Formating

Hello all. I’m back once more. Here we go.

So as you may know, if you’ve been following this blog, I’m editing the latest book. As I do so I’m also working on formating it for readability, and attempting to match it to other books. Not so much because I’m trying to conform, though I am, but more to make it match up with other books in the genre I’m writing in for readability purposes.

I’ve only noticed that it’s not always such with other genre’s of writing because a friend of mine wrote a book as well. When I was reading it I noted how it did not follow the rules that I had been using, and wasn’t like anything else I’ve read. Now this could be because I’m used to a certain style, or it could be that I’m unfamiliar with other was of writing a story. But to each their own.

I bring this up simply because I happen to find the formating that I’m used to more readable. Hence why I tend to use said formating in my own books. Of course I’m not infallible, but I do my best to make sure the audience can understand who is speaking, and what is going on around said character(s).

But of course there are times when the intent is to mislead the audience. Doing so to give them more of a sense of tension, or to confuse them because of narrative necessities. It also matters what tense or perspective you are using.

As is the case in the genre I write in the most common perspective is 3rd person, with 1st person being a close second contender. Those often times are the easiest to write for, as you know who is telling the story, or you are given an all-seeing eye that can talk about multiple perspectives. Not often are they mixed, nor is any other style usually employed. But of course all things are left up to the writer.

I’ve seen such mixings used to share information, but not as often. Mostly when a story is being told inside a story. Flashbacks can, and often do use this type of shifting narrative. But if it is not outlined to the reader, it can lead to confusion.

But back to formating, mostly I’m referring to breaking the story apart into readable paragraphs. If they go on too long the reader may lose interest, even if they easily read the same number of words if they were broken apart. I’ve noticed this in myself, and have noted how my eyes only want to scan a few lines at a time. Though, amusingly enough there are books composed of a single run-on sentences. Though I wouldn’t recommend. I assume you’d have to do so with the first person perspective if you were to do so, but as usual, it’s up to the writer. You’d certainly increase your words per page if you were to only write using a single sentence.

However, the best piece of advice that I’ve ever received, and still work on today, is breaking my paragraphs up. Early on in this blog I would write perhaps a paragraph or two. The post would be something around 1,000 words, and would look like a huge chunk of text. A friend took a look at them, and complained that it wasn’t readable, and explained that there was no need to keep them in such large chunks.

Taking note of his complaint, I scoured the Internet, and reviewed in my head many things I had read up to that point. And he was correct, I too didn’t want to sit down and read a paragraph that went on for pages. And from then on I did my best to break things up. Finding spots where my subject changed, or where I had changed from one side of an argument to another.

And this is where you find me today. Still remembering that lesson, and still attempting to make what I write into readable chunks instead of large run-on paragraphs. I thank them for that lesson, it has made a world of difference.

And with that, I shall leave you until next time. I hope you all have a good week, and may your stories be readable.

What I’ve published

Walk On

Walk On Cover

click here for a link to the book

Outsider Trilogy

Outsiders-Book-Cover-RGB-web-safe

Click here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

Link to my author page on Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Steven-Oaks/e/B00MEGSEZ6

Link to the Deathship book in the CreateSpace store – https://www.createspace.com/5023771

Or you can help me out on Patreon. Again, thank you. https://www.patreon.com/StevenOaks

Update: An estimated 60% into editing

Steven Oaks

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Kindle Unlimited

Greetings friends and readers, those not being mutually exclusive. I’m back once more.

So it’s been yet another week, and I’ve finally made the jump into the monthly all you can read option on Amazon. They had a sale, and I couldn’t see a downside considering how much I’m currently reading.

I’d been spending entirely too much of my paycheck every week on yet more books, but now I have an all you can eat option. So far I’ve only grabbed a couple of books, but it will certainly pay for itself by comparison. It’s nice to “own” a digital copy that I can pull up anytime I want, but mostly I’m just here to consume and add to my metal collection.

Previously I’d want to go out and buy a physical copy, but since space is limited now, and I’d already had to pare down the several hundred books I owned, it would be silly to continue that practice. And while I enjoy the reading experience from the Google Play store more, there are benefits to Amazon. One being of course the all you can read option. The other being that it is connected with Goodreads.

