Sunday, July 29, 2007

I'm bushed

What a productive weekend. I have the remainder of the book plotted and all the questions that developed along the way are answered. I brought in a huge amount of tension, which I had fun spending a lot of time with. I tied up all the loose ends, gave the bad people their comeuppance, and arcked everything with the right degree of bend allowance. Sorry, aeronautic term. My boss would be so proud.

The one snag I have is a conversation between Daniel and a ship's captain. A lot of important information is being divulged to the reader, but it is coming across in a boring manner. I wonder if I need to cut the scene and include the info later. I think it might be wise for me to let it, and me, rest for tonight and take another look tomorrow.

What a weekend!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

So far this morning...

I got up early, sneaked into the kitchen to be quiet, and am now racing against a dying battery. I managed to do some major plotting of the last section of the book. I have two questions left to answer and then write it out. I did a quick check with the word tally. As of right now, I'm at 94% finished. I have a feeling I will go way over the projected 60k.

I am so excited about what's getting ready to happen in the story. I don't know how outline people do it. God love ya, I just couldn't do it. When I began with the initial concept, I never suspected the things that are about to happen. Isn't it great that we can write in different fashions?

Friday, July 27, 2007

I like it

I've figured out how to hurt my mc. This will be good. They will have trauma for a long time afterward and not one visible scar. Well, maybe a few bruises. Now, I just need to figure out a really good reason for the antagonist to do this. I have a reason, but it needs to be strengthened. I don't quite have it, but I'll know it in time.

Finally

I finally made it through that chapter. As I finished writing last night, I noticed something. I knew it was coming, but now know, it has to be done soon.

It's time to hurt the mc's. Yeah, I know, but it has to be done. I have a vague idea which one it will be. I've been sprinkling foreshadows all over the place. Now, (thumping finger on chin) what to do with them? I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Grrrr

I spent the entire day on one of those chapters that just would not come together. I ripped that sucker apart so many times, I wanted to wad it up and toss it in the trash. Finally, I narrowed down the problem. That's always good.

In this chapter, I had to bring in a bit of backstory. Hence, the title of this post. Originally, what I had was soooo boring. It read horribly. Once I realized what was going on, I was able to cut to the chase. I tossed a couple of pages of details into oblivion (and really, this info won't be missed at all.) I only mentioned things that were of absolute pertinence, added all of the other essentials to bring the scene to life, and did a happy dance. Okay, the happy dance comes tomorrow after I've polished it more, but the music is cued up and the intro is playing.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Minority report

What would a blog be without a HP post?

I admit it, I have not read, nor do I plan to read, any of the Harry Potter books. With that said, I am curious, what is it about these books that have caused reading to become popular again, especially among the youth?

I know the ms was rejected several times by agents, editors have commented that they would never have guessed this type of popularity, and even some authors have stumbled over her writing style. Yet, she is highly successful.

So, why? Those of you who have read the books, what made you put life on hold this past weekend and neglect everyone and everything while you devoured book seven?

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Jennifer

Just a quick note. My daughter is off to Cuba today for ten days. It's the second time she's been there but this time, I'm a little nervous. I can't go into detail on a public forum, but keep in mind it's still a communist country. It's true what they say, parental worries never stop. They also become compounded with an adventurous daughter who is overly trusting. She likes to remind me that she's also intelligent and knows how to take care of herself. She's right on both counts, but you understand.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Perseverance

I never thought these words would come out of my keyboard, but...I can't wait to edit. Most writers prefer the creative flexibility of writing the original story. Don't get me wrong, that's a thrill. But, I have finally conquered my latest writing obstacle, and I'm very anxious to go back and remove all the previous hiccups in my wip.

Have you ever spoken with someone and could tell they were bursting to tell you something, but were wary of saying it because it might not be received as intended? In an early chapter of FMS, I had this experience with someone who submitted a crit to me. She very cautiously mentioned that I should try to incorporate more _____. Not knowing what that even meant, I blinked, reread, scratched my head and quickly accepted her offer to explain. After our talk, I kind of knew what she was talking about.

Her suggestion perched on my shoulder each time I wrote, sometimes even whispering in my ear, this is a section that could benefit from her comments. Although I was starting to recognize where to incorporate it, now I needed to know how.

I studied her suggestions. I read over a few blurbs from other authors who had managed this technique. It wasn't sinking in. A few days ago, as I fluffed a scene, one sentenced stopped me cold. I looked at it and thought, what if I change my scope slightly here and jiggled this over there. That's it! This is what she was saying 45,000 words ago. Finally, I understand what she was talking about.

Hence my excitement. Gotta get to edits. I can't wait. I admit it, when trying to grasp a new concept, it generally takes me the better part of a book to get there, but the good news is, I do arrive.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Confused

I have a question. I heard a low grade grumble vibrate through the publishing world and thought I would ask about it. There seems to be a set distinction between publishing houses, resulting in a snub of smaller houses. I understand and appreciate that some pubs are larger and more established than others. However, from what I've heard, this attitude has trickled down to some authors being unrecognized. This is what I don't understand...When a person's books are on shelves in national book chains, how can an organization state that a person is unpublished? Can someone explain this to me?

Monday, July 16, 2007

Craft

Let me start by saying, This is NOT a rant. I am not aiming this at any one person in particular.

However...I have heard several people mention "Craft", so much so, that I cringe everytime I hear the word. I came across this blurb by an author and felt she said it perfectly.

