First Cup of Coffee – February 10, 2022


Good morning everyone this is Jeffe Kennedy author of fantasy romance and romantic fantasy I’m here with my first cup of coffee.

Ah, so good. So much happier having my full latte. Ah, just the best. Just wondering if my husband was going to turn off that timer. Maybe you guys couldn’t hear it so today is Thursday February tenth. I don’t know how it got to be February tenth something to do with the passage of time I imagine. Ah. Ah, this morning though I was trying to think she trying to remember if I was thinking is it today. The eighth or the ninth because I had some yoga classes I bought that expired on like the 8 and I was thinking oh I think either way I’m ssol. It’s too late and. But lo and behold I’m like two days too late. It’s been too late for a while I’m definitely getting punchy with book brain at this point if you haven’t figured that out. Um revision is preceding apace on Grey Magic. Maybe apace is the wrong word. What does apace even mean apace at a pace apace. I just start thinking about Ted Lasso and how they start getting into that. Um, oh I can’t remember what they call it. It’s not cognitive dissonance. It’s um I to look it up semantic satiation I think that’s so cool. So anyway. Um, yesterday I mean it was really good work that I got done yesterday. So I did not come away feeling frustrated. However, on Monday I got to 70 pages on Tuesday I got to 80 pages of revision. Yesterday I got through 32 pages so I am on page one eighty two of 3 27 but yeah, it didn’t feel frustrating because it was something that I I needed to fix and. I think it’s gonna make a big difference. It’s funny because a lot of what I’ve been revising so far up until yesterday had been stuff that I’d written before Christmas which just feels like forever ago to me and then now i’m.

Revising the stuff I wo and wrote in that week after Christmas but I came back from Christmas and I had lost my thread in the story and it’s one of the downsides of the of my process is that you know I tried not to go back and edit. You know, always pushing forward. So so 1 thing people ask a whole lot is like how do you keep yourself from endlessly. Ah I’m also out of words I have to tell you this. My brain is no longer generating the words I need um. But how do you keep yourself from just cycling over and over again in the same bit because it will keep people from finishing books. It’s it’s actually one of the major problems problems 1 practices that keeps people from finishing books is they keep retooling what they’ve already written. And sometimes you just have to push forward so my general policy is to push forward is to keep writing more and and I still think it’s good idea I had to sneeze there. Least I figured out the pause button so you don’t have to hear me sneeze. So um, yeah, it’s um, it’s kind of perfectionism if you keep going back and retooling what you’ve already written you keep editing second guessing yourself. It’s It’s a lethal practice. It’s that’s why my initial word that I chose was problem because it usually is problematic. Um, however, there is that point at which you do have to go back and revise and so were I just second guess myself which I try not to do because that’s part of. Trusting in my own process I would say that I wish that when I resumed with the book after Christmas after nearly a week off at Christmas that at that point I should have gone back and revised from the beginning to get my place again. Who knows if it would have worked but it’s not necessarily a terrible thing. So what I discovered as I was revising was and I think I actually hit it on Tuesday that I hit a particular scene where there was a new development something occurred. And I realized as I was going over that scene that nobody had asked the questions that they should have asked that it it was a big gap and you know how you’re reading a book sometimes and you’re and you hit those things and you you wonder because you’re like.

How come nobody’s asking this question why this is like the thing that would be at the top of their minds. How come nobody has said anything. It was one of those things. It’s like there’s no way they would have not asked those questions immediately. So I wove in all of that stuff and and. I don’t know slightly spoilery. It has to do with stuff that happened in familiar witch or magic in my novella that’s in um, fire up the frost I wanted to say under our winter sky my brain you guys mush ah fire the frost. So. I knew that because that’s a novella that not everybody who’s been reading this so far the series so far might have read I wanted to there. There were pieces of information and that that I needed to bring into this story so I spent a fair amount of time I think on tuesday. Weaving in those bits and I can tell you where I’m at so far because people always seem to be interested I have overall in this revision I’ve added nearly 2000 words and I have cut 1500 words people always want to know how much I cut for some reason and I’ll tell you why I ended up cutting that much I’m at 89000 words on this book now which unfortunately may mean that I still have 20000 words to go by a week from tomorrow. But we’re not gonna. Overthink it. Ah I may end up working through the weekend. Ah, but there we are so I ended up reading all of this stuff in asking you know having the master these questions setting up all the stakes. It really did need to happen there. Ah, particularly because and I was I was a little bit surprised by this that I hit it yesterday in the chapter that I am currently revising this is correct. Yes, this is correct. It’s at nearly midpoint where they have a conversation about this. And it’s funny because I thought I just left it out entirely I didn’t remember that I had written the scene where they discussed this issue and it’s too bad because it’s a really cute scene between Nick and Gabriel but. It was absolutely the right thing to move it up to put that issue before act 1 climax right? Where all the stakes need to be set. This is a big stake and and it just makes more sense for the story. So ah.

