RoW80 Update: May 16th.

”     ‘Anything you were going to say to him, you can say to me. Sorry if you were hoping to make an appeal to his cock, but brains have to factor into this, too.’
     Something flashed in her eyes as she narrowed them. ‘I was actually hoping to appeal to someone with heart,’ she said. ‘I wish to come with you.’
     ‘Come with us?’ Locke balked at the woman. ‘Why? Why barely know you.’
     ‘It is true that I don’t know what you are all about,’ Awngel admitted, ‘but I do know one thing. Everything I had here in Kassir was tied to that naked man you saw leaving my room, and now that he is gone, I have nothing left.’
     ‘Oh, and we have so much more?’
     ‘You have each other,’ Awngel said simply, ‘and that is infinitely more than what I have.'”

I swear, Wednesday check-ins for A Round of Words in 80 Days always seem to come up so quickly; it’s probably the fact that I don’t have a long weekend of a lot of working to suffer through before I get to it like I do on Sundays! Things have been going really well for my goals; I’m getting a decent amount of writing done, I’ve got some good milestones marked ahead, and I’m just putzing along and getting stuff done. It feels awesome to be on top of things like this! Now if only I can think of better blog topics and stop skipping days where I don’t have a review or a check-in to post. I forgive myself these trespasses, though, because I know I’m using that time to finish editing and keep plugging away at my other projects.

Let’s see what I’ve got for this Wednesday:

Bowlful of Bunnies: Good lord, editing without a printer and with a faulty mouse is freakin’ tedious. But it’s getting done. I know I haven’t heard back from all my betas yet, and a huge, big fat thank you! to the betas who have gotten back to me. I’m going through the edits now, and they’re really insightful and helpful and super exciting. This is really shaping up to be a good, solid collection, and I have you to thank for it. I’m going to pester my cover artist here in a few days, and hopefully, next week can be dedicated to formatting and getting everything ready to finally be put up!

One question that has come up as I’m editing that I thought to open up to a little discussion: when you have people proof your work, how much of their input do you tend to use? I used to run a workshopping group in college, so I feel I have a pretty good grasp on how to delineate between constructive criticism, really good advice, and just little stylistic variations, so I don’t use all the advice given to me (especially since not everyone’s going to agree…one reader might love the way you structured that sentence, another reader will completely hate it). Do you tend to follow most of what your betas suggest, or do you go mostly by your own judgment with a consideration of the suggestions? A little bit of both? How do you feel if you make a suggestion to someone, but they decide to stick with what they have (or, in my case, go with something completely different)? I always feel a little bad when I have a note, and I consider it, and I’m left with, “You know, I see their point, but I still like my way better,” but….I like my way better! I still have this feeling, though, that, by denying a reader’s suggestion, I’m basically telling them that their suggestion sucks. Which isn’t the case, but I still feel bad. Ah, well. Editing>

I guess this just proves that I’ll have to elbow my way through it and get it done so I don’t have to deal with it anymore, right?

Serpent in a Cage: I’m going to be a slight dork about this because I actually wrote two pages yesterday instead of one, which is very exciting for me, even though I cut the last chapter off a little short because it wasn’t working in the moment and I decided I’d hop to the next one and expand on the last later. So it’s going well and we’re going into a BIG EXPOSITIONARY CHAPTER, which I both love and hate. It feels lazy, but I know it’s necessary and I’ll be honest, I love the interactions with the characters as they’re catching up on what’s happening and the reader gets a good scope for the plot. It’s a necessary and sometimes delightful evil. Page count: 78/134.

By the way, since I’ve breached page 77 since posting the meme, here are 7 lines from page 77 of Serpent in a Cage:

worn by the bear were hung to dry, partitioning the
room off to create privacy with the washbasin and
the chamber pot. Shoes were lined neatly by the door,
books littered the beds.
     “If anyone could predict such company,” she had
complained apologetically, “I’d have cleaned up the place.”
     Gilferen sat down awkwardly on the edge of one

Book No. 0002: I was thisclose to changing the title of this heading to Soulless, since I’m pretty sure that’s going to be the next book I try to publish and I’m pretty sure that’s what I’m going to call it, but I’m not entirely sure, so we keep the vague title for now. I’ve gotten all the stuff that’s been written already on it (about 8000 words) typed up, and so now it’s a matter of writing more of it. Since I’ve decided I do write better long-hand, I’m going to try to do that, and then get whatever is new typed up every day to keep up with it. I’m poking at an outline before I get too far, too, so that’ll provide a nice guideline. Once BoB is published, I’ll hopefully construct some more specific goals for this particular project.

