Saturday, May 9, 2015

Apostate 1.2

     I finished Libbie's book. That means the title of this post should be Apostate 2.0. Well, that's gonna have to wait, 'cause I still have things to write about from Rachel's book. Looks like at least this post and one more before I get to Apostate 2.0.

     In Rachel Aaron; 2k to 10k: Writing Faster, Writing Better, Rachel mentioned the use of a spreadsheet to track her time: when she wrote (time of day), how long she wrote, and how many words she wrote each day. As I recall, she promised an example of the spreadsheet she used, but I never saw such.
     Sometimes just knowing a thing can be done spurs imitation.
     I knew Rachel used a spreadsheet for her purposes, so I constructed one for mine. Here is part of mine for the month of April:

Navel of the Moon


Date Start Stop Duration





2015Apr21 <--started using technique from WF,WB
2015Apr22 06:25 07:23 00:58



2015Apr24 14:30 14:56 00:26



2015Apr26 18:11 18:27 00:16

2015Apr27 08:58 09:23 00:25

2015Apr28 14:15 14:28 00:13

2015Apr29 09:36 10:02 00:26

2015Apr30 07:14 07:31 00:17

     (FWIW getting this table into blogger was a huge pain in the ass. Well, getting it in wasn't, but getting it in in a readable form was.)
     Navel of the Moon is the name of the work.
     This post deals with editing. I got my editing technique from Stuart Woods (SW). Each day SW reads what he wrote the previous day and edits that. Then he writes new copy. I do the same. Makes for a clean first draft.
     I may post writing times later, but so far I have learned nothing from analysis of my writing times and durations. Rachel wrote that she had two months of data before she noticed anything. Maybe I expect too much from ten days of data.
     The first thing you may notice is that the entries from 2015Apr06 to 2015Apr20 are missing. I edited those out, because they all looked like 2015Apr05: nothing. Who wants to look at lots and lots of nothing?
     The times are in 24 hour clock. The durations are in hours and minutes.
     The first thing I noticed was how long I spent editing 2015Apr22: almost an hour. What you can measure, you can change. My average (mean) editing time for the last five days is under twenty minutes. I changed my editing habit. It is now more efficient.

     I see now that last time I promised to write about "clocking editing and writing." I've done that for editing with this post. On the writing side, there are three more columns to the right of the editing times. Substitute 'Writing' for 'Editing' and they look similar.
     One hiccup I ran into was how to deal with split writing times; for example, write from 07:00 to 07:45, break, and write again from 19:25 to 20:35. What to do with that?
     My solution was inelegant. I copied the first duration to the cell to the right, entered the times for the second period, and added the duration for the second period to the copy. Not precise, but close enough for government work.

     No output today because I spent the day editing Navel of the Moon from the beginning and building a complete timeline for the novel. Looks like those tasks will also consume tomorrow. In the end, these efforts will make for a tighter novel and a better read.
     The idea for the climactic scene hit me at lunch on Friday, and I whipped out my little yellow notebook and jotted furiously for about ten minutes. Scared hell out the other patrons in the restaurant.
     It's good. It's really good. And it ties up everything in a satisfying way.

     I've not decided if there will be an Apostate 1.3 or if I shall go straight to Apostate 2.0. Stay tuned and find out next time.

Happy trails.

Links to the posts in this series:
Apostate 1.1
Apostate 1.0
Apostate 0.2 
Apostate 0.1

Links to the books:
Rachel Aaron; 2k to 10k: Writing Faster, Writing Better
Libbie Hawker; Take Off Your Pants!

Links to the authors' websites:
Rachel Aaron
Libbie Hawker

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