Monday, 25 April 2016

My Current Editing Process

So unlike other camps, I have completely neglected updating this space. Well, most of my month has been taken up with job hunting activities, so the editing process has been very, very slow. I doubt I'd hit 10k by the end of the month, which was my original goal.

Anyway, I thought I'd just write a bit about how I'm currently editing. Of course, self editing is no substitute for getting a pro to do it, but I have no money so...

Oh, and this editing that I'm doing for camp is Developmental Editing. The other major type of editing is Copy Editing, which is the one that makes your sentences sound better and gets rid of typos. Developmental Editing is breaking your story down to build it up again.

To be honest, I probably wouldn't need so much developmental editing if I learnt how to properly outline, but the most I can do is a few chapters at a time so...

At least it's not as terrible as my completely pantsed stories.

Ironically, I use a lot of plotting tools for my self-editing, although the first step is an editing tip I learnt.

Step 1: Break it Down

To fix my story, I have to know what's wrong with it.

First, I created a scene list and a character sheet. A scene list is an idea from 2k to 10k by Rachel Aaron, and basically, I bullet-point the entire novel. What this does is to help me quickly identify the biggest plot holes (people doing the same thing twice, or someone doing something odd given the current level of information, etc), and figure out pacing.

A character sheet is from the snowflake method, and it basically lays out my characters motivations, goals, and hopefully by the end, their personal story (summarised). I should probably expand it into a character bible, which includes things like age and appearance (Ok, I'll start that tomorrow).

All this, plus feedback from early readers, help me to figure out what are the problem spots.

Step 2: Build it Up

There are basically two ways I could do this. If the structure of the story is particularly terrible, then I'll restructure it according to "Take Off Your Pants". If the basic structure is sound, but I just need to fix certain holes and flesh out certain scenes, then I write a story beat (from Write, Publish, Repeat) for each chapter.

A story beat is basically a paragraph sketch of the chapter. It can be as detailed as you want, though I tend to lean to the less detailed side.

Once I have my new "outline" ready, it's time to rewrite. Normally, one big round of changes is enough, and subsequent rounds of editing would be to make the actual writing better (i.e. Copyediting).

Right now, I've managed to finish step one and two, and I'm in the rewriting stage. It's going slowly though - I've only just finished chapter five today! And I think I planned for twenty odd chapters in total :p

Monday, 11 April 2016

Advance Review Copies for The School for Anime Characters Available!

Hey everyone! I'm super excited to announce that I'm about to publish again soon! This time, it's a collection of short stories called "The School for Anime Characters"

What's it about:
All Freida wants is to be normal. Getting sent to ‘The School for Anime Characters’ was definitely not part of the plan. Being told she was the hero — well, things couldn’t get worse than that. Can her new classmates get her to embrace her inner hero, or is the world doomed to be overrun by crazy fangirls?  
The School for Anime Characters is a collection of short stories that are woven together.
Why am I telling you about this?

Because I need reviews! The book is almost ready to go - I'm just waiting for a cover. So, I was wondering if there's anyone out there with an Amazon/Kobo account/blog (and Goodreads as well, if possible), who would be willing to reading and review the book when it comes out.

The collection should be published sometime in early May, and as long as you post a review within a month (so by the end of May), I'll be ecstatic.

I'm interested, how do a get an Advance Review Copy(ARC)? 

If you're interested, shoot me an email at eustacia[dot]tan[at]gmail[dot]com with:
1. Links to your review profile/blog
2. Whether you would like a mobi/ePub/PDF file.

I'll also send a reminder when the book is out, with links to where you can post the reviews, so all I really want are your thoughts.

If you don't feel like reviewing, no worries! The permanent price of the book will be $0.99/99yen, so you can snap it up when it's finally out.

I'll be giving out ARCs until the week before publication.

Thanks for reading this!

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Camp NaNoWriMo has Started! (Plus March Roundup)

April's here, which means that my spring break is rapidly coming to a close, and that Camp NaNoWriMo has started!

My Camp NaNoWriMo project for this camp is... editing (no big surprise). I've decided to start editing last year's NaNoWriMo project (which means that I'm now working on my stretch goals) - which means re-structuring the whole thing. I'm still in the "finding big plot holes" stage, so I'll be lucky if I even finish one third of the rewriting by the end of the month. But the important thing is to start.

Alright, now on to an update on how my March writing went:

Writing Goals for 2016:

1. Publish Beauty's Daughter, which is the sequel to The Nutcracker King (if possible, I want to finish the second draft/main rewrite by this year!)

I finished my edits, and now it's off with the most grammar-picky friend I could find for the last round of typo spotting! But I still have to get the cover and such, so... with luck it'd be out by June.

2. Finish the first draft (at least) of The Goblin Apple, which will be the sequel (of sorts) to Beauty's Daughter and The Nutcracker King aka third book in series.

GOAL REACHED. I can cross this out now. Of course, the next step is editing, but that's probably going to happen after I finish Camp NaNoWriMo.

3. Publish one of the short story collections at 0.99. 

This one is also finished and is now with a friend for the last round of typo spotting. I've also got a cover for this, but the cover will only be done at the end of this month, so it should be published sometime next month.

Stretch goals

Like I mentioned earlier, I'm starting on one of my stretch goals now! I'm not sure if I will be giving weekly updates - I'm thinking of just updating when I finish one big stage in the editing process. Thoughts?

Overall, March was a really good month for me. I finished one goal, and I made good progress towards the other two. But with shukatsu (job hunting), and now school starting, I guess April may not be as productive. I do hope that Camp NaNoWriMo will keep me on track though.