Chapter 7

Dec. 26th, 2007 10:47 am
cathschaffstump: (isis)
Yesterday I did nothing but decadate all over the house. :) Niiiccceee way to spend Christmas when your health has been trying: good (and healthy for your gall bladder) food, champagne (which doesn't affect any of my organs in the least...), romance, relaxation, presents. You wonder why life can't be this good all the time!

Today, Bryon and I are off on vacation. So I exercised my discipline and worked on chapter seven. The lion's share of chapter seven is revised and ready for proofing. Tomorrow, when I get back from my appointment with the cardiologist (I'll be glad when we can finally tick heart trouble off the list, moving us closer to the appropriate surgery), I will do the following:

Proof what has been revised of chapter seven.
Rewrite Esme's trial.

Esme's trial is important, and needs to be tightened and expanded. I need Andrew to have a role, and I need Eustace, Laurence, and Miranda to try something...really, anything...on camera. Then it'll be a matter of taking away a blahblahblah scene with parents and teachers, and waiting for Esme to wake up. I figure this scene gets a whole writing day of its own.

On the other hand, chapter 8 is already a thing of beauty, and all I really need to do there is sharpen a bit and proof.

Then we start activating Errol's trial. So, we make steady progress.

What happens after I get this guy revised? Back out to Agent A, as well, as the new 5 queries a week. Then (and you will all be very bored) I have to work on a paper comparing the way English is taught in Japan and the U.S. I have this conference in April.

I also have several paper proposals to shoot off for conferences, we've got to get the Wiscon multimedia reading shored up, and I've got to get the website up and running again. And new fiction. :)

I hope you're all enjoying the holidays.

cathschaffstump: (substance)
Chapter Six done!

And then there was Chapter Seven! Expect much hot trial action!

But first, Christmas baking extravanganza. See you again Christmas day.

cathschaffstump: (isis)
You want progress? Okay. :D

Chapter 5 is done. New scenes added, the whole thing revised, and proofed. Chapter 6 is about half done, new scenes added, the whole thing revised, and proofed. This whole process took 79 minutes. I know this, because I played the new Battlestar Galactica Season 3 CD that Santa brought me in my stocking this weekend.

If I can get up more gumption tonight, I'll hit the latter half of Chapter 6. There are four scenes left--one in need of heavy revision (by virtue of eliminating one character and substituting another. Can I use character folding as a technical term? Is there a technical term?). Two are in great shape and need tightening. One has to be produced from the ground up anew.

Then we're into Chapter 7. Chapter 7 has Esme's trial in it. Critical decisions. Do I keep the whole Michael Hamwich prediction thing? I need a layer of bad kids acting badly at the trial, so I need to weave that in. What sorts of bits are in there that I like that don't move the plot forward? It's a pivotal chapter, so I have a lot to do with it.

Chapter 8, the transitional section to Errol's trial isn't too bad, although I have to introduce the main bad cheese in it for the first time in this version. So I'll have to shine that up.

That's as far as I want to look right now.

I'm pleased with today's progress. It's a lot like being a full time writer today.

Tomorrow, Christmas Eve, has some cooking in it, and maybe a church service, so both writing and meal preplanning have to be done. Do I take the day off on Christmas? Probably not. Why? I'll be vacationing on the 26th and getting tortured by doctors again on the 27th. (Really, it's a consultation with a cardiologist, and I have no idea what, if any, exciting tests they'll want now that I have a demonstrative hepatobiliary scan on hand.)

[ profile] manzabar, it's looking like the 28th for website stuff, barring zany, horrible testing. Pretty excited about getting that done!

I hope you're all warmer where you're at than we are here in Iowa.

cathschaffstump: (gossamer)
We continue to live with the whole health thing, as we won't be seeing the specialist until January 14th.

But talking about that is NOT why I am here. I have a whole 'nother place for that. On to the writing update!

Today, I broke down the Esme's trial section of the novel, all three chapters. I made notes of new scenes I want to add and changes I want to make. I'll start on the first of those new scenes the next time I write, maybe tonight, maybe tomorrow depending on a plethora of factors.

I also added several scenes from the novel in its first incarnation to the manuscript, as I think I will be going farther forward in time than originally conceived. Right now I have 86K words in the darned thing. I want to wittle it down to somewhere in the 80K zone.

We're making progress.

I hope you're all doing well.

cathschaffstump: (substance)
Well, in the two hours I had to write today (hepatobiliary tests take around two hours from start to finish) I finished chapter four. I will proof it tonight, and I will begin a substantive revision of chapter 5.

