Thursday, July 7, 2011

Almost There

I'm steadily closing in on the end of my revision gauntlet, finishing up the last chapters (hopefully tonight).  We're still hoping to get the book posted to B&N, Amazon, and Smashwords sometime this weekend.  CreateSpace will follow soon thereafter, with all the appropriate links back here on the site.

I nearly had a catastrophic event as I got to work editing last night.  Generally, I sneak bits of writing it at various places, sometimes at lunch on my day job computer.  There's a great little program called Dropbox that has really helped me to do this seamlessly.  Basically, it lets you story your files "in the clouds" with a light client that syncs up a local copy of the file whenever you're on the Internet.  If you're disconnected from the Internet, you still have full access to the last files (they're physically on the computer), but changes won't be synced until you connect to the web.  It works well so long as you remember sync changes in between writing session, especially if you happened to make some of those offline.  You wouldn't want to have conflicting versions and all.

Anyway, part of our workplace protocol is to change your password once a month or so.  This mucks up the proxy which mucks up my Dropbox access.  All I need to do is update the passwords accordingly, but I forgot to do so yesterday.  When I got home, I started working and got about two hours into an editing session before I realized I was working with the old versions.  I had forgotten to sync with the bit of I'd done over lunch. 

In my world, there is nothing worse than trying to recreate creative magic.  Once I've dipped into that well and drizzled out my words on paper, it's is really hard to reclaim the thread.  Knowing you've already done something once - and were pleased with it - totally takes the wind out of my sails.  Such was that case last night.  So I stopped and ate the lost work time, hoping against hope that I'd be able to salvage some of it on the morrow.

Fortunately, a quick password update and word-compare later... I merged my edits and am back where I left off.  I had almost lost a cumulative 4 hours of editing!  All is well now, though, and I'm back on track.

I did want to share a quick link to an article written by Michael Stackpole the other day.  The message is great, as usual, but I specifically wanted to share the following where he relates a bit of reassurance for beginning writers:
If, after doing all that, and working as hard as you can on a story, you’ve made the story the best you can possibly make it, it isn’t crap. It might not be the most polished story in the world—developing your skills and voice may take some time—but it’s a better story than you started out with. And if you keep working hard, the next story will be better, and the one after that better still. By offering potential patrons free samples of your work, you let them decide if they want to read you; and they’ll be able to come back and chart your progress to the point where their desire to read and your skill at delivering a story coincide.
The article is in response to the recurring cry from some folks that e-books are leading to "more crap" in the marketplace.  One of my biggest fears has always been that, right now, I'm not a Michael Stackpole.  I don't have years of professional experience to fall back on.  I'm just starting. 

But everyone has to start somewhere.  Even Michael Stackpole.  The key, then, is putting together the best story you possibly can.  Hopefully, tonight I'll be putting the finishing touches on just that.  I don't think that it's the most polished story in the world, but it certainly isn't crap.  It's the beginning of a journey for me, one I hope to share.


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