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Hello friends!  I finished my critiquing on Tuesday (yes I know that's past the deadline I set, but it's done) and this week I've been getting back in the mindset I had last November when I started writing The Neif.

I downloaded what I had written as an EPUB file so that I could read it in a non-editing platform.  This is important.  If I had tried to just go back through my Scriptito files, I would have stopped every three sentences to change something and never would have gotten through it.


Here is what I learned:

1) Line edits are much needed.  I have inconsistencies in terms used ("light" for "day," whether or not Neif is capitalized and in what context).  My language is blocky in places as a result of me trying to be more formal and eliminate all contractions in speech.  Also, passive voice is really bothering me, and it never has before, so that's something I'll have to take a good look at.  In other words, it's a really good thing I wasn't reading this in an editor.

2) POV needs some addressing.  For the limited scenes, it's pretty good, but for the "cinematic" scenes where we only get dialogue and action and nobody's thoughts, I cheated a few times.  

3) I am really identifying with my characters.  I'll have to check with my alpha readers (when I send this out) and see how they feel about them.  I want to make sure that my characters are actually sympathetic, not Mary-Sues.

4) I knew what the heck I was doing when I planned out this story.  I'm amazed at how the story is unfolding; the thought and planning that went in to the layers of the plot is very evident.  And I wrote it!  Obviously I can't surprise myself with plot twists, but I'm impressed by the way I planned out the story to keep the reader interested and rooting for characters.  I feel like there's so much going on here that they won't want to stop reading.  I don't, and it's my story!

5) Some scenes that I was iffy about when I initially wrote them actually read just fine.  This is encouraging, because it means that when I can come back to them with my full-on A-game, they'll be that much better.

Current wordcount is 50,928.  I'm going to start adding a little every day, trying to ramp up for July when I'll be doing Camp NaNoWriMo and shooting for 50k for the month.  (See last week's post for more info, and be sure to read the updates in the comments.)  My current calculations put the finished book at about 120,000 words, so I definitely have my work cut out for me.


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Oh Icharus!  Is that the sun you fly towards?
Our wings are strong.  I made them.  
They have carried us this far.
Lo, your wax is melting,
But the sun does not push you away;
It consumes you.

Over the course of this last year and a half, I have been thinking about the phrase "to work tirelessly."  On face value, you keep working when you get tired.  But in reality, it means there is no stopping point.  There is no giving up.  In the absence of a door, in the face of an unscaleable wall, you get out the sledgehammer and carry on.

Violence like we've seen this week produces the kind of feeling in the pit of my stomach that makes me want to fall over the back of the chair to vomit to have done with it.  But the response I have seen reaffirms in me that if a few people can cause this much pain, every person that decides to value life, to hold out mercy, to expect and pray for the best, can overcome that hate.

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