Tag: bluehammer

Typos Begone!

Also, I finished typo edits on Bluehammer on the bus this morning, so the book now has no errors in it at all.


Actually, what I have now is a complete set of narrative arcs in a manuscript about 136k long. There are still some significant timing issues between the narrative arcs, some terminological inconsistencies (for example I need to get rid of uses of words like “day” or “night” in the sense of the sleep/wake cycle), and the linkage between chapters is weak.

But this is getting better. It will be ready for first human read soon.

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Bluehammer Plan

As promised on Friday, here is my plan for Bluehammer in a very similar form to the one for Song.

  1. typo/consistency edit– this is going through my notes on the manuscript, acting on them. It’s going to be a pain because it’s hard enough to work on one thing on the bus, let alone two. Three kinds of edits –
    • typos/text to be deleted – some notes need to be saved for whatever reason. These will go in a separate file.
    • consistency – name changes that shouldn’t, events that occur at different times of day from different POVs, etc
    • scene cutting/reordering – duplicate scenes need to be winnowed, good descriptions from dead scenes need to be harvested.

    Once this is done I can hand it on to my wife for a read through.

  2. improve outline – I already have a broad outline, but I need to sharpen it up a lot to make it the basis for a compelling novel. This will include fixing all the timing issues.
  3. make the text match the outline – since the outline is mostly of existing text, I won’t have that many new bits to write. I will have a lot of tweaks to make in the text to make it match the outline.
  4. hone the text – this is the line craft elements of writing, going over the text for infelicitous phrasing and the like.
  5. make submission materials – synopsis, pitch, hook, and all of that.

So that’s the Bluehammer plan I will be working against. The intent is to get the first two done before I go back to work on Song.

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2013 Goals Post: Imbolc Edition

This is the first post of the year where I check against my goals for the year. I am following the calendar for Wiccan sabbats for these updates, which means generally a six week interval. The first sabbat of the calendar year is Imbolc on 02-Feb-2013 so it’s only four weeks since I set my goals, and this time I am writing these a day early to keep to my posting schedule.

So, here are my goals for the year and how things have progressed so far.

1. Finish Bluehammer

Last action: read the manuscript after 17th January.

I finished the read through on Wednesday evening – it took me nearly two weeks to read. Given its length, that is consistent with other NaNovels I have worked on.

As I noted in my earlier reading notes, it’s a mixed bag – the newer stuff is generally better, but there are elements of previous scene versions which I want to salvage. It needs a certain amount of work before I can hand it off to my wife for a first look, but my sense is that this needs a proper outline as much as Song did, even though the actual story is more complete.

Next action: typo and basic consistency edits.

Next action: develop a plan, similar to the one I have for Song.

2. Execute the Song plan

Last action: develop outline.

I completed the outline for Song just before I broke Bluehammer out of its rest state.

The rest of the plan reads:

  1. To outline what I have
  2. To expand the outline of the first half into a complete story
  3. To work on that outline until the story is good.
  4. To plug in text I can use from Song 2011
  5. To write the new stuff needed to complete the outline
  6. (and the one I missed before) make submission materials – synopsis, pitch, hook, and all of that.

Next action: polish the outline.

3. Submit one novel.

Last action: finish a novel

I had been thinking that I would try to finish Bluehammer first, but Song is calling louder and I think stands a better chance of being finishable more quickly. Then I will need to work on submission materials.

Last action: to find some markets

No work on this.

4. Start looking for an agent.

Last action: research agents who represent science fiction.

No work on this.

5. Establish a daily writing practice.

Last action: write every day.

I have broadly achieved this – not every day has been making words, but I have been spending time with my stories and my characters most days for at least an hour.

Truth to tell, I have been a lot less successful at waking at five in the morning than I would like, but still spending the time to stay in touch with the books.

One bonus activity is that a friend who I used to have a writing circle with is back working down town, so we have reestablished the regular meetings to check in there. I’m very pleased about that and optimistic that it will help keep me on track.


Good progress on completing something, no progress on agency and submission. I will try to actually do something about those goals before the next update on Ostara (the spring equinox around 21-Mar-2013).

How are you doing against your goals?

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Bluehammer: The Readening

I started reading the enormous manuscript of doom last week. and so far it has been an edifying experience.

One of the reasons this manuscript is so large is because it includes two versions of some scenes: one from this bash at finishing the story, and one from an earlier draft. I am quite gratified that for the most part the newer versions are better – this is partly a function of the more recent writing fitting the changing conception of the story more closely, but also the character and plot elements are usually introduced more effectively.

My biggest concern at the moment is the pace of the reading. I opened this manuscript six days ago, and I am still only a third of the way through it. I have found that other writing-related things have intruded on the reading time, but with being so large the manuscript is also quite unwieldy which makes it less conducive to being read.

Anyway, we’ll see if the pace picks up – I want to get a plan for this book sorted out.

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