Asaric Tales e-book update #3

In last month’s update I intended a straight read-through of Asaric Tales Book 1. What happened?

Asaric Tales update 3 v2Asaric Tales Bk 1 read-through

For the first few chapters I used yellow highlight to mark passages/words I wanted to change and returned to them at the end of each day’s reading session to do the necessary. By Ch5 I decided this was a silly procedure; I would make the edits as encountered. Which slowed the read-through. Greatly. Midway through, and the ‘read’ had become another ‘edit’. I also rewrote several passages that still weren’t right. And I thought, hey, next update, I’ll ask for beta-readers.

I sigh. I’m not yet ready. Maybe next week? Perhaps the week after?

Asaric Tales Bk 1 weasel word edit

This has to be the easiest edit. [Find], [Go-To], [Delete] or [Replace].  I zoomed through it,

[Find] reported zilch on a whole swarm of weasels.  Others were straight deletions. And my word count went down, and down and down. Until …

Asaric Tales Bk 1 -ing words edit

Before this edit, Book One of Asaric Tales was 4% -ing words. The count now stands at 2.3%. See, not all -ing words are equal. Some use -ing for their very existence: e.g. sing, thing, wing. Others are gerunds, i.e. nouns and adjective formed from a verb, e.g. verb: to live; gerund: living used as both adjective and noun.

The -ings I hunted were the imperfect verbs: e.g. I was editing; I was laughing; I was groaning. Delete ing and was and the verb becomes perfect: I edited; I laughed; I groaned.

The perfect verb adds power to one’s writing while the edit further reduces the word-count.

But it’s not so easy to do by [Find] and [Replace]. The simple was and ing deletion can result in an ugly construction. There were times I found myself deleting – not liking – replacing – rewriting – restructuring, and then undoing to restore to original form. (Lo! A wonderful string of -ings) All of which was time consuming.

Another read-through Bk 1 Asaric Tales 

My use of adverbs—another hiccup that tends to plague writers—is minimal, and those used are required. Ditto adjectives. And if I pile them on it’s for rhythm, for need and for effect, never for want of a stronger word. I have removed speech tags wherever possible. All that’s left now is …

Another read-through, and that’s top of agenda for Monday morning.

While in the process my eyes and mind will stay sharp for any remaining issues, e.g. unnecessary information, repetitions, illogical constructions.


Next update, which will include the call for beta readers, expected first week in March.

About crispina kemp

Spinner of Asaric and Mythic tales
This entry was posted in On Writing, The Spinner's Game and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Asaric Tales e-book update #3

  1. Brian Bixby says:

    Of course, keep in mind “Rule the Last: It’s good to break any and all of the other rules if it makes for a better story.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Joy Pixley says:

    I’m just leaving a writers conference and went to a great session on the different levels of editing. I have yet to get past the developmental editing level with either of my longer WIPs, so I still don’t have experience with line editing like you’re doing You’ll have to do it all over again after the beta read, assuming that your readers will suggest any major changes to scenes or moving things around. But having done it once, there will be less to do, I’d think.

    Liked by 1 person

    • crimsonprose says:

      I did consider the wisdom of doing so much work at this stage. But two answers appeared. One is that having submerged myself in this level of editing, whatever changes may yet be needed I am likely to write with what has now become almost deep-grained applied (is that grammatical?) Two, by giving my beta readers the best possible copy, they’re not going to be distracted by typos, lazy writing, and such, and so can focus better on the plot and characters. Well, that’s what I’m hoping. And I have to admit, I do like the process.


      • Joy Pixley says:

        It’s always a judgement call, I agree. On the one hand, you want to give your readers the best possible version. On the other hand, you don’t want to waste days or weeks fine-tuning paragraphs you might end up cutting anyway. It sounds like you did a lot of find & replace, which tends to go pretty quickly. I always end up spending far too much time “prettifying” my chapters before taking them to my critique group, only to (sometimes) have them say that sure, it’s pretty, but plot- or character-wise, the whole thing needs to be rethought. Ouch!

        Liked by 1 person

      • crimsonprose says:

        I try to keep my confidence, but I’m dreading the feedback process. Yet without it, how will I ever know . . .