When you finish a book it automatically comes up with the option to score what you’ve read. Yes it does so on Amazon, but it also feeds back into Goodreads, which I’ve been using longer than I’ve been downloading digital books. While I may not have every book listed there that I’ve read, it does have a fair amount. More so things I started with and more recent titles. Those that I read in my early 20’s may be lacking, as I don’t think I’ve recalled them all, but there are still a number that I had, and have scored.

I think it makes for an interesting list of data. To me to look back upon, and for anyone interested in knowing my likes and dislikes. Though I don’t think I’ve scored anything I’ve fiercely hated, as I generally stop reading those. I can only recall a couple of books like that though, others I’ve put on my to finish list. Who knows if I’ll go back now as I’m ready to be a glutton with all the books that Amazon can give me now.

Also this will give me an incentive to read new authors. Before I’d only read books from people I knew, and had enjoyed previously. This of course in an attempt to waste money purchasing a book I didn’t like. But now I can grab something new without fear of wasting money. If I don’t like it, it’s not a huge deal, and I can move on to something different.

I’ve been relatively lucky in picking books, and only recently found something I didn’t particularly like. Too late had I spent money on it, but it resides mostly unread. Otherwise, every book I’ve read has been at least decent.

Of course my scoring is from my perspective. It’s a mix of how well written something is, usually how the use of language is utilized. Then how interesting the story is, and lastly how much I enjoyed it overall. Some books can hit the language and interesting elements and get good scores, even if I didn’t enjoy them over much. But if you hit the enjoyment button, well you’re gonna get a good score usually no matter what. But if you hit all three, well you’re going to get a perfect score, aren’t you?

That all being said, I’m feeling good, and this book is getting edited at a steady pace. I hope you have an enjoyable week, and I’ll talk to you next time.

What I’ve published

Walk On

Walk On Cover

click here for a link to the book

Outsider Trilogy

Outsiders-Book-Cover-RGB-web-safe

Click here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

Link to my author page on Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Steven-Oaks/e/B00MEGSEZ6

Link to the Deathship book in the CreateSpace store – https://www.createspace.com/5023771

Or you can help me out on Patreon. Again, thank you. https://www.patreon.com/StevenOaks

Update: An estimated 55% into editing

Steven Oaks

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Just a short post

Hello all. I’m back again.

I’m at a loss about what to talk about today. Sure I’ve done some editing, but there’s nothing much to mention about it. Mostly it was me moving around commas and deleting extra spaces here and there. Other than that and me working additional hours over the weekend there isn’t much to say.

I mean I could say that I had to change my sleep schedule, and I’m still in the process of getting back to my normal night shift mentality because of it. Perhaps that’s another reason I can’t think of much to talk about. It can take me weeks to feel normal again after such a shift, but hopefully I’ll be alright after I take a nap after I finish writing this blog post.

I’ve read a couple of books, watch a bit of Star Trek TOS, continued watching whatever random anime I’m following this season, and watched The Last Action Hero again. All of them good. Strangely good really. I hadn’t seen LAH in a couple of decades, not since I caught it on Satellite at my grandparents house one summer in the 90’s. But I think I liked it better this time around.

Back then I found it amusing, but now I just found it so meta. All the strange amalgamations of other action tropes, and then smashing them all together in humorous ways. The police station stands out, as that place was filled with random characters from other movies and franchises. Heck, later in the movie Ian McKellen makes an appearance as Death. All in all an enjoyable film, as long as you realize that you shouldn’t take anything serious, not even the parts that take place in the “real world”.

But sadly that’s about all I have for you this week. Just know that I’m still working on the book, and it’s getting there. Have a good week.

What I’ve published

Walk On

Walk On Cover

click here for a link to the book

Outsider Trilogy

Outsiders-Book-Cover-RGB-web-safe

Click here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

Link to my author page on Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Steven-Oaks/e/B00MEGSEZ6

Link to the Deathship book in the CreateSpace store – https://www.createspace.com/5023771

Or you can help me out on Patreon. Again, thank you. https://www.patreon.com/StevenOaks

Update: An estimated 53% into editing

Steven Oaks

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Editing and Splitting things into Chapters

Well hello there. I’m Steven, I write this blog.

