Thursday, July 22, 2010

What Isn't Working For Me

Project Nora is going well. When the kids get back into school, I'm going to do two 2-hour blocks. I find I can't blindly forge ahead in my manuscript. Today I had to stop and research shotgun and if I would call the shells, shells or bullets, but in doing so I realized she wouldn't use a shotgun. As impressive as they sound, they are not that impressive or accurate in shooting big bads. So I looked around and found a better option.

I also got stuck. Which meant I needed to do a little brainstorming on the spot. This also takes away from writing time, but this is how I function as a writer (your mileage may vary). I did jump on Romance Divas and do a few sprints tonight which brought my count up to 2,001 for the day. Which is good for a day I had PT and read and critiqued for a writing buddy. If I could keep up this pace, I could finish in 5-10 days.

Conference is in 4 days, which means I will not likely get Fallen's first draft finished before Nationals. But it does mean I will push to finish it before taking on Alex's story again. Those first 3 chapters need some work, I'm still blabbing too much about the previous books characters and while Mark and Kate are really nice people, they aren't the focus of this book. Okay off to bed with me. I need to write a post about musical inspiration and why I need music to write and silence to edit. :) Later.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Cheating, Yup I'm Doing It

You know it's bad when you type in a title and the autofill pulls up the same one. Whoopsie. So I made it longer. So, Project Nora is going well, we are still meeting at the appointed time, but like a diet, there is this guilty satisfaction in cheating. Between not feeling well, having a child sick on the couch and the other one watching a movie in the same room (Mommy's roller desk is in the family room and she still can't handle a laptop on her lap), I didn't focus my time solely on writing.

However, I did make up for it and still clocked in over 2000 words today. How else am I cheating? Well... I'm working on my paranormal romance instead of working on a SSE. I do have the first 3 chapters done on the next one, including 3 more synopsiseseseses (seriously, how do you spell that?) for a little series. So I don't feel too bad, considering I have another book completed and in to my editor.

I really want to get this done and yes, it's got a new title, and no, I'm not going to blab it here considering all the people who ripped off the first title. :) No matter, it's going well. I've found the voice again and man are these people noisy. I'm ready to have them out of my head and onto the page. Currently sitting at 66K, we have a high speed chase and fight for Jude, a fight and black moment for the both of them (sick and twisted author rubs her hands together mwahaha), a trial... incarceration... escape. Wait am I still talking about the same book? Guess we won't know until it ends for the third time. Overall it's a much better book, I think. And more urban fantasy romance than paranormal romance, but I likes it. :)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Project Nora

Yes, I'm still plugging away. 2 hours a day of devoted time. I sent off Casanova at the beginning of this week and have been working on the proposal for the follow up story. Today I finished the 3 chapters for the proposal and a little extra. I'm putting it to the side, to simmer :) And have started the read through of Fallen to get back into the voice and story. I've made it to Ch 2 today and will continue to read through all the chapters until I get to where I was when I got revisions from Casanova (eons ago). I'm currently a little over 60K, so need another 30K to finish it off.

I'm pleased with this project so far. I generally do more than 2 hours during the day, but those 2 hours are devoted time where I don't feel bad about telling the kids to do something else. It's a manageable amount for right now, but I'm hoping when school starts back up to have two 2 hour slots devoted to writing. :) I need to work my way up to the 8 hours.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Project Nora

The biggest thing with any challenge is getting the habit of writing in your schedule. With the visit of my brother and his kids, I've had to sideline my typical writing time, but I did get my 2 hours in yesterday. I'm still working on the polish pass of Casanova so I can send it back to my editor. Will be back on the 10-12 time slot next week.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Project Nora

The continuing saga...

Went well, with a little too much diversion by hubby sitting next to me, readng L.A. Cinderella for the first time. That and I got off on the tangent of research while writing (which we aren't supposed to do), but I had to look up First Class lounges at JFK and then hubby told me about seatguru.com which shows seat configuration for all the planes on all the carriers. I bookmarked it and then moved on with the story.

Fortunately the part I'd written before slid in effortlessly with a little lipstick to make it look pretty so I added 1300 words of a scene I'd already written, plus an additional 1000 words new, which has almost brought me to the end of Ch 2. One more chapter of Alex/Groom and a polish of Casanova and then I can dive back in full throttle on Fallen. No, I haven't given up on it. Yes, I'm still trying to finish it for the third time. I swear it's better this time. :) Then I'll finish up Alex's story or put together the proposal for my three book Silhoutte series.

Robert and Rachel?