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joy Pixley says:

        For me, that’s one of the dangers of fine-tuning a piece too much. I get to thinking that it’s perfect just the way it is, and not-so-secretly want my critique partners to echo that sentiment. But of course, they will *always* find some problem with it that I didn’t see, because I am too deep into it. I find that the ideal situation for going into a critique is when you know something’s wrong (e.g., feels too slow or too long or too complicated) but you’re not sure what’s wrong or how to fix it. That way, when the critique partners find something wrong and have ideas for solving it, it’s almost a relief.

        Have you never gotten feedback on this story? If you’re really dreading it, you might want to start slow — say, sending out the first three chapters. Kind of dip your foot in to get used to how hot the water is. Keep in mind that you’d probably want to rewrite those chapters (and tweak the rest too) based on that critique, so figure that extra time in. Still, if your beta readers notice something problematic with the setup, it might be better to fix that first, before they critique the entire thing.

        Liked by 1 person

      • crimsonprose says:

        Where to start to answer this? Yes, it has, in its entirety, been critiqued. Professionally, |I paid for it. Though it wasn’t so long in those days. That happening in answer to the said critiqued. I then spent much time checking pacing and character arcs, and checking for plot holes (two of which tripped me on the recent rewrite). I then uploaded it to Feast Fables blog. Not the best environment. To begin with I had 2 readers who (at my request) told me when something wasn’t working, often by a simple question of how come this, or how come that, and am I understanding this right. Then, through illness, I lost one of the readers. The other persisted, and had volunteered to be a beta reader when I’m ready. It has been exposed to WP readers over the course of 4 years, though most read only the update blurbs-cum-link to next episode; other did delve a bit deeper. So it’s not a virgin. My daughter has acted as sounding board; as an avid fantasy fiction reader, she’d quick to pick put where something’s not quite right.
        Having said all that, if I thought I now had a perfect script I wouldn’t be asking for readers. I sense something adrift with the pacing, though that was before the recent rewrite, and maybe the edit has helped some with that. I do wonder if readers will think me inconsistent with the protagonist, though to me that inconsistency is part of her nature and the situation she’d in. She’s not a cardboard cutout. I also wonder if I’ve been heavy-handed on her reactions. I’ve been pulling that back a bit on these last few edits.
        So, yes, I do invite constructive criticism. If I receive none I’d be most suspect of the reader’s ability.
        Does that answer everything. As my protagonist might say: Perhaps not dread, but am anxious, is all.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joy Pixley says:

        It sounds like the story (and you) have been through the wringer a few times — which is always a good sign, for both of you. Recognizing the flaws is half the battle, so I hope your readers give you some good feedback on that. It would probably be good to tell your beta readers what flaws you’re worried about, so they can zoom in on where they see those problems (and where they don’t).

        And I understand; even when you truly want constructive criticism, it’s still nerve-wracking wondering what they’ll say. Looking forward to seeing it!

        Liked by 1 person

      • crimsonprose says:

        I intend to include questions that ought to cover what I think are the flaws. And though, as requested, you’ll get yours in one document and a free hand with how you structure the feedback, the other readers will receive it a ‘part’ at the time (5 parts), with questions geared to that part. But it’s possible we’ll get to Part 5 and find a major glitch waiting. I hope not, but it’s possible. That’s how 120k words became 650k (and reducing, don’t sweat). Who are these characters, the critique-man said. Where did she learn these skills? How has she figured this out? Yea, you get the picture. Well, that side at least is now covered. But the readers need to be aware that the story unfolds over 5 books, and that each book covers a stage in her personal development, and as an Asar, and, a step in her quest, Book 1 is tantamount to Act One of the full story, etc, though each is structured with 5 acts, MP, Threshold, Ordeal, Climax etc etc etc. .

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joy Pixley says:

        It’s great that you have it all planned out like that — good luck with your last round of revisions before you send it out!

        Liked by 1 person

      • crimsonprose says:

        Yea, but the best laid plans are the most awkward to revise. I do confess, I am a planner. I was going to add, ‘at least in writing’, then remembered my last 3 jobs., They all called for attention to detail, a head that gets around logistics. Guess that’s me.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joy Pixley says:

        Better to have a detailed plan and have to revise it than to have no plan at all!

        Liked by 1 person

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