In other news, all gall bladders must go!!! To the bare walls!!! More details in [ profile] awelkin, but they tell me I get to see a surgeon next week.

Hope you are all doing well. Gall bladder surgery is really easy, and I'm supposed to feel a lot better fairly soon.

Y'all hold on to your own internal organs.

cathschaffstump: (isis)
Three scenes into chapter 4. Now, off to get a guts scan. :)

More later on today.

cathschaffstump: (isis)
Okay. Part One: Mistraldol and Prologue turned into 90 pages of fairly relevant action oriented prose that doesn't really repeat.

Prologue and first two chapters proofed.

Third chapter needs proofing, and then we're off to Part Two: Esme's Trial and Chapter 4.

All in all, a good night's work.

Tomorrow: If I can find a plug in during the nativity display at Faith, I will work on chapter 3 proofing and chapter 4. If not, I continue reading Foundling by D.M. Cornish, which those of you found of seafaring, Dickens, and orphans might like. Oh, and monsters.

Productivity rules!

cathschaffstump: (substance)
Well, that's chapter 2. The chapters are cashing in around 20ish pages now, which I think will also make them friendlier to a YA audience.

Here's a brand new scene, so those of you familiar with previous versions of the story might like it. This is how we introduce Professor Borgia this time around, give Stephan a little confidence, and clue you all in on what happens sometime in book 2, which has yet to be written (this guy, although no one really needs to know, is book 3).

Cauldron Gazing; Italian Meeting )

I went ahead and looked over the first two scenes of chapter 3, which introduce necessary characters and conflict. I think they mostly stay, and I can't see a whole lot of necessary tightening. That takes me to a very blahblahblah scene. I'll be substituting some active, scary villainy. Let's see what my dark side can come up with.

Priorities are in the right place. NOW to check some papers.

cathschaffstump: (substance)
All righty then. I've cut everything I'm cutting out of the old draft of Substance.

I've taken some notes on extra things that need to be added into the draft to activate the plot. You know, things like action and confrontation? Things your average 13-17 year old can relate to? Also things that lead up to major confrontations and revelations.

I've got to go through and decide how to activate some necessary exposition as well, or at least reduce the blahblahblah factor of it. Yes, that is a technical term. You can quote me.

And I have to go back to the ancient days of when this was on the internet and reinstate the poisoning plot.

But I've gotten as far as I can tonight, because the poisoning plot is at school on a disk, not here at home with me.

Tomorrow, after I plan for Saturday night's dinner with Dana and Peter (I get to cook! Wow!), I'll start a deep deep comb through. The first chapters will go easy. It's the Rowther chapters that need the most work. I probably need another good Enid scene before Stephan goes to school as well.

I need readers for the rewrite. Can anyone still stand to read yet another version of this story?

cathschaffstump: (substance)
Dutifully whacked chapter 8 and into chapter 9. Now, time passes between chapters 7 and 8, quite a bit, and so there's a lot of exposition in there I have to tighten up. Could be pretty boring otherwise. It's all in there for a reason, but the puzzle will be how to deliver it without being boring.

At any rate, 100 pages until the end to look at, some material to add in from the first version, and then another language polish/write. I wonder if I can have this back in Agent A's hands before the college breaks for Christmas. I think that's what I'd like to shoot for.

Then I can focus on a paper I have to do comparing English language education in the US and in Japan. And the next book.

Remember, these posts are mostly to keep me honest. However, now that I'm thinking of it, I'm curious. What are you folks working on right (or write) now?

cathschaffstump: (isis)
So, that's through chapter 7 whacked. That's through Esme's Trial, and 2/3 through.

I probably don't get to revise tomorrow, as I have company coming. However, we'll be back in the saddle on Wednesday.

I'm probably going to add some things onto the end, and then go through and really activate the prose where it's a little more lackluster.

So, moving along.

cathschaffstump: (gossamer)
Well, Mistoreth's Eyes came back rejected from Apex and Abyss.

The comments are fun.

I wish you the best success in placing your story elsewhere, and hope to
see more of your work.

The first few sentences are quite lyrical, but the last sentence of the
first paragraph is unfortunately hilarious and breaks that illusion
(forget for a moment that The Farmer's Wife is an inn, and read the
sentence with the title as regular words).

After that, the feel of the piece changes -- it's no longer the poetic
piece it started as, so this needs some revision.

I did go back and read that, and yup, the name of the inn will have to change. Oh dear.

You know, when I wrote the first piece, it was a river. Then, I revised it into something else. Sometimes if you try to turn a piece into something it isn't, you can break the original spirit of the piece.

