Writing Wednesday: Final Edits

The writing projects I’ve been talking about recently have all been continuing along nicely, although things are about to shift to other projects shortly.  I’ve been doing finalish revisions of Guardian III, and am within a few pages of getting to the end of this pass.  My goal was to finish by the end of the month, so I may end up a few days ahead.

Even more excitingly, I ordered the print proof of Guardian I, and that arrived yesterday.  It’s always very cool to see what the book looks like as an actual book for the first time.  I spent all that time adjusting tabs and formatting dropcaps and so on, and seeing the proof is the pay-off.

The actual purpose of the proof is to review and see if everything is looking good as-printed.  It’s close to final.  I need to tweak some small things, and one bigger thing – the gutter isn’t quite right, so the lines of print are falling into the center binding a bit.  It’s readable, it’s not that bad, but I plan to tweak the formatting to give it a better margin.  I love how the cover looks though, and I’m really excited to start sharing that.  My cover reveal is scheduled for about a month from now, so stay tuned for that!

After I finish up the last bit of Guardian III and make formatting edits to Guardian I, I’ll be turning to a totally different focus…sort of.  I plan to spend March doing some new writing, as I have two short stories to finish for an anthology I’m going to be published in later in the year.  The anthology is about people entering into books, and one of my stories involves a ballerina entering Leroux’s Phantom…so it’s not an entirely new focus!  But it is pretty different, and I’m looking forward to doing some new writing soon.

Writing Wednesday: Riffing Off of Awesome People

I took a pause in my revision work this week to take a turn on my other ongoing project – I’ve mentioned before that I’m writing a collaborative novel with three other authors, Pesto, Pirouettes and Potions.  We’re writing it round-robin style, each writing a chapter then passing it on to the next person, and my turn came around again this week.

I had a lot of fun reading through the five chapters we had so far, and then writing up Chapter Six.  I got into a nice flow of conversation between the characters, getting to know their dynamics a little more.  I had the chance to play with Charlie and Lola, our two heroines, and their friends Nathan, who dances in the ballet with Charlie, and Mario, Lola’s roommate.  Mario is a flirt who thinks Charlie is cute, Nathan likes to tease straight guys who assume he’s gay (he isn’t), Charlie is totally freaking out over her crush on Lola, and Lola is trying to convince herself not to crush on Charlie–so it’s awkward all around and so much fun to write.

This was the first chapter I wrote picking up after other people wrote theirs – I wrote Chapter Two previously, but since it was introducing Charlie (while Chapter One introduced Lola) it was pretty independent.  I really enjoyed being able to riff from things other people had written–like continuing Charlie’s tic of saying “oh goddess,” or building from a previous-chapter moment when Charlie introduced her dog.  I probably wouldn’t have thought of either thing, so I loved springing off of the ideas to continue building.  Here’s an excerpt that shows both those ideas continuing to grow!

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Was this whole business, stalking the Pilates classes, showing up at brunch, going too far?  Was Charlie building way too much on one charged exercise class, and one not-quite-a-date?

But it had been such a good sort of date.  It had been a long time since she’d felt a connection like that.  And Sammy had liked Lola—who had understood his name.  Charlie only introduced him as Samwise when she wanted to see if someone would catch the reference, pick up the semi-secret code she was sending out.  And Lola hadn’t just asked about Lord of the Rings, she had asked Sammy if he was a Hobbit.  So adorable.

Oh goddess, she had it bad.

Writing Wednesday: Carrying On

A short update today, because there isn’t too much to report on the writing front.  I’m continuing my main focus on revising Guardian III, with a goal to finish this pass by the end of the month.  So far I’m on track, despite being out of town last week.

It’s nice to polish up the story, and I’m also looking forward to finishing and doing some new writing in March.  Newish writing, at least – my plan is to complete two short stories for an upcoming anthology I’m contributing to.  After a couple months of revision, I’m finding myself with an itch to create something new – writing and revising are really two different things, especially revising this late in the process.  I miss inventing…which may be why watching the BBC Pride and Prejudice

over the weekend sent my brain spiraling off on a sequel idea focused on Charlotte Collins (née Lucas) and possibly involving Mary Bennet and Anne de Bourgh.

Interesting?  Crazy?  I don’t know!  Definite symptom of lots of time spent revising, and maybe a project for a future date.  But for now I’m trying to stay focused on the revision–I have a trilogy to finish, after all. 🙂

Writing Wednesday: Tab and Center and DropCap and…

My writing projects lately have me deep in the midst of all three installments of my Guardian of the Opera trilogy.  I’m doing finalish revisions of Book III, I’m reading Book II out loud for absolutely-final revisions, and I’m formatting Book I for publication.

Book I is, of course, the farthest one along.  This is a slightly mixed stage of the process.  On the one hand, it’s exciting to be this close to the final product.  On the other hand, the actual work can be very tedious!  There’s some initial creativity that’s fun in deciding how to lay out the book–where to place the page numbers, how to format the beginning of each chapter.  But there’s also a lot of going through and repeating the same formatting steps again and again!  Mainly it’s the formatting at the beginning of each chapter: adding a section break, formatting the chapter header, putting the space above “Chapter X,” removing the tab in the first paragraph, adding a drop cap…in this case, all those steps, 36 times!

But I do like seeing how it looks.  And I’m very much looking forward to ordering proof copies.  That’s when all of this pays off!

For now, here’s a sneak peek at what that work at the beginning of each chapter ends up looking like…

Writing Wednesday: Blog Updates and Book Developments

I said recently that I was eyeing the writing sections of my blog–and sure enough, earlier this week I delved into my “About” sections, especially the section for my books, and made updates.

If you click into “About My Books” (formerly “Novel News”) you’ll see that I’ve added considerable new content.  I finally put up a page for The Servants and the Beast, which released in June, 2019, and for its companion piece, After the Sparkles Settled, released in December, 2019.  I got a little behind on that–but I’m making up for it by putting up pages now for my Guardian of the Opera trilogy.  The first one will be out in June, 2020, but you can visit the page for each book and read the blurbs now.  The books are also up on Goodreads, if you’d like to add them to a “want to read” list.

The crazy thing is, this update more than doubles my list of books I’ve published/plan to publish, from four to nine.  That feels like a rather sudden jump!  But it has been years in the making, so…  It’s funny how it all fell out in timing.

Setting Goodreads and the new pages up occupied a decent portion of my writing focus this past week, though I’m also continuing to revise Guardian III.  Good thing, too, since it’s now a little more official that it’s coming out!