“please STOP reading the craft books if you haven’t yet written a complete book yet. I cannot stress this enough – if you’re reading a book on craft and you haven’t yet written a book that you can plug your own experiences into, you’re not going to understand that craft book on the level you need to. Just write the book – the whole book – write it in order, out of order, in any genre or POV you need to but get it down. Don’t get so caught up in the things you think you need to do for pre-writing that you don’t get the actual writing done. Save the energy you expend doing index cards and things of that sort for the writing. Trust me, the craft books will make so much more sense after the writing is accomplished.”

Sunday, July 15, 2007

My weekend

I'm taking a little break. I have spent the entire weekend, fluffing out and polishing the first three chapters of FMS. I think they are now completely finished. Thank you ladies for your help in narrowing down what was missing. The chapters now have a much deeper tone and richer quality to them.

I chose to write the first draft of FMS with a light hand. I find it easier to go back and add material opposed to cutting. Plus, I would berate myself for wasting all that time on things that would get snipped if done the other way.

One thing I also did was to make a cheat sheet for myself. I find that I tend to continue with similar habits--I forget to include one thing, over emphasize something else. So, I had this brainstorm, as my grandma used to say. When my beta ladies zipped back the first chapters with their comments, I went over them and asked, what exactly are they saying here?

I then composed a checklist of things to go back over and look for when a chapter is 'finished'. Yeah, we all know the definition of that word--revisions. I am in hopes that as I familiarize myself with the list that it will become second nature as I write the original draft. Oh, wouldn't that be lovely?

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

"Good evening."

Sound familiar? Alfred Hitchcock's famous opening line. One other thing Mr. Hitchcock was known for was appearing somewhere in all of his movies. Sometimes the cameo was so small, he was undetectable.

Seeing some lively debate about characters, got me thinking about cameos. I'm sure we have all based a character or two on a real life person. If not in full, at least a mannerism or two. How could you not? To have the flesh and blood illustration right in front of you to study while other people interact with them as a bonus, talk about making your life easy.

I know that I have used my son as a sub-character. Hmm, who else? Oh, yes, three friends of the family. One person in particular might not find this flattering. What can I say? Your personality is larger than life. My daughter? Not yet. Her personality doesn't fit well in the 1700's. A fact that she's not overly saddened about.

Now for the real question. Are you like Mr. Hitchcock and will make an appearance in your story? I know, I know. All of our characters have a glimpse of us in their makeup. But, is there anyone that is all you? For me, not yet. But wouldn't it be fun to do?

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Author's fingerprints.

It's happened to all of us. You hear rave reviews about a book and based on this information, you drop everything and rush to get a copy. You clear the rest of your day and read, read, read, thunk. You hesitate to begin another chapter because you know the misery will continue. Trying to be positive, you force yourself to turn one more page. It has to pick up. Everyone loved this book. Is it you? You're desperate to have that same lovin' feeling as everyone else, but it's just not happening. To make matters worse, you can't quite place what it is that is missing from this book. All you know is, it isn't doing it for you.

I call this the author's fingerprints. This is what separates one author, one book, from another. It's that magical sprinkling that captivates a reader and makes us love certain books and authors. And yes, sometimes, for whatever reason, an author can forget to add this to their own work.

I know of one author who is loved by everyone, at least it seems like it. Although, my sister and daughter, couldn't get passed the first chapter, but that's another post. Anyway, when you listen to the readers, there is something just a little different that draws them to this author. But one thing you will always hear is, I don't know what it is, there is just something about the way she writes.

Writers need that unknown element. As indescribable as it is, reader's recognize it when it's there and when it's missing. So, what is the special something that you sprinkle over your work that makes people say, I don't know what it is, but it's there?

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Happy 4th of July!!!

Fireworks, cookouts, and watermelon. What else says Independence Day to you?

As the author of pre Revolutionary War novels, I want to wish everyone a happy July 4th!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

I've been tagged.

Cindy tagged me. Here are 7 random facts about me:

1. I can't touch type.

2. I am a certified SCUBA diver.

3. I failed my first driver's permit test.

4. I was born and raised in Florida, I even have Indian ancestry, but can't tan for anything.

5. I'm allergic to penicillin.

6. I said, yes to my husband's marriage proposal after one week of dating. In all fairness, we did go out every night that week before he asked. I suppose it's still iffy after 28 years.

7. I'm afraid of birds.

Now I need to think of seven people to tag. Hmm, whom to tag:

Jen, Jenny, Jane, Helene, Beth, Eve, Sheila

Two in one day

Congratulations to Dan Walsh for signing with an agent today. His book is holiday themed, so make sure you look for A Christmas Soldier in November, 2008. Sorry I don't have a snip to share, but I know you won't be disappointed.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Was that fast or what?

Take a look at the second column, sixth name from the top. It's Jane!

http://wildrosepublishing.com/authors.htm

People only like the middle of oreos.

I have finally reached that point where I can see the end. That doesn't mean I'm close to finishing though. Although I'm still in the middle of the ms, I am getting ideas for scenes that will lead to the climax of the story. Ohhh, I like what's ahead. I really hope I'm able to keep the reader guessing all the way through. I need to write a quick note so I can remember what I have in mind. Work can get in the way, can't it? (s) I have a feeling that this scene will trigger two or three more. Don't you love it when you reach that point in your writing. I feel like I'm at a train station. Steam shoots out against my legs as I hurry to get aboard. The train jerks to a start and slowly chugs from the station. Full steam, that's what's ahead.