Monday, October 27, 2014

In which I return to a normal life...

...or as normal a life as mine ever is.

That's right. The rumors are true: I've finished the final major revision of Blade's Edge.



I might be a little bit excited about that.

This whole thing has been a crazy ride. Of course, it's not actually over. Right now the manuscript is in the hands of my awesome beta-readers - people who have volunteered their time to read the book before it's pretty and tell me all the things that I failed to do properly.

Like "Gee, Virginia it sure is nifty that your characters can all do ____ is a shame you never explain how that works."

Or, "Gosh, I really enjoyed __insert character name here__ too bad you forgot about him entirely at the end of the book."

In truth, this final revision was about fixing all of those types of problems (along with a bunch of other changes) so hopefully none of that happens, but that's the kind of thing they're looking for among other things. Big picture issues. So right now I'm enjoying some blissful time away from the manuscript while it rests in their hands. I'll get it back on November 1st and get it to my copyeditor by the 5th after taking care of whatever my beta readers find that needs fixing.

So, of course I spent the whole day getting nothing productive done aside from a few work related e-mails. I would feel guilty, but, until yesterday I hadn't taken a full day off since September 8th (no not even on weekends) so I'm going to go ahead and allow it.

You guys know how much I like stats, so here are some stats for the Blade's Edge final revision:

# of words at the end of draft 2 (the one available on Jukepop) = 99,531

# of words at the start of draft 3 = 80,347

# of words at the end of draft 3 (final draft) = 105,443

# of days spent on draft 3 = 27

# of hours spent on draft 3 = at least 270 but possibly quite a few more...

Amount of joy at being done with the final major revision of Blade's Edge = immeasurable

Yeah. It's a bad mastercard commercial. I went there.

Anyway, it doesn't really feel real, this whole being done with the final major revision of a novel business. I keep saying "major revision" because there is still work to be done on the manuscript. It will require fixes when it comes back from my beta readers. It will require fixes when my copy editor and I go through it. It will probably require some teeny tiny fixes even after that. The goal is for it to need as few fixes as possible by the time it goes to print... here's hoping.

To celebrate yesterday my husband and I hung out a bunch, made some food, spent time with friends, and Artemis and I went for a glorious fall walk in the woods. So here's a picture of that. I'm going to go read or something... maybe even go the climbing gym. BECAUSE I CAN.


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

In which I-- OMG SKETCHES!!!!!!!!!!!

Well, I received the first round of sketches for the Blade's Edge cover today and I have to say, I wish had thousands of dollars lying around so that I could get all three of them made into covers, and posters, and other things that are large and can hang on walls for all the world to see because... HOLY CRAP THEY'RE AMAZING!

I didn't get much work done today because I was too excited about the mere prospect of the sketches arriving, and then, once they arrived, I was too excited about the images themselves and then too distraught over having to choose between them, to do anything.

So yeah today was a wash for revision, but, since I worked ALL WEEKEND, I'm going to let that slide. I have made a ton of progress and am starting to feel more confident that I might still make my own self imposed deadline. We shall see. I plan to get lots done tomorrow.

In other news: I did go for a run today, in addition to taking the dog for an extra long walk, so I feel reasonably accomplished in the "go play outside" aspect of my life.

Well, I'm going to go ahead and call it a night, all of the excitement of the day has worn me out and now that I've finally come to a decision of sorts about sketches I feel I can get some rest. For those who are dying to see them, I will post them if I can, but I forgot to ask the artist if it's ok for me to share them with the interwebs. In the meantime, did I post this picture of Artemis frolicking yet? She's a big fan of Fall.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Still trapped underneath my revision, just checking in...

Well folks, I just thought I'd post a quick update to let people know that I haven't actually suffocated beneath hundreds of pages of manuscript. It feels like that at times, but only figuratively.

Here's a quick update:

I finished all the prep work for the revision on Tuesday night at around 9:30pm. It took longer than I had hoped but I am very excited about the revision plan. This book is going to be so much better when I'm done with it that I'm starting to get embarrassed about the existence of the second draft on the internet. Oh well, what's done is done.

