One Step Forward…

It’s been more than two weeks since I’ve graced you find readers with my presence.  I apologize. There has been tremendous progress since we lost spoke – of course the bulk of that involves wandering the wasteland of the Commonwealth searching for my Son.  Listening to some Diamond City Radio. – I really need to get back on track.

The presently titled “Waking Ambrose” has not only been submitted for consideration to Percy Janes First Novel Award – but I received correspondence from them confirming they received my submission. Now I wait till May to get my rejection – and adjudication.

I learned something new about the writing process and how my own psyche works.  After a grueling battle with a work in progress, I am quite likely to fall of the horse.  This is the second milestone I hit, the first was getting the third draft completed.

After both milestones I found it incredible difficult to return to a steady writing pace.  I even had to abandon my TurboWriMo, because by the time I finished my edits it was Nov 20th, and I wasn’t in a head space to pull off 5,000 words per day.

I’m going to keep this short. I just wanted to check in with you guys to remind you I’m still here.  Still working at it.  My time frame may have changed slightly and I need to do some digging into my schedule to see what my publishing dates are going to be – but that’s the point of putting it so far away isn’t it?

Anyway, the current word count on Krugers Part One is shy of 5,500 words.  It’ll be close to 7,000 before I call it a day.  So, hopefully within a week or so I’ll have a solid rough draft of this first novella to get some beta info about.

Thanks for not forgetting me people,
Cheers

Devin

 

*UPDATE*
Ladies and gentlemen, I am calling a day.  Just finished this writing session and wanted to post here that Krugers Part One is presently sitting at over 7,600 words.
Hell Yea.

 

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The Absolute Worst Aspect of Writing

Alright so I understand I’m still an aspiring author in every sense of the word.  I’ve adopted the mentality where I know I must act the part I hope to play, so I try not to make a lot of self-deprecating jokes regarding my progress.  This is more pertinent as an attempt to stay away from the deep self-reflecting – dare I say, emo – posts of the past.

Heroin X-X
Heroin X-X

I have an idea for an update where I was going to share the changes I’ve made in my tentative release schedule.  I don’t think Seth’s Novel or Dean’s will be among the first releases – depending on how Percy Jane shapes up.

To get to the whole point of this – and I apologize to those tired of hearing me be a little negative about things – I’ve been failing.  Failing so hard recently.  Last week I made a joke about how the time spent writing my entry could have been spent either editing or writing.  I still feel strong about having something new posted here once per week, give or take a few days.

I’ve been stuck and it only dawned on me today what has me in such a shape.  The absolute worst part of writing is the self-doubt

I would love to sit here and tell you, “my overnight job is so taxing and my sleeping is so out of whack it’s hard to find time to edit.”  – that’s bull.  I’ve sunk 20 hours into Fallout since picking it up five days ago.

Next up is the excuse, “Man, I just got Fallout 4.  What do you expect?  The game is absolutely amazing you’d be inhuman to not play it.”  – that’s not valid either.  Well yes, the game is amazing and I have been playing it, but it’s a symptom.  It’s not the cause.

Somewhere in the middle of this ditch-digging process of editing this manuscript I lost it.  I lost the confidence in my work, the chances of success, and more importantly the valuable time I have been wasting trying to see this come to light.

The thing is evidently self-doubt is very natural.  Everyone – even the well established – will feel it’s debilitating pressure.

I feel indebted to podcasts like the Dead Robots (and the Facebook community for it) for helping me stay focused for so long – it was only a matter of time before I hit this rut.

All is not lost though – I didn’t want to come on here and tell you all that I haven’t opened Scrivener in four days, and my NaNoWriMo project is still at zero words on Day 15.  At least, I didn’t want to do that and leave it at that.

I made sure to edit another chapter in the manuscript before writing this.  You know what? It felt good.  I think this self-doubt in the end was as much about being burned out than anything else.  I was plugging away for 5-8 hours every day and it got to be a little much.

So thanks for sticking out through the post, next week I’ll fill you all in more on what I project my release schedule will look like in 2016.

November Goals – To be completed before November 30th
Edit the final seven chapters of Seth’s manuscript
Win NaNoWriMo – 50,000 words done on Kruegers.

Yeah, Writer’s Life!
Cheers
~Devin

NaNoProgress – The Hypocritical Rant!

This November I find myself lacking.  There are two things I desperately wish I could find over the next twenty two days – words and time.

time_by_vive_le_rockOf course I will explain it to you all in somewhere between 300-600 words, and burn at least thirty minutes.  So I’m spending potential words and a measure of time to proclaim to the world how I am so frustrated by the lack of time I have available and the absent of words on the page.

