Thoughts on Re-Rewriting My Novel’s First Chapter

Not the "re-re" I'm referring to, but like the Bajan beauty in her famous revenge video, I had to get tough on this chapter

Not the “re-re” I’m referring to, but like the Bajan beauty in her famous revenge video, I had to get tough on this chapter

Writing is rewriting.

So the popular, and unfortunately, all too true saying goes.

After working on the first draft my historical fiction trilogy for the better part of three years (with a long, six-year hiatus in between), I was ecstatic to finally get started on draft two of book #1 back in January of this year.

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On Captive Protagonists, Slash Fiction, and the Fantasy of Gender Equality

Kirk and Spock

There was an unsuspecting evolution that led to me reading a work of male/male original slash fiction.

It started when an online friend of mine recommended a book to me through Goodreads: Uprooted – a beautifully written, dark fantasy fairytale by Naomi Novik.

My friend I discussed this book extensively via Goodreads as I read it, and when I finished, I suggested we next read the same book simultaneously so we could discuss our reactions to it in real time.

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Thoughts on Revising My Novel’s First Chapter

One chapter down, 30 more to go (in this draft)

One chapter down, 30 more to go (in this draft)

For a while, I honestly thought this day would never come: the day I finally got to start revising my WIP.

I never set out to write a trilogy.  That’s a whole lot of writing for anyone, but for me, being such a slow writer to boot, it at times felt near-insurmountable.

I’m convinced the only thing that got me to THE END of the first draft was the iron-like strength of my discipline.  I may have many shortcomings as a writer, but showed up at the page is not one of them.

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What’s New for the New Year? (or, On My Ongoing Efforts to Get Sh*t Done)

Toshiba factory reset

What’s new for me for 2016?  In a word, not a heck of a lot.

For all that that’s actually six words.

New Year’s is my favourite time of the year.  I love new beginnings and the opportunity to forecast what shape the coming year will take by setting goals to help chart its course and advancement.

Given this, I’m no stranger to New Year’s resolutions.  I even have a fairly decent record of achieving them.

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Thoughts on Reading Through My Novel’s First Draft

My first draft chapters, bottom to top, colour coded by their revision needs

My first draft chapters, bottom to top, colour coded by their revision needs

It was like grading the world’s longest midterm paper.

Coming in at 402 pages and with all but the last two chapters having been written some ten years ago, I really had no idea what I was in for when, upon completing my first novel ever (technically my first trilogy, but I count it as one completed story), the time came to read through the entire first draft.

The age of the thing alone terrified me, for how well could a ten-year-old story possibly hold up?  I already knew going in that I’d have a fair amount of rewriting ahead of me, but the question was how much?

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How Reading Affects My Writing – Past, Present, and Future

Book magic

When it comes to books and words and the creation and consumption of both, although I write nearly every day, I’ve always considered myself a reader first while only second am I a writer.

Of course, there is factual truth to this statement: I literally learned and continued to read stories before I started writing them (although the timing for both is close; I clearly recall writing my first “novel” in grade two).

Even now as an adult, my almost-daily reading occurs earlier in the day (dinner time) than does my almost-daily writing (after dinner, the last thing before  I go to sleep).

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Why I Don’t Read Five-Star Book Reviews

Amazon star ratingsEver since my very first Amazon book purchase on October 25, 2002, I’ve never stopped debating myself on the value of customer book reviews.

(If you ever want to enjoy a nostalgia-filled blast through the past, go through your Amazon purchase history order by order, year by year, back to the very beginning.)

On the one hand, professional reviewers aren’t always giving in-depth reviews of the books I read or want to read.  As well, there are way more customer reviewers out there; the law of averages alone suggests I’m more likely to share tastes with an amateur than a pro, many of whom fall into more similar social demographics to each other than to me.

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