My nose is running hang on there I’ve got my handy Kleenex I should put it over here all right? So um, it was funny hitting that scene and being like okay well I did build it to talk about it I didn’t leave it out entirely. But it came me too late, but it was good so that was that was a big chunk I ended up cutting like a 1500 word 1500 words out of that and I but I put it my out text file. That’s how I partly how I keep track of what my net gain is. The project so I should probably specify that when I say I have added 2000 words. That’s a net so that means I’ve actually written like now look at this. It could do let’s just do a little formula in here. So not only have I gone to these pages. Oh but I’ve written like 4000 words over 4000 words this week so oh man it’s not not shabby. So yeah, a net king of 2000. So um, that fortunately gave me room to add in a scene that I had taken out or not done I had it’s it’s a choice that you make it’s do show a scene a particular event in real time or do you have 1 of the characters summarize it for the others. And in my draft I had had the scene take place off the page and Gabriel summarized it for Nick and I thought yesterday especially because I cut that chunk and I’d been thinking all along I really need to have that scene happen in. Real time and it’s one of those things that you know I know I’m always second -guessing other writers and and I think that’s part of how we learn how we decide things but it’s tempting to have. Some things happen off page and be summarized because it feels like you’re picking up the pace and maybe it does pick up the pace. Ah I know that my books tend to have slightly slower pace than many. So. So yeah I mean it’s it’s a choice. And it is something that ah you know like you don’t have to hear the whole conversation and ah books that are really quickly paced will will do that but my personal opinion is that most of the time.

when that when I’m reading a book and something occurs off the page most of the time it’s something I I would have wanted to see I wanted to to experience real time. So I will often default to that. Especially if I’m um. Ah, when I’m revising like this and I’m like well I think I had it occur off page because I think I realized that I’ve kind of forgotten to put it in and I thought oh well I don’t really have time but then I I could so I hit this part. Where I could see that I was groping that I was groping for the story and and maybe that was a sign that I should have gone back at that point but there are even like a couple of paragraphs in there that were nothing paragraphs and. Wonder if I could read them to you just in case, you guys are interested because I don’t think that it would be spoilery I haven’t opened the document yet but it was interesting to to come back to it and see. That I was just like not but that I was groping for the storyline. It’s probably the best way to put it and it’s funny because I made myself a note yesterday to talk about this where I said can stop groping and I looked at that this morning and I think I’ve mentioned many times. I’m famous for leaving myself notes that make no sense so can spot groping was actually not a helpful note from past Jeffie but I I did figure it out. So maybe it was hopeful. Ah 2 and some of this stuff in the outtakes. This is a great line like I just saw this one and I I might have to put it back in with a shiver she acknowledged his double meaning silvery column and black as the dark side of the moon that was her wizard I really like that one after. Find a place to put it usually there are multiple opportunities. So true. They had this really great conversation that I’m gonna have to find some place to put it I could try and put it in earlier when they first discussed this issue. But the emotional tenor is all wrong. So I don’t know so let’s see if I can find this bit just oh I didn’t really keep it intact.

Yeah, all right nevermind after all that I won’t be able to read it too but it was just a couple of paragraphs of me like going. Okay so what happened that evening and what should have happened was this seat was this thing and instead I was like oh but then they were tired and they went to bed. But I mean it was almost that bad. So anyway, yesterday was finagling all of that and getting it into place and it’s 1 thing about it is is that. I knew that this scene had to happen that this conversation had to happen that Gabriel summarized and I’d even made a note saying that he needs to get this piece of information from the conversation. But um I I moved it up. It also increases the. Emotional tenor of the story because yeah I had a remark I don’t want to spend a lot of time looking up stuff while you guys are sitting there twiddling your thumbs but um.

What’s funny. You know like even though I cut sometimes I don’t keep all of the things in there. But anyway Gabriel sort of makes this mental observation that ah he’s not letting it know just. How emotional this amount was for him and it’s like or Jeffie maybe this is the difference between showing and telling sometimes telling is useful for pacing in particular that you can just summarize things and say oh this thing happened but the showing is when you have the. Emotion on the page instead of Gabriel thinking oh wow that was really emotional instead. You have the emotion on the page. So um, yeah, that was all a very long way of of talking about what I’m doing but hopefully that is useful for those of you who. Find that who are who are writing and so forth or thinking about those things and I always appreciate hearing from the rest of you who don’t write but are still interested in how the process works so the upshot is that I have. Hundred and forty five pages to go and about 20000 words to write maybe 15 to 20000 I’m not really sure ah deep cleansing rests. It’s still doable and and I do have some wiggle room at the end there. Yeah, my. My copy editor proof reader wants it by a particular day but she’ll cut me slack if I don’t make it although I need to get it to her by like Midday my time on the eighteenth because she’s in Hawaii so she could start in the morning. And Darynda Jones Ms Darynda is going to spend the night on the eighteenths and then I have a whole bunch of stuff on the nineteenth the during this coming up to be part of a panel. I believe I have a board meeting on the nineteenth which I don’t know what I guessre will like have to twiddle her thumbs while I do that and then um, a meeting out at Melinda Snodgrass’s house. Where we’re gonna learn her how she does her plot breaking which I’m as I mentioned eager to learn and then I fly out Sunday morning to go to Los Angeles for the nebula conference site visit walkthrough. So there. We are then.

Um, and clearly this is all that’s on my mind right now. Yeah, it’s always like this you know getting coming down to the wire I’m finishing a book. No matter how much time you have. It’s just um, brain eating consuming. So um, on that note I guess I’ll go devote what remaining brains I have to to working through the rest of this and yeah, few good thoughts for me, you all have a wonderful. Thursday coming down on the short end of the week tomorrow is Friday so um so yeah you all take care and I will talk to you tomorrow bye bye.

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