Archive for May, 2022

Print Shop Woes

They say you should edit on paper, squiders, especially if you write on a screen. The idea is that the change in medium helps you see errors that you would miss on the screen (and, I guess, in theory, vice versa).

Anyway, I agree with this, plus there’s something very satisfying about scribbling on paper with a red pen (or sometimes multiple colors of pens, depending on what kind of notes I’m making).

I mean, I can edit on a screen if I need to, but it’s just not the same.

Anyway, since I started two revisions in the past few months, I’ve needed to print out two separate manuscripts. I don’t do it at home, though you certainly could, but I think my printer subscription is maxed at 50 pages a month.

(On a side note, printer subscriptions are dumb. All subscriptions are dumb. I hate all of them, but especially software-related ones. Let me use the software or not, you moneygrubbers.)

I’ve always printed manuscripts elsewhere. Part of that is because originally I bound them with a nice coil binder (coil is best–the rest make it hard to turn the pages reliably/lay the manuscript out flat), though I’ve gotten away from that over the years, because then the manuscripts are hard to recycle when I’m done with them, and I don’t need 5 versions of the same story sitting around in different stages. That gets overwhelming really fast.

I had a great solution too. There was a little local print shop about half a mile from my house. I’d walk over, drop off my manuscript file, head over to the coffee shop three doors down, have some nice coffee shop time, and then pick up the manuscript and walk home. The prices at said print shop was very reasonable (and they’d also make bookmarks and business cards for me, so super useful).

But, alas, they moved twenty miles away. I love them, but twenty miles–in a direction I almost never ever go–is too far. Any price savings I’d get would be eaten by gas.

So these docs I just printed were the first ones I’ve done since they’ve moved. I think I mentioned I was going to go to FedEx/Kinkos to print Book One out.

And I did.

And it was awful.

It was super expensive, and it was low quality for what I paid for, and there wasn’t any way to modify my document (such as hide the comments or add page numbers), AND some woman stood behind me the whole time (it was also quite slow) because only one printer was working and was generally grumpy that my job was taking so long.

I think I paid, like, $40, and it wasn’t even the whole manuscript, just the first 250 pages.

So–don’t go there, squiders. Ugh.

So when I needed to print out my Gothic Horror like a week later, I went to the complete other end of the spectrum.

I printed it out at my local library.

I could send the document directly from my computer (hence allowing me to add page numbers, which I never remember to do before I’m actively printing), it was less than half the price per page, the librarians were nice and helpful, and nobody stared at me accusatorily the whole time.

So, in the future, I will probably go that way again. (They also had a display of indoor gardening books that I meant to go back by, but I forgot. Whoops.)

The lesson here, squiders, is that the library is almost always the answer and I should just go there first.

Where do you like to do your printing, squiders?


WriYe and Themes

Waiting til the end of the month, like normal. Whoops.

May’s WriYe blog post prompt is:

What are some of your “go to” themes you like to write about?

Themes are weird. I suspect they’re one of the areas of writing I don’t understand as well as I would like to. Because, like, themes are the heart of your story, and the thing that your plots and subplots connect back to, the thing that gives your story meaning and lets it resonate with your reader.

But they’re also weirdly subjective. Like, I could have my theme be one thing, and depending on how people read the story, they could see the theme as being something completely different.


I write a lot about friendship in my stories, and by extension, found family. This is one of my favorite tropes and I use it a lot. Not sure that it counts as a theme.

Hm. This is harder than expected.

I don’t like depressing fiction, and I almost always end with a happy ending, so my themes also tend to be positive, stuff like “you can do anything if you work together” or “it’s worth it to fight for what you want.” I don’t know if I re-use a lot of themes necessarily. I probably do, but I also don’t really work in themes. Like, I’ll poke at them from time to time, maybe come up with a vague one for a first draft and then poke it a little more when doing my revision, but as I said above I’m not sure I really understand them all that well. A lot of what I do with theme is instinctual, and possibly not very good. I don’t know.

Elements, now, I do reuse a lot. Found family, like I mentioned. Forests. A lot of horror elements lately, like settings that are falling apart or ghosts. Magic, because I write a lot of fantasy. Dinosaurs. I really should stop putting dinosaurs into things but I just find the concept really funny.

But, yeah, I guess I reuse themes. People working together, from a variety of backgrounds, to get what needs to be done done. I think almost all of my longer works can be summed up that way.

Is that theme, though, or plot?

Auuuuugh I don’t know.


Thoughts about theme, squiders? Do you have a better way to tell what is theme versus other story elements?

Back to our normal twice a week schedule next week. My edit will be turned in, no matter its state. Wish me luck!

Trucking Along

Work on the revision for my Gothic Horror continues apace.

I’m actively working through Holly Lisle’s How to Revise Your Novel again, partially because it’s been a few years since I did, and partially because I find it’s useful to remind myself of the steps every now and then.

There’s three main parts: triage, cutting, and cosmetic. Triage is looking at what you have versus what you need, cutting is creating (and then doing) the fixes, and then cosmetic is top-level stuff after all the big stuff is fixed.

I really appreciate the way the course is lined up, because it really is so tempting, especially if you’re new to revision, to do the easy stuff first. Fix continuity issues, and weird dialogue, and things along those lines.

I’m essentially done with the triage part now, so I’ve got to push through that and the cutting portion before my end of the month deadline. The cosmetic stuff can be done after I get the editing notes back, because I’ll have more stuff to fix anyway.

Man. It’s a lot of work. But it’s always good, and it really does help the story get so much better.

How are you doing, squider?

Blurry notes

Hey, Not Too Shabby


Okay, now that that’s out of my system…how’s my new revision going?

Surprisingly well, actually. My Gothic Horror is in much better shape than I thought it would be, from being a first draft. The plot is coherent, people are mostly in character, and there’s only one subplot that comes out of nowhere midway through the book.

That being said, I’m not moving as fast on it as I had hoped. I’d forgotten that May is super busy, with having to get ready for summer stuff, and school getting out, and birthdays, and volunteer commitments, all of which are cramping my editing style.

And, you know, my not being totally stressed out style.

Luckily I’m pretty good about boundaries, and I’m also pretty good about focusing when I need to. That old adage that you get more done the busier you are is certainly true for me.

Or so I shall continue to tell myself so I don’t go insane.

Anyway, wish me luck and sanity. I shall need both.

Whoops, Change of Plans

So, squiders, change of plans. I’ve got to put my revision for Book 1 on hold and switch over to my revision for my Gothic Horror novella, which is now due to Turtleduck Press at the beginning of June.

Not going to lie, this is a bit frustrating, since I was finally getting somewhere on my revision, but I understand the change and I’m really the only person who can step into this spot.

So, uh, fingers crossed that the novella is a much easier revision than Book 1 is.

I’m thinking it will be–it was mostly coherent last time I went through it. I do need to rewrite Chapter 1–I started off in first person and then found that wasn’t working–and take out a little bit of a second viewpoint that I decided early on wasn’t working. But revisions never quite go the way you expect them too, so we shall see if we encounter any major unforeseen issues.

No matter how you slice it, though, three weeks is not a long time, so I’m really going to have to book it here.

As such, I’m going to go down to blogging once a week until I turn the book in to give myself as much working time as possible. Other projects such as my SkillShare class will also need to go onto the backburner.

(I, of course, reserve the right to blog more if I have the time/inclination.)

Anyway! Wish me luck!