Thoughts on Completing My Novel’s Second Draft

Thirty-one chapters rewritten and accounted for

It took an entire year.

In not even counting the two months where I purposely did no writing at all, it took an entire year to write the second draft of my historical fiction novel-in-progress, which amounted to a complete rewrite of my first draft.

It took longer to write than the first draft itself, which I completed in 10 months back in in 2005.

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If You Can Dream It, You Still Have to Do It

dream-it-wish-it-do-it

The year 2016 knocked the wind out of a lot of people’s sails.

Politically, it showed considerable regression in the progress of equality and human rights.

A seemingly inordinate number of notable figures and celebrities passed away, many surprisingly young, which suggests we haven’t come as far in disease prevention, mental health treatment, and drug harm reduction as we may have thought.

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The Problem with Historical Fiction (and the Power of Historical Fiction)

The historical fiction shelf you won't find in most bookstores and libraries

The historical fiction shelf you won’t find in most bookstores and libraries

The problem with historical fiction is that it’s not actually genre.

Not the way romance or mystery or thriller are genres.

There are no defining characteristics – no genre conventions – of historical fiction other than the story taking place in a non-contemporary time period in which the manners, social conditions, and other details of the era are clearly depicted.

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How I’m Spending My Summer, 2016 Edition

Summer3

I take great joy in planning my summers every year.

Even if I’m not expecting to do anything noteworthy or conventionally exciting, the thought of longer, warmer days and a bit of time off to do as I will to fill them is invaluable in helping me make it through the winter.

Admittedly, winter in Vancouver is mildest that Canada has to offer.  I really have nothing to complain about by comparison.

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On Recognizing the Interim Rewards of Writing

My chapter revision tracking system, with special emphasis given to chapters 7, 15, 21, and 30 (formerly 31)

My chapter revision tracking system for draft 2, with special emphasis given to chapters 7, 15, 21, and 30 (formerly 31)

The ultimate reward of writing, obviously, is publishing a book and having it read to widespread appeal.

But long before reaching that point, should a writer reward the intermediate stages of his/her writing journey?

In the past, I’ve written not only about both the importance of goal-setting, but also of ensuring your goals have corresponding plans to power their fulfillment.

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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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A New Answer to the Big Question

The Helix Nebula, nicknamed the Eye of God

The Helix Nebula, nicknamed the “Eye of God”

Years ago, I blogged about a common big question that often arises in writing.

Namely, the question of when you can properly call yourself a writer.

At the time, I’d just found “The Answer to the Big Question” in my house.  This was a list explaining the various circumstances that make one a writer that I’d printed from the internet years earlier when I too was uncertain on this matter.

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