More Shakespeare

My binge is complete.  I have everything finished, I’m caught up in the class, and my grades are pretty damn good.  Hallelujah!

In other news, I’ve had an 8-10 page essay assigned for Victorian Literature that is due–you guessed it–right in the middle of Nanowrimo.  That might very well kill me.  On the plus side, it’s just an analysis, no research involved.  (I can’t even begin to describe how much I hate research papers.)

On the writing front, I’ve finished rewriting The Recruited up through chapter ten.  I’m also about a day away from finishing prompt #47 Crime in the 100 Prompts Challenge, which I’ve been working on since the earth cooled.  (Seriously.  It feels like that long.)  

That’s the good news.  The bad news is that chapter eleven is way too long to rework in three days, unless I’m going to kick my own ass and really get it done.  I also don’t want to start another prompt in the challenge right before Nanowrimo, so that’s out.  I suppose I could work on The Lost, but I’m kind of burned out on actually coming up with new prose for that universe, and I have a feeling I’ll feel a lot more inspired after I spend a month working on something else. 

Now the question is:  what am I going to write between now and Nanowrimo???  I mean, I know it would be a really good idea to wait until the contest starts Sunday night and just not do anything between then and now, but . . . I don’t know if I can do the not-writing thing.  That would be a first. 

Oh well.  Three days until the Nanowrimo kick-off party!  Cannot freaking wait!

Writing and Shakespeare

I’ve been doing a ton of writing lately, to the point where it’s become hard for me to focus on homework and, you know, practical things.  I’ve finished writing chapter thirteen of The Lost, which was super difficult because of the subject matter.  I seem to be writing a fair amount of scenes with violence or torture, which is crazy to me, considering I can barely watch those things in movies or on TV without cringing.  I’ve been trying to make them as not gory as possible, by only describing the details that are necessary, but I have a feeling I will be cutting back when I edit.

I’ve also gotten up to the rewrite of chapter seven, which I should be done with today.  I’m trying to cut as I go, but I’ve found that it’s a lot easier to go back once the chapter is finished and cut things out.  It takes longer than I would’ve liked.  I should probably get caught up on that, although it’s still tempting to save everything for the end when the book is done being rewritten and just cut all at once.  That’s probably what I’ll do.

In other news, I finished posting my first original novel "Back to Roots" to  a few days ago.  It’s crazy to me, because I’ve been posting that story for about as long as I’ve been on that community.  Next up is the sequel, once it’s completely edited.  However, I am still tempted to rewrite both of those in their entirety.  I don’t think I’m ready to let that story die yet.

School is kicking my ass this week.  I’m on a total Shakespeare binge, reading Henry IV Part 2 and writing questions, skimming Henry V and writing questions, rehearsing for our performed scene from Henry V every day before class (think 8:00 in the morning), and . . . starting my paper.  I have a 5-7 page essay to do on Henry V before next Wednesday.  I have not gotten as much of a jump on that as I would’ve liked. 

That being said:  "I know the disciplines of the war.  And there is an end." 
 

Friday! And more rewrites!

So, my week is officially over, and in spite of having been awakened at seven so I could work out Shakespeare stuff at, oh, 8:15 in the morning, I’m in a pretty good mood.  I’ve been steadily churning out homework since I got home at 10:45 or so, which is both great and completely necessary.

This weekend I’m not going to be able to have my Sunday catch-up day, because I will be in a different city with the boyfriend celebrating his mother’s wedding.  (She’s actually getting remarried today, but the reception and fun stuff will be on Sunday.)  This gives me the perfect excuse to dress up and look pretty, see my boyfriend dress up and look . . . handsome, and take lots of pictures.  I’m pretty excited, but of course that means I have to have the homework done. 

Especially since I have another Shakespeare practice at 8:30 in the morning the following Monday, followed by another four and a half hours of class.  *sigh*  I hate Mondays.  

On a more writerly note, I rewrote chapter two of the Recruited–which I still feel is too long, but that’s what the final edit is for–and finished chapter twelve of book three in the Nowhere to Hide trilogy.  That story is tentatively titled The Lost.  I’m not sure how I feel about it yet, but it needs a title.  I can’t just keep titling my documents "New Story 1, 2 . . . etc." 

Today, I need to edit a Spanish essay, which shouldn’t take more than a couple minutes, edit the workshop pieces for my translation seminar, journal and, on a more pleasant note, catch up on Castle.  Oh, and apply for a seasonal job at Kohls so I might actually have some money coming in. 

Time to get back to work. 

The Chapter One Rewrite

So, much to my own shock and surprise, I’ve already rewritten chapter one of The Recruited, which is the first novel in my Nowhere to Hide trilogy.  It literally got done on top of my character journal entries last Friday night/Saturday morning.  I think I wrote over seven thousand words on Friday, which resulted in my staying up until one in the morning that day.  I was up at nine on Saturday morning, during which time I finished rewriting chapter one.

Finally, I feel like I might be satisfied enough with it to be able to send it out after one more major round of editing.  (Of course, I’m getting way ahead of myself here.)  I rewrote something like the first six pages of the chapter, and omitted a bunch of sentences from the rest, all while turning it into third person from first.  (You can see why I felt like my brain might have been frying itself towards the end of the night.) 

However, I feel like anyone reading the story would know a lot more about Naomi–my protagonist–and her motivations, as well as her relationship with Tom.  Which, when you think about it, are the two things which are supposed to kick off the story.  I am super proud of myself, because I’ve never done that much editing/rewriting/cutting with any other project of mine, and I can see why everyone raves about it.  

It felt absolutely fantastic. 

News about my Novel

Since the start of this school year, I have been doing an independent study project with a T.A. and member of a graduate writing program to workshop last year’s Nano novel in the hope of making it ready for publication.  (Just thought I’d like to mention that, unlike many Nano participants, I did outline this project, so even though it was sloppy, it did have a discernible plot.)  đŸ™‚

On Tuesday of this week, I met with the woman who had been reading my novel for a month and a half and we talked for about forty-five minutes about what worked and what didn’t.  She had done line edits on most of the manuscript, and written me a three page letter, agent/editor style.  I really appreciated that.

Here’s the run-down on what did and didn’t need fixing.

The good:  Good dialogue, very snappy.  More showing than telling.  The story arcs in each scene, chapter, and the piece as a whole were good, and made her want to read on.

The things that needed work:  An emotional arc.  The feeling that the characters evolve internally as people and are not just acted upon by happenstance.  An internal flaw for my protagonist, something that drives and hinders her and affects her actions throughout the story.  Too many awkward words that threw off the voice–queried, inquired, etc. 

And the biggest fix, the one that will be the hardest and I think, the most rewarding? 

Apparently, I need to switch the POV.  I was told that in first person, which my novel is currently in, you have to spend a ton of time developing voice, and making sure your characters sound unique.  I didn’t manage to achieve that, but she did tell me I had a lot of beautiful language that would make the story work really well in third close/third omniscient. 

So, it appears that I have a lot of rewriting to do.  I’ve been writing outside of the story per suggestion, doing journal entries for each of the characters who shows up more than once.  Mini-biographies will probably come after that.  

I’ve set a goal for myself that I want to have this rewritten and ready to query by summer.  The other parts of that goal include finishing this year’s Nano novel either during November, or by the end of my Christmas break, and finishing the third book in the Nowhere to Hide trilogy by the end of the school year.  (The first book in the Nowhere to Hide trilogy is the one this whole post–practically–is about.)

Think I can do it?  We’ll just have to wait and see.