Saturday, October 6, 2018

WIP Update: Seventh Rewrite

I've completed six rewrites on my work in progress; now it's on to a seventh.

As mentioned in my last post, I thought the manuscript would be ready to send to my editor after six rewrites. I also noted that if I wasn't completely satisfied, I go back over the third installment in the John Ross Boomer Lit series.

And that's what I'll be doing over the next few days. There are still several tweaks to make before letting it leave my hands. It's now more than 64k words, up from 37k after the first draft.

Writing the first draft is probably the easiest part of the process, at least for me. I simply sit at the keyboard and the words generally flow from my fingers. 

And I know beforehand that it's not only a first draft, but a rough draft that will have to be polished through rewrites and revisions. For me, that's when the real work comes in—making all the pieces fit, tying loose ends together, and making sense of it all. 

It's my hope that this will be the final rewrite. After a while, I get a little tired of reading and rereading passages. That's when my editor and proofreader go to work on the manuscript.

Until the next time . . . 

Saturday, September 29, 2018

WIP Update: Sixth Rewrite

Just a post to let everyone know that I'm alive and still working on my ninth novel. I'm about a fourth of the way into the manuscript, the sixth rewrite that I hope to complete by the end of next week.

It is my intention to be finished with it and send it on to my editor. If all goes well, and it seldom does, I'd like for it to be published next spring by Wings ePress. In a few weeks I'll let you know the title to the third installment in the John Ross Boomer Lit series.

There's not much to add about the process, other than tightening the narrative, fixing the dialogue, developing a few of the characters, revising a few passages, something that's addressed in every rewrite and revision. 

I wanted to have it in my editor's hands about a month ago, but life got in the way as it usually does. But I tried to minimize the distractions, when possible, and work daily on the manuscript except (don't you just love that word?) when I took a few days off between rewrites to give my tired eyes and burned-out brain a break. 

I think it's wise to take some time off before delving back into writing so that you can look at it with fresh eyes and renewed perspective. And daily naps help as well at my age.

And as I've noted before, if the manuscript doesn't read right or feel right, it'll go through another rewrite, or more, until I touch the send key.

Until the next time . . .  

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

WIP Update: Fifth Rewrite

I've gone around the track five times with my work-in-progress and still have a few more laps to go before I reach the finish line.

The manuscript, the third in the John Ross Boomer Lit series, has grown about 8,000 words since the fourth rewrite, to 60k. I made some descriptive details about people and places, added a few more characters, tweaked some of the dialogue, rewrote a few sentences, and revised several paragraphs. 

I'll delve back into the manuscript in the morning, my preferred time for writing. If everything works to plan (and it usually doesn't), I'll have it ready to send to my editor in another week or so (again, wishful thinking).

I'll probably add another 2k-3k words when all is written and done. There are still a few minor issues I need to address to make everything connect, from start to finish. I have several pages of notes to prove it.

As noted in previous posts, the process usually takes me 10 or 11 rewrites before I'm satisfied with the outcome. While I hope to do it in half  that number, the time it takes is still about the same as I have focused on specific areas with each rewrite.

Until the next time . . .  

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

WIP Update: 4th Rewrite

I completed the fourth rewrite of my work in progress yesterday. As with the other rewrites, I'm going to sit on it for a few days before delving back into it with semi-fresh eyes.

For those who haven't been following this thread of posts (shame on you!), I'm working on the third book in the John Ross Boomer Lit series. The first two are "Old Ways and New Days" and "Darkness Beyond the Light." I've already written the first draft to the fourth book, but that's for another post. And I know where I'm going with the fifth. 

The word count has increased, from about 37k in the first draft to more than 52k. It'll probably increase another 5k to 10k with the next rewrite.  This book will be somewhat shorter than the previous novels, something I'll discuss in a later post as well, probably after the publishing date has been determined as part of the promotion/marketing phase.

The manuscript will grow in the fifth rewrite because I added several characters to the story, and a few are begging for  more development and exposure. Several scenes require more research.  And there are still a few loose ends that need to be resolved to advance the story and series. 

No doubt I'll come across other parts that need attention, such as dialogue, backstory, and timelines. It can be a never-ending process. That's why there comes a point when you have to let it go and involve others to gain critical feedback.