Hence calling this a hypocritical rant. – the lantern has been hung, shall we continue?

November 20th  approaches rapidly and I find myself still more than 20k words away from finishing his editing pass of Seth’s novel.  God’s sake, I still don’t even have a title yet.  At this point I am starting to come to grips I won’t get another pass at this.  I intended to make a final pass for polish and nit picking, but that doesn’t seem possible.  I’m struggling to finish this pass in time.

I’ve learned a valuable writing lesson.  It is rather unfortunate it must be in the final days before I need to submit the project, but I learn a lot about my common mistakes.  The punctuation around dialog tags, my insistence to put that in every sentence… I think further work should be at least moderately cleaner.

That’s really the whole point of all this isn’t it?  Writing and reading are the only two sure ways to improve the craft, and that’s exactly what I’m doing.  I’ve managed to come through this process with a couple of lessons.  It’s not just about my mistakes, but I have a much better indication for how long I need to allocate for the editing process.

So all in all, as mind numbing and soul draining as the last couple weeks have been, I’m still making progress.

The main casualty of this lesson is my NaNoWriMo project.  It’s eight days into the thirty day month and I sit at a staggering zero words.  It’s disappointing, witnessing the rising counts of my writer buddies doesn’t help.  Alas I still feel capable and up to the task.

There’s no point in setting easy goals you know you can do without a struggle.  At the risk of sounding arrogant, NaNoWriMo itself was never going to be a difficult exercise.  To win you need to write 1,667 words per day for thirty days.  Well my average is over 3k.  This delay in my NaNo beginning just makes it a more difficult challenge to aim for, without being out of the realm of possibility.

For me NaNoWriMo will be half the time, so it shall be renamed TurboNoWriMo.

I know initially it sounded like I was losing my mind, but it’s not the case;  okay, well not entirely.  I’m feeling the grind of this editing process and the pressure of the deadline looms, but that’s what being a writer is all about isn’t it?

As grueling as this whole ordeal feels I still get a small feel of accomplishment as I finish each chapter and I imagine it’ll feel terrific after the final one is complete.

I have to get back to work. Words and time are precious commodities this time of the year – so I hope you guys appreciate that you’re important enough to me to spend at least a part of it on you. 😉

Cheers
Devin

The Logical Next Step – The Road To The Publish Button!

Before getting involved in this mess I underestimated the obligations one must accept on the road to being a published author.  I knew there was more than simply writing, but I did not comprehend the sheer weight of the rest.

I finished the first strunkOptimizeddraft of Dean’s novel.  It weighs in at a little over 86K. Although I know there’s a hell of a lot I need to fix with it, I am so damn proud of it.  At the risk of sounding as though I’m developing a large head, I can feel how much I’m improving.  This craft of writing is becoming getting more refined with every outing.

That being said, I was not prepared for the required energy for the editing process.  Now that Dean’s draft is done and shelved for the immediate future I have turned to Seth’s novel.  I have to get this polished and edited to submit to Percy Janes in November.

It turns out that it takes me about twice as long to edit a chapter as it took me to write it.  It’s become a daily grind such that I’m looking even more forward to NaNoWriMo and to get started on Krugers.

I can’t imagine I will feel less drained when I start having to write and edit on the same day until it’s done.  I may need to let NaNo fall behind for the first half.  It’s okay though I feel I write fast and prolific enough that I’ll hit at least 50K by November 31st.

If you’re an aspiring author and working the grind of editing, then shall I make a recommendation for you.  Go to EditMinion.com and use it to help.

It’s a great tool.  It won’t help plot holes, or even grammar and spelling, but it will highlight when you’re using a single word too often, and it will draw attention to all your adverb usage and examples of passive voice (both should be limited)

It’s been a valuable ally in my current project, and I know it can be for you to.

Well, that’s about it.

Seth’s Novel – Being Edited (Starting Chapter 9 when I finish this post.)
Dean’s Novel – Rough Draft finished, awaiting editing in December.
Krugers – A few beats outlined, but highly anticipating the start of November to dive into this one.

~Cheers
Devin

On To The Next One!

It has been approximately thirty seven days since I finished the draft of my first novel.   I have been working on it for about three years give or take and there is still a decent amount of editing and polish left to apply before I call it a finished product.

