The Final Stretch

The Guild of Literary Intent liked the new first chapter of Picking Up the Ghost so I just have a little work to do on the novel itself, finish the summery (currently 15 pages, it should be 10) and write a query letter and I’ll be ready to send it off to publishers and agents.

I really shouldn’t kid myself, there will be at least one more rewrite for the publisher and maybe one for the agent but for now let me sit back and dream.

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Done, Done and Done.

Done 1) Finished draft 3.6 of Picking Up the Ghost I’ll be workingshoping the new first chapter next week but once that’s done I’ll finally be ready to start looking for agents and publishers.

Done 2) Finished playing Bioshock which means I’m done with all three of the games I got for the PS3. And since I don;t need to be writing this would be a perfect time to start a new game, problem is I want to play something without guns and really all the PS3 has are first person shooters and sports games.

Done 3) Finished the two books I was reading Little Brother and The Year of Living Biblically. Again this should be an opportunity to jump on somehting new but I’m still committed to finishing all the books I own before I buy any new ones and I’m not really in the mood for anything on my To Read shelf.

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The 32 oz. of coffee I drank twelve hours ago are going to keep me up all night.
That’s some very tenacious coffee.
Well one night of insomnia is a small price to pay for finally finishing that new first chapter.

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Picking Up the Ghost was subjected to its second workshop on Saturday and I’m happy to say that it came out stronger than it did last year. Happy because I really didn’t want to spend another year rewriting the thing.

Most of the suggestions this time around should be easy to implement and I’ll hopefully have the next (and final?) draft done in a few months.

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Crap.

Only three pages this week. I’m in the mood to take a break but I really want to get a readable draft finished before we take off on our road trip and I have two weeks to do it.

Fingers crossed.

83,433 words and counting.

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14 pages since Friday. Though, to be fair I salvaged maybe five of those from the previous draft, from huge blocks of text that I thought I’d have to cut entirely.

Still, I’m pretty happy with myself. I’m a whole lot closer to my goal: Draft 3.0 done by November.

But now I gotta stop and do some research.

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So burnt.

Writing has become a chore so I’m going to take some time off from working on the novel and work on a different project for awhile.

I can’t remember the last time I worked on a comic book project. Maybe it’s time to get back to that. If anything it’s be nice to have a seven issue limited series all written out.

Hey, , I think I might be ready for that invite into the “City of” MMORPGs, if you’re still playing.

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I love the Google!

Me: I wonder what the outside of the Cook County Office of the Medical Examiner looks like…
Google: Like this!

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Going into the third draft.

After listening to the recordings we made of our first and second workshops and reading the annotations on ‘s hard copy, I consolidated the notes and I’m ready to start in on the third draft. I’ve already crossed out everything that has to be cut.

For those of you who have read the second draft that means I’m losing any reference to the Half-Way World/Purgatory, most of the scene in the meatworks (including the Cowboy and the ladder-in-the-pit), the entire water dream will be replaced and the scene with Iku in the church will be completely rewritten. And there will be far fewer semi-colons.

I will be adding: More of the supporting cast in the second half, especially Cinque’s family. The importance of Cinque’s interactions with the supernatural characters will be more explicit. More emoting during conversations. More St Jude in the second half. More of the bad guy in the first half. More race and father issues throughout both halves.

The workshoper thought that I had drawn on The Adventure of Huckleberry Finn for influence so I decided to finaly read it to see what they were talking about. Both stories take place along the Mississippi and I have a Mark Twain quote in the first chapter. Strangest of all, Tom Sawyer briefly uses the alias “William Thompson” which is the name of one of my main characters.

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Saturday I got together with Melissa, Justin and David and they discussed the first twelve chapters of Picking Up the Ghost while I listened.
I came away with a list of 21 items that I should address in the third draft: More of the supporting cast, more reasons why the supporting cast is in the book at all, stronger connections between events that I thought were clear, more emoting during conversations, more emotional reactions from the main character, less semi-colons and on and on…

How about you people on the internets? Those of you who asked for copies of draft 2.5, any feedback?

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