It's still my goal to have the manuscript completed and sent to my editor by the end of the month. If I'm not satisfied after the next round of rewrite and revision, I'll do a sixth...seventh...eighth...however many it takes to have it have it ready for her discriminating eyes.

Until the next time . . .

Thursday, August 9, 2018

What Are Boomer Lit Novels?

My last two novels belong to a genre referred to as Boomer Lit. I wasn't aware of the label until I stumbled across the term while surfing the Internet for tag lines for my books—"Old Ways and New Days" and "Darkness Beyond the Light"—now part of the John Ross Boomer Lit series.

In a sense, Boomer Lit is a continuation of the young adult novels that sprang up in the 1960s, such as "The Outsiders." You might include "Catcher in the Rye," since it was almost required reading for boomers when they were teens. 

Those readers have grown up and many want to read about their contemporaries, who now range in age from 54 to 72. By the way, as you have probably guessed, I'm in that group. 

Those born in the United States between Jan. 1, 1946 and Dec. 31, 1964, are referred to as baby boomers. After the war years, there was an increase in the number of births during that period. My "Greatest Generation" parents produced five boomers.

According to statistics released a few years ago, that number reached about 76 million. A recent figure has it at about 65 million, meaning the generation is aging and dying.  

Except for two young-adult novels, my other novels have focused on middle-age adults dealing with life's trials and tribulations. They were boomer lit before boomer lit became a label. Reminds me of the Barbara Mandrell song, "I Was Country When Country Wasn't Cool," if you know what I mean. 

Wikipedia defines boomer lit as "any genre that features mature characters, in contemporary settings, addressing any aspects of today's world."

I'm sure many of the novels offered by Wings, especially the romances, contain elements of Boomer Lit if the protagonist is a boomer. Check out the many titles by clicking here

For those interested in Boomer Lit, check out these sites:

I'm currently rewriting the third book in the John Ross Boomer Lit series. We'll let you know when it's released.

Until the next time . . . 

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

WIP Update: Second Rewrite

I've completed two rewrites of my work in progress.  There's still a ways to go before I submit it to my editor. 

As with any rewrite, there are additions and deletions from the manuscript. I added about 5,000 words even though  several chunks of the first draft were eliminated.

One thing I focused on was the timeline. Since most of the story covers a 10-day period in the lives of John and Sally Ross, I had to make sure that those eventful days would be clear to the reader (and my editor). I fell about three days short in the original so that's where many of the added words/scenes can be found.

It was also a time for character development, especially the new ones in this third installment of the series. I've introduced two major characters, eight minor, and one flat. Learn about character types by clicking here

I hope readers gain a deeper understand of John and Sally since they are dealing with different challenges and predicaments in this story. I don't want static characters, regardless of type. 

I haven't looked at the manuscript for two days, trying to give my tired eyes a rest and overburdened brain a break from the story's twists and turns. I'll delve back into it in the next day or so. 

Until the next time . . .  

Friday, July 20, 2018

WIP Update: First Rewrite

I took a different approach to the first rewrite of my work in progress. As mentioned in my previous post, I used the Hemingway App to edit the manuscript, the third book in the John Ross Boomer Lit series.

I did find it time consuming, having to copy and paste several times. But after awhile, I got used to it as it became second nature in the editing process. I'm sure it will be easier to use after I learn a few shortcuts. 

The software was useful in keeping me focused. The color-coded program highlighted possible problems, such as passive voice, adverbs, and complex sentences that might be difficult to comprehend. It also suggested simpler words for clarity.

I followed the advice, stripping out perceived problems to cleanup the manuscript. Along the way, I found myself deleting or rewriting sentences. I also noticed repeated words that needed to be trashed or replaced (most were deleted).

As mentioned, the app doesn't like long or complex ("wordy") sentences. Sometimes the suggestions for simpler sentences are simply too simple. That's simple enough but writers vary the length of sentences to gain rhythm and convey thoughts. Writing is not simple. I'm sure Ernest Hemingway would agree.  

I told my editor that I've made significant progress so now  on to the second rewrite.  

Until the next  . . .