Episode 34 - Destroyer of Words
In this episode we bring you The Art of Fiction Mega List, destroying words with the Hemingway App, and how to handle rewrites.
Works in Progress
[00:00:33] John wrote nothing. Absolutely nothing.
Mike also wrote literally zero words.
Eric was in the workshop and didn't write. He worked with his (editor) wife on the first seven chapters of Don't Wake Up. Feedback is good. It has been over a year since she last read it, so it's fresh for her to read.
What's happening online
The Art of Fiction Mega List
[00:02:35] The Paris Review has a long-standing series of interviews with authors. The site does not have a concise list of all the interviews. Author Lancelot Schaubert was reading the interviews and grew tired of searching for each one. He compiled The Paris Review: A Mega List containing all 223 (as of now) interviews in one large list. These interviews are a great resource on the craft of writing from published authors.
Instagram for Authors
[00:04:04] Jane Friedman writes on Using Instagram as an Author. Authors don't often think of Instagram for self-promotion, but there are ways to use Instagram:
- Author appearances
- Upcoming releases, special events, and cover reveals
- The writer’s life
- Insta-competitions & UGC
- Teasers and motivationals (don't do motivationals)
StoryShop made its Kickstarter Funding
[00:05:35] StoryShop: "An App That Helps You Write Better Stories Faster", was running a Kickstarter campaign and it was successfully funded! They believe the app should be ready in about six months. They are building StoryShop to use in their own story planning, so it should be well-done.
[00:07:14] We like to read as much as we write, but we haven't done any writing, so we probably like reading more. Then again, with the holiday, there hasn't been much reading going on either.
Eric has been reading some pdfs on clock and watch making.
John was happy to report that he won his family's yearly reading contest. For the past 20 years John and his sisters were challenged by their mom to see how many books they read each year. John said he has NEVER won, but this year his sisters conceded the contest early as he read 23. Not only did he win, but it's a personal best, too.
Mike read some ebooks on scriptwriting after our conversation last episode. One book he thought was good was Screenplay Format Made Stupidly Easy by Michael Rogan.
Tech Focus - Word Destroyers
[00:09:51] Word destroyers are apps, find/replace, or scripts that remove words from your story. The Hemingway app gives you a readability rating and suggests things you should cut or edit.
Hemingway app is a free web-based site. There is also a $10 downloadable application available for Mac and Windows. It suggests adverbs to remove and sentences that may be difficult to read.
Craft Talk - Rewriting
[00:15:15] How do you balance Hemingway and a first draft document when you know you've written a bunch of rubbish? The sentences aren't ready and naturally Hemingway will flag them as hard to read.
Mike thinks letting Hemingway do the hard work up front is the way to go. Eric disagrees. He recommends using Hemingway on the second draft. Hemingway et al is a last step before handing off the manuscript to editors or beta readers.
NaNoWriMo is finished now. Congratulations. What's next? Rewriting. How do you handle editing and rewrites?
- Put your manuscript away until January.
- Do a read through of your story checking for conflict, story progression, and theme. Is there a conflict on every page? Is there a hook at the end of the chapter to prompt the reader to continue reading? Are the stakes ramped up? Are the characters proactive?
- After the second draft is finished, post it to Scribophile for critique. DO NOT do this with your first draft.
- Print out your manuscript and get some colored pens. Highlight, make notes, cross out the bad stuff, and make edits.
- Start with the big problems and move down to the small ones.
- Set a deadlines to keep from editing forever.