Tag Archives: revising

Remember when I was really good at blogging twice a week? I miss those days.

Time keeps flying! I had 4 different blog posts drafted in January and ran out of steam on all of them. Part of it is having to pay so much attention to politics right now–reading all the news and deciphering what the heck is going on in DC takes up a lot of time and energy (and is surely leading to stress that is not good for the baby).

Because yeah, this baby is due in like 3 weeks. WHAT. I can’t believe how quickly this time has gone by, or how lucky I have been. A lot of the pregnancy symptoms I expected to suffer through did not manifest, like heartburn and swollen ankles. It’s mostly been exhaustion, some carpal tunnel, and constant back pain/bladder pressure. There are some potential genetic health issues that we have to watch for, but there’s nothing we can check/do until he is actually here, so I have tried my best not to be overwhelmed with anxiety about it. (It’s difficult.)

Being pregnant is pretty magical when you aren’t overly sick. I first felt the baby’s movements while Jeff and I were eating at La Tolteca, our favorite little Mexican restaurant by our old college, so that felt special, haha. His kicks seem to have personality–like, he kicks when I haven’t eaten recently enough and he’s getting hungry, and he kicks whenever the Avett Brothers come on my Pandora or music shuffle (not sure if that means he loves them or hates them, but we’ll hope it’s love, since I think they’re awesome), and he freezes his kicks when it’s Daddy’s hand instead of mine. Stinker. I had also heard that when babies get hiccups you can feel them because of the shaky little rhythm. That’s what I woke up to on New Year’s Day! (And no, I did not drink champagne and get him drunk, haha. We subbed in ginger ale, so maybe that had enough bubbles to get him hiccuping.) He’s had hiccups just about once per day since then.

I’m really curious to see what he looks like, and really anxious now that it’s officially February… his due date month… when I can’t be in denial anymore. He has to come out! Eek! I hope that all goes well and I’m surrounded by skilled nurses and doctors. So much can go wrong for either of us, and I can’t imagine the devastation some families go through when they were instead expecting joy and celebration. Sigh. It’s all in God’s hands…

On the writing side of life, my NaNoWriMo 2016 project went well, and I am pleased with it… but also not certain if, even after extensive revision, it would really have an audience. A fantasy-style Jungle Book: is it for kids, YA, adults? I think I need to narrow my focus there before revisions will succeed. I also tried out a few different POV characters but I think one of them is getting chopped–it added words but not substance to the story. MAYBE my son will be a spectacular sleeper and I can finish the revision on my maternity leave! hahahahaha. Not likely. But I’ll keep my fingers crossed for that. :)

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Revisions

Basically all I’ve done with my life the past few days is attempt to revise Copper according to feedback I’ve been getting from my rejections. (I love non-silent, non-form rejections. They’re my new favorite thing, next to the gummy bears that I use to bribe myself. “Oh, you worked an hour? Have 3 gummy bears! That was 12. 15. STOP IT, CATHY.” Also a new favorite thing: Sylvia Plath’s quote “I love my rejection slips. They show me I try”).

Someone recommended looking at Blake Snyder’s “Save the Cat!” screenplay advice and adapting it for books. You can download his beat sheet for yourself here. He has the last page at 110, but I changed it to 100 and subtracted all the other pages a little bit to fit. That way, it works in percentages instead of page numbers, and I can load a draft onto my Kindle, flip through, and see where each “beat” falls using the percentages and what’s happening in the story then. (Another aside: I feel like a salesperson every time I say “my Kindle.” Does anyone mind? Is it more appropriate to say “my e-Reader” or something? Bah humbug).

ANYWAY. That was pretty revealing and gave me some ideas that I hadn’t been able to come up with just staring at the blank pages. My theme takes a little longer to build than it should; the thing that happens 10% in is a catalyst, but perhaps not the strongest one. If I rearrange things, I can switch it out for the stronger one and perhaps pick up the pace as I’ve been instructed. My “bad guys close in” happened at exactly 50% and that felt really rewarding, hahaha! After that, everything was right on pace, but I could use some “stakes raising” just to really beef it up: a deeper “dark night of the soul,” scarier actions from the antagonists, things like that.

The result on my delicate (ha) mind is mixed. On one side of the scale we see excitement and encouragement–I’ve got this! I’m mostly there! I have a salvageable manuscript!–and on the other side we have DESPAIR–OhGodIhavesomuchmoretofixandwriteandripapartandjustmakeitstopplease?

So yeah.

IN OTHER POSITIVE NEWS, I HAVE TRIED SIX DIFFERENT BRANDS OF GUMMY BEARS THIS SUMMER AND WOULD LIKE TO CALL MYSELF A GUMMY BEAR CONNOISSEUR.

I think I’ll make business cards.

If writing doesn’t work out, I’ll always have that.

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Filed under Writing