So, it’s been another week, and it has been pretty good. I’ve gotten to 50% for editing, which means I’ve read through the book twice. I didn’t have to change much, other than some things that I discussed with the co-author. They’d written a scene with a character that needed to be explained a bit for it to make sense, and the first time I read it I corrected it the wrong way. Of course while I had read the story already at that point, because I go back and read when I write, I had mistaken certain things. Instead I was trying to make things consistent, but this time I had to change the world instead of the character to make the story make sense.

But what I can say for now is that there are 33 chapters thus far. There maybe more, or fewer by the time the book gets published. I was just trying to space out things a bit this time, finding break points in the story. I think some are a little short, and one in particular is rather long. The long one should be at least two chapters, but it’s long enough for three if I’m honest about it. However, finding a point that made sense was rather difficult. I’ll have to take a look at it with the co-author and see what they think.

As of now though I have a number of chapters that they worked on to go back and look at. Starting at the beginning once more, I’m actually looking forward to reading it again. It’s happened each time when I edit this particular book. The beginning is rather amusing, and I find it fun to see where everything started again after just finishing the end.

Watching the characters grow into their own as I read the book is interesting. Starting at one point in their life, and by the end how different they are while remaining the same person, that is fun. All the while watching each choice they make, logically getting them to that ending point. I think we’ve done a pretty good job of it.

Of course because I’ve given myself the task, I’ll keep reading over it until we’re both satisfied, but I think it’s rather close right now. But as I’ve said many times before, while I may think it’s all corrected, another round will probably find other strange errors that my eyes missed last time. That and I can work on chapter formatting a bit more.

Perhaps I’m a bit strange, but I tend to like editing. Writing is fun as well, and the feeling of accomplishment is huge, but being able to read through something you made is quite pleasurable. I’ll be spending several more weeks working on this, and having some fun while doing so.

Until next time, I hope your week is a great one.

 

What I’ve published

Walk On

Walk On Cover

click here for a link to the book

Outsider Trilogy

Outsiders-Book-Cover-RGB-web-safe

Click here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

Link to my author page on Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Steven-Oaks/e/B00MEGSEZ6

Link to the Deathship book in the CreateSpace store – https://www.createspace.com/5023771

Or you can help me out on Patreon. Again, thank you. https://www.patreon.com/StevenOaks

Update: An estimated 50% into editing

Steven Oaks

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Try Hard, but know when to stop

Howdy folks. I’ve returned.

This last week went by in a blur, but I was able to edit a decent chunk in that time. I’m almost done with my second pass through of the book. Things are looking really good, and the co-author keeps adding to it as well. So while I cut away, or change things, the story still grows.

There’s a bit that one of us needs to add, but it’s been difficult to find an appropriate place to put it. We both know where it belongs, but it’ll involve a bit of work. It will change the pacing of this certain part of the book, and we’ll have to expand on things later to show consistency. It almost might be better to write it as a separate piece, then paste it in and work around it. We both agree that it should be there, and I’ve already added a bit to this section to make way for it, but somehow I didn’t feel the fit for the expanded narrative that we want there. Perhaps I’ll have to wait until they catch up with me.

They are taking their time, being very thorough, as is needed. Since I have more time to work on the book I just run through it rather quickly because I know I’ll be back through it again and again. They on the other hand may only have enough time to see it a couple of times through. As I have more time, this is as it should be. I’ll be doing my best, and I’m grateful they have any time to spare on this part. Two sets of eyes are better than one, and since our strengths are in different things, I’m very lucky to have them.

This particular run through for me has found little things I apparently missed the first time. A space that needn’t be here, or a word that while spelled correctly was the wrong one to be used. I supposed I rushed a little on that first read through. But since I’m catching more this time perhaps I’ve found the correct pacing. Then again we’ll see when I start at the beginning again.

It’s always surprising finding things you’ve missed. You think you have it perfect, or at least readable, then suddenly you see so many things that need correcting. I suppose that’s the way of things. If you don’t take a little time away from your book you’ll just see it as you meant it, and not as it was written.

Then again if you never finish editing because you aren’t satisfied, even if everything looks right, and you strive for perfection, you’ll never put out a book. No book is perfect, though some come close. There’s always a word missing or misused. A space that doesn’t belong, or a sentence that doesn’t make sense to anyone but you. Of course you try your best to look out for such things, and hopefully have multiple people help, but we’re all human. Mistakes will happen. But to limit such things, having people review your work that aren’t in your clique can help.

