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Showing posts from October, 2010

NaNo -- How are you prepping?

Good morning all! Today is the last business day (aka real day in my book as I get super lazy on the w/e) prior to NaNo. This is my first and I am super pumped, though my husband already said that 50,000 words is impossible in one month. I assured him that it is not and that I will hit 52,000. See I am going to work on TWISTED ROOT of which I already have chapter 1 -- 2,000 words complete. So to be honest and all I need to hit 52,000 words. But I must admit, I am going to likely start from scratch so as to keep the creative juices flowing.

So in researching about NaNo I found a few tips and thought I would pass them along:

1. Do a rough outline of your story and character sketches before.
2. Set a time every day to write -- 9 pm, 5 am, whatever but make it the same every day.
3. Write everyday no matter what.
4. Binge on the weekend -- write for an hour, take a break, then another hour, break, etc.
5. Have fun with it and don't focus on quality. Just get the words on the page.

How about …

Snappy, wordy, funky sentences...

Okay so I've been revising for what feels like FOREVER. I am ready to stop, seriously, but I know you have to carve away the absolute crap that is first drafts in order to have a beautiful MS. But in this journey I have discovered that there is a very fine line between snappy and wordy. Shall I give a few examples of what I mean?

These sentences are taken randomly from SECOND SOUL -- feel free to lash me if anything is crazy. Here goes:

________________________________________________
Snappy: Not even close. He knew. The door quaked. Wordy:

It crashed shut with a loud bang, and I stumbled back, lost my footing, and fell to the floor. The path itself was concrete, lacking all the grandeur and particularity of the other two paths, and I found myself searching for a way out of this lost land. Basic (but could be tightened): They rested there like birds in a nest, delicate and peaceful. The final bolt hit in the center of the table.________________________________________________I find th…

Fireworks or sparklers?

Again, sorry for the absence. This writing business can be quite time consuming when you need to *ehem* actually write. :)

What have I been doing you ask? Querying, a bit. And getting rejected, a bit. And getting requests, a bit. Some fun, some not so fun, but all in all I'm enjoying this new phase of the game. I think my writing is a bit different and my style is a bit different, which I'm afraid means my querying=agent journey could take awhile. I'm okay with that fact. I am a fairly driven person so I'm not planning on giving up, BUT I do plan to eat a lot of chocolate along the way.

This querying business has made me wonder: do you prefer a fireworks, explosive-type opening or a mini sparkler, get-to-know-my world sort of opener?

I jump right in. Is this the correct way to go about it? I'm not sure, but originally I started with the 2nd option and my lovely critters said that sucked. I thanked them for the compliment and then revised...and revised again...and the…

Bad words...

First, so sorry I missed Monday's post. I promise there was good reason, which I hope to not jinx by posting about it, but let's just say it was a very pleasant surprise. :)

Now onto today's post. Today I want to talk about bad words, and I'm not talking about curse words. Curse words can actually be good words (when it comes to writing) if used selectively, and if they are appropriate for the story/MC.

For me, bad words are the words that drag down or weaken my prose. I have a list of words that I search out and destroy during revisions. Of course, some stay. My rule is that if the word is necessary to maintain voice then it stays, if it does not add to voice or the story then it's axed.

MY LIST: _______________________________________________________________
---------------------------------------------- Verbs ---------------------------------------------- Was Were Could Should Would Felt Looked (issue when overused) Walked (issue when overused) Past perfect combos: had + past …

Confession time!

Watch out! I'm posting back-to-back. Crazy, I know. :)

I was working on my umpteenth revision of SECOND SOUL and realized that I have a few confessions to make. ___________________________________________________________
I write overly wordy prose on my first draft. OKAY, Fine. I write overly wordy prose on drafts 1-3. And let me tell you, it is like slicing my arm off to delete some of it. I always know that if I am super proud of a certain bit of prose, it's cutting time. I'm not a fan of literary fiction. Yikes! A writer that doesn't prefer literary fiction! What has the world come to! The problem with most literary fiction is in the descriptions. I really do not need two or three paragraphs on the beauty of a tree. I get that it is lovely. I really do. But I do not need to read about it at length. At that point, I'm skimming. I prefer just enough details to convey the message/scene/setting without haulting the pacing. I find it interesting that so many experts sl…

Are you afraid?

Yesterday was a crazy day. I have a Cocker Spaniel, Bella. She started getting sick two nights ago and refused to come inside. So, yesterday I noticed she wasn't able to walk so well. I called her Vet and had an appt set for 1:20. By noon she had crawled under our storage shed in the backyard and refused to come out.

I am petrified of snakes and pretty much anything that creeps and crawls, but I knew I needed to get her out of there. I stood by the shed for thirty minutes, gaining the courage. The shed sits about a foot above the ground and she was at least six feet in so, yeah, for me to get her I would have to crawl on my stomach and pull her out. At this point I'm crying because she has vomited a few times and is screaming in pain. My daughter, Rylie, is outside with me, begging me to help Beya (that's what she calls her). So I'm looking at my crying daughter and looking at my crying dog and decided to toughen up. I crawled under the shed, pushed aside the thick, dis…

Opinions on Agents

So a few days ago I was rummaging through Twitter updates and stumbled across this:

http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/?p=2039

Have any of you read it? What are your opinions?

If you have not read it, let me recap. The poster (Mr. Smith) discusses, quite intensely I might add, the story of an author (Mr. Buchman) acquiring a 4 book deal with Sourcebooks, yet he was unable to get an agent to rep him. Mr. Smith goes on to ask if Agents have lost their minds.

Maybe, I can't be sure. I am not an agent, not in the least, but I can relate to one element of the job. I receive a LOT of emails a day. Going back and forth, today alone, I went through over a hundred emails. I can tell you that I lose my mind all the time. So, yeah, I imagine they lose their minds just like all business professionals do. Is this one of those times? Again, maybe, I can't be sure. But Mr. Smith's post brings up an interesting topic: What value do YOU feel agents bring to the table?

For me, there are several. Fir…