Saturday, August 25, 2012


They say the devil finds work for idle hands and there's enough trouble in the world, so I'm keeping busy. Since deciding to write out my novel up to "the end" before trying to cut stuff, I've had no lack of people to run chapters past. This is a very good thing!

Computer with Tweetdeck by RoniLoren
(photo by Roni Loren/
Flickr WANA Commons)
My local writers' group meets weekly so I try to have a chapter ready for every Wednesday. My private queue at Critique Circle (CC) has chapters up for critiquing until I delete them, so there's less of a rush to get stuff posted there but keeping that up is ongoing as well. And I have one beta reader who I work with through email (quality over quantity: Teresa is really helpful!).

The nice (albeit sometimes confusing) thing about this is that editing for my local group and editing for my queue at CC overlaps, so that (for example) I get comments on Chapter 3 from my CC critters and I can tweak that before submitting it to my local group. My beta reader tends to get stuff last which means she gets things after I've gotten comments from two groups and have tweaked accordingly.

I'm also revamping my ponderous outline, begun when I was well into draft 1, as I tweak the chapters in draft 3.

And of course I post here every week, as well as posting here for Six Sentence Sunday. I have to say, I've found the format for Six Sunday really, really helpful. If you can only have six sentences in your story excerpt, they better be interesting ones! I love looking at a bunch of dialogue or a couple paragraphs and trying to figure out what it is I want to get across, and fit it into that restriction.

I'm going to bring it up to my local group and suggest that everybody take part of a scene from their own work and reduce it to a meaningful six sentences. With a bit of adjusting I think the technique could result in a great way to produce writing stripped of non-essentials. The adjusting comes in because you need to have a plot as well as a story, and those are not the same thing.

How about you? How are you keeping busy as another change of the season approaches?

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