Imagine that the only people that look at your book before you publish are people who share your way of speaking or writing. They won’t notice that perhaps that what you put to page was a way to express something that only your group of friends understands. Sure they’ll get it, but what of those that don’t? What are they suppose to do? Perhaps they’ll understand via context clues, but it’ll puzzle them more than necessary. Especially if it is a very obscure reference, or way of speaking. Hence why some people tell you not to publish a book that was written for the American market for say the UK’s.

Spelling is different for them, as are way of expressing. Then again I’ve enjoyed books marketed for the UK as an American. But perhaps that is because I grew used to such things watching their television, and reading their books when I was younger. That and I have friends from around the world. We’ve found we can communicate well enough, though now and again a word confuses one of us. But luckily we tend to have the Internet these days. As such we can look things up that puzzle us. Not that I think that’ll be necessary, especially with this latest book. But one can never tell. I’ll just try to make the story as clear as I can.

In the end, work hard to be clear. But don’t become overly obsessed with perfection. Nothing is perfect, not in this world. Try hard, but don’t fall into the trap of never finishing. You have to let go at some point. Like children, you have to let them go to make their own mistakes at some point. Otherwise you’ll never publish.

So with that, I’ll be finished today. I wish you all well, and may you have a good week.

 

What I’ve published

Walk On

Walk On Cover

click here for a link to the book

Outsider Trilogy

Outsiders-Book-Cover-RGB-web-safe

Click here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

Link to my author page on Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Steven-Oaks/e/B00MEGSEZ6

Link to the Deathship book in the CreateSpace store – https://www.createspace.com/5023771

Or you can help me out on Patreon. Again, thank you. https://www.patreon.com/StevenOaks

Update: An estimated 45% into editing

Steven Oaks

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Reading Renewed

Hello all, I’ve returned.

So what shall I talk about this week? I’m not sure I’ve much to say. The only thing I’ve done is edit and read books.

It has been said if you don’t have time to read, you don’t have time to write. I’ve taken that to heart, though I did drift away from traditional books for a few years. Mostly I was reading manga; Japanese comics. However I started noticing myself loosing interest after a few months of that. But then I’d read a book, and find I didn’t have much time for the long form written word. I should have gone on to short stories, but I’ve never been a huge fan, though I like the big ideas that can be implemented rapidly.

I drifted from book to book, not really fully invested. Only having a few minutes here and there didn’t help. So I’d bounce back to manga. Even they started to lose my interest. Eventually I just forced myself to read books. At first it was slowly, but now I’m back to near full strength. I’ll finish a book in a week or two now instead of one taking nearly a month.

The only downside to that is I’m never sure what to read next. I’ve been looking to award winners, and for the most part I’ve enjoyed those. Though to be sure I think some of them win either because the author is already famous for something else, or the ideas in them are so interesting they can’t be ignored. Even if they aren’t as well written as they could be. But hey, I’ll like what I like, and other people can like things differently.

Also I’ve implemented a fix for being bored. At least for me. I’ll read science-fiction, and if I feel bored of that style I’ll switch to fantasy. Those being my two favorite genres. Mostly I like science-fiction, so I tend to read more of that these days, but it’s nice to relax in fantasy for a bit. Maybe to get the feeling of wish fulfillment, before treading the waters of possible futures. Fantasy also seeming to be better suited for comedic writing, though I’ve read a few sci-fi that were more humor than science.

Then again that may just be my own preference when it comes to sci-fi. I like it more realistic, and serious, though I’m not opposed to funny quips here and there. But again, fantasy can be serious as well, like Wheel of Time, or Song of Ice and Fire. But after those I’d try to read something more humorous. Again, that’d be mostly fantasy, and usually written for a younger audience, though not always.

As it is, I hope if you are having a difficult time plodding through a book, maybe take a break and read something else. Something different and fun. Or if you are tired of comedy, try something serious. I find bouncing back and forth alleviates the boredom, and things seem more original.

Until next time, go out and read something. Anything really. Just don’t stop. A book is a portal to another world, and a different perspective. The more you read, the better you are at finding things to think about.

