Wednesday, April 23, 2014

04/23/2014 Writing Wednesday!

Hello everyone and welcome back. I hope this week is treating you all well. I had a nice day off yesterday, so that was good. Now I just need to make it through today and tomorrow and everything should be fine. The final actual preparations for the craft fair will be done tonight or tomorrow (need to make coupons) and then everything should be ready. Still absolutely terrified, but I'm sure it'll be fine.

Since I'm fairly certain you didn't come here to listen to me talk about how the idea of talking to a constant stream of people sound really scary or how cute my cat is, I'll actually talk about something you care about. My cat is fluffy and cute though..just saying. As I work toward getting back into the came, I need to consider something, and that is how long it takes to move something from a notebook to a digital format. There is going to need to be time made for this, so I wanted to look at potential options for that today.

We talked last week how progress isn't always a straight line, and that sometimes it's this curvy, twisted mess that seems unending. That's how things are for anything I have written in a notebook. 'Daughter of the Shackled King' took a specific kind of forever to put into my computer because I didn't just sit down and work on that. I had a lot of other things to do at the exact same time. I can already see that starting to happen with 'Feathers of the Dead' and while I know there's going to be some of that, I want to try and organize some of the chaos.

So let's say you have something in a notebook you want to edit. That is really awkward to do without putting it into a more easily editable medium first, and in this day and age that means it needs to be typed. Back in the day it would mean putting it into a different notebook, so I guess we're making progress? Less hand cramps at the very least. The first thing you are going to notice, unless your handwriting matches your preferred font size exactly and the paper you're working with also matches the 'paper' on the screen perfectly, that things are not going to line up. You are going to be all excited because you will be suddenly on page 3 in the notebook, but only about 1/4 of the way into page 2 on the computer. Don't freak out, that is normal, but it will start throwing off how much progress you think you're making. It's fine, but we'll come back to that

The second thing that is going to lead directly into the third is that it is going to feel slow. Partially because it is, but also because if you're anything like me when you were writing things down by hand you started getting a bit impatient with things like exposition or 'details' and started just being kind of vague and jumped ahead a bit. You knew what was going on in your head when you wrote everything down, and sometimes your hand started to hurt or you were just getting frustrated with that scene and wanted to get to something else. Handwriting isn't a fast process, and if you wanted to make sure you could actually go back and see anything you put down you had to make sure those little squiggles on the page were words, so you were writing slower than you would have been typing. However, now what's going to happen since you're moving everything to a typed format is you are going to start filling in the gaps you knew you left in for one reason or another. This will make it so you might be on a paragraph on page 12 for a lot longer than you had anticipated. This causes forward progress to actually slow down a bit and you need to anticipate this going into the project because it's going to drive you crazy along with that other thing I mentioned before.

The page numbers are going to absolutely mess with you. As you start making more and more headway you are going to find that the pages in your notebook are getting way ahead of you. This is going to start tricking your head and along with everything else that's going on it is 100% not helpful. I remember thinking about how short 'Daughter of the Shackled King' was going to end up being and that started to stress me out because I couldn't understand how something so short was taking so long to get done. I was on page 45 in my notebook, but only page 23 on my computer, and that gap stayed until I was done. It didn't matter that I used a composition notebook to write in, or that it was double-sided and my handwriting was larger than the font, I was still convinced there was something very wrong. The whole process took forever too, but I was also working on other things too, but that didn't matter, it still felt like an eternity.

These are all things that can cause a person to just toss something out the window because they are super done with it.  Just remember that you need to keep looking forward and that the important thing, when nothing seems to be connecting, is to use logic with it. The reason the page numbers don't match is because when you were writing by hand you weren't a robot and at times you felt kind of impatient and lazy, which is fine. It's slow going because you are looking at a notebook, back at a computer, typing maybe a sentence and then back at the notebook over and over again. That is not a fast process. The page numbers are messing with your head because your brain is a jerk, and we've already been over how it wants things to make sense and if it doesn't it gets uncomfortable and decides it doesn't want to try that hard. Just tell your brain it needs to shut up and keep working, with how long it's going to take it's only going to feel that more satisfying when you get it into the new medium.

Thanks everyone for stopping by. Wish me luck on Friday, as I am really nervous about it. Remember, tell everyone that 'Rending the Seal' is available at Smashwords, also the Barnes and Noble link is up, so that means you should be able to get it at the other retailers too, so start searching! Have a great rest of your week everyone!

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