Friday, November 30, 2007

I WON!!!!!

Now the real work begins. I've changed my previous goal of 50,000 to the reasonable first draft length of 70,000. This is not the end of this novel, but only a good start on the beginning.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Why I Write

I've always wanted to write since I was young and since I'm procrastinating working on my story because I've gotten to a hard spot I thought I'd share some of my early (as in crazy) ideas when I was in junior high. Oh, yeah, girly girl day dreams. So, I was in band. Stop laughing. I liked playing the trumpet and I didn't go to the same band camp as Allison Hanigan. So as I was saying, we had an intern working with our band instructor. Let me draw you a picture, so we're perfectly clear. I had braces. Shoulder length brown hair with bangs and could not for the life of me get them to do that bush thing that everyone else could do with their bangs. It was the 80s. And I was constantly cutting the inside of my mouth with my braces everytime I played the trumpet. No blood, but raw flesh. I was in the "intelligent" group in classes, but didn't fit into the popular crowd. At all. So back to our intern. I'd been reading Harlequin's for a while at that time and had read all the Jean M. Auel's Earth's Children series (Clan of the Cave Bear, for those who don't know). I thought a wonderful idea for a story would be this intern, who I think his name is Jeff, but I don't remember. So, Jeff would leave town and then come back and find that the geeky braces girl he taught in band had grown up to a beautiful woman and fall in love with her of course.

I mean that stuff happened in Harlequin's quite a bit back then. It seemed like a viable premise and probably would do a lot better than the Clan of the Cave Bear ripoff with panthers I had thought of before that. I was 12 or 13 years old. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it. I don't think I'll be resurrecting those story ideas or the one from that time my friend Nick and I went to Dairy Queen and saw this business man and you guessed it. He returns years later to find that freakish girl grown up into a lovely woman and tries to woo her.

I've matured and I hope my ideas have matured with me, but it's fun to remember the types of ideas I had back then. Somewhere there is a bunch of notecards with ideas written on them. My guess is it's somewhere in my basement, but [shrug] I'll laugh when I run across them someday. I'll just make sure that I run across them with the lawn mower.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Emotionally Heavy

When I revise my NaNo book I'm definitely going to work on the emotional weight. By that I mean, a lot of the scenes are drag you through hell and back type scenes. There are a few light hearted scenes but I don't know if they are too far between. I'm a cliche type person so I can't see the forest through the trees right now. Also, I'm in draft mood. Just keep swimming, just keep swimming. I did make a scene that I know will have to be heavily edited. I was having a little too much fun and did one of actually Kristi's suggestions to keep the plot moving. It doesn't fit with the rest of the book.

I just finished one of the books climatic scenes. Minds out of the gutters, I'm not that kind of writer. Well...I am....a little, but not right now. This book has more fight scenes than love scenes. Now it's all about picking up the pieces. Ah, the black moment. Gotta love tormenting your poor characters. Let's see if I can get these two crazy kids back together.

Monday, November 26, 2007

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

aka deer caught in headlights

Well, deep thinking set aside. I'm at 39K words with five days to go. If I continue at break neck speed 3K a day, I'll cross the finish line in 4 days. This of course is barring any catastrophes that are bound to come my way. I skipped a scene that I think I need to go back and do now, but I'm still not certain. I'm going to plod ahead forward for now and let it soak in the pool at the back of my head. Hope everyone else is doing well and meeting their goals.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Emotional Let Down

I don't know if anyone else has this problem, but after a truly trying or emotional scene, I feel drained. I avoided writing this scene for the majority of the day. It just wasn't coming to me. I sat down about an hour again and banged out 1400 words. I feel very much like my heroine at this point. Hollowed out. Numb to the world around her and just wanting to cling to the one good thing that's in her life right now. Her hero. Of course, if I could cling to her hero, I totally would. One of the things I love about writing romances is the emotional roller coaster. The love, the betrayal, the sadness, the happiness. All written on the page. Now I'm going to bed and forgetting about these two creatures I've created until tomorrow when they'll run carefree (not precisely) through my brain and onto the page.

Idea Rant

One thing I never seem to have problems with are ideas for stories. (Quick knock on wood) Ideas can become problematic when I'm currently writing a story and they pop into my head. It's easy to become sidetracked and forget the story I'm writing to begin another. I think that was my problem the first time I sat down to write. I started about three different stories, but never really got into any of them. I blame it all on the ideas. The tricky little things start playing like a movie which makes it hard to concentrate on the story I'm working on. I've found that opening a new file and writing down everything that's come to me and tucking in the idea file quiets it down. This makes it nice when my current project ends because I open my idea file and all the documents in it. I then read through the files and pick the one that calls to me. Right now I'm completely immersed in my NaNo story. Occassionally glimpses of stories in the same world pop into my head. No concrete ideas, just little snippets that have no meaning or direction. I will probably do a brainstorming session after NaNo is done to see what I can come up with.

