Monthly Archives: October 2012

The Edit

Okay, editing is a whole new process for me.And it turns out it’s not as evil as I orginally thought.

My science fiction suspense short story “Don’t Look Back” was placed back in my hands a few days ago. It’s a time travel piece with a paradox.

The notes stated excellent prose, innovative idea, and haunting.

Sounds great, right? Right!

There’s nothing better than positive feedback.

I also was told my plot wavered too much, background information was left out, and a date in the story did not make sense.

Not so great, but honest.

That’s why as writers we send our manuscripts off to be edited, isn’t it? To learn about the problem spots in our work? Honesty?

As writers, we get too close to our writing and can’t see what is wrong with our masterpiece. The editing process opens our eyes to what needs to be fixed, so our readers will enjoy the story.

I’ve already managed to fix some plot errors and added some background information.

The beginning still needs work. Since my story was a “by the seat of my pants” idea, I purchased Story Structure Architect by Lynn Schmidt, Ph.D. a couple days ago to help with the re-write.

The book will have a permanent place next to my desk forever.

You can pick from 5 dramatic throughlines, 6 conflicts, and 21 genres, 11 master structures in order to draft your story. Reading over the expectations of the science fiction genre and picking a structure reeled in my “panster” story.I was able to focus my character Ana’s journey and adjust her conflict.

Now to finish “Don’t Look Back” and send it for editing again.

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Get Ready for NaNo #4

Tick, tick…

The big day is upon us! NaNoWriMo starts tomorrow.

Nervous? Excited? Ready?

I’m excited!

Today I’m taking the time to look over all my outline information.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m participating with a Savvy Authors NaNo event called the Entangled Smackdown Bootcamp.

Participants turned in a synopsis last week and received feedback from the Entangled editors. It turns out mine was terrible. So, I ended up rewriting my synopsis, which is darker.

My elevator pitch has changed from :After meddlesome alpha ghosts ruin her date with a rising music star, a ghost hunter in Nashville turns to the internet to find Mr. Right.

To the revised elevator pitch which is now: A cursed Civil War battle field leaves a ghost hunter’s lonely heart vulnerable to a deadly demon.

After the synopsis smackdown we were divided into groups and received lessons to help with our outline.

I’m part of the Flirts and Ever After writing group and my team is NaNovella Ninjas. As a group we will cheer each other toward our goal of 50,000 words. Wish us luck!

Good luck to all those joining the November typing frenzy, NaNoWriMo.

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Get Ready for NaNo #3

How are your preparations going? Ready yet?

There are still 11 days before NaNo starts, plenty of time to organize a story idea and set some outlines in motion.

I signed up through a special Savvy Authors NaNo event so my preparation requirements may be different than the offical NaNoWriMo.

One of the requirements of NaNoWriMo, is to begin with a new story. (Sorry…not my rule. In order to join the ranks of NaNoWriMo, you’ve got to follow the rules.) So, that 1st draft you’re in the middle of will need to sit patiently until after November 30. You can check out the other requirements at NaNoWriMo A new story is a great way to get excited and re-energized, if you have fallen into a slump.

My new idea’s working title is Ghost Hunter Love. I’ m typing “working” because this title may change after the novel is written.

The genre is Paranormal Romance. Which I went back and forth on between Urban Fantasy and PR, but ended up choosing a “happily ever after” scenario.

The elevator pitch is: After meddlesome ghosts ruin her date with a rising music star, a ghost hunter in Nashville turns to the internet to find Mr. Right.

Okay, there are 11 days left. So far I have a synopsis, character outlines, hero/heroine GMC (goals, motivations, and conflicts), and a macro plot. What’s next?

1) Join a writing sprint, with Savvy Authors, to determine how many words I can type in an hour.

2) Visualize my first scene.

3) Outline family obligations and writing schedule.

4) Freeze some dinners, so we won’t resort to McDonald’s

What’s your NaNo list?

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Get Ready for NaNo #2

THE END.

Okay, not exactly The End. I decided on an ending for my  NaNo novel and finished the synopsis. Then posted a casting notice for my character outlines.

Character outlines or profiles are another handy tool for writing a novel. A profile is your little cheat sheet to remind you if your character is scared of ants, missing a toe, or allergic to chocolate. And is an excellent way to find out what makes your character tick. Why does he want to take over the world? Or, why does she wear black?

As a writer, this is an opportunity to make your new friend three-dimensional, instead of a one-dimensional bore. Give your character a quirky personality, with pink hair and purple skin who loves Elvis.

Have fun with the creative process.The possibilities are endless.

If you need a template to build your dream hero/heroine, there are several on the internet. Just Google character outline or character profile, then choose the template that suits you best. Do you want to fill out three pages of questions or one page? My personal preference is avoid information overload and start with maybe ten questions.

Oh, a little FYI. Don’t be surprised if a cast member voices a concern about your past writing endeavors. Whatever you do, don’t laugh at him/her.

Believe me, it can happen.

During the interview process a character asked me if the whole cast would be killed in the story. Shocked from the question, I choked on my tea. Where did that question come from?

After some prodding, it turns out that my attempt at writing a Choose Your Own Adventure book in the seventh grade, leaked out.

The story really was terrible. My teacher said, “No one wins in this one.” Poor planning caused a deadly outcome for all the adventure choices.

We both had a good laugh over the doomed story. The character left the interview confident she would live to see the last page….

maybe.

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Get Ready for NaNo #1

National November Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) started July 1999 with 21 participants, who wanted to write a novel (50,000 words). Not only did the participants have fun, they were very happy with their results.

NaNoWriMo has grown ever since.

Why would anyone sign up to write 1,667 words each day or 50,000 in 30 days? To finally take the plunge and write that novel that’s floating around in their head.Also, this month long event is a fantastic time to join writers from around the world and cheer each other on.

I signed up for a NaNo event through Savvy Authors. In order to get ready, I will prepare a synopsis,character profiles,and outlines. This will hopefully prevent me from experiencing the dreaded writer’s block and to actually have a manuscript that is workable.

The first item I am preparing is a synopsis. Why prepare it before the novel is written? So I know clearly where the story ends and where my characters need to go.

I started my synopsis on Wednesday and used a worksheet from pub(lishing) crawl. Which I have found very helpful.Now all I need to do is decide on the story’s ending.

Are you preparing for NaNo?

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Works In Progress

My short story, “Don’t Look Back” is currently being edited. I’m trying my best to just sit on my manuscript until the edited one comes back.

Mirror Journey and Dragon Falls are being pushed back. So the new status for those novels is TBA.

I just signed up for a special NaNo event through Savvy Authors. So I am currently preparing for the NaNo event.

Are you preparing for NaNo? Feel free to comment about how you’re getting ready for this month long writing frenzy.

It’s Fall Break here. Have lots of TO DO items that need to be fixed. One is working on this blog.

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