Archive for July, 2007

WHEN WRITING COMPLETE AND UTTER CRAP

Okay, here’s the thing. I’m 40,000 into I SAID NEVER and I’ve hit that beautiful wall that every writer hits at least in once if not all of there stories. When they stop and think about what they are writing, they may even stop and re-read some of it, and think, “I’m writing drivel.” I’ve hit that wall without warning, a helmet, or knee pads.

The only solution is to keep writing until you hit a gold mine or until you cry your way to THE END. You can always fix it. Just have a shot of tequilla or Tylenol handy. It’s going to hurt either way.

So how did I get to this point?

Well, my story morphed into a romantic suspense. I’m never good with clues, at least not in the first draft. The main suspect is dead, the other suspects are family members my main character doesn’t really know and it feels like I’m writing in circles. I might as well be ending every chapter with, “I didn’t know what to do next.” My character speaking figuratively, and me, the writer, speaking literally. Oh, yes, it’s a first person romantic suspense.

WTF!!!???

I’ve hit panic mode without even realizing it. I’m going to pick myself up. Find a ladder and climb over the wall or keep writing drivel until I reach THE END or get an epiphany.

Stay tuned for further entertainment in a neuroses of a writer.

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July 31, 2007 at 6:06 am 1 comment

FIRST DRAFTS ARE THE HARDEST

For me the Don’t Look Down draft is the hardest to write. Since I’m a panster the process of writing doesn’t make it any easier. When I open a word document I have no idea where I’m going. I have a character, I have dialogue, and maybe a situation they have to face, if I’m lucky.

Right now I’m writing what most would consider the bones of the story. Right now I’m trying to figure out the character’s motivation, her faults, her outlook on life, and most importantly how has her life gotten into such a sorry mess that she has to learn something. What is the something she has to learn?

This is the point when art imitates life. I stand by the cliche “everything happens for a reason” and the one that states “everything must get worst before they can get better.” For me it’s finding out “the worst” part of the equation that makes the first draft hard. What may be the worst case scenario for me isn’t going to be the worst case scenario for my character. I need to know her fears and what she thinks she wants so I can give her what she needs.

I’m not a psychiatrist. I barely understand how I tick. So picture me flailing around for 50,000 words until I have a light bulb moment. That’s how I write first drafts.

And it’s a wonder I have any novels completed.

July 30, 2007 at 4:58 pm Leave a comment

UNSPOKEN DOUBLE STANDARD

I’m writing the second post of the day more as food for thought than as a rant. Now I was over at Smart Bitches and they were discusses with much more cool heads the affect of “costumes” in large public signing. Now someone mentioned the old adage that romance writers, novels, hell the genre isn’t looked on favorably by “the powers” in the press. And as usual my thoughts strayed to the men in our genre. What about them? How much harder is it being a man in a predominately female industry? Tom E. Huff being one of the first known men to pen romances as we know as today. In his own right he’s a pioneer for romance just as Chopin and Austen are.

Just imagine being at a book signing sitting there waiting for your adoring fans and one of them walks up, clutching your first novel. From where you are sitting you can see the cover of the book worn and dog eared on the edges. You smile at her and she says, “How nice. Your Victoria Blake’s husband, right?”

I’m not saying this scenario has ever happened. Just keep in mind you may be doing worst than others but much better than some.

July 26, 2007 at 11:26 pm Leave a comment

DEVIL’S ADVOCATE

Now my last post was filled with triumph. I don’t want to mislead you too much with the impression that once I sit down at my computer the words fly from my fingers and the each word is pure gold that I can publish right that second.

Not even I frequent La-La land that much.

The truth of the matter is every morning I wake up and start where I left off. Sometimes that scene is clear in my mind. I can hear what needs to be said and I know the goal I’m going towards. Most days all I know is what’s going to happen next(if that), not sure of the goal, not even sure of why I’m sitting down at my computer when I have no freaking idea of what I’m doing.

I guarantee you I can go back and pin-point when I was stuck. There is usually a page of introspection or detailed explanations of what the furniture looks and feels like in the room my characters are in.

So what do I do?

