Traveling

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All set for editing

I’m going away for a night, and I decided not to bring my computer. Instead I am going to correct my short story during the flight.

I edited the draft once already, taking it from a rough sketch to a slightly cleaner one. Hopefully it is good enough now to actually see what works and what will have to go. Guess I’ll find out soon enough.

Late evening

Tuva Tovslid notes

Late evening writing

I like the late evenings when I am not too tired to write a little, but not organized enough to work on something either.

Just listening to music, drawing a little, writing if I come up with something, chatting with my friends on facebook.

It’s the rare state of having nothing to do and the energy to do something anyway.

Short stories

Reading places (2)

Travel light

Having sent my first manuscript to a publisher, and waiting to get my second back from my sister (with feedback), I’m not ready to start on a third just yet.

So, I though I should try writing a short story. I have written som earlier, but find it hard to write short and engaging. The challenge is to find a good and interesting conflict to write about without making it too complex. Develop engaging characters, solid settings and a suitable plot.

At the moment I’m 5 000 words in and counting.

An obvious perk is that I can start editing in a couple of days. I don’t have to deny my need for fixing stuff for two months. I look forward to fixing!

Finishing a project

Tuva Tovslid Writing

Or tea, cookie and rain

Sunday I sent my manuscript to a publisher, thereby marking the only certain end point of my project. Most likely it will be rejected, as it has been before, but for the first time, I do not think I will rewrite it any further. Until I get some professional feedback, I’ll focus on my next project.

I can’t know if this is the optimal time to leave it, but after considering the potential for learning from this project versus my next, at least it is a conscious choice.

And of course, my first manuscript won’t be resting for a while, I have a list of publishers it will have to visit first. It needs to earn the place in the drawer.

How to earn a place in my shelf

Tuva Tovslid Book shelf

Some of my books

I love to buy books, but I can’t keep them all. That is not true, I could, but I won’t. Some books are magical, some not so much. When I look at my shelf I want to feel the warm feeling of a good story, the inspiration from a great character or the awe that is awakened by great writing.

I don’t want those feelings diluted, so I have a rather strict policy. The books has to be re-readable or lendable. If I can’t see myself read the book again, or recommend it to someone else, I will give it away.

There is a “book for free” shelf at my local library, I give them away there (and sometimes pick up a new one). It’s a great system.

What I struggle most with at the moment is a serie. I lack one book, and though they are ok, I am not in love with it. But they look so good together. Should I buy the first or give the rest away?

Last read-through of last part

Tuva Tovslid Editing

Editing in the spring sun

I am so close to finishing of my seventh draft. After writing the last scene of the last third of the manuscript this morning I printed it, and now I am reading through it. I divided the manuscript in three parts this time to keep myself motivated and to ensure that each part was building on something solid. Didn’t want to come to the end  and discover that I was going in the wrong direction (again).

This part is approximately 84 pages, A4, so I’ll spend a  couple of days on it, though I’ll try to slow down a bit, I am a quick reader. Sometimes to quick.

Reading through like this helps me see each sentence in relation to the surrounding text, something that I find difficult to do when I am working on content and formulation. I fix a lot of smaller things at this stage.

The next, and last, step will be implementing my comments. And then… the seventh (and maybe last) draft version is done.

Writing in the morning

Tuva Tovslid Morning coffee

Morning coffee

As long as I haven’t had a hard night and need the sleep, I try to get up at around 7  on weekdays. I don’t have to leave for work until 8:45, so I get around one and a half hour to myself.

I put on my sweatpants, brew some coffee and write. My husband is still asleep, my phone is off and I try to stay away from the internet. Sometimes I find that my mind is to slow to work properly, but mostly I have more peace of mind at this time than any other times during the day. Probably because I know I can’t get anything else done anyway.

I consciously try not to put down any definite goals for the morning sessions. If I have a goal it’s too easy to focus on that instead of the quality of the work. I just get up, make my coffee, put on some music and edit a scene or two until I have to get on my bike and ride to work.

The april morning sun makes it ten times better.

Writing away from my pc

Writing space (2)

Writing outside

When I’m away, traveling og hiking for instance, I seldom bring my laptop. If I come up with something cool I’ll usually just write a short email to my self. But if I am away for a whole day or more, and I know I will have som quite time for myself, I bring a notebook.

Sometimes I try to solve something in my manuscript, new settings help me think in a different way. But more often I  just write a couple of pages without focusing on the result. It’s like quiet, focused play in som ways. And play is really, really important.

When you want to read it all

Back from the library

Library haul

I have a problem, and no, it isn’t a books vs. time problem. It’s a space and money problem. That is: I would like to read everything (ok, I’ll admit to a small time problem), and everything is often the start of long series.

While most of the books are worth my money, fewer are worthy of my shelf space. The solution? The library.

I try to borrow the first book in new series or the first book of a hyped author (always skeptical when it comes to hype) just to check it out. If it is good enough, I’ll buy the rest.

Morning editing

Tuva Tovslid Morning Editing

Foggy morning read-through

To have time for writing everyday, I have had a 50% position at the university, this last year. This means that I normally start my work at nine.

With the sun rising earlier everyday I like to get up around seven, brew a cup of coffee and write.Sometimes I play a little music, other times I work in silence, watching people walk past my window on their way to work.

Today the writing was mostly reading, as I have edited the second third of my book and it needs to be read. I do a lot of strange things while writing, so a proper read-through is necessary. I didn’t do this before. I did, however, regret not doing it. As I said, a lot of strange things…