07 June, 2015

The muse is strong with this one . . .

*blows out air*

I am tired.

It's been a long, long trip from February to now, but I have written and revised the first draft of Tragedy of Ice, and now it's time that I sit on it and let it simmer and mature before going back to tackle the second draft.

The final word count this round came out to 121,919 words. That's a lot. That's a LOT more than Uncertain Heirs, even. But I won't let the word count intimidate me. It's a big manuscript, but it's a quick read.

Which means I will have to slow down for the editing. First revisions meant I was packing in information for clarity. This time I'll have to slow down to address character development, plot holes, consistency (you know, the nitty-gritty of making sure someone's designated broken limb doesn't change between chapters from their left to their right, or something similar), etc. So to be able to do that, I have to distance myself from the writing so it's like brand new material when I sit down to comb through it.

"So what do you do in the meanwhile?" you might ask.

Well, assorted things, really. I've been doing character sheets for my four main characters: Kadiza, Franklin, Hipólito, and Suresh. I've finished Kadiza's and Franklin's, and I'm working my way through Hipólito's. I had hoped to get to Suresh's this weekend, but it doesn't look like that'll happen. After I finish the main four, I'm planning to do character busts for the others mentioned throughout the novel, if only so they can have faces, at least.

And of course: notation. Making running notes of the manuscript is going to be the biggest help. I use OneNote for all my note-taking needs, but I have a copy of Scrivener now, so I'll be playing with it to see if I want to change over. Basically, I make my notes as I read through the manuscript, keeping quick references for characters, settings, motifs, themes, etc.

Something else that I'm trying new this time is to write "behind the scenes" bits (mainly for my benefit) to see what happens in the interim between chapters. Keeping in mind that this story is told from alternating POVs for Kadiza and Franklin, there's a lot of information that doesn't make it into the manuscript, so to make sure I keep the alluded-to knowledge accurate and consistent, I'm writing them out in hardcopy form so they're not running together in my brain.

Because that does happen. I sometimes think of things that overlap after awhile, and I forget the chronology, so it's best to start writing these things down now.

And so I won't keep you, I'm going to get back to the world building. So I'll see you all again soon!

Cheers!

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Ash Litton

Ash Litton is a writer and lover of sci-fi, fantasy, and all things fictional. She is the author of No Signal, Thoroughbred, Evening Hallow, Comeuppance, and Cabover Cabaret, and works on other Appalachian Dream Tales between her ongoing novel projects.

When she's not writing, she's drawing, and when she's not doing either of those, she's dreaming up new projects to work on. Born and raised in rural West Virginia, Ash has always wondered what things lay hidden in the hills around her. She attended West Virginia University, where she studied the English language before returning home to her family in rural West Virginia.