September 3, 2010

Rewriting the beginning

It's week end. Yeah!

Almost no work to be done the next two days. Finally, I've got some time to write. I'm working on my so-called novel. The plot is lined up, mostly, and finally I've got names for all the characters. I had a cool name for my protagonist, but it was damn difficult to invent good names for the rest. The San Antonio Rotary Club helped me solve the problem.

All the characters (except the protagonist and his family) have real names taken from the member list of the San Antonio Rotary Club (don't tell them if you know anyone in that club). About half of them even have the same occupation.

I've been reading a lot of great writer blogs, and think I start to get a grasp on the show vs tell issue. Now I'm rewriting the beginning, for the third time. I hope it's improving. I've even got a dead body on the first page, a bicycle accident, apparently ... >:Z

The manuscript has become a big mess. I decided to write in English, but swap to Winterlandic whenever I run out of vocabulary, to avoid loosing my line of thoughts. Right now I have about four chapters of a bilingual novel >:)))

Do you know any agents that deal with that kind of stuff?


  1. Funny - I do exactly the same. Swap to N.. ahem, Winterlandic when I get stuck. Fortunately it doesn't happen as often as it used to.

    What I really want to know, though, is the answer to your agent question thingamabob. Do we even have literary agents in Winterland? Or is it still more a matter of sending the manuscript directly to a publisher (most publishing houses have a manual for how they want manuscripts submitted, but this doesn't necessarily mean you can't also have an agent..)? All the "industry" blogs I've read only deal with the English speaking world of publishing, so I have no idea how it actually works here. Thus a blog about how to get published in Winterland would be awesome.

    Then again, that's hardly relevant, is it, if you're aiming to eventually write the entire novel in English. I suppose you'd be looking at publishing abroad anyway.

    Good luck! (May Odin be with you..)

  2. Cruella, I'm not quite sure how it works here. I know a guy who is in the process of publishing his first novel. He submitted the manuscript directly to the publishing company (probably to all of them), and got a consultant from the publisher that helps him rewrite and edit. I guess the consultants in Winterland have kind of the same role as the agents in Summerland.

    Actually, I don't worry to much about this. I have a great job, and enough money. So when my so-called novel is completed, I will probably just post it on the Internet, for free download. I have no real ambitions about getting published ... but in the end I'll leave it to Odin to decide >:)

  3. YAY! Glad to hear you're back working on your novel! I was wondering how it was going, but didn't like to ask...

    But why don't you write the first draft in Winterlandic and then translate it into English afterwards?

  4. Judy, I write on my novel as often as I can. I can write a blog post in 15 minutes, but I've found that I need 3-4 hours or more undisturbed to get progress on my novel. Before I can write, I need to think, and often I only get to the thinking stage ... and then I need to do something else, like taking kids to soccer practice, help with homework, go shopping ... or go back to the office to work late.

    When it comes to language, I'm a little bit scizophrenic. For the last 20 years I've written my own language only on shopping lists and Christmas cards. In my job, I read and write (and speak) English most of the time, so that feels kind of natural. However, writing a novel is a lot harder than writing a science paper or report in English. The technical vocabulary is limited and very international, so that's easy. A novel needs more variety, and a much wider spectrum of synonyms ... so, then I swap, when I run out of words I need, and don't want to halt to search dictionaries. I guess about half my novel needs to be translated to English in the end >:)

  5. Because the only other language I know is sign language, I never really have that problem but I'm not sure I'd worry about that until edits.


  6. It flits between two languages? I think that's quite impressive.
    My current work is a little jumbled now, too. Wish I'd thought of the new conflicts and twists before I got so far into the story.

  7. Interesting question. Perhaps you can put the word out that you're looking for someone who, like you, writes both in both summerland and winterland. They could read what you've written and perhaps know different words than you and thus help with translation. Even if you self-publish, you'll need to choose one language or the other. It'd be good, if you're looking for an agent, to attend a conference somewhere nearby (ups the chances the ones attending might know both languages) and thus be able to tell them your plot and situation. They might know of translators, if they're interested in your book.

  8. Winterlandic? *snicker* I think your approach is probably common for people writing in a second language.

    Glad you feel like you are learning and growing for the rewrite!

  9. I wouldn't know what to suggest, but your dedication is great. Wishing you all the best.

  10. Clarissa: Yes, that's probably the way to do it; write the damn story down, and fix the language mess later >:)

    Alex: Same woth me; I find problems with my story as I write it down, and realize I should probably done the plotting and planning more carefully ... I'm just a happy amateur, so I guess it's part of the learning process >:)

    Helen: I doubt my novel will ever make it to and agent or publisher, but if it does i will take your advice. You always have good ideas and suggestions; that's why I read your blog almost every day >:)

    Hart: I'm not sure exactly what *snicker* means (I now Snickers is chocolate with peanuts), but I'll look it up in the dictionary. The bilingual writing method is a natural choice for 2nd language writers, so I guess it's quite common (Cruella uses it too, see above)

    CSR: Thank you >:)

  11. Hart: I know that know is written with k and not now ... fucking typos >:)))

  12. I use websites for popular baby names for first names and check popular surnames in UK for family names. I also depend on online dictionary and thesaurus. So how many chapters do you plan to write? Hope you every success in getting an agent.

    My Darcy Mutates…

  13. Enid: Don't know how many chapters, but I know the number of scenes. I first designed the plot with about 30 scenes, all with the protagonist POV. Then I added another 10 scenes with antagonist POV. I have 2 scenes where the protag and antag are present at the same time, not yet sure what POV to use. In total that makes 42 ... which was the answer when they computed "the meaning of life, the universe and everything" in the book by Douglas Adams. Is there a deeper meaning here >:)

  14. Congrtas! on the progress. Its fun to have the names and outline put together, then start filling out the MS. I'm not much help with your question. Sorry 'bout that. And I like your pic of the bent up bike. I feel that way sometimes.

    Stephen Tremp

  15. Rewriting the beginning. That's me too. Fun stuff. Poor bike.

  16. Hi you!
    I'm not a pro, as you may have gathered from my blog. However, my neighbor and good friend is. She primarily writes for the young adult crowd and has had a couple of books published. So she's been around the block a few times.

    Her blog is
    In the right column she has a link to her plotting system. You may find it helpful.

    Thanks for stopping by.

  17. Mad Woman: I'm just a happy amateur too. Thanks for posting the link. I will check it out >:)


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