Tuesday, October 22, 2019

On the Second "(Re)Write" Track

It's back to work on the work in progress, this time on the second rewrite. 

The first rewrite was quite a chore since I hadn't looked at the manuscript in six months or so. It took much longer than I expected to go through the 60k-plus words, about 10 arduous weeks. 

This time should go more quickly, perhaps even 10 days, if I don't encounter too many distractions along the way. That's another reason I spend most of my time in the early hours working on a manuscript. 

I generally go through 10 or 11 rewrites before I'm satisfied enough to submit it to my editor at Wings ePress. That's not to say she receives a perfect manuscript; far from it. But I do hope it creates less work for her in the long run in that she can focus more on story than on other elements.

As noted in previous posts, this novel will be the fourth in the John Ross Boomer Lit series. In the last novel, New Horizons, the story focused on John and Sally Ross's trip to Budapest. Now they're back home in Kentucky and dealing with domestic adventures of various and sundry sorts, to put it lightly. Retirement isn't what John expected when he left the newspaper business. 

What I try to do in a second rewrite (and probably every rewrite to clean and fine-tune) is to add/delete descriptions, tighten dialogue, make grammatical and spelling corrections, and delve more into characters to show their motivations and what makes them tick. 

And I'll add or expand scenes to enhance the story and delete others that bog down the flow or don't add to the overall development of the plot/subplots.  

Until the next time . . .   

Friday, October 18, 2019

Boomer Websites

As an author of novels for baby boomers, also known as boomer lit, there are websites I read regularly to keep up-to-date on what is happening with the generation born from 1946-64. 

I have a keen interest in baby boomers. It's important for me to know the issues and concerns of those I'm writing about in this genre. And as a boomer, I'd be reading visiting these to see what is going on with those in my age group. 

I recently wrote about my hearing loss and getting hearing aids. It helped me understand this health issue from the viewpoint of others about this problem, both professional and personal.    

I also like to be informed about issues that I may encounter before my brief time on Earth is over. And it's not only health matters. There are financial and social matters that concern me. 

By keeping up with the various issues, it informs my writing and makes it relatable to my readers. I also gather information in other ways, such as chats with family and friends and other media (TV, books, movies, etc.)

Here's a shortlist of websites I frequent:

AARP —  The website is targeted for those 50 and over so it also brings in those who hit that magic number this year (Generation X). It's an all-encompassing site that provides useful information on health (such as Medicare, prescription, drugs, etc.), leisure, travel, and finance. 

Baby Boomers — This useful destination provides information on topics such as travel, healthy living, relationships, nutrition and more.  

Boomer Cafe — This site offers wide-ranging topics such as retirement, health, fitness, politics, and an active lifestyle. I receive a first-person story in my email each morning from boomers sharing their life experiences.

Growing Bolder — As part of the Growing Bolder Broadcasting that is seen nationally, the site focuses on active and inspirational lifestyles for older folks.  Not surprisingly,  the site contains quite a few interesting videos.  

Next Avenue — Like AARP, this site is aimed toward those 50 and over. It includes topics such as caregiving, health, work, and technology. It is affiliated with the Public Broadcasting System and produced by Twins Cities PBS.

I also read articles about boomers in MSN, HuffPost, WebMD, and other sites. 

Do you have any recommendations?

Until the next time . . .  


Tuesday, October 15, 2019

More to Do on WIP

I finished the first rewrite of my work in progress and discovered there's a lot more to do on the second rewrite. It took longer than I expected, about 10 weeks, and there's a good reason for the extra time on the manuscript.

As mentioned in a long-ago post, when working on "New Horizons," I decided to break up the manuscript because it was running too long and going off in another direction.
What I've learned after working on the second half of the manuscript is that the story hasn't ended. I have nearly 61,000 words saved and will probably need to write another 20k—so I'm about three-fourths of the way to "The End."

I recalled, when it abruptly ended today, that it was at that point about a year ago when I decided to turn it into the fourth book in the "John Ross Boomer Lit" series. For some reason I thought I had finished it. It must have been a senior moment!  

I'll delve back into the manuscript, knowing what's been written and where it's likely to go. My goal is to have the manuscript ready to send to my editor at Wings ePress by the end of the year, if not sooner.  I'm hopeful that this novel will be published in 2020. Good vibes sent my way will be appreciated. 

One thing I've learned from this experience is that I won't be breaking up a manuscript again. Once started on a book, I'll stick with it until the very end. 

Until the next time . . .