Yesterday I started the overwhelming endeavor of actually rewriting the novel. I have ten days to do it (well only nine now) in order to make all of my deadlines. Holy cow this is going to be intense. So many things are changing. If you've read the Jukepop serial you'll probably be surprised at just how different the two drafts are. It's little things like the name of the world and the different types of people in it, and much bigger things too (like the disappearance of most of part one and part two). Still, I got a lot done yesterday and will get more done today and every day until the 24th of this month. I will take it one page at a time, but I predict that there will be a number of 12 to 16 hour days in my future. That's ok. When all is said and done this book will rock, and I can relax a bit in November... Maybe.

I should be getting sketches for the cover art on the 20th. That makes me incredibly happy and a bit giddy. I really can't wait to see what Juan Carlos has come up with for this cover. I'll get more than one sketch and then choose a direction from there. It's honestly one of the most exciting parts of this whole process, to see what a visual artist does with your words... Squeeeeee!

And one other thing that makes me wan't to do a crazy happy dance: I will officially be having a book launch for Blade's Edge at McNally Robinson's on Friday January 23rd at 7pm in the Atrium. Mark your calendars. :-) More details coming soon.

Ok. I desperately need to get back to that whole revision thing. Days are going to be way longer than 16 hours if I spend them on things that aren't this revision. Here's a picture of Artemis enjoying a lovely fall walk yesterday:

(Walks count as revision time because a. I solve all of life's -and, more importantly, fiction's- problems while walking and b. exercise for me and the dog are always on the approved activities list.)

Thursday, October 9, 2014

In which I celebrate briefly and then disappear for a little while...

Wow, I can't believe I failed to do this yesterday. It's a solid example of how crazy Kickstarter has made everything.

Yesterday, at 10:53am local time (that's Winnipeg for anyone wondering) funding closed on my Kickstarter. With 92 backers we raised $4811 in 30 days! I'm still in shock, and apparently was too out of it yesterday to realize that I hadn't put any kind of celebratory announcement here on the blog.

So first of all, if you haven't had a chance to watch the Shameless Dance of Joy yet, you should do that. My dancing is awful, and silly, and totally made up on the spot, but it is full of joy and does a pretty good job of demonstrating how I feel about having the Kickstarter succeed.

So here's that:

And here's the video update from my Kickstarter updates page yesterday thanking everyone and including some other business:

And here's a picture of Artemis and I celebrating today by enjoying a nice walk in the woods:

I also celebrated last night by going to a reading at a bookstore and meeting some other Manitoba authors. That was fun. 

Even better, only a few hours after the Kickstarter closing out I went to a local bookstore called McNally Robinson (it's huge like Barnes and Noble, but is only a three branch chain - Winnipeg, Saskatoon and... New York City) to talk to their Events Coordinator. They're super supportive of local authors, independent and traditionally published alike, and I will be having a book launch event there in January. So keep your eye out for more details about that. 

And now, I am going to run away from internet for a week or two, because I need to get serious about this revision timeline I've set myself. Just to give you an idea of why this requires giving up the interwebs (and all other distractions) here's the schedule for publication:

Oct. 24th final revision done send to beta-readers
Oct. 29th receive beta-reader feedback
Nov. 1st - 3rd send final draft with beta-reader feedback incorporated to copy editor
Nov. 27th get final draft back from copy editor
Dec. 3rd finish formatting manuscript
Dec. 5th order proof copy of Blade's Edge
Dec. 10th approve proof copy
Dec. 15th order copies of the book to send to Kickstarter backers
Dec. 16th start working like mad to fulfill all the Kickstarter backer rewards 

Yeah, so that's the bare bones of the timeline, and only includes my end of things, not the cover art and design etc. But that's going to have to be all the details I give you for now, because I desperately need to get to work on this revision thing. And also on Kickstarter backer surveys....

So much to do! One step at a time. Deep breaths. 

See you all on the flip side! 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Shameless Dance of Joy!

Which was brought on by crossing the 100% mark for Kickstarter funding today. Check it out:

There's still time to meet our stretch goals if you're interested in ordering a copy of Blade's Edge (we have 17 hours left before funding closes and we're currently $1 shy of our first stretch goal):

I'm more thrilled than I can express easily right now. Too much gratitude to channel into words at the moment. Also, I need to go take the dog for a walk. Sending super positive thoughts at everyone else in the world. 

