Novel Update

January 10th, 2016 by admin

Between The Rain - Strines Moor, South Yorkshire

The winds of time blow into 2016.

Back in Sept and Oct, worked with an editor and received back an extremely helpful critique and markup on both the novel and a smaller novelette I was working on at the time, so now I’m crawling through the revisions — some heavy and some light — while also researching another work I want to start. Expect the editing part is going to take me nine months to a year, and I’m overwhelmed by the research so I see this maybe two years out.

Music? Oh yeah, well. Still contemplating the orchestra work and a concerto. It’s not dropped off the planet.

Obvious, no time for blogging. More like a journal I never visit anymore except to lodge some complaining bookmark in the history of creative life. Writing life is addictive.


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Novel Update

July 25th, 2015 by BryanKirk


Worked my way through the edit trees again. Where was I going?  Performed a double edit pass.  v2.3 and 2.4 are complete.

I have now narrowed  my final editor list down to eleven editors — three primary with the rest in reserve.

It’s time.  I’ll begin making my inquiries to rates and schedules.


Novel Update

April 30th, 2015 by BryanKirk

361/365: 12/27/2013. Sky, Sea, Sand and Snow!


Back into edits again tomorrow, after six weeks in the dryer. Working on the opening which has been giving me trouble. Revision goal is to review two chapters a day, but I’ll be happy if I slow down to give whatever is required. Let’s see what happens.

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Novel Update

March 21st, 2015 by BryanKirk


Version 2.2 of edits are completed, and I sent it out to a couple of friends. I need to let it go for a bit to settle and bake.

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Novel Update

March 7th, 2015 by BryanKirk


Had some constructive and not constructive feedback from one beta reader, and now picking up the edits again for a version 2.2.  I’ve been working on it this last week, and expect it will take another two.  Once complete, plan is to send it out for some additional beta reads, and get back into fixing another Novelette I wrote awhile ago.  Sometime after, find the editor I seek.

Music will pick up again in the late spring.

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Novel Update

January 17th, 2015 by BryanKirk

Field of Gold


Version 2.1 completed on my novel, a light syntactic and semantic polishing.  Now it’s out for beta reading, then once I get some extra notes, I’ll send it off to a FT editor.

Leaves me now to do some serious lit. reading, music planning, and additional novelette edits.

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Status Update – End of Year

December 31st, 2014 by BryanKirk

Nashville Public Library, Grand Reading Room

It’s been almost two years since I’ve written anything in this blog, but it’s time to set an update as we go into a fresh start of 2015.

To review, at the beginning of 2013, I worked out a structure for a new large scale musical work, then proceeded to experiment on “filling in that void” with research materials.  The work was progressing back and forth between a pure orchestral work, something for violin and strings, or a piano concerto. Still, that exercise proved too precise and unsatisfying, so I decided to take a break.

Around March of that year, I started experimenting with literary writing, and on a personal dare, out of curiosity, decided to try my hand at writing a short novel.  Well, five months later I had written over 108,400 words (which isn’t a short novel at all).  Then, in November, I started the second draft. That exercise in editing and revision took me exactly fourteen months, in which I snipped out close to 21,000 words!  It’s now an about 87,200 words. I’m now working on a draft 2.1, and also shopping around for a professional editor/reader after which I’ll hit my third draft — more of a polish.

During that time I learned a great deal about writing, even going so far as suffering through a literary theory course. All of this was really helpful to me as a composer believe it or not, the way that sentences and ideas can be constructed (or not constructed), the differences between grammar and rhetoric etc.  Writing creatively is quite frankly bitchin’ hard.  I used to get up every morning every day of the week at 5:00 am to work on it, but I think I can relax a bit now and let go. We are so close to words everyday that it’s difficult to hear or read how someone else might see what you’ve written.  What looks good today, sucks to you tomorrow.  You correct and go through the same thing again and again, slicing away. My derivative analogy is it’s like herding cows down a road but they keep going into pastures, and you are also one of the cows.

Anyway, for 2015, my goals are to continue with this thing and see where it leads.  I intentionally keep the door closed on saying anything about it. When its publishable I may speak.  For 2015, I’m also planning to get back into that musical work, now that I experiences what writers go through.

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Composer Status Update

January 26th, 2013 by BryanKirk

A cross the green field, past the line of trees


This last period we finished up pre-composition work on the pitch class matrixes /  designs for the work, which included writing out the nasty details of the special octatonic permutation.  After finishing, a further abstraction revealed that they replicated (with some permutations still intact), which leads that we can cut down these materials roughly in half – or at least will make it it easier to choose materials when the time arises.

Moving on to the less technical, I bought some index cards and wrote  on one for each design, highlighting the different permutations and sets that each one contains.  Each one I wrote with a different color pencil, which made it easier to view.  Once I did this I spent the week arranging them in different ways, to try and find an optimal structure for the work.  To create a symmetry, I replicated the first design that starts the work and placed it on the end.  With 7 designs in the space, you get a good view of the balance, and what needs to be accomplished in each transition etc, and how the sonic elements contrast with their neighbors.  I also created “wildcards” which represent something unknown, or might be transitional or mixed in nature.  These also can be inserted into the design layout to function as balancers.  I ended up not needing these yet, but I will continue to play with this.

With this layout, its easier to get a sense of time and length – where the climax is in the work (if you are wanting a narrative), or any other driving desires.  At least you get some rough ideal of how long the work might last.  With 7 sections at 6-10 minutes per section that pushes a boundary between a roundly 45 minutes and 1:10 minutes.  My goal is to be about 45 minutes.  But, thats quite a long single work.  I’m not sure I’ve ever written anything that big in scale.

Orchestration – a little more clear, but I expect we will whittle it down as we move through writing the work:  3 percussion, 2 pianos, 1 harp, string quartet (used mostly as a trap for soloists), strings divided antiphonally.

Next steps, we lay out the score a bit more, and start writing out the first section.

photo by: broo_am