Showing posts from June, 2009

The Inconvenient Muse

(X-posted on the Tri Mu Blog.)

I had my eyes closed. I’d recently gotten back from a strenuous two hours of hooping, and now I was lying on three inches of memory foam. My brain had already begun drifting on the waves of sleep, and then there were words.

Initially I ignored these words, but they had changed the current of the waves, dragging me closer to consciousness. I was tired. I was comfortable. It had been a long day.

But there were words.

So, after the words charged through my mind a second time, I peeled back my eyelids, rolled over, and fumbled for a pen. Once captured on paper, the insistent words were trapped, unable to bug me, and I slept.

That is how my muse chooses to show herself sometimes. At inconvenient moments—close to sleep, in the shower, operating a vehicle—my muse will appear, dangling a clever snatch of dialogue, the perfect description, or the missing piece of plot. Not all the time, mind you, but every once in a while. It’s why I keep something to write with ne…

Interesting buzz on Twitter.

The agents over at the BookEnds literary agency have an interesting 'pitching' contest on twitter right now. Similar to the Knight Agency's Book in a Nutshell contest and Colleen Lindsay's Query in 140 characters or less contest, Jessica and Kim at BookEnds are inviting writers to submit short "Twitches". (Tweet + Pitch = Twitch)

It is a cute idea, and includes a chance to win a three chapter MS review. If nothing else, trying to boil a pitch down to 140 characters (including @agentname) is a good exercise for creating 'elevator' pitches (as I've heard short pitches called.)

If you want to find out more, check out the rules on the BookEnds Blog. Several of the Tri Mu have already tried their hand at pitching. Good luck to everyone who enters!

What was your name again?

Typically I know a lot more about every person who walks onto the page of one of my stories than the reader ever needs to know. For minor, repeating characters I like to have at least a general idea of the character's back story because it influences how the character acts and reacts to what is happening in the story. For major characters, this is, of course, a necessity, but I also like to know at least a little information about every character who has a name.

As I'm digging through my rough draft and starting my revision process, I'm finding myself bogged down with keeping up with characters. Not that there are all that many characters, but by chapter seven, I no longer remember what color a minor character's hair was in chapter two or if I spelled a name with an 'e' or an 'i'. Trying to keep up this information between two books is even more complicated.

A system is definitely called for.

At some point while working on Once Bitten, I created separat…

Digging Back In

After a couple days pursuing shinies, knocking books off my TBR, and controlling the lives of computer animated people (SIMS 3,) I am finally ready to dig into revisions. I'm reading over my words, and I don't completely hate them (or at least, not all of them) so that is a good thing.

I'm trying something new this revision session. Instead of tackling the book in a large word document, I've broken it up in Scrinver and will be using the program's organizational tools to see if it helps me in my second draft. This program includes neat little things like a cork board view of the story (chapters or scenes listed on note cards,) a keyword tracker, and a place to keep notes and research in the same file. I'm looking forward to trying it out. So far so good, but I've only just scratched the surface. We will see how it goes.

While breaking up the book into scenes and chapters, I noticed something strange: Chapter twelve appeared twice in my numbering system (dif…

Eyes Open: Characters

(X-Posted on the Tri Mu Blog.)

This is one of those “Where do you get your ideas” posts. I write on this topic once in a while because this is honestly the question I hear most. Again I would like to mention that ideas are everywhere, and writers should always pour what they see into that churning pot of plot soup in the back of their heads. Today I would like to highlight a couple ‘characters’ I encountered in the last twenty-four hours.

I saw the most interesting chef/waiter yesterday. He seemed almost a caricature of a person—or maybe like a muppet. His nose was large, the size further exaggerated by a thin, dark mustache, but his head was almost bare, just a few wisps of hair over his ears and around the back of his skull. He wore dark dress pants and shoes with a long white apron that started at his waist and fell to his ankles. His shoulders slumped slightly, his head craned forward as he carried a silver tray over the brick walk. He was, in a word, fascinating—not in a I-wonder…

I've been Interviewed!

I have been interviewed over at the Midnight Moon Cafe as part of their 'Midnight Brew' interviews. There will be a drawing for signed copies of Once Bitten, so head over there and comment before midnight tonight to enter.

Thanks and good luck!

Almost There

Well, this is the goal day for the completion of HB2's first draft. I'm happy to say I will definitely cross 90k today. Unfortunately, 90k was a projected number of words, and at this point, I am quite confident in saying that this draft will run over that projection. I still hope to hit those magic words tonight ("The End" for those unsure which magic words I'm referring to) but I honestly have no idea how long this draft will run. Usually my first drafts are short with lots of filling in of details to do and a serious need for secondary characters and subplots. Not so much with this draft.

I must run away and write now. A lot to accomplish tonight.

HB2 Progress:

89004 / 90000 words. 99% done!

[Aside: I had a wonderful time at ConCarolinas this weekend. I will post more about the Con in the coming days.]