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THE ROMA SEVEN

It's not what we do, it's why we do it

Author

Richard L. Ross

I am in the process of completing my first fiction novel called: THE ROMA SEVEN.

The Final Draft

It was funny that a couple months ago I thought that I would have this book done by the end of this year. I was way off on that one.

I am on the last quarter of my third draft and while that will probably take me another 2 – 3 weeks, it will still be far from over.

I have found the person I am going to be working with on the next step. The next step being the final draft. This individual will professionally edit and critique the last piece I am writing on my own.

I am really excited about how she is going to help me transform some of the weak points in my story and clean up some of the crap that I don’t even realize is there yet.

The editing process I estimate is going to be about five months.

After some other loose ends that will need to be tied up after the final draft is done, it looks like I will only be completed in July. Oh well, only 6 or 7 months past my original projected deadline.

I rather not rush with deadlines anyway. I rather quality.  But at the same time, if I can move up my projected completion, I will find ways to do it.

RR

Pro Editing Stage

Well it is that time. While I am not completely done tweaking my manuscript, I think it’s time to start hunting. I found a couple of potential editors and I’m throwing a few tests their way to see what they can do.

When I started this I was doing it for myself. I never thought I would actually take it to the next level. Let’s be honest, I’m not looking to make any sort of money off of this. That isn’t what is important. I just want that hard cover copy of my book, physically in my hands. No matter what who thinks of what. I will be able to say I am a published AUTHOR. HA!

On a different note. I entered this little writing competition thingy for fun. Which I got second place out of thirty participants. Check it out here:

http://romavii.com/333am/

 

RR

 

 

EMOTION IN WRITING MAKES YOU DO FUNNY THINGS

The thing about writing. As the writer you feel the emotion of your character(s). You own that; as if they are actually real people. It consumes you. Portraying that is such a challenge. How do you make others feel that? People don’t see what you see or feel what you feel. The art is to intertwine your emotion with the readers.

Honestly, I am not sure I’m that good. Maybe if I wrote a ton of stories I would be. I get engrossed, but how do I get a reader engrossed!

I spoke about writers block some time back. I spoke about listening to tunes and bla bla bla.

Every time I have ever had a hard time writing I listened to this one artist. Some of his music spoke volumes to me. By listening to his music it made me write.

I was so emotionally involved with what I was writing that I went to the extent to personally message him. That is out of my character. Famous people are just famous and I read their random shit on whatever you read it on.

But this one guy got me through some major obstacles because I listened to his music when I was struggling.

What made this dude awesome, was that he responded. I said thank you for what you do to get me through this process. And he personally responded. That’s real.

RESPECT GREG HOLDEN.

I’m far from done.

RR

THE THIRD DRAFT

I really thought I would be much further along in this process by now. I just completed my second draft. Problem is I didn’t take the story as far as I wanted to take it. I didn’t fill in all the holes I wanted to fill in.

Part of the problem was that I made a decision to structure this a lot different then the original version. I only made that decision three quarters through the second draft. So as a result I rushed to the end.

One major change is the fact I made the decision to change the whole thing in to past tense. This was one of the major things that I battled with from the beginning. It will be A LOT of work to make all the appropriate changes. It will be a lot longer than anticipated until I reach a finished product.

I am also literally rewriting the whole thing. I think that might make it easier to fill in a lot of the gaps.

I want to finish the third draft before mid November. At that point I would like to get a beta read from someone who is decent before I send it for a final edit.

Anyways back to writing.

RR

THE SECOND DRAFT IS HARDER

I literally thought after actually completing the first draft, that I would have to do some major editing, but not much actual story writing. Then BOOM I’d have a story to give to a beta reader who would help me touch it up, then polish it with the third draft.

My growth from the day I wrote the first word on my page to now makes me cringe at some of the crap that I wrote when I started. Now the fixing is actually adding. Word count instead of decreasing and staying somewhat consistent with the first draft, is INCREASING.

My point. I’m getting pissed and discouraged, because I thought the biggest job was done. Little did I know, the first draft, is the easy part.

I need to step back and regroup. It’s pretty overwhelming.

RR

Things that keep me going

Whether it’s the first draft or second draft, it doesn’t matter.

I always hit some sort of blocks. I have surpassed these blocks by doing a couple different things. Sometimes I walk away for a couple days from writing all together. Sometimes I walk away, but not from writing. I might just write a random scene that has nothing to do with anything. Or sometimes I play a song that relates to my character(s) or the story in general. It really helps.

