State of the Project #2

Still at 40,217 words, which if you're keeping track from last week, means I haven't touched the current draft. Well, I suppose I could have somehow magically written as many words as I cut, but I didn't. Concentrated on writing all those critiques I agreed to for folks on Scribophile – two for Jay, two for Emily, two for Sid, one for Karin, and three for John. Huh. Didn't feel like ten over the week. My jerk brain is telling me I need to pick up the pace, but that averages out to one and half chapters critiqued a day. Which is pretty good for having a full time job, right? Fellow Scribophile writers, when you're concentrating on trading critiques, how fast do you write critiques? 

Part of the jerk brain's ammunition is that Lorena finished critiquing the whole project and the guy who started looking at my writing through the Fast Critters group. Dude is already on chapter 12 and doing 3-4 critiques a day. Unfortunately, he's not all that helpful for me. Which is a bit of a story.

See, I critiqued his piece several months ago through the Fast Critters group.

It was bad. I had to ask the group leader for more time everyone agreed to because I had to mentally force myself to read through their work. Three female characters and one male character and the dang thing didn't pass the Bechdel test in the first dozen chapters or so. Female lead character was an abusive, misogynist. Just really insulting characterization of women (I thought) from a male writer with bad existential philosophy thrown in. Not that I think existential philosophy is a bad philosophy, it's that the philosophy in-story was badly written. And just bloody uninteresting. 

And I have no idea if this guy remembers that was me critiquing his second novel in a trilogy and hating it so much I hoped it never sees the publishing light of day. Not that I said that, but my distaste for his work showed through the critiquing. Which I know because he kept messaging me to defend/explain/mansplain his writing and stop pointing out how red-flag abusive and misogynistic his main character was.

So, um, yeah. Didn't like his writing. No idea if he remembers me. Or if it's influencing his critiquing. But he's pointed out things that no one else mentioned in any of the other 11 critiques on chapter one. Not even hitting the minimum level of stuff to say to get currency-unit points on a couple chapters. And saying things like "Hey, here's some homework to go do". Okay, not liking how often I use names in dialog is one thing. Possibly a valid thing. Probable even. But the second you're condescending enough to tell another adult on a website of peers who choose to associate with each other to go do homework... I don't have words at that point, just inarticulate side-eyed annoyance. 

Next time I participate in Fast Critters, I'm going to ask the group leader not to assign me to this dude's writing, or this dude to my writing. We just don't like each other's work. We'll see how that works out since I'm pretty sure they participate in group more than I do. I need to know I'm going to have a clearer few weeks than usual to feel like it'd be fair to the author waiting on my critiques, for me to sign up for a round at Fast Critters.

Sorry, derailing into only semi-related topics here. Back to the actual state of the project.

Started pulling together some creative commons images onto a Pinterest board for cover development. Also some photographs I'll have to check the copyrights on.

State of the Chapters:
5 critiques, 3 comments on the blurbs
12 critiques on chapter 1
9 critiques on chapter 2
5 critiques on chapter 3
4 critiques on chapter 4
4 critiques and 1 comment on chapter 5
4 critiques on chapter 6
3 on chapter 7
2 (each) on chapters 8-11
1 (each) on chapters 12-14
and 2 (each) on 15 and 16

Definitely time to cross-reference all the critiques on 1 through 6 and create a revision log. I'm not entirely sure about the mechanics of how I'm going to do that. I could do the standard of having the draft in one window of Scrivener and one critique in the other and deciding on a case-by-case basis what I want to incorporate into the draft. But I would like see what multiple people agree on before making that decision. Which sort of sounds like creating a draft copy in Word, turning on track changes, and adding everyone's comments, suggestions, and changes through the comments function of Word. Which would be a lot of work. I'll have to keep thinking about it. Any other writers feel like sharing in the comments their methodology? 

I need to keep revising the blurb. Did a bit of research on what covers in my genre look like on Amazon. Turns out the mystery section of Amazon doesn't have subcategories below Mysteries : Hardboiled, just moods & themes or characters tags. So... covers look like the Vintage Crime printings of Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler. I could emulate worse.  Also I still need to read up on how to export into ebook formats.

And keep on blogging.

See y'all next week.