Well. Won't be coming back to that one anytime soon. I've got a lot to do before I'll have time to play with that again.


As to Substance, I've whacked out about 7000 words. Some of that hurt, but it wasn't exactly related to the main story. No more Welkins Menagerie scene. No more Hamwich family scene. No more warm and fuzzy Klarion family scenes. I liked them, but I don't think they need to be in there. Missing them doesn't detract from the story. You still get the idea of the piece with all those scenes off camera, and the characters still exhibit those qualities.

What this does mean, though, is I probably will go a little further with my original source material, and rewrite the Stephan unbound scenes. Stay tuned. Because I've whacked 7000 words out of the first six chapters, and I don't know how much more I'll whack out of the remaining ones.

At any rate, I've whacked through chapter six. I'll continue whacking, add a couple more relevant scenes for the ending, and then read things with a roller coaster meter to make sure the action is rising.

And if it's rejected again, well, we're no farther behind than we were before.

Time for Christmas decorating.

cathschaffstump: (isis)
Oh, I've eaten soooo much food...

But I spent the afternoon while everyone else was napping whacking words out of Substance. I'm looking at it with a kid's eye, and yeah, there's a lot of expository blah, blah, blah in there.

So, I've whacked the prologue and the first two chapters. Chapter three will require both whacking and rewriting.

Hee. I'm about to become one of those authors who knows more than the readers do. That means I will have things to talk about at press conferences. You know. All those press conferences. That I have in my head. And in my sleep. Yeah. :)

I hope you're all having a great holiday.

cathschaffstump: (isis)
Edited SNSM up to the rewrite bit, as predicted. Now must do deep, meaningful, stylistic rewrite.

Which is kind of intimidating, because the rest of the story is sturdy right now, and the first draft of the rewrite is thin. *insert angst here*

Gone for next 3 days to Minneapolis for author education/professor educating. Me n Baba Yaga will see you on the flip side of that.

cathschaffstump: (substance)
Read one half of Sister Night, Sister Moon last night. Should finish oral reading tonight and will begin serious edit of last two new scenes.

Then off to Fantasy Matters in Minnesota tomorrow night, so probably will not finish it until Monday.

Still need website photos and update. Photography was delayed last weekend.

Well, small steps.



Oct. 26th, 2007 01:14 pm
cathschaffstump: (Default)
Yesterday was lost to real flu and fatigue. I rarely stay in bed until 1 pm. I would have stayed longer, but the cat kicked me out. Really. She sleeps on the bed during the day and made it known that my staying made her daynap impossible. As soon as I made the bed, she jumped on it and hit the hay.

But before I went down, on Wednesday, I started into chapter 7 oral read. Yes! And it looks to be a fairly mellow weekend, so I'm optimistic about getting some more done. Ideally, I'd like to have the oral read through done by October 31st.

I'm itching to get back to the creative side of writing. The business side is important too, but right now, with my focus on agent sort and editing, I want to get down to some planning, plotting, and making the magic happen.

Next Wednesday and next Friday, I'll be sending out a couple more messages in a bottle to agents. For those who have been keeping count, you might remember that my current messages are out to Ethan Ellenberg and Kathleen Anderson. I'm eying Gary Heidt, Kate Menick, and Jessica Regel for my next round. Any data?

Okay, off to read your stuff!

cathschaffstump: (isis)
Complete! We are in the homestretch!


Chapter 7

Oct. 19th, 2007 10:49 am
cathschaffstump: (gossamer)
Since I didn't get a rejection yesterday, I was actually able to concentrate on the book during my meager writing time, rather than recrafting my query, which can become an obsessive pursuit. I do like that type of writing as well. My MA is in tech writing, you know. :)

We're three scenes into chapter 7 now. Characters are feeling much more well rounded, and I'm making some of the kids sound less like Errol and more like themselves, (so I think [ profile] themorningstarr will approve.)

I am sure hungry to do something else besides edits, but I can do discipline. Gotta.

Hope your pens are flowing and your plots fertile.

cathschaffstump: (gossamer)
After a day of lots of niggly things, lots of meetings, two rejections, and even almost choking to death (/drama), I actually managed to get home at 8 pm and orally read a scene. It's been heavily edited for action and conflict, which were lacking.

Stick a fork in me, because I'm done today.

cathschaffstump: (isis)
No one really likes or is interested in the flu, except for the pharmacists that make delicious anti-nausea medication.

That said, in a fit of productivity last night, read up to 186 in the oral read through.

Sent off my 30 sample pages this morning as well.

Pretty exciting, but you know, this is the glamorous life of a writer. It really is!



cathschaffstump: (Default)

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