The 100 Books Project: Nothing to stellar or exciting here; fairly close to finishing one of the many books I’ve been juggling, but it’ll probably be a week or so before another finished book review pops up. It all seems to come in waves, so it feels like I’m a good deal away from finishing many books, but I’ll probably finish them all relatively close to each other, as these things tend to go. books read: 16/100 (5/38 for this round).

So, you see, it’s been a good week, my brain is buzzing with creativity, and I really look forward to the days when I can just work and get things done…and still fit in time for other things, too. Yesterday, I even took the dog for a walk, which was fantastic, and I’m hoping it gets a little warmer so I can do the same today. If not, oh, well, guess I’ll just have to keep reading and writing and getting things done. What a tough life, right?

Happy writing!



  1. I don’t have much experience with getting an entire novel beta-read (only a few people have read and commented on my first novel), but I do have a lot of experience with chapter edits in critique group. I really like having the real people sitting around discussing my writing, because they interject things and disagree with each other and give me a good idea that editing is very, very subjective. On the other hand, when all five of them read a paragraph and agree that I’ve got something wrong, I almost always change it. A consensus usually means I haven’t done my job well–and you can always improve.

    Best of luck getting all your edits done. I’m about 6,000-ish words into my second novel, and it’s feeling so exciting to be “sunk into” a new project.

    • That’s exactly why I wanted to send it out to several people; when one thing is pointed out, it could be just a matter of personal preference, but if several people point out the same thing, then you know you’ve got trouble!

      Good luck on the second novel! I love being “sunk into” a new project so much that I’m constantly working on several new projects, lol!

  2. A title to a book is important to you huh? I’ve just been leaving it to the writing process lately and seeing what pops up.

    I don’t want to sound too critical so apologies up front, but I’ve been on a small crusade against the use of adverbs with dialogue. You have one above that really stands out “said simply”. I’ve read in a few places lately that your dialogue and character actions should give the reader what to feel, not the description. I think it might be Elmore Leonard, who stated that he only used “said” and very rarely anything else. In fact you can use it as a way to see if your dialogue is good. If you only use “said” you’ll be checking if the dialogue does what you want it to do. I’ve been trying it, and it really makes you think. Either you change the dialogue or add in an action. You dialogue above works fine without “simply”. – rant over, sorry.

    • It’s so funny that you say that, because, as I was typing that snippet up, I thought to myself, “That ‘simply’ sounds stupid.” I considered editing it out, but I wanted to stay true to the integrity of the rough draft.

      I’ve been thinking about that sort of thing a lot myself; I think it’s a side-effect of a lot of editing. Some of it I agree with, but not all of it. Sometimes, I really do think that breaking the “rules” of what’s considered good writing can be effective. Sometimes, I think it lends something to developing a voice. And I think actions to go with dialogue is important when the character is not exactly vocalizing everything she is saying. But adverbs are definitely not the way to go about it, as I’ve done in that case. Definitely something to be polished up in the second draft.

      And I do like titles. I am not ashamed to admit that I judge a book by its cover, and I think a good title can be as important as a good first line. The title is what sticks and what is passed around. It’s the brand name, pretty much.

      • I agree with you. I once read something where there was a lot of adverbs, but after a while it started me thinking, is there a list of adverbs the writer is trying to fit in? Obviously that meant I was outside the story rather than in it (as a reader). Ever since they keep popping out.

        I know I mentioned Elmore Leonard and I know his crime type stuff isn’t for everybody, but the guy can write dialogue with the best of them.

        I agree about the title, I just found it interesting you were after it at the beginning as opposed to later.

  3. My imagination wandered a bit on your line “Everything I had here in Kassir was tied to that naked man you saw leaving my room” but I’m OK now.
    Feedback can be a tricky thing – you have to consider the source as well as whether they are being very subjective. Sometimes its just how they would say a phrase – different, but not better or worse. Sometimes its how they and 10 others would say it – OK, time to re-write!
    I was at a pub yesterday with a copy of my latest 1000 word flash fiction in my pocket – all proud that I’d managed to get another one done. It was in a pulp fiction genre – no holds barred, full of cliches and adverbs. A friend passed it over to his friend, saying this guy was a writer. I explained the concept, he then read it without even a smile, then said it was interesting, and that not much room in a short story for character development. And pointed out a missing semi-colon and a misuse of ‘it’s’. So – calmed myself with a sip of beer, thanked him, and decided for myself he must write government documents for a living.

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