There and Back and Gone Again

I know the blog has been more silent than usual this last month or so. I've been doing a lot of traveling. Two weeks back in the States was just enough time to get a houseful of stuff loaded onto a truck, drive it all back East, unload it, paint the storage shed, do some shopping, and then fly back to Ecuador.

After two weeks home, I'm off again on Thursday, but this time to London. My wife has two weeks of training there, so I'm going along to, um, carry her bags. :)

Getting It Done

I feel like my revisions have been an exercise in two steps forward and one step back. Especially in the area of word count. My goal was to shave about 35,000 words off this manuscript to get it down to a more realistic publishable length.

I've also realized that I needed a few chapters inserted to improve the pacing. Some I've known were needed for a long time and some became apparent during the re-read. The good news is I'm really pleased with my new chapters/sections. The bad news is they're eating away at my word cut progress!

Adjusting the Flow

I’m hip deep in editing/revising part three and I found a new challenge: story flow.

To paraphrase Frank Herbert (bastardize really), the story must flow.

No, I haven’t just discovered that magical pace where the story clips along (or doesn’t), but this is the first time the Point of View characters are not all in the same place.

The Hate Stage of Love

I’m at the stage of my revision where I hate my book. No, that’s not true. I hated it months ago. But then I read a part that makes me smile or a section that I had forgotten, and all the banging my head on my keyboard is suddenly worth it.

In my daily quest to procrastinate from picking apart yet another scene to find places to cut, I got caught up reading Patrick Rothfuss’ blog.

His post last fall titled Everyone Hates Their Job Sometimes really hit home with me today.

Now, if I could only make this a paying gig, I could call this an actual job…

Value of a Good Critique Group

I may have blogged about this in the past, but as I’m poring over comments I’ve gathered from my critique over the years, I’m reminded how crucial a good critique group is to making a novel a success.

What is a good critique group?

Let me first describe what I consider a poor critique group: a gathering of people who want to write but are more interested in building themselves up than helping the others. Even one selfish member can poison the entire group.

Easily Distracted

Since being laid off last month, I've made some good progress on editing/rewriting my manuscript. Except for the end of the first act, which I've had to overhaul. It's still kicking me in the rear, though I think I'm close now.

Even so, I find that I'm very easily distracted these days. I'll spend hours looking at Monster.com and other such sites. Then I'll tinker with the graphics for my website, which is getting a little overhaul soon (mostly back end, but the look is going to be tweaked). Occasionally, this sin called Lord of the Rings Online beckons. Then I remember what I'm supposed to be doing since I don't have a "real" (ie paying) job.: Finishing Echoes of Truth so I can start working on The Condottiere.

What's my distraction today?

Revision Update

Has it really been a month since I finished the first draft?

I’ve made good progress on my revisions, but not as much as I had hoped (the real story of my writing life, it seems.). I’ve imputed edits for eleven chapters and finished my complete rewrite of chapter one. The first two chapters got scrapped and redone from scratch with new scenes to better introduce the characters and plot. Chapter two is still coming along. It’s too much explanation of the plan right now. I need to add more conflict.

First Draft Is Done

I’ve been waiting a long time to say that.

For too many years, I was “writing” a novel, when I really meant I was daydreaming about having finished a novel. At long last, I’ve joined the 1%, the percentage of people who start writing a book and actually finish it.

It feels good.

Keeping Your Promises

I've seen a lot of discussion on a few writer forums lately about frustrations over their endings. What do you do when you get to a point in your story --The End-- and it feels flat? Or your first readers don't get it? And the hardest question is: What do you do about it?

And if you think this post is about you, it's not. :) And not you either.

Unfortunatly, I don't have the answer, at least, I don't have it spelled out succinctly as a few guys I started listening to this week.

Into the Groove

Well, I finally got into Nashlin's head and wrote nearly two thousand words before lunch. My break to eat was timed perfectly between the two phases of the chapter, with our heroes emerging from their escape and then turning toward their destination.

As a little Easter egg, I've named their destination after my critique group: The Silver Griffin. :)

Recent News

May, 24 2016

Please, hold the door!

I'm both stunned and slightly embarrassed by all the attention this week, but welcome new visitors! Make yourself at home.

My thoughts behind my 2008 joke/prediction/guess can be found on my Blog.

Thanks again for stopping by!

About the Author

While reading The Fellowship of the Ring at the age of twelve, Stuart A. Etter was told by his teacher that he should be reading shorter books. Undaunted, he finished the trilogy and promptly moved on to other novels ranging from fantasy/sci-fi to historical fiction to horror to thrillers.

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Damion rubbed the dull ache of age from his hands. Countless years wielding a sword had conditioned his tendons and muscles, but time had worn them down, replacing strength with chronic pain. Closing his eyes, Damion dreamed of his youth. Battle and victory marked most of his memories, but darker images tainted his successes, reminding him of his one...