The Edit: Fine Tuning

Fine Tuning

Once you are confident that your characters, plot, structure, and pacing are working, you can dig into the smaller details. At this stage, make sure that your timeline works and your setting hangs together. Create calendars and maps to keep track of when things happen and where people go. Then polish, polish, polish.

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Look – up in the sky!

It’s a never-ending book… this month is simply focused on a line-by line reading, note-taking, redacting, revising to match errors, and tracking invented truths

It’s 82 chapters of 315,000 words of saga broken down into consumable bites both 80,000 words in length and sub-sected about 2000 per chapter (164,000 [2 units]). I’d like to come back to these (and the next two in series) in a few years and drop them into one volume with supporting short stories.

It’s what I would have loved – a 380,000 word book I could sink my teeth into when I was a kid.

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Facebook Addictions

Staying off Facebook for Lent has been one of the most frustrating things I’ve done…

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True Worth

“Our true worth does not consist in what human beings think of us. What we really are consists in what God knows us to be.”
— St. John Berchmans

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How far does light travel in a year?

How far does light travel in a year? (How far is a light year?)
10 trillion kilometers (6 trillion miles)


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Why does my brain lock-up?

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How many protagonists does it take..?

There are no new stories, only new ways of telling the same stories.
All human stories are about the same things: love, betrayal, greed, acceptance, etc.
These are emotional touch-points that imbue story immortality.
An ‘Epic’ story has this for multiple POV with an over-arching ‘Grande Plot’.

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Protagonists need a goal, a mountain to cross

Protagonists need a goal, a mountain to cross.

(KL) We’re biologically designed to be egocentric. Thus survival is not a problem, it’s a given. It’s also why this conversation makes my left eye twitch:
KL: So what is your protagonist’s goal?
Writer: To survive.
KL: *face palm*

Here’s the deal. We ALL have a goal to survive. If, at the end of the day, I am not dead, I consider that a pretty good day. My genetic desire to survive is why I don’t take electrics in the bath, take up bear-baiting, or see how far I can drive backwards on a highway at 75mph. Survival isn’t interesting. Whatever threatens survival? That’s what’s interesting.

What did your character want before this event?
How is that threatened?
How will defeating the mountain get him closer to his goals?
How will being defeated by the mountain affect him?

Luke Skywalker did not have a goal of ‘survive this’, his goal was racing cars when not working on a farm. He had a far away dream of leaving his mudball and fighting for the ‘good guys’ – absolute fantasy – until his dad came looking for his sister’s droids…

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How much is too much mood-surfing?

If it took me 30 days to recover from two weeks of depression, what does it take to recover from a massive manic and psychotic episode?
It can take a year for some people. No one wants to hear this, but I believe we need to be honest with ourselves in order to survive bipolar disorder.
I recently banged through: 2014 Dad dies before Christmas, 2015 Moved to TX (late that year, recovering from it all), 2016 Hail destroys the house (six months later I’m getting back on track work/book 8600 new words), AND then 2017 Mom gets sick (and I add another anti-d), announces cancer at thanksgiving (still has a dramatic flair), gets all Kevorkian (did not need all that imagery), then cancer/starvation downhill quickly into 2018…
Not much left to do about anything but a purge of old, a completion of getting things back in order; a quick clean up and prepare for Lent – how? I’m not sure. People are handling the estate stuff and I worry.
Current mood is hypomanic (moderately ‘happier’), fighting off depression, oscillating between being pissed at something or happy about something. Worrying about the chasm of crappy emotion that splashes up a bit still as it settles.
Patience doesn’t come naturally for me. I tend to put myself down for not being able to work much these last few years, but man-oh-man, this is a darn serious illness. It’s stunning how something as simple as forcing myself up at an early hour leads to better overall “purposefulness” (persistence of willpower) to  the day…
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