I remain in my editing process, working on Book Five of the Incomplete States series. I’ve edited sixty percent of the book, An Undying Quest, but I wasn’t pleased with what I was reading and editing yesterday. In fact, I found myself dissatisfied.

That was ironic, because the chapter’s title is Dissatisfaction. As I read it, I found myself pausing to frown. The coffee shop was empty except for me (the baristas were in the back room), so I went back and read the chapter aloud, trying to feel the flow and understand what seemed wrong.

Too wordy and cumbersome, I concluded. Some cutting and editing is required.

I began reading it again to identify what bothered me, but it just bogged me down. Let me tell you, it’s not reassuring when you, the writer, finds that what you’ve written makes you wince. I gave up for the day, but continued thinking about it.

I thought, well, one, it’s just too wordy. Two, I’m re-hashing what’s already been said and done, so it’s not advancing the story. That’s also killing the pacing. I think I need to cut and perhaps write a brief summary – one, two short lines – to capture the sentiments.

With that in mind, I came back to it today and began anew. It wasn’t simple, but doing this, I’d discovered that the writing was passive. I told, and then told again. Little showing was there. Ugh.

And, interesting, it was too wordy for the character’s perspective. The series is told via several perspective. Each character has their own voice, and this character, Kanrin, is spare in thinking and speaking. He dislikes complicated, rendering things to basic and simple conclusions, and here he was, in convoluted thinking about what was going.

Now seeing how the complexities were entwined and the issues understood and clarified, I could process and edit more thoughtfully. Took time, though. All of today’s session was about reading and editing that chapter.  No summaries were required, just cutting and editing to reduce wordiness and tighten the pace.

I feel I need to edit it again, and will tomorrow. I’m too deep into it now to clearly perceive it. Then, I’ll see what happens on the next editing go-around, planned for the entire series has been edited. For now, it’s been another good day of editing like crazy.

Time to re-join life.

Tuesday’s Theme Music

My spouse was busy making Christmas crockpot candy, which involves melting a lot of almond bark and chocolate together with some nuts, and then spooning it out into balls and letting it cool.

Christmas music was on, but this was a Christmas blues album. We have it on a CD that we picked up for a dollar about twenty years ago. The album was probably recorded in the sixties. It hasn’t been remastered.

Anyway, that CD ended, and a Motown Christmas album was launched. A CD of Motown hits from 1971 followed. A twelve minute version of “Papa Was a Rolling Stone” by the the Temptations stayed in my stream overnight.

What can I say? It’s great music, cool music, telling a story through voice, lyrics, and instruments.


Floofliness (floofinition) – loneliness caused by being without the company of housepets; cut off from housepets.

In use: “The worse, for many fleeing the wildfire, was enduring the floofiness caused when they couldn’t get their pets out, and had to endure the disaster without the comfort the pets provided while waiting to see if their fur friends had survived.”

Weed Man

They encountered each other every day, and every day, the ginger-bearded young man said, “Hey, man, do you have any weed?”

Every day, Mitchell said, “No, sorry.”

After the first three days of this, Mitchell wondered, why is this man asking him for weed? Mitchell wondered, does he look like a man who might have weed? What makes a person look like he might have weed? He had his own conceptions of this. To his mind, he didn’t look like one who might be carrying weed.

The other thought Mitchell had was, perhaps the man greeted everyone like this. Mitchell laughed at the idea of this man saying to everyone met in town, “Hey, man, do you have any weed?”

After five days of this, Mitchell encountered the man while crossing the street, and said, by way of greeting, “Sorry, I don’t have any weed.”

The weed man looked at him like he was crazy.

Which made Mitchell laugh.

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