased are never truly gone.” Dr. Dawson placed a hand on her heart. “They’re always with us.”

Lilah and George glanced at each other.

“It got out of hand is all.” Dr. Dawson stared at the ground.

“I thought people with split personality didn’t know the other personality was there?” Lilah questioned suspiciously.

“You’re right,” Dr. Dawson agreed, “but people with this disorder don’t understand what happens when the other personality takes over. They just can’t remember certain parts of their day. However, things would be moved around and Joshua’s life was being carried on. He assumed it was the work of a ghost; of his brother James. He believed his brother was trying to get in contact with him.”

“Was he?” George wondered.

Dr. Dawson stared George in the eye as she tried to think of a response. “I believe Joshua was so desperate to see his brother again that he made himself believe the unbelievable.”

Lilah bit her lower lip and turned to look at Abigail once more. She wondered if Abigail was paying any attention to this conversation and just how much she understood of it. Abigail remained in the doorway to the living room but was no longer staring at his uncle. She eyed Dr. Dawson soaking in every word she said.

“Given his background, it is believed that Joshua had enough of his other personality… of James.” The forensic scientist spoke. “We believed Joshua, in the heat of the moment, attempted to get rid of James, which sadly resulted in him losing his own life.”

Dr. Dawson nodded her head. “This folder contains my last few sessions with Joshua and highlights some of his worst moments. He was beginning to believe someone was following him. Someone was in his house with him, other than Abigail.”

Lilah looked up at George. “That’s what he said in the e-mail.” She whispered.

“Joshua was becoming aware of James. He would argue with him right in front of me in the middle of our sessions.” She continued.

Lilah nodded remembering that Abigail mentioned she heard two male voices from her bedroom. Joshua must have had one last argument with his other personality.

“Reading the reports in order, you can really see Joshua spiral downhill.” Dr. Dawson concluded.

“We’ll look over the reports.” A police officer spoke. “It’s looking more and more likely that Joshua might have killed himself, even if it wasn’t intentional. Thank you Dr. Dawson and thank you George for coming down. However, it looks as though this case is an open and shut one.”

Lilah and George turned around to leave as the officers began to wrap things up. Lilah then realized Abigail was no longer standing in the doorway. She was out in the hallway talking to a police officer; or rather, the officer was talking to her as she stared at the ground.

“Lilah,” George broke Lilah out of her thoughts holding the front door open for her. “I think our work here is done.”

*

Lilah sat down on the couch on one of the George’s office as he sat down at his desk. She let out a deep sigh and threw her head back closing her eyes.

“I have to say that was the quickest case I’ve ever worked… and we’re not even getting paid for it.” George grunted. He turned his computer back on and stared at the screen as it lit up.

“George?” Lilah lifted her head once more. “What do you think is going to happen to Abigail?”

“Well,” George sighed leaning back in his chair, “my guess would be that she’ll be put into the foster system. Unless she has any other family who can take her.”

“What a sad story.” Lilah shook her head in disgust. “First she loses her parents without knowing it and then her uncle commits suicide while she’s in the house.”

“Not all cases have a happy ending. Remember that one, Lilah. It’s awful, but it’s true.” George said softly.

Lilah nodded her head. She turned on her laptop once more. This case was definitely the quickest one yet, but it was also the most sad. She couldn’t imagine grieving for ten years only to have the deceased lingering behind you, haunting you. She thought about Abigail finally understanding why she was so strange and emotionless. Lilah hoped Abgail would improve as she got older and that this wouldn’t haunt her for the rest of her life like Joshua.

Once Lilah’s laptop was fully booted up, she logged onto her blog. She had already written a post for the day, but another one couldn’t hurt. She took a deep breath and began to write.