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Edits...not so bad

Anyone remember The Starving Years? (I think a few of you have read it!) I'm a couple weeks into the edits now and I'm surprised at the depth of my feelings for Tim.

Preliminary voting determined that "nerd" would be one of his primary characteristics. I remember initially hashing out his character and wondering how I was ever gonna come up with a nerdy guy who 1. was attractive, and 2. wasn't your typical guy-with-glasses. Because, c'mon. If there's one trope that has always been lame and overdone, it's that all nerds wear glasses and wearing glasses means you're smart.

I remember trying to figure out how else I might go with him--I was really intrigued by the idea of Euro-nerd, sort of like Steve Martin's Wild and Crazy Guy, but with Javier also being foreign, I knew that wouldn't work. (Plus, there'd be the likelihood of non-American readers either not getting it, or feeling mocked.) So I ended up going with indeterminate-beard-nerd.

In the end, I was so pleased with him, his awkwardness and his social activism, his earnestness and his vulnerability. Now what I'm working on is to make the story's backstory make sense. To make all the cause and effect airtight. A lot of the heavy rewrites are taking place in Tim's apartment, and they involve the unfolding of his rather hideous past relationships--because of all the main characters, he's the one who's a serial monogamist. There's a part where he recalls what it was like when his ex used to kiss him (this was in the first draft too) and I swear I want to hurl when I read it.

Last week I read through and did some journaling on every chapter in longhand. Then I wrote key points on a chalkboard, since moving my whole arm seemed to help me figure out what I was stuck on. Then I put a few words on post-its and stuck them all over the door. I guess it always comes down to post-its on a door no matter what else I try!

I'm in a "needs a lot of rewrites" part at the moment, about a quarter into the story. I'm itching for those chapters that are nearly good to go as they are!

I'd hoped to finish by the end of the year, but that's not looking realistic anymore, not to have it edited and proofed the way I would want.


( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 22nd, 2011 09:35 pm (UTC)
Looking forward to reading it whenever you get it done! :)
Nov. 22nd, 2011 11:06 pm (UTC)
Yay! I can't wait to hit the big chunks of useable stuff.
Nov. 22nd, 2011 10:39 pm (UTC)
I loved Starving Years and I'm totally looking forward to reading the new and improved version. Can it get better? Apparently so.
Nov. 22nd, 2011 11:07 pm (UTC)
Woo hoo! I'll do my best.
Nov. 22nd, 2011 10:39 pm (UTC)
Aww man, I started it, then didn't keep up (I do that a lot with serialized stuff). But I will so buy it when you are done.

Like to think of you digging in like that. Cool.
Nov. 22nd, 2011 11:08 pm (UTC)
I have to set popup alerts on my ical for anything recurring...otherwise I just work through it.

If I stop and think too hard about letting people see my first draft (as I do when I serialize) I'll probably freak out :D
Nov. 23rd, 2011 08:17 am (UTC)
I LOVED the Starving Years! It was very addictive and got me looking forward to the 15th of every month.

Nerds are cool (my SO is possibly a little nerdy :-p), and one of my best friends is a food scientist, so I can't help but feel good about the setup :D

Not sure what you mean by Euro-nerd, so I'm glad that you went with the Tim that we all know and love.
Nov. 23rd, 2011 09:31 am (UTC)
Tim wasn't initially well-loved judging by the comments, since it wasn't clear why he fell for Nelson when he was supposed to be eager to meet Javier.

What kinds of stuff does your food scientist friend work on? If I went to real-school (as opposed to art school), I would've loved to learn that.
Nov. 23rd, 2011 05:14 pm (UTC)
Bah, art school IS real school, just a different type of school :D

My friend worked on fermentation/yeast in wine for a few years, which is what her PhD was based on. A few years back, she managed to get herself invited to tour a US military facility where they prepare their special foods. She has just recently joined the dark side i.e. big multi-national firm on the other side of the world, I'm not sure what she is researching because in her emails she has been too stressed out about high costs of living and finding an apartment!
Nov. 23rd, 2011 05:42 pm (UTC)
There are lots of interesting food science opportunities around here, too. Lots of stuff to do with dairy (I live in a big dairy-producing state) and some of the veggie-burger manufacturers are around here too.

I'm trying to think of a slogan for art school. Like, "Twice the tuition, and zero marketable skills." Or maybe, "Art school. In twenty years, you'll be glad you went."

Seriously, it was wicked expensive and I graduated with two degrees no one was interested in and enough debt to pay for a house. But I think I got some really good problem-solving skills in the deal that are helping me now...twenty years later.
Nov. 23rd, 2011 06:47 pm (UTC)
Those are good slogans! See, it IS worth it then. Even though it took a while for the dividend to come through :) Problem-solving skills are applicable to ... everything. You'd think they would teach that in all degrees. When my friend and my SO get together (he is also in science), their most common complaint are the scientists who are book smart but can't think for themselves and solve problems independently.
Nov. 23rd, 2011 07:16 pm (UTC)
Book-smart people with no common sense drive me kind of crazy. When I worked in libraries, the library system was chock-full of 'em.
Nov. 23rd, 2011 08:03 pm (UTC)
I could go on and on about this topic but I will stop here.

BTW I have now ordered the Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride tea!
Nov. 23rd, 2011 08:38 pm (UTC)
Wow! I hope the tea lives up to expectations! It really does smell delish. I'll need to keep my eye out for it. SOMEONE around here must carry it.
Nov. 23rd, 2011 05:28 pm (UTC)
Tim - at the beginning mostly I felt sorry for him. He was supposed to pick up Javier, not a whole group of people and then get stuck in the middle of a riots and then take those strangers home. So I thought he actually handled the unexpected rather well. After that, I was just enjoying the UST (between all 3) too much and wondering what is going to happen :D
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )

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