When I started this whole thing I was so green to the process, I would hear someone say they spent three years writing a novel and think there was absolutely nothing wrong with it.  In fact if you’re strictly in it for the craft and you’re trying to write your magnum opus only intending to publish a single work in your lifetime, then sure go for it.

Just don’t get the idea that you’re the next Harper Lee who can write a single novel and live on its success for a lifetime.  It doesn’t happen that way.  The odds are firmly stacked against you.

If you want to make a living in the trenches putting out genre fiction then three years is a time frame which guarantees writing will remain a hobby forever.  Unless you hit the lottery and your book goes viral you are not going to make a sustainable living.  You are not the next E.L James who will strict it big modifying your fan fic.

Hell even if you are the next E.L James, you still can’t get into this with that attitude.  It’s not feasable.

I am ecstatic to write that as of October 25th, 2015.  Thirty seven days since completing the previous draft of my first novel, so realistically we’re talking abotu thirty four days since I started writing this work – I am finished the first draft.

It’s beyond exciting because not only have I finished the draft with enough time to mentally prepare for NaNoWriMo, but I have six days that I can sink completely into the polish and editing of the first novel – including deciding on a title for it.

November 20th, I will be submitting that first novel for Percy Jane First Novel Award, it needs to be great and having a week long buffer before beginning my NaNoWriMo project is certainly a huge help towards that goal.

If I can keep up this pace I know I’ll be able to hit my deadline.  I should be ready to announce some publication dates by the end of February, with enough of a back log prepared for release that 2016 is going to be a very busy year for me.

As 2015 comes to a close I finally get the feeling that I’m not just running on a treadmill, I’m actually getting some mileage on these plans.  Let’s hope I can keep up the face and by February you’ll know exactly when you can expect my first e-book to show up on Amazon.

Cheers

~Devin
E-Mail: Devinleenl@gmail.com
Twitter: @shallopNewf
Facebook: Coming In February!

Mailing List To Come Soon As Well

Does It Get Any Better?

I’m not going to lie this entry is probably going to be a little more fluff than normal.  There isn’t really any major news to report on in my personal or writing life, but I have every intention of keeping this blog as current as possible so here we go.

passion_weight__by_m0thyykuThere’s a certain feeling of euphoria surging through me as I arrive at Tim Horton’s with my laptop to start today’s writing session.  Truth be told I’m pretty significantly behind where I want to be with the current projects, it looks like I’ll still be editing Seth’s novel during November.

I was hoping I wouldn’t have to divide my time so much during NaNoWriMo, but I really don’t feel comfortable leaving Dean’s story cold for a full month and trying to finish the rough draft in December.

This week had a zero word day but I allocated that time to see the Attack On Titan movie at Cineplex. There was only one showing on one day, so it had to be done.

It befuddles my mind why it took so long for me to dive head first into the writing world, I’ve never felt like this about anything I’ve ever done.  Just sitting down at the booth, opening the laptop and my exercise book with notes in it, and popping the tab on my coffee cup have given me this warm fuzzy feeling.

Starting a writing session is a high unlike anything else I’ve experienced in my life, and embarrassingly enough I have a lot of alternatives to compare it to.

Presently I’m still waiting to finish the rough draft of Dean’s Novel so I can get to the edits on Seth’s.  I’m still hoping to get those edits done before November 1st to offer all my attention to my NaNoWriMo serial project.

Dean’s novel just popped over 75,500 words and I’m hoping I’ll be bringing it to a close within the next couple of days.  It’s only moderately behind schedule, but between sick and other obligations there were a few set backs.  All in all I’m confident I’ll still be hitting my goals.

Also a very rough outline of the Krugers serial got plotted while at work last night, I assume I’ll put a little more effort into that tonight, getting more characters created and establishing more rules for what these characters can do.

It’s quite an exciting time.  The best part of it all is that this is basically the norm, there will always be new projects coming up and new ideas to flush out and work on.  I love this whole process.

My seriously regret not giving this a serious run years ago.
Anyway, enough ramblings, I need to try and hit 78K on Dean’s novel before work tonight.

Cheers,
~Devin
E-mail: devinleenl@gmail.com
Twitter: @shallopnewf
Facebook: Coming Soon…

P.S:  I am presently only finished the first chapter but I feel the need to spread the word anyway.  Betty Rocksteady, another Atlantic Canadian author has just released her book “Arachnophile” – published under Eraserhead for their Bizarro Author series.

From my best assertion this story is a paranormal, horror-ish love story.  A man having troubles with his wife falls in love with the girl next door – who happens to be a giant spider.