 

What I’ve published

Walk On

Walk On Cover

click here for a link to the book

Outsider Trilogy

Outsiders-Book-Cover-RGB-web-safe

Click here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

Link to my author page on Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Steven-Oaks/e/B00MEGSEZ6

Link to the Deathship book in the CreateSpace store – https://www.createspace.com/5023771

Or you can help me out on Patreon. Again, thank you. https://www.patreon.com/StevenOaks

Update: An estimated 40% into editing

Steven Oaks

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Walk Your Own Path

With a sudden crash of air, I have returned.

So what have I been up to since the last post? Well, I’ve gone ahead and had a few more day’s worth of editing. This time around it seems to be going rather smoothly. While I didn’t find too much out of place last time, what is really consuming the time now is getting formating in place. That and deciding on what little tweaks I might want to do.

There are so many ways to explain or say something. And there is a certain style that I’m trying to match throughout. Having two people writing different scenes, and then going through and editing each other seems to be the key. However, at least to me, I can sometimes tell which one of us wrote certain parts.

The other thing to be aware of is how the characters are different and should be consistent in how they speak or present themselves. So far there hasn’t been much to change on that front as I think we both know them fairly well. And we know any hidden thoughts they might have that have led them to this time in their lives.

The funny thing is, while we may know why they are they and how they got there, there isn’t a place in the story for it. I kind of look forward to any questions people might ask about their backstory. Some of it is rather hilarious, in the cosmic sense. At least to me, and likely the co-author.

Motivations and why people are where they are have a place in world building, but it isn’t the same thing as writing their entire life story. Otherwise why start anywhere except when a character is born? You can start there if you want, but then it better serve the cause of the story as a whole. But then again, it’s your story. You can do what you want. I’m not your father.

The co-author, by the way, has been working their way through the book as well. They are making changes now and again, and I’ve gone through what they’ve done. So I’m sort of doubling up on editing when they do that. I’ll do my few chapters or whatever page count I set for myself, then go look at what they’ve done. This isn’t a matter of trust or anything, it’s mostly that I’m curious about what they’ve done. I haven’t changed much from their modifications, just the random word here and there that I think might fit better.

It’d be funny though if it turns out I’m changing things back to what they were, and then they come in and change it again. A never-ending battle of edits. But I don’t think that’s happening. If I wanted to I could look at the unmodified first draft. However I’ll only do that if we wind up clashing. Though I don’t think that is likely. We generally talk through any major changes, and for the most part agree. It’s not just my story, it’s theirs as well.

Now, I just wanted to clarify some things. When I talk about writing, and how to do it, I’m not saying my way is the only way. Mostly I’m noting what I do, and if it helps you, great. If you completely disagree with me, hey, that’s fine too. I’m not some oracle with all the knowledge of the world. I don’t know how you think. I don’t know how you work. If something is working for you, stick with it. Whether you’re a writer or an artist of any type, don’t let other people tell you how to do things.

Then again I’ve found it useful to listen to other people. I may not act on what they say, but it motivates me as well as gives me something to think about. That’s what I’m trying to do here. Motivate you, and hopefully give some insight into my own method of creating. That and I think it’s fun to go back and read about what I was doing at certain times of my life.

I’ll probably change what I think is important in the future, but maybe I won’t. It’ll be interesting to go back and look at what I was doing in writing when I’m working on other books. Who knows, one of these posts might highlight where I started thinking differently, and from then on each of my books will follow a pattern I set here. Then again, so far, I like to change things up each time. Though I think my dialogue has been fairly consistent.

So with that, I’ll leave you until next time. I hope your week is filled with many ideas and joy.

 

What I’ve published

Walk On

Walk On Cover

click here for a link to the book

Outsider Trilogy

Outsiders-Book-Cover-RGB-web-safe

Click here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

Link to my author page on Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Steven-Oaks/e/B00MEGSEZ6

Link to the Deathship book in the CreateSpace store – https://www.createspace.com/5023771

Or you can help me out on Patreon. Again, thank you. https://www.patreon.com/StevenOaks

Update: An estimated 35% into editing

Steven Oaks

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Patience in Editing

Greetings all. I’ve returned, albeit a day late.

I had to work yesterday, and a day shift at that. So I didn’t get a chance to sit down and do anything but that. It was a twelve-hour shift, because of the holiday, so when I did finally get home I was wiped.

I’ll say this though, the editing is progressing well. The co-author has begun formatting chapter titles and the like. Seeing that, I’ve been implementing the formating as I go along as well. Already I’ve gotten up to chapter eight again, though I didn’t number them the first pass through. I didn’t even name them last time. I wanted to get them read through first. Now that I can look at them as a whole, titles are coming to me. Though admittedly the co-author began titling when they began their pass through first.

