Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Things that happen

What I'm Reading: Dark Seduction by Brenda Joyce

What I'm Working On: Things that happen in Slayer, part 2

Well, alot of my writing buds left for San Francisco today (or yesterday). I'm sad I'm not going. I went last year and it was amazing. This year, I don't have the funds, but I'm dealing with it.

My friends promised to pick up some books I requested along with some others just to surprise me. I'm very excited about that! (The free books and the not-so-free books are two of the best parts of the RWA National Conference.

However, on the bright side of things, my anger over not being able to go has spurred new writing momentum. I've got character grids that work for a change. I've got turning points. I've got a "list of things that happen" in the novel -- a long list. My local critique/goal/brainstorming buddy is "excited" about my book. I'm excited about my book again. (And that's saying something since I'm rewriting!)

Maybe NOT going to RWA was the best thing that could have happened to my writing right now.

(At least that's my story, and I'm sticking to it.)


Friday, July 25, 2008

What next?

I love that feeling of finishing a really good book. The feeling is part sadness that it’s over, part gratitude that somehow out of all the books to choose from, this one called to you and you heard it.

I just finished such a book – The Gift of Rain by Tan Twan Eng.

It is decidedly not a romance – at least not in the true sense. However, I don’t exclusively read romance even though I love books to have a good love story and I love to write books with a good love story.

Now, I’m in that in between stage where I’m not really reading anything. (In all fairness, I just finished so how could I be reading anything else.) I keep staring at my TBR pile and thinking what next.

Any suggestions? (Any genre will do, but I do think I’m kind of in a romance mood for the next one.)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Rewriting heaven

What I’m Reading: The Gift of Rain by Tan Twan Eng and The Mercenary by Cherry Adair

What I’m Working On: Kevin’s backstory/life. He’s the hunky lead in Slayer.

Rewriting is about as much fun as a scooping dog poo. However, I’m actually excited about the prospect of rewriting Slayer. And, no, these aren’t edits we’re talking about. This is a rewrite – full and complete. However, I understand the story conflicts much better now. And, thanks to Lara, I think Kevin is well on his way to being the strong character he needs to be, not some boring beta.

So, I wonder how fast I can get this rewrite done…….

Maybe in time to enter Golden Heart…..

Does anyone know when that deadline is anyway???????


Saturday, July 19, 2008

Saturday Seven

What I’m Reading: the Host by Stephanie Meyer and The Gift of Rain by Tan Twan Eng (I’m about ½ way through both of them. Both are very good.)

What I’m Working On: I’m getting deeper into the emotions of the Slayer series – not just the book, but the whole over-arching series.

I’ve been absent this week because we’ve been doing the local Florida theme park vacation circuit. It’s too expensive to travel far this year. As a matter of fact, I’ve had to cancel my trip to San Francisco for RWA Nationals for a variety of reasons, but one being it’s just so expensive to travel so dang far.

However, I’m finishing up a Discovering Story Magic workshop online, and I’m signed up for another in September. I’m also taking Barbara Samuel’s voice class in October. I’m psyched about both of these because I know they’ll both be great.

Since I’m thinking about writing and improving it and how to do that (see the workshop/conference focus above), I decided to list a Saturday Seven: Seven things I’ve learned or rediscovered about writing this year.

1) It’s all about emotion. It doesn’t matter what the plot events are as much as getting the emotions true for your characters.
2) It’s all about characters. People calls stories either character driven or plot driven. The character emotions drive the plot. It’s all about the characters.
3) The antagonist has to drive the change in the protagonist. Your story should be set up this away.
4) Sometimes breaking the rules is exactly the right thing to do for your story.
5) Plotting is much easier if you’re open-minded.
6) Find a trusted brainstorming partner (or several). Listen to what they have to say about your story. Open your mind to all ideas. Let them simmer, then take what works for you and discard the rest.
7) The first draft always sucks. (At least for me……)

Happy writing.


Sunday, July 13, 2008

Plotting question for all you writers...

What I’m Reading: The Gift of Rain by Tan Twan Eng and the Host by Stephanie Meyer

What I’m working on: Secondary characters and subplots

For any of you writer types out there, I have a question.

First, are you a plotter or a panster or a little of both?