The biggest problem I've seen when an author uses the same world is that they build essentially the same story. This would be a huge risk with the world I've created for Fallen. Putting a new spin on things is the tricky part. It's like when a sitcom or series starts being repetitive. Sometimes it's good and sometimes it makes you want to yawn. I want to keep my work fresh which in the genre of romance is hard. It's one of the reasons I haven't gone the vampire route. Everyone and their brother has done vampires or created an "original" vampire world. I love vampire stories and the whole concept, but I can't come up with anything particularly fresh when it comes to vamps. Maybe after I've published a book or two [fingers crossed], I'll be able to revisit my friends. Right now, I'll stick the ideas in a file and lock them away until my current creation is done.

I swear my brain works in circles. I start writing about ideas and then worlds, go figure.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Help on NaNoWriMo

Not really cheating, just being creative when you're stuck for words or if you need a few extra words.

1. Contractions, who needs 'em. Go with could not instead of couldn't and get an extra word.

2. Periods don't count as words but "and" does.

3. Stuck in the middle. Kill all your characters and have two new characters come in to investigate the murder.

4. Not writing a romance? Make one happen between the least likely pair of characters. That secondary character that's been trying to steal the show and the president. Why not?

5. Writing romance? Kill off one of the main characters and then have the other mourn, but bring back the one you killed.

6. Put a genie in a bottle in your story. Have your character find it and start making wishes.

7. Everybody loves flesh eating zombies stories and think of all the description you could add.

8. Flat tire. Of course, this has to happen when the character must get to wherever they are going now!!!

9. An evil knight steals your heroine and locks her in a tower where the hero must rescue her before the time runs out on the hourglass or she'll have to marry the evil knight.

10. Have your characters get into a debate about anything: cats vs. dogs, peas vs green beans, soccer vs basketball, blond vs brunette. Oh and don't forget to keep bringing it up every time they get angry.

11. Have a character that uses the f-word. A lot.

12. Have a character who likes to pick pocket for fun. Lots of suspense and they could find out stuff about the other characters and use it as blackmail.

13. Do a major no-no. Have your character sit down with a cup of tea and think about everything that has happened up to this point in her LIFE and what it means to her. Don't forget to interrupt her thoughts with more tea description. Then have the male character do the same. Or even simultaneous. Sitting across from each other sipping tea not talking but thinking of everything the other should or shouldn't know. You could go on for hours.

14. Lock your main characters in a room and see what happens. Especially fun in a romance.

15. Waste time writing on your blog and checking e-mail and everyone else's blog. Oh, wait, that's what I do. :)

Added because I laughed out loud when I read Kristi's additions:

16. (The late Robert Jordan's favorite tactic, IMO) Describe in detail the clothing of everyone in the room. Even if you just did it in the last scene.

17. Name every character with multiple names (John Jacob Jingle Heimer Schmidt) and use all of them every time you mention the character (a search and replace in Word will do this rather quickly if you've already gone down a simpler path....

18. (Especially for a historical romance), use a longer phrase such as "Bloody Hell" or "Hell's Bells" instead of the blah (and short) "damn". 2-for-1.

19. Add a completely gratuitous kinky sex scene involving your story's villain (s&m, multiple partners, prostitutes, vegetables, all of the above if you're so inclined). Doesn't matter what genre you're writing, call it "character building".

I'm going to add because what the hell I like even numbers:

20. Add a prologue or two or five, everything you made up in character development throw in the prologue. Include an epilogue too. Or five. One for a year later, one for a year after that and so on until the characters finally die. Throw in a sideways-logue too. Don't know what it is, but if you figure it out let me know.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Still Behind

It's hard to believe that November is almost over. I'm still behind but I'm hopeful. I managed to get somewhat caught up last week. I have high hopes for the week ahead. Plotwise things are moving smoothly. I'm contemplating my heroine's motivation for the next scene in how she'll react to the hero's question. That's where my handy dandy notebook comes in handy. I jot when I brainstorm. It's hard to jot coherently in Word so I need a notebook on standby for when that happens. I'm on notecard 14 out of 40 so I definitely have enough story to make it past 50,000. It's just getting the words to continue to come forward and the characters to mildly behave. We don't have much time for them to screw around more with the plot. We're officially on the night of Day 3 when we should have been on Day 2. We have 7 days total to get everything accomplished and I had them ending on Day 5 so they have a little leeway. Don't worry my actual writing isn't all run-on sentences. :) Hope everyone else is whipping their characters into shape. Hmmm, whips.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Day That Wasn't Planned

My characters decided they didn't like the day I had planned for them so they ditched my idea and went to a strip joint as noted in the previous post. My villian got a chance to explain some things I didn't even know and my heroine went on a binge of drinking. My hero took care of her and tucked her in bed. He's a nice guy. Meaning he left the room after tucking her in. No one appreciates a drunk first time unless it's a character development type thing. I don't see these two hopping into bed anytime soon.