They’ve changed a few things, nothing huge. I went and read through what they’ve done before I went forward with where I left off. I did a bit of editing there, but didn’t change much. I know I’ll be seeing those chapters a few times more when I go back again, and it helps to have some distance from the previous read anyway.

That’s another thing about editing. You need some distance. If you simple editing a chapter the next day or week you’ll miss things. You’ll read it like you meant it, but not see the missing words you needed to put in. Now I usually edit the previous writing session before I begin the next section, but that is really me getting myself up to speed with where I am in the story. That helps to limit those missing words that might be forgotten, but it’s no substitute for real editing.

So don’t be impatient. If you really want to have something polished, take your time. Time is the friend of a good book. While some people might be able to read their own words and find mistakes easily, I say they are more likely than not to miss things. But you’ll miss less if you’ve taken time to do other things. Or like in my case, don’t work on the same section of writing over and over, back to back.

It also helps to have other people edit. I’m very lucky to have a co-author this time, and I was lucky before to have a few editors. I’m excited to see what we finally end up with, though currently I’m quite happy with what we have. Of course it’ll need that polishing I’m talking about. That’s why I tend to thoroughly read, and re-read, edit, and re-edit. At the very least I want to go through this book four times before handing it off for perhaps more thorough editing. But we’ll see what the future holds.

I’ve already added around a thousands words. I mentioned that there was a bit missing in a section, so I put in a little something more. This is likely to happen at least one more time, so that’ll add in more passes that I’ll need to do. However the story is flowing well, and I want to make sure that continues.

So with that, I’ll leave you. I hope perhaps some of my words encourage your own work, whatever that is. I’ll talk to you again next time. Have a great week.

 

What I’ve published

Walk On

Walk On Cover

click here for a link to the book

Outsider Trilogy

Outsiders-Book-Cover-RGB-web-safe

Click here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

Link to my author page on Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Steven-Oaks/e/B00MEGSEZ6

Link to the Deathship book in the CreateSpace store – https://www.createspace.com/5023771

Or you can help me out on Patreon. Again, thank you. https://www.patreon.com/StevenOaks

Update: An estimated 30% into editing

Steven Oaks

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Editing First Drafts

Hello all. I’m back again.

Do you know that I love the act of writing? I love creating something new. I suppose I like it most when I think it’s good, but in the end it’s the act of creating that motivates me.

There’s nothing like staring at a screen for several minutes while your mind tries to discover where you want to start. Then all of a sudden inspiration hits you, and you’re off. It’s those times before you begin that are the hardest. It’s like staring at clay, and then suddenly seeing the sculpture underneath.

It of course helps if you have an idea of a story first. But where should you start? I’ve heard “At the beginning of course”. But what is the beginning? Is it the birth of your character? Is it the first time they have a problem related to the story you want to tell? Is it their call to action?

In the end it doesn’t matter. It only matters that you start. It’s your first draft at that point. If you feel it needs additional material you can always put that in later. Be it after you’ve finished the draft, or if you realize there’s another way to begin your story.

The reason I mention this is not because I don’t have a good beginning to this book. I happen to be very happy with it, and it has the tone I want. But because there may be additional chapters or parts I want to fill this book with. There’s a bit missing now. It could be resolved by deleting a character all together, but that would also lessen some of the impact in the motivation they bring to the main character.

I’ve recently finished my first pass through the draft, and the co-author has done work with the first chapter. Not much was changed, but it did lead us to discuss certain motivations and world building that needs to be polished. Now when I say not much has been changed, you can take that perhaps I added or subtracted whole paragraphs, but the narrative has remained the same. A single sentence or word can make the difference in the enjoyability in reading, so I’ve been working on that mostly.

Right now it’s all about making the world feel relatable. That motivations are clear and reasonable, or at least understandable. That might not sound difficult, but when you are telling a story that you don’t necessarily want to turn into thousands of pages it can be easy to just gloss over certain aspects and expect the reader to accept things. But that’s a first draft. It’s almost short hand, or can be. Now it’s time to fill in the blanks that might have been left, and make it whole.

