This will be cool if I can make it happen

As you might have imagined, life has Gotten Busy, and it's going to stay busy until the end of the month. But today I was hanging out with the older niece, who is one of the beta readers for my YA book, and she brought up that she's started the book and is really enjoying it (although a couple of things confuse her--some I think will become clear as she reads on, but some I've taken note need to be clarified). She's very into drawing and is pretty good at it, so she started drawing things from the book. Seeing that, I mentioned to her that if she were to, say, produce maybe five or six illustrations of different scenes at various points in the book, they could very well wind up in the finished product.

She was really excited by the idea initially...but she's already developed some performance anxiety. Like, she runs track, but she won't go to track meets because it's too much pressure. (She's about the age I was when I quit performing on stage because I realized there were people out there in the audience, so I can relate). You could see an hour later that the Wow! stage was waning and the Oh crap! stage had begun. That actually makes me want her to do it more--I'd like to help her power past the intimidation stage of things just to show her that it can be done--but I may have to provide some additional motivation (most likely $$$) to make it happen.

Da plan

Right now with the YA book, I'm waiting on the beta readers, and (since I've got the cover done) there's not much for me to do until they finish up.

I don't know when they'll finish, though, and there's some other stuff going on that's interrupting my time. But I've got 30 chapters of Trials written, and they're rough drafts, so I think what I'll do is just start editing the earlier chapters. I actually kind of need to reacquaint myself with that book, since it's been a while, so this will hopefully kill two birds with one stone.

Progress report

Ugh--I tried to make a chapter ornament today (using the dragon from the cover), but it wound up being a surprisingly fiddly exercise that was not helped by the fact that I didn't get quite enough sleep last night. Some non-book stuff just came in the mail, so--I'm going to bail. I'll take another crack at it tomorrow, when hopefully I'll be better rested and things will come easier.

Progress report

Hey! I input the changes, did a spell-check, and printed out two copies for my beta readers. God, I've forgotten what a pain printing out book-length material can be--I'm ordering more toner....

And I tallied up the word count one more time: 45,700 words, which I think is good for this kind of book.

Progress report

I took a little trip to get some sun, and I also managed to, uh, stay cooped up inside in the dark and finish editing the YA book! (Do you get the feeling that my goals are sometimes kind of at odds with each other?)

I got back late last night and am still beat, so I'll probably input the changes tomorrow.

Progress report, and differing attitudes about beta readers

I've been editing the hard copy over the past couple of days--12 chapters done!

I had an interesting moment because, since this is a YA book, I wanted to have my 12-year-old niece give it a read (she's done this for other writers, so it's not a huge, weird pressure for her). So I asked my sister about it. My sister has been putting out books of her own these days, and it was kind of alarming how she was like, "Yes, she can beta it! And this person can beta it! And that person can beta it! And this other person can beta it! Oh, if we're going to have all these people beta it, we can't leave so-and-so out!"

Oh my God--I had to stop her. It's just the difference in process: My sister will take something that she doesn't consider really done and have a million people beta the crap out of it. She's totally fine with that and considers it completely necessary. I wait until I'm basically happy with the book, and then let a couple of people who I trust beta it. Really all I'm expecting them to do is catch things I've missed--like, oops, you never described your protagonist, or oops, you've got some crucial event happening offstage. I feel like if you invite in all and sundry, you'll wind up with people like--well, like me if you asked me to read over your romance novel. People whose input is Less Than Helpful.

I think part of it, too, is that (even though it's been taking me forever to get things done) I do like to be efficient. Waiting for an entire community to weigh in just seems like a big waste of time to me--they can do that after the book is published!

Progress report

Yes! Today didn't start out looking like it was going to be very productive (I was all like, "I've jinxed it!"), but then some time opened up and I was able to FINISH this last edit, as well as spell-check and print out the last few chapters! YAY!

Now I will read over the hard copy, make any changes, and see if I can't lasso in some beta readers!

Progress report

I didn't get a lot of sleep last night, so I just did some minor edits on the YA book, spell-checked, and printed out the first 19 chapters. The cool things is that I'm to the point where I'm about to bother with hard copies! There's only 5-6 chapters left to edit on the computer, so fingers crossed for tomorrow!

Progress report

I edited chaps 10-19--actually it was the old chaps 10-20, but I decided that chapters 19 & 20 would be better off combined.

It's going well! I've forgotten how much easier and more enjoyable this stage of things is....

Progress report

Things are calming down enough that I decided to read over the last few chapters of Trials. Uf, that's a much more complicated novel! I may need to read over it a bit more and give it some more thought--tomorrow's actually going to be busy, but hopefully I can get back writing on it soon.

Progress report

A couple of little things suggested themselves to me as needing fixing on the YA book, so I fixed them. Things are getting hectic again (and kudos to the house and car for picking THE BUSIEST time of year to have problems), so we'll see. If I was working in a vacuum, the reasonable thing to do would be to get back to writing Trials, but of course the entire reason I started editing the YA book was that I was too distracted to write. Fingers crossed that things slow down soon, anyway.

Progress report

I was able to work on the book! Yay! I finished editing the YA book, except that I'm not totally happy with it--the final chapter or two seem a bit rushed, so I want to go back and noodle with it a bit more.

Progress report

Today I edited another six chapters--it's really good and relatively clean. I'm kind of hoping that's because it took me longer to write, so I went over the material several times during that process. That would be the good version. It's either that or I've completely forgotten how to edit....

Anyway, yesterday after I posted I went back to work on the cover and did the text, which I tweaked a bit today as well. I like it--I wound up not using the lettering I thought I would, but I think it's cleaner. The title frames the dragon a bit and makes it stand out more, which is nice.