I made it past 17000 today which is awesome. Not as far as I'd like to be, but I'm gaining on my lost time. Ideally I'd be reporting 23,333 or higher, but rarely does the ideal happen. The story is flowing again and I know which way I'm going. I'm getting these two back on track with the cards though I may need to rearrange them a little. Time for TV or bed.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Naughty Characters

It's actually quite funny when you think of where these imaginary chacters make us go. Currently mine are sitting in a strip club on the East side. What can I say? They decide where to take the story not me :) . This is just like the character in my other story that sat in an evil chair. I didn't tell her to sit there she just did. So, I've got the music thumping and semi-naked women everywhere. Let's see how the angel handles this.

Not on the notecards anywhere. These characters are totally winging this.

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Hardest Thing

I think the hardest thing for me to admit to people is that I write. It inevitably leads to questions or doubting looks. Most frequently is What are you writing? Are you published? Do you have a publisher? How does that work? I've denied who I wanted to be since I was a child. I've always wanted to be a writer. Note: My next door neighbor that I adored was an etiquette writer. Regardless I've always thought I had to be something else too. A lot of decisions I've made in life have been because at some point I wanted to write. We are in the position now that I can write. We moved to England with me being a dependent with no job. This is what I want to do with my life. I want to write. I loved being an accountant. It stimulated my intelligence even triggered a little creativity (only in imagining what others could be doing). But I still feel awkward about saying that I'm a writer.

So, here it goes. I'm a writer. I'm a romance writer. I like my happy ever afters. Yes, I have written sex scenes. No you can't read it unless you buy the book. I hope when my revisions are finished that I will be able to find an agent or a publisher. Yes, I hope to make a career out of it. Yes, I know I may make more as a CPA but the time I can spend with my kids and family make up for that difference. Unless you read paranormal romances or are a fellow author, no, you can't read my writing until it's done. Never got asked this one before, but since I'm covering the bases. Good for you that you have a story. No, I don't want your idea. My head's a bit crowded as it is. Here's some paper and a pen, you could write it yourself.

Thursday, November 08, 2007


I mean Catch up. That's what I'll be doing for the next few days. On writing. On cleaning. On laundry. This is what happens when a cold knocks you down and trods all over you for a day or two. I did manage to add some today. I'll keep trying before bed, but I also am taking a class from Earthly Charms which I need to catch up on. Meanwhile my characters have reached the muddle and I've got cards as a roadmap, but I'm thinking of making a left at Alberkerky instead of a right. After all it always worked for Bugs Bunny. I need to let them talk to me a little more. I think about them all the time, but they never lead me further down the rabbit hole. Currently I'm 2,297 off of my NaNo goal today. This includes the nothingness that was yesterday. I have a big pile of tissues but not 1,667 words. Sigh. Back to work. What really nasty thing can I do to my characters? Hmmm. A puppy? Not dark enough. A demonic puppy? Why is it that puppy stays cute?

Monday, November 05, 2007


I get going writing and then I'll run into something I want to look up. This morning it was Harleys. See my heroine has one and I had to go to the Harley website because I didn't want to call it a hawg and get in all sorts of trouble. So I found a cool Sportster only to realize it has only one seat unless that thing on the back is the b*tch seat. I couldn't see my hero riding shotgun on a Sportster so I kept looking. I found a very cool motorcycle and described it in my story and then moved on. Stopped did some sorting of laundry, took a shower. Now I'm sitting back down to write. My hero and heroine are having coffee late at night. I think Hmmm, what's open in St. Louis late for coffee. So here I am back on the Internet looking for coffee shops and closing times. Sometimes I'm my own worst enemy with the exception of my arch nemesis, the washer/dryer.

Oh, can't forget had to go grocery shopping. There's an hour and a half of my life I'll never get back.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Plugging Away

Fallen is continuing to come along. I've made a "Kicking Butt and Taking Names" playlist on my iTunes and can effectively block out the family while listening to Three Days Grace and Black Eyed Peas. It's an ecclectic mix. Then if I need to focus on the emotions I have a "Fallen" playlist which includes the song that inspired Breann's character and the novel to begin with "Saving Grace (theme)" by Everlast. It also includes songs by Sarah McLachlan, Switchfoot, Coldplay, and Sting. There are more artists in each mix but I don't want to go on to much about it. I'm on card # 4 and about 1000 words less than I'd hoped for the cards. Hopefully in Revision I can take the short scene and expand it further. Some other scenes will (fingers crossed) go beyond the 2000 words. I'm loving this story right now we'll see how I feel about it in a few weeks. My stated goal is 2000 words a day. My personal goal is 5000 words Mon - Fri when the kids are in school. It should be a doable goal since I have 6 hours that the kids are gone and I can do housework once they are home. Good luck to everyone else that's Sweating with Sven, or doing NaNoWriMo, or being insane like me and doing both.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Day 1 NaNo

Exhilarated. I've been waiting so long to write this that the words are flowing. You know, in between painting a box for my daughter, helping my son build a wooden owl, going to lunch with the family to get my husband something he left at home, cleaning the kitchen for the repairman, and cleaning the dining room because it desparately needed it. I'm very pleased with the 2126 words I've accomplished today and hope to maintain the momentum. I can't wait to see what I can do next week when everyone leaves me alone.