Clearing Off the Cork-board

Early Thursday afternoon — on my lunch break, no less — I was able to type “The End” on Tapped. This was my most extensive round of edits. I solicited an editor to help me develop the story and couldn’t be happier with the results. Gabriel Fitzpatrick helped me see the strengths and the weaknesses in the manuscript and it is now totally awesome. 

Ahem.

Well, after a lot of blood, sweat, and tears it’s really quite a lot better than it was.

In a week I’ll probably hate it, but I’ve come to expect the roller-coaster that is the author’s psyche. One week I love it, the next week it’s dribble not worth looking at.

Whatever.

This week it’s awesome and I have happily cleared off my cork-board, making way for the next project. All of the 3×5 cards with plot notes, sketched outlines, and character questions have been tossed into recycling. It is now a blank bit of brown cork with festively colored push-pins just waiting to be used again.

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Cover art done by the amazing Chris Howard!

And what is that next project?

Residual Haunting!

The original plan was to serialize Residual Haunting through the summer because I had so much fun bringing Persona into life that way. (Why yes, Persona has seen an editor and I will begin brushing it up in January. I’ll be completely changing the ending since the editor sorta … uh … hated it. No, I mean it, he HATED it.)

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Remember Persona? It’s cover art was done by Chris Howard!

Anyway … Residual Haunting is in a sorry state of incomplete and since it is another one of my experiments in genre/POV/and all things the craft of writing, it meets my arbitrary qualifications for serialization.

So! Starting October 1st, 2014 I will be posting a chapter a week on Wattpad  — because Wattpad is awesome and I totally love it —  and on a story blog of its own — because I like to accommodate people who either do not use or do not understand how to use the Wattpad site.

This is FREE! Yes, absolutely free. I will post links to each site (Wattpad and Blog) every time a new chapter goes up. Just like Persona, this is a draft and it is subject to massive amounts of change. Also like Persona, after its completion it will be removed while it undergoes said change.

What does that mean?

It means it will only be up for a limited time after the final chapter has been posted. If you follow along week by week you have nothing to worry about. If you wait until it’s all up there, you’ll only have three months to read it before I remove it from the public eye.

And now I’ll leave you with a blurb telling you what Residual Haunting is all about. 

Follow Doctors Jared Foster and Cal Murphy as the infamous Residual Haunting Museum is hijacked by ghosts, a witiko, and a girl named Rachel who is trying very hard to retire from all things supernatural.

As Cal works hard to decipher his newest “Print” — or ghost — things inside the museum start to go haywire; the ghosts inside their exhibits disappear, power fluctuates and threatens to poison them all with the gases used to maintain each exhibit, and Cal finds himself doing the impossible by speaking to a ghost. But there’s far more going on than the mystery of just one ghost and the closer Cal comes to understanding how this woman died, the closer he comes to the real danger hunting them all inside the museum.  

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Letting the Internal Editor Bare its Teeth

At the beginning of January I started editing my science fiction – Tapped. (Which is a working title, I think. Every time I read it I twitch a little.) I’m implementing developmental edits that my editor Gabriel Fitzpatrick suggested and I must say I’m having a blast.

It’s interesting to me that the process I used to loathe (editing) is now one of my favorite parts of writing. It means I have something to work with, for one. And it means I get to let my internal editor bare her teeth.

During the rough draft, the creation part of the book, I have to kind of muzzle her. She wouldn’t let me get anything done if I didn’t, you know?

But right now, with Tapped, she has been set loose and is — yet again — ripping this book down to the genuine story underneath. She’s getting down to the story I meant to tell, and revealing the story I unconsciously told as well.

Perhaps that sentence needs some clarification.

The original purpose behind Tapped was to write a mother-son story. I was tired of mother-daughter/father-son stories. Being a single parent with a son it is important to me that this kind of relationship be exposed without the gross implications made in Oedipus.

(Though I will say that I think Greece was pretty messed up when it came to mother’s and sons. Somewhere I read that the whole story of Perseus taking down Medusa was an analogy for Perseus needing to cut off the ties from his mother before he could face Andromeda as a man. )

Anyway, I wanted to write a mother-son story. So I did.

But my internal editor exposed that I was not only writing a mother-son story, I was writing a brothers-in-arms story that needed just as much attention. And in fact, in choosing which of the main characters was actually the main character, I discovered that the book is primarily this brothers-in-arms story.

The mother-son story is a very, very close second. But in order to fully understand it, we have to understand the mother. And her life lives in the context of having been a soldier.

Thank you, Internal Editor. I wouldn’t have caught that without you.

One final note on the Internal Editor; her teeth are only as sharp as the books I read.

Currently I am reading Dawn on a Distant Shore by Sara Donati.  Her writing is absolutely beautiful. I feel like I’m breathing in another time and place while I’m reading it.

My internal editor is really sharpening her teeth on Donati’s work, bringing into focus word choices and characterization so that when I sit down to edit I can more clearly see and understand the craft of writing. It helps me pay attention to how I write.

In short; writers are only as good as the books they read.