I’m having a lot of fun with Scrivener and I’m trying to use it to its full potential. I was the ‘write everything in order, no outline’ gal for a long time. That didn’t get a lot of things done at all. Now I have an outline that’s helping a lot, with estimated wordcounts for each point. Which aren’t meant to be chapters, just a general ‘this happens, and then this’ with a brief summary sketching out my ideas. For Delphinium they’re as vague as “Lizzy ill” and “Duc things” to “Piers and Eglė visit.”
I added my own spin to drafts today too. I never got the ‘first draft’ ‘second draft’ thing. I wrote and edited as I went along, so I could rarely show you what version of a story was what. But finding that I could edit the labels in Scrivener got me thinking and I made up my own system.
Get the wordcount: Each of my 15 outlined points has a wordcount estimate of 2500 words. This will leave me with a book of 75,000 words. In a few cases I’ve already gone over the limit, and I’m sure there are points where I won’t be able to get to the 2500 exactly, but I want to give myself a goal. I can edit a little as I go along, so this isn’t a strict first-draft with no edits, but it is the ‘bleed all over the pages’ stage (this is a metaphor despite my subject matter). I’m also not allowed to sit and fret over one paragraph- that’s for later.
Make it pretty: So I’ve hit 2500 and the words mostly make sense. Some of the scenes sort of stop in the middle, and I need to rewrite the opening paragraph, and this is the step where I’m allowed to put everything in its place and well, make it pretty. I should be able to read it from start to finish without wondering WTF.
Make it functional: This is more nitty-gritty. Check the grammar, double-check the spelling, and triple-check I meant that exact word. Then read through the story from start-to-finish and see if it works as a whole. Maybe I need easier transitions or there was a plot point I dropped and need to get back to.
Beta crit: After it’s Functional in my eyes I’m going to pass it over to my beta-readers/editor etc and let them at it (while starting work on the outline for Aconitella). Then I’ll take all of their comments and help and make adjustments as I see fit. I’ve paid an editor previously to help a bit with Larkspur, and I’m going to use 5 close writer-friends for beta readers for Delphinium.
All that’s left then is some formatting and I can publish my sequel.
Right now I’m still mostly in the ‘Get to the Wordcount’ stage, but a few of the points are at “Make it pretty” and the first point can be moved to “make it functional” soon.
Macy Mercer only wants a little independence. Eager to prove herself grown up, she goes to a dark, secluded park. She’s supposed to meet the boy of her dreams who she met online. But the cute fifteen year old was a fantasy, his pictures fake. She finds herself face to face with Chester Woodran, a man capable of murder.
Distraught over his own missing daughter, Chester insists that Macy replace his lost girl. He locks Macy up, withholds food, and roughs her up, demanding that she call him dad. Under duress from his constant threats and mind games, her hold on reality starts to slip. Clinging to her memories is the only way of holding onto her true identity, not believing that she is Chester’s daughter. Otherwise she may never see her family again.
I’m either 1/3rd or a 1/4th of the way through Delphinium, depending on if it stretches the wordcount I had originally planned. While all of Larkspur is 15K, Delphinium is currently 10K+ and with still a lot to go. 30K might become 35K, or even 40K if I really get into it.
While I’m glad I wrote and released Larkspur, it really is a ‘prologue.’ My original plan for writing was to release small 10K-15K snippets, out of sync, to slowly build a world from many different angles. And while I had done something like that years ago on deviantART (yeah, yeah, we all had that phase), it is not a writing-plan to use with publishing. Ideally I would put Larkspur and Delphinium together, but as it is Larkspur will stay and be perma-free to entice folk to the rest of the books (when more are out). While I will have some 99cent or perma-free shorter stories, I plan to write longer actual-books from now on (though they may still be relatively short while I get the hang of things).
So the rest of the series is more plotted, with a real beginning-middle-end. At least in my head. On paper it might get a little wonky (it’s amazing what I learn about this world even after all these years) but that’s at least half the fun.
Snippet time! Not giving any context, took out the names too 🙂
“He grabbed —–’s throat until the other stopped struggling, barely moving but still on the edges of consciousness. The dagger then found his lungs, and any remaining movement and life in him began to drain away. The blade was pulled out only to enter again. In all —– had five deep wounds in his chest. None were yet fatal.”
I’m not sick. Not yet. But my brother is, and as he seemed to have caught it from work, there’s a high chance that it’s contagious.. and I’m totally going to get sick too. I’m the one with the poor immune system who always finds herself ill. Blah. Hopefully it’ll get me after Delphinium is out, but I can type and feel like shit at the same time if I gotta. Going to hate it if this pushes the release date back further. I am so unprofessional 😦 (But as the Wachowski’s new film just got pushed back several months, at least I know it isn’t only the newbs who cock up).
Aside from that things aren’t bad. I bought a dozen indie books today from various writers in /r/fantasy, that was fun. I have tea, and I’m trying to stay up and write a fair amount. I keep getting ideas for other stories. And the plot points for this that I had in place keep moving around. But hey- I’m a writer, and this is my thing. Last minute tea-binge and sleep-deprived typing that’s mostly me and sometimes my muse. Love it ❤
Wow. My free day was amazing. In total, over a 24 hour period, I had 864 downloads. A great majority from the US, but a fair few from Canada, the UK, and 4 from Germany. I think even an Aussie picked up a copy.
Today, the day after, I’ve had 10 *sales.* Yup, sales– people paying money to get Larkspur. I had thought about putting the price back up to $2.99 for a few days, but decided against it- Larkspur remains at 99cents. This isn’t about cash, it’s about readers, and making my name with writing. The cash and fame can come later 😛 It is also motivating me to write Spadille. I need more books out. It’s been a month, which isn’t a very long time, but pretty much forever on the internet. If there isn’t an update soon, 9 out of those 10 buyers will probably forget all about me.
To anyone reading this who downloaded or bought Larkspur- thank you from the bottom of my heart.