Revision vs. Editing

Anyone that knows me knows I have a thing about the terms revision and editing getting mixed up. It’s petty and ridiculous but we all have things we’re stupid about. To me revision is about story, it’s what happens first to turn a first draft into a draft for others. Editing comes afterwards and is more about polishing it up, getting the commas in the right place, checking for typos and perhaps adjusting word choices.

They are different things in my head and I just want that distinction to be clear.

What is your main struggle with editing?  Is it getting started? Rereading your own work? How do you handle it?
This is the question asked for March’s WriYe blog topic. Now if I took the question at it’s word then I would be talking about ‘editing’ aka the polishing of grammar and punctuation. The answer for that is different than the answer would be for revision. My main struggle with editing is lack of knowledge/ability. I tend to punctuate by feel and I make errors in my writing grammatically – I need an editor. I have got a course to try and learn how to be a proof-reader but I’m really struggling to apply the concepts it’s trying to teach. Editing is hard.

Revision on the other hand is something I quite like. It’s analytical and there’s a process to it because it’s dealing with something of substance. I find the actual writing hard because I’m making something from nothing. With revision I’m dealing with something that already exists and that’s a massive help. Years ago I took Holly Lisle’s How To Revise Your Novel course and most of my process is drawn from that.

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Talking Trek

I have now seen all of the Star Trek movies and varying amounts of all of the TV shows (bar the animated series). I’ve seen all of Picard, Discovery and Enterprise, a handful of episodes of TOS and the first seasons of TNG, Voyager and DS9. I should probably wait until I have seen more of the shows (they do have seven seasons after all) but I feel like rambling about this now.

This post started off as an attempt to rank the various movies and TV shows in order of how much I like them. However, I ran into problems with that. In a lot of respects it’s hard to compare the shows against one another because they are different. I was just talking with a friend about trying to do this and we said that we like things for different reasons – so how can you put one above another?

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The Love of Writing

Another month, another WriYe blog topic! This one is a bit of a doozy and so begins the eternal dilemma of “how honest should I be?”. I feel like I know what the ‘right’ answer is and yet it’s not what is true for me and I’m not sure what that says about me. I guess all I can do is just write from the heart, as I always do with blog topics which is why they are such rambles, and hope that is ok.

I don’t particularly want to be cast out of the writer community haha.

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What if Jacen Syndulla was the third member of the trio?

Don’t get me wrong I love Poe Dameron. Seriously I don’t want to imagine Star Wars without him but I was up early, 7am sunday morning doing the ironing, and into my head popped “that’s one hell of a pilot!” and suddenly it hit me.

In my Rise of Skywalker review I said I wish that the movies would make good use of existing canon rather than just inventing new stuff all the time.

Now I’m not talking about changing the plot/story arc of any of the movies even though there are some things I don’t like. I’m just talking about tweaking little details. It would have been a huge screaming moment for fans of the expanded canon and it wouldn’t have been any different really for more casual fans of the movies.

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Drawing 0: Pirates

For the Bering and Wells Exchange on tumblr (December 2019) I drew the above picture. It’s funnily enough Bering and Wells in a Pirate!AU. I used a picture of Elizabeth Swann from Pirates of the Carribbean for Myka as a reference and for HG somebody’s fem!Captain Hook cosplay on a mannequin.

As I said in my 2020 introspection/looking forward post I have chosen an art style to try and emulate. I didn’t quite manage it as I still have a long way to go but overall I do think this is the best drawing I have done so far, despite it having been a long time since I last did one. That’s why I have titled this ‘drawing 0’ (something I have admittedly done before) because I do consider this a new starting point.

There are two main points that I wish to learn from this drawing:
1) careful not to overblend. I don’t think I always need to soften it quite so much
2) there is no narrative

I think the overblending issue is something that I’ll only overcome with practice. The lack of narrative though is something I’ll attempt to correct with January’s drawing. I’ve complained for a while that my drawings feel lifeless/emotionless, and partly I think that is lack of facial expression, but I think the bigger issue is lack of movement. In the above drawing they are just standing there as if it was a portrait. Myka’s pose is not so bad (even if I did fail at rendering the wooden railing) but HG is just standing there. It would have been better if she had been leaning towards Myka to tell her a secret, or moving to kiss her, or moving away from her with a wicked look in her eyes. Also I could perhaps consider making better use of props, again to indicate some kind of movement and narrative.

January’s project is yet to be determined but it’s only the third so I have time 🙂

2020: The End of the Beginning

In three days it’s going to be not just a new year but a new decade. I’m going to be 30 next year (*shudders*), and so this New Year feels more landmark than usual, and new years always make me maudlin and retrospective.

I began the decade failing out of one university and I’ve ended it having dropped out of another. I’ve gone precisely nowhere or at least that’s how it feels. I suppose I could reframe it and say that I’ve had a few false starts which have been learning experiences. For instance I now know for certain that higher education doesn’t suit me.

The last few years broke me to be honest, My mental health was bad to begin with, I had a breakdown in 2011 and if anything got steadily worse over the next few years. Returning to uni was my desperate attempt to make a change, the old cliche “if you don’t like your life, then change it”. However, it was a bad move. My depression, anxiety and general stress levels which were already high have gone through the roof. My confidence was always very low but it’s now absolutely destroyed. I’m utterly terrified pretty much all the time.

That’s why I titled this post ‘the end of the beginning’ because if there’s rock-bottom then this is it. Yes I have a past but I really am starting again – something else which adds to the landmark feeling of this New Years. It really is the close of one chapter and I’m trying very hard to think of what’s coming next as the start of something new, hopefully something better.

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Warcraft Woes

None of this is serious I’m just venting.