As for the writing about random things, I’ve done that many times. I want to share one. Keep in mind the quality of writing might not be there, but it’s a part of this journey of mine, which this blog is about. So here’s the link…. It is a couple scenes that may not make sense. But it it is just an exercise.  http://romavii.com/wil-foley/

Then there is the whole music thing. Which I will have plenty more than this one, that I already have here, but here’s the first one. http://romavii.com/greg-holden-lost-boy/     So good for the ROMA crew….

RR

THE WRITING CRITIQUE – A LOVE HATE RELATIONSHIP

Putting 85,000 words together for the first time, is something I am proud of.

“First time,” is the keywords there.

I am brand new to this. My grammar sucks, my word choices are sometimes  limited and a thesaurus becomes my bible. BUT I think I do have a story to tell, and all that other stuff can be fixed by a professional.

One of the steps in this process, is throwing some of the work in front of people. Friends and family being one. But the real hard task is throwing yourself to the wolves. Putting your work in front of the eyes of strangers, who are established writers. People who have been doing this for years, AND putting it in front of them publicly mind you. Then getting critiques publicly, which anyone can see. That is a really hard thing to do; but I do it.

It is always helpful, but honestly, it is sometimes discouraging. I’ve always been kind of oversensitive, so this does effect me when I see something that I felt I wrote very well, get ripped apart. But I need to deal with that and expect that. In a twisted sense I need that.

So I will continue throwing myself to the wolves.

When this is done I will self-publish it to Kindle and Create a space and the like. And if anyone gets a copy, I will have to deal with the reviews. So these critiques I subject myself to, is my training ground to thicken my skin.

All that being said, these people who do the critiques on my samples, are WRITERS. They are very technical. And at the end of the day, some of the stuff that they point out, a reader (who doesn’t write) probably won’t notice some of these things.

Maybe I should join a readers forum, and ask if they would critique some of my work.

Anyways, I don’t know who, if anyone reads this rambling. But I am growing to like this idea, and having a place to express what’s in my head, that doesn’t just stay in my head.

RR

The secret behind their names…Will YOURS be in the story?

Where do my characters names come from?

Let me tell you. After so much research on putting a novel together, I have learnt, there are many commonalities. But each writer has their own individual strategies on putting their story together also.

I mentioned on a previous post, if you read it. ( READ MY STUFF YO!), that I don’t do outlines. I write a word, and then let the story lead me.

But what about the names of my characters?

Here’s what I did. I came up with the story idea. Then picture the character’s faces. I pictured their actions. I pictured their motivations, flaws bla bla bla etc etc etc.

Putting a name to them was a challenge. So what I did was this.

I went down my Facebook list. I thought about people I knew in the past, even as far as peeps I just met once. Some that weren’t even on Facebook, rather their names were dropped in my head when I brainstormed.

A lot of the names in this story are names of people I know or knew. Never exactly though. Sometimes it is a combination of someone’s first name, and someone else’s last name. Sometimes it’s someone’s middle name. Sometimes I even take someone’s name and change it a bit, but it’s very similar to the person’s name.

I don’t do this with all my characters, but there are quite a few.

So once I finalize this book. Anyone I know, especially my high school friends, will now easily recognize some names of people.

In closing, I never chose these names, based on relationship, I chose them based on coolness.

Back to editing.

RR

It’s just the process…I’m not a nerd.

I have written my story in a third person present tense. I have posted some things on writers forums that I needed critique on.

These writer dudes are heartless and will rip your shit apart. But the only commonality, that put a spoke in my wheel and paused my process…was the fact that they always questioned my third person present. They said why? Do it past tense, unless there was a reason.

I took that in. Everyone’s norm is past tense.

I battled with that, to the point it stopped me from going forward.

At the end of the day, I stayed with my gut. I said, screw you to the norm. I am keeping present tense, cause that isn’t the norm.

With all that being said. I would love to go back in time. Visit my old high school teachers, be it… what’s his name? Wyatt?… Or that one with the big …um…eyes. And say, I spend my Friday and Saturday nights arguing with myself about what tense I should be in. If only I could have that convo…haha…bet I wouldn’t have been kicked out of class that much ..huh.. huh .. huh..

Just kidding… I would have still been kicked outta class.. not fooling anyone.

End of the day though, any avid readers out there that have a strong opinion on tense? I’m curious.

RR

I’m also curious if anyone reads anymore.

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