Finishing Up “Miracles” Revisions

This weekend I allowed myself to do something I haven’t done in at least six months: Relax. It felt really nice, and I should probably do it more often than I do.  Still, books don’t revise themselves, so I thought I’d outline my “what’s left” list.


When I’m writing I’ll often find a that a new character or idea I haven’t yet given a name to will show up. In the old days I used to stop there until I figured out the name of the character/town/whatever, and then keep going. This really didn’t work very well1 as it would stop me in my tracks, so I started bracketing placeholders off so I could find them quickly later and just keep going. It’s how I end up with fairly major characters known only as “[Someone]”. 2

0/743 replaced

I have a 743 of these currently in the manuscript, although less than 200 are unique. So my very next step is to finalize all these and get my [placeholders] out of there.

Another Read Through

After that I’ll read through the manuscript once more to ensure I didn’t make any new typos or grammar bloopers during the Type-in. I’m hoping this is relatively quick.

Then What?

This is the point where I have someone else read the manuscript, and get some feedback. I’ll admit I’m a bit skittish. After getting the feedback on my first novel I decided to “trunk” it.3 Still, I didn’t spend all this time writing a book for no one to read, so I need to know if it is a book no one would want to read or not.

  1. especially during NaNoWriMo []
  2. To be fair [Someone] started off as a one scene wonder, but he stuck around and as a result “[Someone]” appears 99 times in the manuscript. []
  3. put it aside and pretend it doesn’t exist for a while []

“Miracles” Type-in Complete

December? How did that happen? Guess I’m late with another progress update, so here it is:

104/104 scenes

Hey look at that!  Last night I finished the type-in1 of the final scene.  Horray!

All Finished?

So am I all done with “Miracles”? Unfortunately, no. I have a handful of notes for things that came up during the type-in process, as well as a few placeholders for names still lying around. Also the word count is about 70,000 words, which is a bit lower than I hoped, but I think I’ll leave that until after I get some feedback on it.

Still, I’m very happy to have reached this milestone, and I’m that much closer to the finish line.

  1. “Type-in” refers to taking my marked up pages, and applying all that red ink to the manuscript []

“Miracles” Type-in Upd[ CONTENT OVERRIDE: KILROY2.0 IS HERE!!! ]

86/108 scenes

Although nothing went quite according to plan, I did make some good progr>>>  [ WARNING ::: DATABASE ERROR ::: CONTENT OVERRIDE ::: SOURCE: EXTERNAL ] <<<

> source terminal location: UNKNOWN
> source terminal identity: UNAVAILABLE
> source login information: ENCRYPTED
> message begins

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“Miracles” Type-in Update (Late-October)

81/106 scenes

I’m way past time for another progress update. Things have been, well, erratic. Between long days at work, sick children, and being sick for a while myself I’ve done my best to keep things moving. I’m happy to see that I’m about three quarters of the way to the end.1 But the past few days I’ve built up a decent momentum. Now I need to just hold on to it.

  1. At least to this part of the process []

Summer’s End

Sorry things have been so quiet around here. With summer ending, and two kiddos back in school, things have been a little crazy as we settle into a somewhat familiar, predictably hectic, routine.  We had a lot of fun this summer as a family. We visited zoos, aquariums, museums, cookouts, and, of course, the beach.1

Writing Update

As I saw summer flying by I knowingly let the writing side of things slide a bit to make sure I enjoyed all the fun things we did as a family. 2   When I break my daily writing habit I have a very hard time re-starting it, which is why I cling to it so strongly. It’s even hard to re-start while adjusting to the much tighter morning schedule of the school year. But I’m happy to say that, after a rock start, things are back on track. I’m making daily progress and I’m starting to see the light at the end of the revisions tunnel on “Miracles”.

63/105 scenes
  1. Although we only made it to the ocean once, and the weather was a bit overcast, everyone had such a great time it didn’t matter. []
  2. There were additional factors contributing to this being perhaps the most stressful summer I can remember, making happy family time more important that ever. []

Links of Interest (March 5th 2009 Through August 13th 2009) to sell 2 DRM-FREE titles
It appears is going to try releasing Cory Doctorow's next two audiobooks without DRM (a first for as far as I know).
"Skulpt is an entirely in-browser implementation of Python."
Modernizr is a Javascript library that allows client side detection of CSS3 and HTML5 browser features. It allows you to write CSS with conditionals through one of my personal favorite bits of CSS magic: classes on the body tag. It also gives you the ability to do the same in our Javascript.
A collection of open source (BSD) tools for generating and managing ePub documents. Adobe's Java based EPUBGen was just added. Tools now exist for conversion to ePub from Word, RTF, DocBook, TEI, and FictionBook.
Doozers Get "Fraggle Rock" Spin-Off
It's animated, and aimed at ages four to seven, but I'll probably check it out with the kids.
The Zelazny Project
"We plan to print a complete collection of Roger Zelazny's short fiction and poetry, in (most likely) six hardcover volumes. We expect to include all published fiction and poetry we can find, however obscurely published, and a number of unpublished works retrieved from Zelazny's archived papers. We also expect to include the shorter early versions of several novels, several novel excerpts that were published independently as short works and a few of Zelazny's articles on topics of interest to him."

ProgPress 0.8.5

I’ve updated my ProgPress Plug-in. This version should (hopefully) solve the issue with php4 that recently came to light. It also uses an inline version of the default styles in feeds, which looks a lot nicer.

If it doesn’t seem to be working after upgrading/installing, please check the ProgPress settings page.

Coming Soon: Serialized Fiction

I’ve decided to try and  experiment with serializing some fiction here on the site.  My first offering will be a stand-alone fantasy story set in the same world as Miracles, the novel I’m currently revising. If it goes over well it may become a regular thing.

The story will be posted in four or five segments, one each Friday.1 Enjoy!

  1. starting today at noon EDT []

“Miracles” Type-in Update (Late-July)

56/108 scenes

Last week was pretty much a wash, at least until Friday and Saturday where I blew through two chapters. Since then I’ve been ensuring I get at least some progress every single day, which has had a remarkably positive effect on how I’m feeling overall.

The change in progress1 is probably a bit deceiving in that I had a few scenes that were combined, and few that were added, leaving me with one less scene total, and only six scenes further along, even though I know I actually revised more that that.

Enough about me. How’s everyone else’s writing going?

  1. On a technical note, if you’re reading these posts on directly, but are seeing it some other way, I’m testing an update to my ProgPress plug-in that should make the progress meter show up at the top of this post. I know it works in Google Reader, but if you’re using something else, I’d love to know if it’s working or not for you. []

Quick “Miracles” Type-in Update (Mid-July)

50/109 scenes

Between work being crazy, computer issues, and lots of fun family summer day-trips, progress has continued at it’s rather glacial pace. I’m just shy of the halfway mark now, and I think I’ll have time this weekend to push things along.

Update: Looks like I’m working Saturday, so no I won’t push things along this weekend.