Saturday, May 24, 2014

Progress: Following the Path I've Set

I finished typing up the first draft of the second book in my urban fantasy trilogy. (I really need working titles for these, don't I?) As anticipated, I did some editing as I went. It's 83,064 words.

So that catches me up to . . . last November? I think? As in, I think I finished handwriting those pages in November 2013.

I didn't track my time to the minute, but I'd estimate I spent about 12 hours typing up the loose-leaf pages and one of my little notebooks. It was easier typing from the notebook, as I expected. But it does still take time.

I'm doing an editing pass for consistency on book one now, and then I'll edit book two for sending off to my crit partner(s). I was supposed to read something one of them sent a couple of months ago, and I really have no excuse about why I haven't. I can offer a few dozen transparent justifications, though.

I will get to it. I'll start tonight.

On a completely different note, yesterday I ran across someone offering writing advice. She suggested (rightly) that reading is important. But she said that audiobooks don't count as reading.

As you may know, I feel differently. I've been listening to audiobooks regularly for the last three years. In that time, I've seen a marked improvement in my flow and word choice. I don't think it's entirely explained by getting better with practice. I think audiobooks are training me to think about language differently.

It ties into the advice for reading aloud when you're editing. The auditory value of words on a page are important. I know I'm not the only reader who hears the words in her head as she's taking them in. Why, then, is it that much different if I hear them through my ears instead of my eyes?

I'm not going to go so far as to suggest every writer should listen to audiobooks. Some can't, and they get expensive if you don't have access to a good library system. But if you haven't tried it and your library has a digital collection, it might be worth trying some downloads. Audiobooks can make a lot of household chores less of a grind, and they certainly pass the time with all the driving I do for work. The worst that'll happen is that you'll find you can't concentrate on the book and something else. At best, you'll be able to read that many more books in the between times that take up so much of your day.

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