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Monthly Archives: January 2014

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Progress and Good News

First the Progress

Just yesterday I completed the editing process for the first draft! It came in at just over 68,000 words and 270 pages, about right for suburban comedy escape-reading. I immediately sent out the text to my intrepid readers, one of whom replied by attaching the memoir she’s working on for me to edit. Fair enough, and a really interesting story – about adopting five girls from the Ukraine. I can’t wait to wade in.

In the meantime, though, I have some non-writing tasks to tackle, including updating this blog (you’re welcome!), getting together with a cover designer (I have several I’ll be exploring), and coming up with a bloody title for the book (which I’ll have to do before said cover is designed). It’s been a challenge – and a daunting one – trying to encapsulate the essence of the novel in a few words. All I know so far is the subtitle: A Four-Hour Novel. Which brings me to:

The Good News

I heard back from Tim Ferriss’s people, namely Donna, his assistant. Apparently adding “Copyright Question” to the subject line gets people’s attention.

Anyhow, the short version is that I’ve asked permission to quote from The 4-Hour Workweek, that Tim makes these calls personally, but that he is out of pocket for the next few weeks – apparently filming a new TV series. Donna promises news as soon as Tim emerges and has a chance to wade through the stuff that’s piled up in his absence. Glad to be part of that problem.

So, fingers crossed and prayers, please! With a little luck – and maybe some Divine intervention – I’ll be able to report an important green light in the coming weeks.

Cheers,
JFH

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A Quick Update

Just a brief scribble to catch you all up on the progress I continue to make.  With the first draft complete several weeks ago, I have moved on to the editing phase, pushing the word count nearly to 66,000 in the process.  Scenes needed to be moved and then coherence restored.  Lost storylines of minor characters needed to be restored.  Typos needed to be corrected.

With that work behind me, I am analyzing the structure of each scene, using Victoria Lynn Schmidt’s Story Structure Architect: A Writer’s Guide to Building Dramatic Situations and Compelling Characters.  She lists some very useful heuristics for each of the 55 prototypical dramatic situations she describes, and I’ve already made some minor yet important changes and additions.

Once this process is complete – which I hope will be within the next week – I will chug through all the “tk” in the document, and then shift to hardcore proofreading.

For those of you unfamiliar with “tk,” it’s a shorthand for “to come,” meaning a detail that needs research to be filled in later.  So, why not “tc” then?  Well, that letter combination does appear in English (“catch,” “watch,” “catch,” etc.), whereas “tk” never does, making it easier to find in a document using the “Find” function.  There’s lots of “tk” in the draft, so even thought each one may take only a few minutes to flesh out (How far is it from the Greek isles to Alsace?), it may add another week to the process.

But, with “tk” and proofreading behind me, the draft will be ready for readers again.  I have three waiting with baited breath (so they assure me), and will be looking for a fourth (so don’t be surprised if I hit you up!).

I’ll keep you apprised of my progress in the coming weeks, and also fill you in on the next project.  Till then, cheers and Happy New Year!

JFH