I think sometimes it’s easy to lose sight of reality.
As a writer, I bank on it (both figuratively and literally), but as a person – as a normal flesh and blood “real life” person – it’s a concept that’s easy to forget. Especially when you’re living said reality, and you’re already an emotionally volatile person to begin with.
The same qualities that make me a good writer often make me a miserable person: my emotions are strong, and I think deeply about the things that happen not only to me but to the people that I care about.
Which causes me to be either extremely happy or clinically depressed, often with very little in between.
So when something abnormal happens – like a string of realistic nightmares that seem more like overdramatized memories than simple nocturnal musings – it deeply rattles me, and there is very little anyone can do to fix it.
Not that some of you goofy motherfuckers didn’t do your damnedest to try. ? And I love you so much for that.
Sometimes all it really takes is knowing that I have people here for me.
Just so you all know, I feel so much better now – I’d say about 75% normal Alexa – so most likely by tomorrow I’ll be back to normal little psychotic me. Maybe a drunk little psychotic me.
Sorry for venting and rambling, but this is my diary after all. ?
As far as my writing career goes, I came out like a champion: I wrote over five hours, completed the red edit of Nephilim, and put time in on future projects that won’t be due for months to come (once I finish a major edit, I put it away until the next day, so I can come back to it with a fresh set of eyes). I also revised and uploaded “Knocked Up in Prison” (be expecting a children’s book adaption soon) and got an email from one of my readers – with picture proof – that he actually got my name tattooed on his chest (his right pectoral muscle, to be more specific)! I really want to post the picture, because it actually looks really nice, but I don’t want to embarrass him… for the record, PLEASE DON’T DO ANYTHING LIKE THIS. It’s flattering, yes, but… wow. I don’t even really know what to say. I mean, on one hand, it’s beyond flattering, but on the other…
Several of you have asked about my editing process, and what I mean when I say things like “red editing” and such, so I figured I’d break it down for you. Keep in mind this is a system of my own devising – it may or may not work for you. My brother uses it, though, so it must be somewhat decent. 😛
STEP 1: Dummy File. This is where I basically upload a blank document to my eBook distributors with little more than a title and a general idea of what I’m going to write about.
STEP 2: Outline. On this stage, I have all the elements I want to include in the story messily thrown into what was formerly a blank document, along with a basic plot outline and the cast of characters.
STEP 3: Rough Draft. The skeletal stage. If my story were a human, this would be where I form the skeleton. In this stage, I have the story written in its rawest form. No spell checks, no grammar checks, no editing, no looking back – just typing until my fingers bleed.
STEP 4: Red Edit. Using the human analogy above, this would be where I add muscles onto the skeleton. I slowly, meticulously comb through what I’ve written, adding / deducting whatever I feel makes the story better. This is the bloodiest and most scary of all my editing phases, and the one that tends to take the most time. It is also, if I’m being honest with myself, the most fun. 😉
STEP 5: Yellow Edit. Here’s where I add the skin. I read the story all the way through, mainly keeping an eye out for consistency and realism. Would the characters really talk the way they are? Do the events that transpire seem realistic, or at least plausible? This stage is nowhere near as bloody as the red edit, but characters and events are still liable to come up missing if I deem fit.
STEP 6: Green Edit. And now I’m adding the clothes onto my carefully crafted person. This basically means that the story is pretty much how I like it, so now I’m just doing cleanup work – making sure everything flows together nicely, character relationships are what I want them to be, and any secondary characters truly have a chance to shine at least once. Etc.
STEP 7: Final Version. Here is where I put it through the grammatical meat grinder – spell check, syntax check, Grammarly (which I swear by), and my editor. After all this, I give it to my beta-readers and see what they think. After making any last minute changes, I upload it to Smashwords for a bit to get an ISBN, then (after several weeks, sometimes months), move it over to Amazon – its permanent home. Once it’s on Amazon, I also make it into a paperback and then hire a professional narrator to do an audiobook version as well.
That’s it. A complete overview of my personal editing process. It’s a bit weird, I know, but it fits me nicely, and I’ve come to be really attached to it.
Anyway, this entry is WAY longer than I thought it would be, so I’m stopping it for now.