Monday, October 6, 2014

The Ins and Outs of Revision...

So, I promised a post about the details of the revision process for Blade's Edge and I won't fail you! Here's a video that I posted to my latest Kickstarter update that covers it in detail:

**WARNING** The following video is over 8 minutes long and is ENTIRELY about revision (ok the first 45 seconds or so talk about why I'm wearing a hat- but other than that...)! If you don't want to know a lot of details about the revision process for Blade's Edge - do NOT watch this video. You have been warned.

Speaking of the Kickstarter there are only 37 hours left to reach full funding. There are only $121 left to fully fund! If you've been toying with the idea of contributing now would be a great time, and no contribution is too low! (Seriously, if six people pre-order the book - and one person throws in a extra dollar- we're at the one hundred percent mark!)

That's all the updating/blogging I have time for today. So enjoy eight minutes of me rambling on about revision (or don't - I won't hold it against you). I'm off to bed!

In which revision eats my blog post...

Well, I'd apologize for not having more of an update today, but it's for a very good cause: I spent the time that I would have spent blogging on the prep work for the final revision of Blade's Edge. Between Saturday night during down time at my volunteer gig, and Sunday during the times that I wasn't writing college recommendations or feeding myself, and this morning when I wasn't busy drumming up Kickstarter backers or carefully preparing the information my cover artist needs to get to work on his sketches, I worked on prep for the final revision, and I'm now over a quarter of the way done with the prep work! Considering that was probably a total of 9 hours worth of work so far, that's a pretty good indicator that prep shouldn't take more than a week! Yay!

I have a nice big video to share with you guys about the revision process, but it's a bit long and I am on borrowed wifi at the mall, which isn't exactly speedy. So expect that as soon as my home wifi is restored... Not sure when that will be.

In Kickstarter news: We are 96% funded!!!!!! (Ok we're shy of 96% by a dollar, but I'm going to go ahead and count it)! Since Kickstarter has begun counting down the amount of time we have left in hours instead of days (were down to 42 hours for anyone wondering) it seems like great timing!

This morning the kickstarter haiku was:

Coffee fuels writing 
money produces my book 
forty eight hours left!

For those unaware I've been writing at least one kickstarter haiku per day and posting it to twitter/facebook.

I think there was a time when I said I would post three Haiku a day til the end of the project. Then upon further reflection that seemed like it would be spammy. Now that we're down to counting time til the end of the campaign in hours I think I might reconsider my stance on that. If you see extra haiku in the next 42 hours... consider yourself warned.

On that note: does anyone else want to write some haiku for the project? Post them here for all of us to see! Or include @gwendamned in the tweet, or tag Virginia McClain in the facebook post. It would be fun to see what other people come up with. My haiku are pretty terrible and I would be happy to borrow someone else's. ;-)

Alright, I'm going to get back to revision work. Sorry this post is short. More soon!

Tatsu approves of Kickstarter Haiku!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Revisions, Kickstarter and Jukepop

Oh blog readers... I really really want to create some awesome original content for you this week, but my soul is being given over to the Kickstarter for the time being. So here is a link to the 9th update which includes a video of yours truly, some stats (we saw an over 25% jump from yesterday!) and some of the haiku that I've been writing for promotion.

Kickstarter update #9

Soon, very soon,  I will have awesomeness to tell you about my revision process.

In the meantime, you should also know that I finished the whole entire second revision (ie. the Jukepop Serial version) of Blade's Edge on Monday of last week. Here's the link to that video as well.

For now I am off to eat the lunch that I keep putting off, have a shower, and get ready to bike through the cold, rainy, wind to get to a volunteer gig I have tonight.

Here's a what the "office" looked like last week. Looking a lot drabber today. :-(

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

NaNoWriMo Support Squad

Today's post is a guest post over at the NaNoWriMo Support Squad. I talk about what it's like to participate in National Novel Writing Month, and the various outcomes that can be achieved. Mildly humorous, somewhat long winded... Check it out! :-)