Sixth Time Lucky

Sixth Time Lucky

What do you mean, you don’t recognise me?

I’m Miriam. I’m the writer who blogs here whenever she has something in particular to say, and gives you pictures of the Doctor or Captain Jack Harkness or Gwen Cooper when she doesn’t. I’m the one who blitzes the internet with links to whatever exciting thing just happened, like an anthology being published or a video for which you need to vote. I’m the one who gets really weird search-engine terms leading to her blog and thinks it’s acceptable to share them with the world.

You don’t know who I am?

But it hasn’t been that long since my last post. I mean, I talked about my video just two days ago, and that wasn’t even just an embedded video and nothing else. There was writing. And then two days before that, I talked about how the internet can be mean to people, and two days before that I talked about my characters. Those posts are pretty regularly spaced. And yeah, I’ve only posted about eight entries in the last month, but that’s still twice a week.

Ohhh, it’s not that I haven’t posted, it’s that you haven’t been around. Gotcha. That’s why I’ve hardly had any comments, isn’t it? You’ve all been popping in incredibly quickly – I saw you on my stats – and not leaving a comment. So it should be me that’s saying I don’t recognise you.

Well, whatever your reasons for being bewildered, rest assured that I am Miriam, unless I’m a clone whose memory has been modified to the point where she doesn’t realise she’s not real, and I’ve come to give you a proper post that vaguely resembles news, as opposed to musings, or essays on character development.

So! What is happening in life?

Well, at the moment I’m up to my neck in editing. What am I editing? I’m editing Watching. I know, I know – a few of you are looking at the date on this post to check that it is in fact new, because I’ve been talking about editing this thing for about a year and a half. Well, I’ve written several other things in between, and edited some of them as well, and more to the point this is the sixth time I’ve edited this.

I’m rewriting it. Completely.

Actually, the notebook that I have next to me is pretty unusual because it has a label on the front that says WATCHING – 1st and 6th Drafts. It contains my original draft death scenes, some chapters in between, a few musings (and a page entitled “Ob: To hammer out some kind of plot because I’ve lost mine”), and now I’ve added three pages of plot ramblings and a few notes for chapters.

A few people have said to me that by the sixth draft I should have worked out the plot. Well, no, smart-ass reader, I haven’t! Oh, I know what happens in Part 1 (admittedly, I now have an extra character to work with who is meaning that even scenes which are exactly the same in plot need rewriting), because it’s the same as before. However, Part 2 is a completely different kettle of fish.

Since the first draft, Part 1 has been basically the same. Stuff happens, characters appear and leave. There have been changes, but that’s basically how it works. Part 2 has been through 3 reworkings, and although the same people died every time, it was for a different reason. The same person killed them, as well. But in a slightly different way.

And now, it’s changed to the point where … the same people aren’t going to die. One of them is. One of them is going to die simply because of all the people who told me I wasn’t allowed to kill them. The other person isn’t going to die (I’m deliberately using gender-neutral pronouns here, so that you can’t tell who I’m talking about in case you read my book later) because I don’t care enough about them to kill them. Actually, that’s not quite true, but their death always got overshadowed by the other death, before, and I decided it wasn’t worth having it in there.

The extra character in part one originally existed only in part two. I then decided I didn’t like them and they were going to get completely cut out. And now they’re in part one as well, and they’re not who they were before. They still have their messed up past and they’re an adrenalin junkie (my beta readers will know who this is, now), but they don’t have quite the same future as they did before. For a start, they’re not a Watcher. (le gasp from those who know what I’m talking about!)

Reading back over this post I’m realising just how much of it is completely mental to someone who hasn’t read my blog before, and who hasn’t read my book. I think there are (…counts….) eight people who have read the whole of the fifth draft of the novel, one person who read half of it and then stopped because she hates sad endings and I told her I hate happy ones so of course they weren’t going to live, and one person who’s read half of the … third … draft, because I forgot to send her the other one. But I did now, I think.

Anyway, the condensed version is that I’m editing a novel, and my deadline is the end of December because I want to enter it into a novel competition.

I am also trying to figure out a way to give people I love Christmas presents when I’ve run out of money. I’m thinking I should make them, but with this novel to edit I don’t have a huge amount of time to make them really nice, so I’m thinking I’ll have to cut down on blog posts and videos this week.

Finally, I am listening to an insane amount of music while editing, including the amazing Celtic-y band Leahy, and the fantastic Jonas & Plunkett. I discovered both of these via Maggie Stiefvater, and they are making editing much more fun! So I shall leave you with this video of Leahy and I advise you to not just listen to it – actually watch it. Watch it, and be amazed.

9 thoughts on “Sixth Time Lucky

  1. I have danced to a very similar tune; a Scottish Country dance, I believe. I can nearly see all the firgures we did in my head… or at least some of them.

    But 6 mintues… way to long for me to watch at work outside of lunch time. *grin*

    Oh and as to Watching – will you be needing beta readers for the fith draft, or will you just be submitting it? And I totally wish you lots of good luck with your submission! :}

    (ahh if only I had realized you need to learn classical violin before you can fiddle, ah the follies of the 7 year old mind.) *giggles*

    1. Finger picking… oh, your technical language, Elo. Pizzicato maybe? Ha ha :)
      And as for Watching, well. It’s the 6th draft and I’m almost halfway through. I am in fact looking for beta readers, although my criteria are very specific: they must be able to read and give me comments on my plot (not bothered about writing right now) by the 29th December as my deadline is the 31st and I need time for reworking. And that’s starting when I finish, which will take several more days. If you think you could do it that quickly (once you’ve got your e-reader you could put it on that which would reduce eye strain), then yes certainly.

  2. Ok, you caught me. I’m one of your stealth readers (I do a flyby read and hit the escape pod).
    I thought I would stop this time and tell you that I am envious that you are in edits since I am now past the fun first quarter discovery part and into the part that feels like I am dragging weights with me while I write.

    I love Maggie’s blog and just finished listening to the Scorpio Race on audio CD. It was amazing!

    I am with you on the gift giving this year. Just got back from the mall where I weighed my budget against the available gift choices that didn’t seem really lame. Not much to choose from. Baked goods make good gifts and don’t take too much time.

    Agg– I have to dinner in the oven and it is about to burn.

    Good luck with the competition!

    1. Thank you! And I was very glad to come online and see I had two comments that needed moderating (which is what happens when it’s an email address that hasn’t commented before, so I knew it was someone new, or someone old with a new address, ha ha). Stealth reading is cool but comments are nice :) It makes all the work that goes into a post feel worthwhile, ha ha!

      Maggie’s blog is hilarious. I saw her at an event, so now that I know how she can talks (i.e. very dramatically, waving her hands around and doing all the voices), I read it in her voice in my head. It just adds to the experience ;)

      … Envious? Of edits? I hate editing! This kind of editing is both the best and the worst. The best because a lot of it is writing new scenes, so it can feel like actual writing to me and not editing. The worst because it’s the hardest and the slowest. Also the worst because I see how bad the previous draft (which I made a whole bunch of people read) really was, and then I feel guilty for forcing them to read it. Ha ha =)

  3. Of course, if you were a clone that thought you were real, the real you could then probably put the clone to editing and blogging and then you’d have time to make Christmas presents and so on. Clones seem like they could be terribly useful in that respect. :)

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