I had an interesting message the other day from a reader. She thought Robert and Rachel from L.A. Cinderella would make a good story. In answer to that...

When I was writing, I wondered about those two. There could have been some chemistry between them. I even considered writing the story starting from Chase's and Natalie's wedding since they would be Best Man and Maid of Honor. However, Robert has thrown me a curve ball. In thinking up a few other stories, his Miss Right popped off the page. Hopefully my editor will love the story concept I've come up with that includes Robert and some of the cast introduced in Casanova Exposed.

Rachel, I'm thinking she needs a wake up call. She will definitely get a story. I have a title all set and a surprise that will shake up her life the way it needs to be. I really enjoy my L.A. characters and hope to bring more of them to life in the future.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Project Nora Day 2

10 - 12. I made some adjustments to Ch 3 (which is giving me fits) in Casanova and then moved on to the Groom story. I wrote 1500 words on it and have started Ch 2. Supposedly (BTW I love that word), if Silhouette buys Casanova, I should be able to sell on proposal (i.e. synopsis and first 3 chapters). We'll see how that works though. :)

Lesson learned: In revising Casanova, the scene that is giving me the most fits is one I decided to skip and come back to write. This is one of those things that works for some writers and not for others and I'm still testing what works for me. Well, that doesn't work for me. I'm a chronological writer. I get snippets out of order and jot down notes sometimes, but skipping a scene to write later has left me with a big ole pile of poo. Honestly it's not that bad, but it certainly feels that way. In the future I will plow my way through the scene even if it takes a writing pace of 5 words per hour.

My revision process? Honestly I use Betas. Someone to read through the whole MS and let me know if there are issues, because I feel like I'm blind when I look for them. Then I go through the MS straight through (if chapters have been critiqued by my crit partners I do those first before the full read through). I go through it a few different times, keeping everything I've learned in the forefront of my mind. If my crit partners (who don't always get to the end) have pointed out something I was doing in the first chapters, I keep those things in mind as I work my way through to the end.

Ugh. The end. The bane of my existence. I tend to rewrite the ending more than any other part of the book. I think, for me, it's the hardest to get correct. You need the black moment to be dark enough without making your readers hate the characters and at the same time, you have to make it fixable. Meaning at the end, the characters get together and you get that rush to your heart that makes the whole journey worthwhile. I love that rush at the end of a really good book.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Project Nora Day 1

First I seriously need to find a new catchier title than Project Nora...but for now. Day 1, success. 2 hours devoted to editing Casanova Exposed. Actually it turned into 3 hours and I'm hoping to finish up these revisions today. 60 pages of editing pass is not bad for 2 hours. Tomorrow I'll probably be ready to crack open Alex's story and start writing fresh. Of course, before I can write in it, I will have to read to catch up and since reading isn't writing or editing, it will have to be done before hand.

I'll keep you posted on how it goes. It does help to have friends plugging away somewhere at the end of the internet with you. We all got a fair amount accomplished and hopefully it's the beginning of many days to come.

Friday, July 02, 2010

And So It Begins...

So if you follow the romance community at all, you know about Nora Roberts. I'm going to admit something scandalous. Either I haven't read her or I don't remember reading her. Either way, that's not the point of this post. Her work ethics are however.

Nora was first published in 1981 by Silhouette. (My publisher too). That year she released one book, so far we are equal. The following year she published 5 books. Uh....now I'm behind. The woman is a machine when it comes to writing. It's not ideas that hold me back. Trust me I have plenty and the plot bunnies are always having uprisings. It's the BICHOK (Butt in chair hands on kayboard). Frankly, this was difficult for me due to my hip issues (which have hopefully been resolved and we can plow forward like a normal person).

Nora works 8 hours a day every day. Now, she was somewhat more constrained when she was first starting out. She had small children at home and I'm in the same boat, though I'm 4 years behind where she started from so my children are older. To this end, I'm beginning a new journey and fortunately I have friends who are coming along for the ride. Every day we are going to start working at 10 am and work until 12. The only things allowed during this time are editing and writing. No judging contest entries, no critiquing each other's work, no plotting. These two hours are for writing and only writing. Even if that means we spend the two hours staring at the cursor, blinking maddingly at us.

Eventually I'll be broadening my hours when the children are back in school, but this gives me a jumping off point. It's not quite up to Nora standards, but it's a start, which is what I need. Quite a few years, Nora had 10 books published during the year. That would be amazing, but I'm not going to get ahead of myself quite yet. We'll see how this month goes and then the next and then the next.

Tomorrow starts Project Nora!