I keep writing until inspiration bites me on the ass or else. In essence I give myself an escape clause. If I can make it to at least 1,000 words I can quit for the day. If I at least give myself a road map of what needs to happen to get to the next scene then I can stop having a staring contest with my cursor. (The damn thing always wins). I do that and it may take me all day. My mornings usually start at 6:30-7:00. I got to work, come home for lunch type some more crap. Then around five o’clock in the evening, if I’m lucky, the words start to flow.

Okay, I’m exaggerating. I stop describing furniture because now my character’s are talking and moving. Now I’m sensing what the conflict of the scene is. Phoenix sends me a quiet thanks because she’s an accountant not an interior decorator and if she has to look at one more curtain and describe it as soft flowing lace she’ll scream.

So as a spin off to Dory’s song (in Finding Nemo) Just keep writing, Just keep writing . . .

Oh, and I’ve added Alison Kent to the blog roll if you were wondering what 70 Days of Sweat looks like.

July 26, 2007 at 5:36 pm 2 comments

58 DAYS TO GO…

Another update for my 70 days of Sweat. At the moment the total word count of I SAID NEVER is 30,330. Since the 8th I’ve added 17,752 words. Right now to make it to the end all I have to do is write 1201 words a day. Since I’ve been kicking my word counts butt daily(about 2,000 words a day instead) I think by the end of the month I’ll be at 45,000 words or so. If this was the NaNoWriMo I’d be crossing the finish line before 30 days.

Now what have I learned from this so far . . .

Is how badly the need to write is helping me get to my goal of 100k words.

And that I can’t write the end of the last scene I have in my mind. I have to leave myself something to write about the next day or I’ll get stuck.

Lastly, notebooks are my friend. When I don’t have access to a computer or my kids want me to come outside and watch them wet each other I can still write even though I’m not at my computer. I can say honestly since I’ve started writing this novel only about half of it has been written straight from the brain into the computer. Having the freedom to write in the notebook and know I can always transpose it later frees up the pressure of watching my cursor blink at me when I’m stuck.

Hopefully, I won’t get fired from taking repeated breaks while at work.

July 24, 2007 at 6:36 am 2 comments

THE BOY WHO LIVED

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is the most incredible book. It explains everything, it wrenches your heart. Incredible book.

btw, I broke my own record.(faster time I’ve ever read a book) I read 759 pages in 14 hours. I finally went to sleep around 6 a.m. completely satisfied on how the book ended. I just wonder how many words I just crammed into my head.

July 22, 2007 at 10:50 pm Leave a comment

IT’S HERE

Every since I read Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince I’ ve been waiting for this book. It came in the mail and you should have seen me arm wrestling the package out of my mail box. I didn’t give up, I gritted my teeth and tried to maneuver the large book out of my 4 by 10 inch mail box(it looks to be a 5 by 8 book.) I would not be stopped. Yes, I’m talking about the last Harry Potter book. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. My heart is in my chest as I read this book. I’m on page 67 and someone near and dear has already died.

This series, this book is why I write. I have everything invested in me that my favorite characters live. Hermione, the book smart girl (She loves books so she must live in my world) always dependable Ron. I love Ron, he was there from the start. Hagrid, the bumbling lovable character. He has to live. Please dear God let them live. Again this is why I write books. I want to give my readers this feeling. In my head I know they are not real but still.

This book is the reason why I’ve not only met my goal of 1250k words a day but over and beyond. I know I won’t sleep too because I’ll be reading these 750 some pages to know how it all ends.

J.K. Rowling you are my inspiration.

Bless the Girls in the Basement for giving you this story idea. In about 24 hrs I can tell you how the ending make me feel. From now on I know I need to keep tissues handy and I don’t usually cry from books. THIS IS WHY I WRITE.

Sorry if nothing in this post makes sense. I’m typing about 100 words per minute just to get back to this book. Just needed to let you guys know. This is what writing is about. I’m sharing this roller coaster ride with millions of other readers and I can guarantee tomorrow there will be a million responses from exhausted readers who didn’t get any sleep just so that they could get to THE END.

I must go. I must read. And again THIS IS WHY I WRITE.

July 22, 2007 at 1:13 am Leave a comment

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