1) I’m raiding on an alt because I’m playing on a different server. I haven’t had the time, nor the inclination, to do stuff twice so that alt hasn’t done the war campaign, or Nazjatar, doesn’t have reputations or good essences, the heart of Azeroth is still low etc. AND it’s a Demon Hunter which I love (great class!) but compared to the other tank classes for raids it sucks. I feel so damn squishy because I don’t have the Demon Spikes uptime and I feel like I’m missing a cooldown.

2) So obvious answer is to level a better class (paladin perhaps?) and then swap as there’s probably 9 months or so left of BfA including a whole raid tier BUT with the levelling revamp in Shadowlands I don’t want to level anything now. It’s going to be so much faster (apparently/hopefully) and so I’m thoroughly demotivated on that which is annoying me because I want to get set up on this other server. I figured I’d read the beta reports, find out what tank class is doing the best (out of paladin/demon hunter/monk/druid, or I guess death knight but I don’t like that one so much), and then level that one from 9.0 onwards. I’ll probably (definitely) still level Tai first and complete everything but with the New Player+ they talked about in Shadowlands, hopefully whatever main alt I pick I’ll be able to maintain better than I have with all the damn prerequisites in BfA.

3) Warcraft costs money and I’m about to be very poor. I don’t know if I’m going to be able to afford the subscription once it runs out in January, let alone buy Shadowlands right now. So all of the above could be utterly irrelevant. At least I’ll still have Swtor that I can play and my Steam games.

Day One: Jedi Fallen Order

I’ve been eagerly anticipating this game since I first learned about it back in the summer. Literally for the past few weeks I have been googling everyday to read news articles because “dammit it wasn’t out yet and I wanted it so bad!” and I needed something to take the edge off. BUT there was a problem with this because nobody was excited?!? It got even worse when the game came to Steam and I looked in the discussion forums, there were so many spewing hatred for a game that wasn’t out yet.

Now I’m not naive and I do understand that EA has a bad reputation. However for my sins I very much like Star Wars: The Old Republic and I don’t play shooters. I knew of course about the Battlefront controversy, my grasp on dates is shocking but I think it was about the same time as Marvel Heroes, which had a ‘gambling lootbox’ element and people had reportedly spent eye-watering amounts. However that at least was for cosmetics and not power upgrades.

Anyway I find it quite dispiriting that nobody seemed to share my hype. On the other hand the googling everyday meant I learned super quick about the game coming to Steam which was like a dream come true. I have a controller for my PC – a Steam controller, which meant I was having to look for a third-party Xbox type because I heard that Origin didn’t play nice with Steam. So yeah the game being on Steam solved my problems. I preloaded a couple of days ago, this morning I set it to download, it did freeze for a bit but recovered. I connected my Steam account to Origin and then I had to go to uni but it was all ready for me for when I got home.

I have never ever played a game like this. I think the closest would be Crash Bandicoot or perhaps the Star Wars Kinect game that I bought my Xbox 360 in order to play (unfortunately the sensor is shocking so it doesn’t work very well). I read in those articles so many comparisons to other games but it meant nothing to me. So I’m coming at this with completely fresh eyes.

Verdict? I mean build-up aside, that’s why I’m writing this post yeah? To give my initial impressions.

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Hearthstone Battlegrounds

Among the blizzcon benefits there were two beta keys. One for Warcraft 3: Reforged and the other for early access to the new battleground mode in Hearthstone. Now I like free stuff so I downloaded and installed both games. I do own the original Warcraft 3 but I didn’t get on with the main game at all, in fact I got it purely to play a user-created tower defense game made from gems. However I thought the ‘reforged’ part might mean the campaign would be cool – it’s not, at least not for me. In fact I’m struggling to see where the ‘reforged’ aspect comes in because it looks basically the same. Anyway I uninstalled it because it’s really not for me.

Hearthstone battlegrounds on the other hand…

I did play Hearthstone when it first launched. I can’t remember why I quit exactly but I think it was because the games took too long, it was slow and I the whole ‘building a deck’ thing was a mystery to me. When I first reinstalled Hearthstone I ran a normal match (mostly because the game prompted me to) and it was as slow and boring as I remembered.

Hearthstone battlegrounds on the other hand…

The play is a lot faster, in fact sometimes too fast as I’m still thinking. It’s not dependant on any cards you own so you don’t get smashed because you are new and don’t have a deck, all cards come from the tavern. The intro tutorial was too easy as I won and thought I understood, my first real game when I came last proved I didn’t understand anything. I then lost again and again and fed up I quit. But that wasn’t the end of the story! BlizzardWatch did an information post about the new battleground mode and I commented with my disenchantment and got a couple of replies with advice. I figured I would give the game another shot. Verdict? It’s weirdly addictive.

I still haven’t won but I have come in the top 4 a couple of times. I still get smashed pretty much every game BUT I’m not getting smashed every single round anymore, I’m winning some rounds now. I still don’t quite understand what I’m doing wrong (aka why I’m never ever winning) but I’m not losing so badly anymore that it’s demoralising and not any fun.

Weirdly addictive. It’s fast-paced enough that I curse when I lose and instantly want to queue for another one. Each game probably takes at least 15 minutes though, but the gameplay means it doesn’t feel like that. I swear at this point I’m just wanting to obsessively queue to see if I can win just once – just once! I had hopes the last game as I was doing ok but then by the end, there’s so many cards on the board that one lost round = lost game and that’s what happened.

TLDR: Still don’t like Hearthstone (still don’t understand it) and the amount of money for card decks is obscene so no way I want to get into it. But the battlegrounds doesn’t require cards, it’s separate and that does get my thumbs up. Now if only I could just win one game!