Yes, once again, it’s been sometime between chapters. I’ll confess that it’s because I’m working on something else concurrently (more on that in later posts) and I’d rather publish slowly than have the quality to decline because I’m rushing. But the story will continue…I have to get them out of this mess now that they’re in it after all 😉
Editing. The part where I rewrite, second guess, and go crazy because I know that no matter how many times I re-read (and even with my husband’s willingness to be a second set of eyes), some typos will slip through. It’s also just not as much fun as the writing part–I know, this is why people hire editors, but I’m not spending money on that at this juncture.
Actually, one of my worst habits in writing is probably my tendency to edit while I write. Exactly what everyone says not to do. And they’re right. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve lost my train of thought because I went back to fix that grammar mistake that I just couldn’t ignore for fear that I’d miss it later.
I’m working on breaking this habit considering that it doesn’t really reduce the time I have to spend on editing later and it definitely slows the writing process down. It’s a work in progress (or, more accurately, I am a work in progress).
All that said, I do like to finish something then put it away for a while before going back for my final edit-oriented go at it. Sometimes that turns into ‘Out of sight. Out of mind.’ However, I finally edited Dosterra: Chapter Nine, and it’s now available to read on JukePop Serials.
So, those of you who have been following are aware that recently I solicited a few reviews for what has been published, thus far, of my novel, Dosterra. The upside of these reviews is that they have given me a feel for how my writing style comes across to the reader. The downside is that, by their nature, they don’t have much detail and can’t give me much guidance on how to fix the issues that exist. And rightfully so, as this kind of review is usually done after publication when it’s too late anyway.
However, publishing on JukePop Serials has some advantages. One of which is that the publishing rights to my story do not permanently belong to JukePop. This means, once I finish Dosterra — and the requisite time has passed — I can publish elsewhere. Also, if I so choose, I can go back first and fix/edit as much as I want.
For someone like me, who began this project with less than half a clue, this is awesome. It also means that I should get as much (detailed) feedback as possible, as I go along. Even on the chapters that are already out there for the world to see (and that, for now at least, I can’t change).
On this note, I have previously mentioned my friend from The Write Life, with whom I get together once a week or so for what began as writing days, but became something more like creative days. Today was one of those days, and my friend gave me some detailed notes on the first few chapters of Dosterra, and how they could be improved.
Anyone who has been reading, or saw the reviews, knows that chapters 1-3 need the most work. So, getting this feedback was amazing (as scary as it is for both parties when one friend critiques the work of another). Aspiring writers out there (especially those of you not yet ready/able/willing to pay a professional editor), if you have access to someone who you can trust to be honest about your writing, use them. It can only help.
As for if/when I will begin changing Dosterra, well, I plan on finishing it first, getting more feedback, and hopefully improving with each new chapter.
I’ll take this opportunity to remind everyone that you can now read on JukePop Serials without creating an account if you sign in with facebook. Either way it’s free and there’s lots of great reading to explore.
…[Iden] slowly slid his hand into the front pouch of his backpack for his gun. They’d find him in about six seconds once they decided to look…
I would also like to draw the attention of serial fiction fans to Serial Scribes Daily, an online paper that brings the latest news in online serial fiction, drawn to my attention when they were kind enough to mention Dosterra on their site.
Anyone who has been following me is aware that I recently sought out a few reviews of my serial novel, Dosterra, being published on JukePop Serials. My main motivation for doing this was feedback. Creative writing is still very new to me. It’s not something I even considered trying my hand at until a little over a year ago, so I need people to tell me where I’m getting it right and where I’m getting it wrong (My husband and my mother are great, but lack the objectivity I’m looking for).
As far as Dosterra goes, after x-number of reviews are in–there are a few more to come–the consensus seems to be that the first chapter is the roughest, and the story (and my writing) improves around chapter 3.
The upside of this feedback is that it tells me I’m improving. The downside is that given the medium in which I have chosen to publish Dosterra people are unlikely to go past chapter one if they don’t like it. The way JukePop Serials is laid out, readers can access chapter one of any story without signing up for the site, but to go farther creating an account or signing in via facebook is required. Plus with the number of stories available, even those with an account will probably move on to another story if they are not enthralled by the end of chapter one.
Now for the confession,
The roughness of chapter one does not come as a huge surprise to me–in retrospect at least. When I first got the idea for Dosterra I had only ever written short stories, but when I started writing I quickly realised that I couldn’t fit the story into an accepted short story length. I was considering making it a series of short stories—but still had not even considered attempting a novel—when I stumbled across JukePop Serials looking for the first 5000 words of potential novels to serialize. Lo and behold, I had about 5000 words. Figuring it was a long shot, but what the hell, I sent it in and, holy crap they liked it! Now I have to learn to write a novel. I had a feeling that what I had was not the best start to a novel, but lacked the skills at the time to fix it and figured that I would learn as I went along.
And learn I have. One big difference between a short story and a novel: the amount of time you have to fit in all the relevant information. In chapter one of Dosterra, I basically tried to fit a novel level of information into a short story slice of time.
Lesson learned: Give the reader some time to engage before confusing the crap out of them.
I must say I am very much enjoying this learning process and am thankful to JukePop for accepting my story, which gave me that little extra push to dive in. I am very appreciative to those of you who have had the patience to get past chapter one and on to the rest of what Dosterra has to offer. I hope you will continue, and I hope these reviews will encourage some others to follow suit knowing there is something to look forward to.
In case anyone is wondering, chapter seven is only a few days away 🙂
Sammi has an eclectic blog that drew me in immediately. It’s fun and colourful, and along with some great book reviews it includes posts on, publishing, Sammi’s own writing, and a very interesting category of creative imaginings that some of you might find worth checking out.
Thank you Sammi for the kind words about Dosterra. For those visiting me for the first time, Dosterra is my dystopian sci fi novel that is being published by chapter on the genre fiction site JukePop Serials. Chapters 1-6 are currently available and chapter 7 will be I published in a week or so. Its free to read. All you need is an email address to sign up–or you can sign in with your facebook account if you prefer–and have access to a plentiful supply of serial fiction from a number of genres including (but not limited to) Mystery, Crime, Fantasy, Sci Fi, even Modern Romance.
Hope you’ll take the time to check it out.