Wednesday, November 2, 2011

ROW80 - Midweek update

A Round of Words in Eighty Days - Fifth Week, First Check-In


I just got done with the toughest part of the story. This was tricky and set me back at least a week.

And as I look ahead, I see another event cluster heading my way -- not a serious event cluster, but enough to slow me down a little until Sunday.

In the meantime, I realize that one of the things pressing at me is that I would like to get some readers to look at this before I move on to publication. It will take a while for people to read and get back to me, so I really want to finish the darned thing ASAP...

But wait! The first 19 chapters are ready for readers. The rest is darned close to ready.

So... I changed horses midstream, and put my energy into buffing up these recent chapters. Now I need to see if there are any alpha-beta readers out there with time an interest to get started earlier on reading it.

I'm mainly looking for comments on pacing -- i.e. do I, or my characters, go on and on too long about kumquats, or does something happen too fast and is confusing. Also interested in comments about anything that makes you hate or just get really annoyed about a character. Any other comments are welcome too. The first two thirds of the book take up about 57-58k, and will be ready to go out Thursday. The remainder should be ready in a week or so.

I will be sending notes to people who contacted me last time I thought I was going to be done soon, but if you're interested in reading The Man Who Did Too Much (read awful rough draft blurb here) you can write to my feline secretary: maudecat at gmail dot com.

On to the update:

Sunday Day 28 - 269 minutes. This would be a good day, but this was all on THE most critical, tricky part of all. I had it 90 percent there, but it took a lot of effort to get all the way through. Is the rest going to be a piece of cake? I don't know. One has to watch out for the tired brain which can't make sense of anything, especially not pacing. (And as someone who takes comedy seriously, pacing is all important.)

Monday Day 29 - 90 minutes. Today I pulled back and looked at what I have and came up with the plan outlined above. Finished up some work I was doing on Chapter 19.

Tuesday Day 30 - 162 minutes. Today I finally went back and started the last edit for readers on the middle section. I found things to work on, but I am pleased with what I've got so far.

I hope to have this section ready for readers by Thursday, if not before. The rest should take about a week to ten days. So goal is next Wednesday's update, but I'll be happy with a week from Sunday.


In the meantime, I did come up with a more colorful version of my new retro cover. I played a bit with color, looking for ways to tie it to the modern cozy style by making the background pastel instead of white or something. I played with colors, I played with gradations. I was not happy.

And then I drew this selection box, to try to make for a framing gradation... and I just instinctively liked the shape. This really goes with the retro feel of the body, I think. And I really like what it did for the covers of future books, but I'll show you them later on.

It doesn't feel cozy, but as I've said before, I'm going for the more retro cozy look anyway. Still got to mess with some minor tweaking of placement, but I do think I've found my cover.

See you in the funny papers.


Ruth Nestvold said...

Congrats on all the serious progress!

The new cover is fun. Not sure how "cozy" it is, but definitely retro!

KH LeMoyne said...

Accomplishments, many. Humor level, wonderfully high! Good luck with the readers round. Would love to know how you requisition them?

The Daring Novelist said...

Thanks, both of you.

As for how you get first readers -- you acquire them slowly over time, like really good gardening tools.

Unlike gardening tools, however, they tend to drift in and out, and at any one time, you may have many, or you may have none.

Offering to read others is a good way to get started, too. (And I forgot to mention what kind of reading I can do for people in this post...ooops. Well, I'll catch them this weekend.)