brittni in ink

a writer's blog

Tag: editing

turn out well

It’s been a full week of events, editing, and interviews!

Friday, I was happy to be a part of the “Amazing Adventures in Strange Lands” reading at Biblioasis. I got to meet Elly Blake, a best-selling YA author who also happens to be super nice! Christian Laforet and Ben Van Dongen, the superstar organizers of the event, also read! I always enjoy the human tension in Christian’s short stories, and Ben read one of my favourite parts of his cyberpunk novella, The Thinking Machine. The event was MC’d by Vanessa Shields, who added a lot of insight and humor to the evening. The Q and A following the readings involved the audience and brought up some interesting questions for all of us readers to speak to. All around a great event!

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Photo by Janine Marley

At the event, I met a couple of people who were there to record the readings for their podcast, All Write in Sin City.  They invited me out for an interview! Yesterday, we recorded some segments, also featuring Elly Blake and Alexander Zelenyj! It was a bizarre experience, in that I’m used to being on the other side of table. I co-hosted Hardcover: A Literary Podcast for two years, so answering questions instead of asking them was a mind-twister for sure! I enjoyed hearing Elly and Alex’s insights on writing and fiction, and was impressed by Sarah and Irene’s interview skills – Not an easy thing to compile a bunch of information and research into conversational questions!

And today is the day (I hope!) where I finally finish my final draft of my work in progress. Editing this book has been a nourishing creative experience. Taking my rough ideas and smoothing them out brings a sense of satisfaction and wholeness that I didn’t feel with my first book. So it’s new and exciting and I’m hopeful that it’ll turn out well.

 

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2019 is happening!

It’s a new year! I mean, 2018 was pretty great. The Patch Project came out, I met a ton of cool people, and learned a whole other level of what it means to be a writer. But 2019 is happening, and I’m excited for what this year is going to bring. It’s also the first year of my 30s, which makes it that much more meaningful.

I’m starting to make plans. In a couple of weeks, I’ll be attending “Monsters, Aliens, Short Stories & Friends“, a writing workshop facilitated by local authors/ superstars Christian Laforet and Ben Van Dongen at Gertrude’s Writing Room. I’m also looking forward to being part of a portrait shoot by a local photographer, which should be fun. My to-read pile is incredibly tall, and I’m attending a book discussion group around The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp.

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Behind the scenes, I’ll still be working away on the sequel to The Patch Project. The past couple of days, I’ve been caught up in an editing vortex: I’ll sit down and open the manuscript, and the next time I look at the clock it’s three hours later! It’s a really good feeling. I’ve made some major revisions (thanks to the sage advice from my advance readers) and even cut a few chapters! That felt amazing, actually. Once I realized the chapters contributed very little to the overall story and pacing, highlighting the text and hitting ‘delete’ was liberating! The manuscript is really coming together, and I feel 1000 times better about this draft than the first one. I’m hoping to have a final draft completed by the end of February.

That’s about it for now! I’ll still be doing a blog post about once a week, and I’m hoping to start a new vlog series in the next little while. If you’re looking for more updates about events or The Patch Project, check out my Facebook page.

Happy 2019! What are some of your goals/ plans for this year?

 

 

festive times

It’s the last Patch Project appearance of 2018! I’ll be running a vendor table at The Green Bean Festive Market, happening this Saturday, December 8th from 11:00 – 5:00 pm. Drop by, say hi, and enter the free draw for a chance to win a signed copy of The Patch Project!

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There will be buttons and copies of “Showing Her Teeth” as well as copies of The Patch Project available for purchase. Plus, a ton of amazing local creators and crafters are going to be there!

After Saturday wraps up, I’ll be taking a break from events for the holidays. I’ve set a deadline for editing the sequel to The Patch Project – final draft by the end of February! – which is exciting! It’s been a different kind of writing process from the first book, which I may consider posting about in the new year. I’ve also been more intentional about reading lately, and am working on getting the last book of Ursula K. LeGuin’s incredible Earthsea cycle. It amazes me that I’d gone so long without reading them!

I’ll be back next week to announce the winner of The Patch Project holiday draw!

 

Are you taking a break for the holidays? Or is it a more productive time of year for you creatively?

a little bit of this and that

September has flown by! It was a quietly busy month: getting used to a new work schedule, editing my new book, and catching up with friends.

Now that October is here in all its rainy glory, I’m working on getting The Patch Project to a couple of local events – I’ll post an update about that next week! Until then, here are some things I’ve been tinkering with:

Editing the sequel update: I’ve changed the manuscript title like three times! Also, I’ve been experimenting with footnotes – there were a couple of specific terms in the last book that I had to keep from being cut during the publisher’s edits (“in-betweening” being one). By using footnotes, I think I can provide quick context so the editors and the readers are all on the same page. Though, I may have invented grattaged.

Other creative things: my friend invited me to join her for this two-week creativity workshop. It’s online and features a different artist each day. The artists walk you through a mixed media activity and also provide insight on creative well-being. Although I haven’t done all the activities so far, it’s still helping me to focus on making art and being mindful about my process.

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This past weekend, I participated in Run for the Cure, an annual event to raise money for cancer research and support for patients and survivors. We ran (walked, let’s be honest), didn’t get rained on, and had a lovely brunch afterwards.

This post turned out to be a little bit of everything! What does October hold for you?

fall things

This past week brought the first inklings of fall – I got to wear a sweater outside, it was glorious! And with the new season comes a renewed motivation to make things!

In terms of The Patch Project, I’m in the process of booking some tables at local events. I’ll post more info about these and possible readings in Windsor as they come up!

I went and started a vlog called “Not all writers.” When I was searching for writing vlogs on YouTube, the first ones that came up had impressive production value with well put together people in front of the camera. Just a heads up, my vlog is like the opposite. I’m planning to post a couple of times a week: this’ll help me track the process of my new manuscript and hopefully connect with other writers.

Totally unrelated to writing (or maybe super related), I learned how to make origami stars yesterday and have made an entire jar’s worth. I would edit a bit, then make three or four of them. Maybe my creative flow is telling me to take more breaks?

What are your creative plans for fall? Do you find it easier to write at certain times of the year? 

where i’ve been

The past few weeks, I’ve really gotten back into writing. In fact, I finished my first draft of my next novel!

Finishing a first draft is its own particular high. The outline is done, the arcs have reached their destinations. Maybe some questions are left unanswered, but the characters are nowhere near to where they started. So many hours went into crafting the story that now features a “the end” on the last page.

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But the work is far from done. Edits are needed. Some sections are still skeletal. There are characters that got glossed over in the pursuit of plot. And since this book is a sequel, there are points from The Patch Project that still have to be addressed.

And in my case, entire concepts have to be changed. Here’s an example: Originally, I wanted to call the people who scavenge supplies from the wasteland “finders”. Typing it into Google (to make sure I wasn’t inadvertently copying someone’s title), I discovered that the most recent articles related to “finders” are about a cult. Not really the association I wanted readers to make. So I had to go off in search of a new word, a new label that would make sense in the world of the book. Still looking for something straightforward that doesn’t sound weird.

Something that’s really helping with editing is recording myself reading each chapter aloud. The reading aloud part helps to weed out awkward phrases and catch missed words. Listening back helps track the progression of each section, and to highlight unintentional tense changes. If you haven’t tried this method, I highly recommend!

As I’ve been getting deeper into edits, I’ve also been thinking about starting a vlog to track the progress of the book and interact with readers. Any tips?