If I hadn’t found any flaw, I wasn’t doing my job. You need to be hard on yourself. It makes it easier when you have a co-author, or an editor that’ll take you to task. But in the end you need to be willing to accept that you’ll make mistakes, and be willing to re-write whole parts. You won’t be perfect your first time. Even after years of writing you’ll make mistakes. And that is okay. It could even lead to making something even better when you find them. I hope to do so, now and in the future.

As it is, I’m happy with what we have, but not yet satisfied. I’ll be working towards that this next pass through.

I hope you have a good week. Until next we meet.

 

What I’ve published

Walk On

Walk On Cover

click here for a link to the book

Outsider Trilogy

Outsiders-Book-Cover-RGB-web-safe

Click here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

Link to my author page on Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Steven-Oaks/e/B00MEGSEZ6

Link to the Deathship book in the CreateSpace store – https://www.createspace.com/5023771

Or you can help me out on Patreon. Again, thank you. https://www.patreon.com/StevenOaks

Update: An estimated 27% into editing

Steven Oaks

Follow me on the things below.

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Improving your skill

Tis I, Steven. I have returned.

And what does this return carry with it? Oh, not much. Another book read, more anime watched, and my journey into Agents of Shield just beginning. And of course editing.

I’m having a great time reading what myself and the co-author have written. Few corrections needed still, though I’m re-wording things a bit. Trying to make it less samey, if you understand. Using the same word paragraph after paragraph when trying to explain things isn’t helpful. And certainly is annoying to me.

There have been several books in the past that for whatever reason the author continued to use a certain phrase over and over. Now this can certainly work if it is a build on the previous use, but when it’s merely a lazy way of using words, or as if a thesaurus hasn’t been used, it sounds dull and boring. To me it sounds like the author didn’t go over their first draft with fresh eyes, and just accepted whatever they had written previously. Perhaps done to meet some deadline, yet it makes it seem lifeless. As if the writer didn’t care about what they were writing. Or so arrogant that they can’t imagine editing their golden words.

It’s not nearly as bad or noticeable when you just read it, but when read aloud it becomes readily apparent. Hence why I recommend reading your book aloud, to an audience if you have one. Or have a text to speech program read it back to you while you edit. All editing I’ve done for previous books have included this step, and I think they are better for it. Maybe they aren’t perfect still, but I know for sure they flow much better than they had from that first draft.

When writing the first draft don’t worry about it so much though. You’ll get bored if you have nothing to fix. Also your job in that first draft is to just to tell the story. Maybe you’ve done so with an outline, but don’t get too caught up in making it perfect first. You’ll be editing and reviewing. Or you should be. You can’t expect it to be perfect the first time around. You’ll try to make it so when you edit.

Another thing I recommend is reading. Whether it’s a good book or bad, they seem to help you understand what you like about your own style, or they show you another style you’d like to write in. All books can’t be gems, but even the bad ones can show you what to do or not to do. Hence why I think my current writing has improved, besides the whole repetition of writing itself.

Creating, or writing, is like a muscle. You must continue to exercise it, else-wise you’ll slip back to where you began. Never improving. Yet when you push and put effort into working, you’ll see improvement. It may be slight, but you’ll get better. And if you ever hope to build those giant muscles that allow you to easily sit before a keyboard and just be able to write beautiful prose after prose, you must exercise. Reading is a part of that. So work, and be better. Read, and be better. Learn and improve.

We all start out as novices, even if some of our creations are purposeful and lovely from the start. But time and effort will reward, and you will reap benefits that you can’t imagine.

With that I’ll leave you this week. I hope you find something you enjoy working on and creating. All I’ve said stands for any creative task. Work on it, and look at what others are doing. You’ll get better.

 

What I’ve published

Walk On

Walk On Cover

click here for a link to the book

Outsider Trilogy

Outsiders-Book-Cover-RGB-web-safe

Click here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

Link to my author page on Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Steven-Oaks/e/B00MEGSEZ6

Link to the Deathship book in the CreateSpace store – https://www.createspace.com/5023771

Or you can help me out on Patreon. Again, thank you. https://www.patreon.com/StevenOaks

Update: An estimated 23% into editing

Steven Oaks

Follow me on the things below.

ce70Twitter-icon Connect-with-SDK-Welding-on-Google+ Tumblr-Iconurl goodreads_icon_256 YouTube-App-Icon