Like I said, I’m only a chapter in but I’ve read a some of Rocksteady’s flash fiction and know how twisted of a mind she has when it comes to her writing.  I’m looking forward to reading the rest and I think you all should check it out too.

Click Here to Buy
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UPDATE

After the aforementioned writing session I just crossed the 80,000 word count. There’s three chapters left to write and I’ll be putting this to bed.  I’m projecting if I can get a good session in I can finish Dean’s novel as early as tomorrow, Oct 25th, or the next day at the latest Oct 26th.

Eff Ya!

Say G’bye Twenties… “Good Bye Twenties!”

Greetings and salutations ladies and gentlemen,

I apologize for the delay in getting a new post up but this week has been pretty hectic.  I’m not one for excuses, but in saying there here’s my excuses:happy_birthday_by_alexiuss-d46w91y

I was out of action for two days with the most violent stomach bug I’ve ever contracted, strangely enough it only lasted for two days but it was enough to floor me.  This week has three zero word days and I’m not pleased about that.

Aside from the bug yesterday I made a conscious decision that I would spend my normal countless hours on the keyboard trying to make up my lost word count; since it was the first day of my thirties.

That’s right as of Saturday, October 17th, I am 30 years old.

I understand some of you may be older than that but I just don’t want to deal with that right now.  I keep thinking back to when I was a kid and was always convinced that I would Chris Farley myself and be around much later than my thirties so I’ve had many years of building fear of this decade.

Of course, I’m not going to sit back and just let that happen.  After going to my sister’s house tonight to see my parents, I begin considering my health as important as my writing from here on out.

I was let loose on this world thirty years ago yesterday, and well I plan to start a writing career that should flow through the next thirty years.  There’s a lot of work to do and it’s time to get down and do it… tomorrow.  Tonight is for nachos & cake.

Almost every year of this blog I’ve made some kind of post on my birthday itself telling everyone how “things are going to be different” and “I’m putting my foot down, Change Now!”  – And recently every year I’ve been actually drawing attention to that trend.

The end of 2015 and the birth of my thirties I think will remembered as when I finally got my shit together.  Truth be told, the last few months leading up to this I’ve felt like I’ve got a lot together, but we’re talking about birthday milestones here.

As for where my writing progress stands at the moment, I’m pretty optimistic in spite of this week having a few set backs.

I presently stand a hair over 62,000 words on the first draft of Dean’s Novel.  The end is in sight and I am pretty sure I have the beats in my head for how the rest of this story goes, so it’s getting pretty exciting to write.

The other night an aspect of this story dawned on me that damned near broke the whole thing and is going to make the revision process so much of a pain the ass both for Dean’s Novel and Seth’s.

Speaking of Seth’s I’m still holing out hope that I’ll be able to finish this draft of Dean’s novel in time to make a couple of fresh eyed editing passes of Seth’s.  That needs to be submitted for Percy Janes in the middle of November which means I need it done before since I’ll be hot and heavy into NaNoWriMo by then.

If the schedule stays true I still have seven days to finish this draft of Deans story, that will give me a full week to dedicate to polishing Seth as much as I can before submitting him.  I’m excited for that contest, the novel will get critical feedback win or lose.  With no entry fee how could I not enter?

The other news on my ditch digging is that I have almost completely decided on my idea for NaNoWriMo and I’m going to be writing in a different format, yet again.  Seth’s novel was a straight first person linear story, Dean’s is a three POV non-linear tale, and I suspect my Kruger story is going to actually be written as a multi-installment serial.

By the end I hope to be able to bring them all together and make a 80-100K word novel, but I will be doing so in a format of writing them at 7-10 installments.  Meaning there will be a soft beginning middle and end in an episodic fashion, while still trying to make it feel like one cohesive story when combined.

Ambitious for unpublished aspiring writer but hey, that’s kind of what NaNoWriMo is all about isn’t it?  Experimentation and testing your limits?  Will it be gold or non-publishable shit?  We’ll find out in December I guess.

Anyway, that’s basically it for now.

By the time I come here to write my post about turning thirty-one I intend to finally break the cycle of “this will be my year” kind of posts and finally be able to give you all my first celebratory, “I finally did it” posts.

October 17th, 2016 – I plan to announce being in the best shape of my life, and at least able to announce that I have a couple of books up for sale.  I’m not greedy I don’t want to be making Terry Mixon money quite yet, but I want to at least have a professional looking product that is respected by the few people who do pick it up.

Wish me luck folks,
Cheers.
~Devin

Mail at: devinleenl@gmail.com