Nephrology, editing, and a new tool to play with

Today I met with the nephrologist for the first time. All in all, the experience was not as terrifying as I had built it up in my head. Then again, it was only the first visit. What I did learn was that we’re going to spend the next three months reevaluating lifestyle, adding some medication, and doing more testing. In other words, no real prognosis right now, just more tests and comparisons to see if there really is a problem or not (or rather, just how serious it is and how much panic is worthy).

Spinning up on the positive side, I’ve begun my first real read through of the novel I finished in November. I’ve already cut ten pages (ten pages it couldn’t afford to lose), made notes for a new chapter, and changed most of the text in what remains of the first chapter. So that’s going well.

Editing means working with text. In the past I had a tool I loved until I began to feel the weight of how big it was. But I find I miss only one thing about scrivener in linux (and yes, I know there’s a port, but it’s just not the same – or supported), and that’s being able to work easily with discreet segments of text. In scrivener, each scene can be its only file. When writing using markdown, it was all one large file. Sure, I could have broken that up and put it together at compile time, but that still would have required keeping track and organizing of a hundred small files.

Enter Plume-Creator, an application my friend Ken has raved about for years. I don’t want to compare it to another application, because that’s not fair to either. But I will say it lets you work on multiple kinds of fiction writing, and appears (so far) to respect the discreet but whole approach. It’s a little weak in some places (absolutely zero import options? really? not even text?), but I plan on trying to produce the second draft of Chrysalis in it. We’ll see how far I get with it.

And that’s my day so far. Here’s hoping your day is going half as well 🙂

Editing for length

Last night I finished writing the short I want to submit for that contest. They have a length limit of 2000 words – I topped out, rushed, at 2354 words. On the one hand, the effort of tightening your writing to meet a word limit is freaky and exhilirating. You find yourself removing garbage that only repeats or states the obvious. You remove words and sentences that only serve to state the obvious. What you get when you extrace over 300 words from a story is definitely something that is more concise, more “tight” than what you started with.

It hurts, too, the cutting for length. There are a few things I had aimed to do in the story that I never got a chance to. Instead, the hints and foreshadows just became extra junk, crowding the story.

I think I’m going to let the story sit for a day, re-read it, and send it on to the contest. No harm in trying 🙂