Second, do you intentionally create scenes that attack the flaw(s) of your main character? By this I mean, do you consciously think how each scene moves the story along an arc prior to writing the scene? Or do you just write and it somehow happens subconsciously, like the story structure is something you don’t have to think much about? Or maybe you write the scenes and go back and add tension later?

I’m interested in process. I’m finally settling on one that’s easier for me. (Ok, it’s never easy, but it isn’t as hard as it was…..)

Let me know how you do it. Curious writers want to know.


Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Book Quiz

What I'm Reading: The Gift of Rain by Tan Twan Eng and the Host by Stephanie Meyer (both heavy hitters and really, really good)

What I'm Working On: Tightening my character grid for Slayer and taking a stab at premise.

Here's a quiz that's kind of fun. (And I LOVE Watership Down!)

You're Watership Down!

by Richard Adams

Though many think of you as a bit young, even childish, you're
actually incredibly deep and complex. You show people the need to rethink their
assumptions, and confront them on everything from how they think to where they
build their houses. You might be one of the greatest people of all time. You'd
be recognized as such if you weren't always talking about talking rabbits.

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Running out on the family movie

What I'm Reading: The Charm School by Nelson DeMille and Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher.

What I'm working on: Themes, journey statements and turning points for Slayer.

I just walked out on the family movie. We weren't at the theatre -- just watching at home. We were watching I Am Legend. (No link. Google if you want. I don't want to see the website.)

Family movie?

Ok, our kids are teenagers, and they've both seen the movie with their friends, and it's based on a contemporary classic (yes, I know that's an oxymoron), so maybe it's not what you were thinking of as a "family movie" but we were all watching together.

They told me beforehand that the dog dies. (Oops...spoiler...sorry, but, really, some people need to know that before going in.) I thought I could handle it.

What no one told me was that the dog is his only friend. He has NO ONE else to talk to. (Oops... spoiler... oh, well.) And then they kill the dog? Seriously? Um, the ds told me the movie has a happy ending. Really? How's that? The DOG IS DEAD. The dog was his only friend.


So, to be fair, I didn't see the dog die. I asked if it was coming up about every 5 minutes and the ds kept saying no. Then he started saying, "I don't remember." LIE! I knew it had to be imminent.

So, I slammed the top down on the laptop (I was trying to multi-task) and left it sitting in the middle of the living room floor.

I'll apologize later, but they're probably a little glad I'm gone and they don't have to hear my scream or see my tears when it happens (probably happened by now).

So, now I'm at the computer, and I'm back to spreading out the Slayer notes. But, I did learn a little bit about myself. I might lean toward hopeful horror slathered with a healthy dose of romance when it comes to the stories I have to tell, but the key word there is HOPEFUL. I just don't see how killing the dog is hopeful.

Those of you who know me well, know I have a big squishy soft spot for all dogs. All dogs like me. I have 4 rescues. So, seriously, I don't do movies where the dog dies -- happy ending or not.

(Deep breath.)

I feel better now. Maybe I'll fast forward through that part and go back and watch later.


But only if someone out there can tell me how it ends first. Seriously. Please spoiler me. Is there a happy ending? Fill me in.


Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy 4th of July

What I’m reading: The Charm School by Nelson DeMille, His Style of Seduction by Roxanne St. Claire, and Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

What I’m working on: I'm not today. It's a family holiday.

Thursday, July 3, 2008


What I’m reading: The Charm School by Nelson DeMille, His Style of Seduction by Roxanne St. Claire, and Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

What I’m working on: Oh, yeah, writing.... am I supposed to be writing?

I'm a huge fan of all types of writing ... as long as it's good writing. I just started Jay Asher's Thirteen Reasons Why today, and I can barely put it down. It has such a sad and interesting premise. And Asher doesn't pull any punches. It's very raw. When I read books like that, I want to write and read YA exclusively.

I'm also reading The Charm School (see above). It's brilliant. And it makes me want to revamp my romantic suspense novel set in Russia.

And I'm also reading a Silhouette Desire by Rocki St. Claire. No matter what she writes, she writes it very well. And, yes, you guessed it. I also want to write a Desire again.

Is that fickle or what?

What kinds of books do you really go for?