Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Plotting and planning

Too much interruption. I have 25 days to finish that novel and have it ready to mail on Monday, Aug. 20. It's a self-imposed deadline. I want this done. I want it gone on the 20th...or the 18th if I can manage that. It MUST be done. No more excuses. Some marathon writing episodes. It's got to be done.

As I am working on the revisions I also am working on a new manuscript. Each one comes easier than the one before it. How cool is that? Each one is a learning experience.

I read the Harry Potter book. I've been reading Licey's Story for ages. Sorry, Stephen, but you're starting to lose me. But I am keeping it all in the family. I bought Tabitha King's Candles Burning...actually a collaboration with the late Michael McDowell...Says it's a people page-turner. Then there is The Tristan etrayal by Robert Ludlum. I haven't read any of his books in years. One of the guys in the shop at NRM learned that DH's wife loved to read. He would send books home with DH for me to read. When I finished them, I sent them back. That's when I developed my interest in Robert Ludlum's work. But I'm looking for a woman writer to read. This is the first Tabitha book I've purchased. I do have a couple of Joyce Carol Oates. And years ago someone said my writing reminded them of Alice Walker.

Now that the Potter series is complete, I'm working on the Lemony Snicket Series of Unfortunate Events. The series is 13 books long. I have the first four. They read pretty quickly and I've urged a friend of mine with a wonderful writer's voice to get his hands on them and see what he can do. I'm very confident in him, "Jay." Are you listening? Another set I want to read is a trilogy by Christopher Paolini. The first book is Eragon. I don't have that one. The second is Eldest. The third has not been published yet.

Writers write. Writers read.

Monday, July 09, 2007


I'm revising. Carolyn read the first three chapters and advised that she thinks, too, that I'm getting real close. In fact, she urged me to submit the novel. DH asked, "Did you do it??" Well, the first one has to be complete for anyone to read it. They need to know that the author can, in fact, write the beginning, the middle and the end of a novel.

I used to print out every draft but that's such a waste of ink and paper. So I began to write my novels longhand and as I typed them into the computer I made additions and corrections. And kept writing. I stopped printing out.

So, I'm revising. As I finish editing a chapter I print it out. When I stop work each day I note the page number and chapter so I can go directly to that page when I begin work the next day. I'm seeing progress. And I'm not going back to the beginning all the time to "start fresh."

And I imposed a deadline for myself. I can mail this out on Aug. 19 if I stay on schedule. Today I'm going to make a visual to tape up near my desk so I'll keep going, keep my nose to the grindstone and make this novel happen.

The other tool I'm using is a writing buddy. When I mentioned at JWW (Jay's Writer's World) what I'm doing, Bo jumped up to the plate and said, "I'll do it, too!" So we're writing buddies. If you are trying to accomplish your writing projects and having difficulty, and if you've never had a writing buddy, it's well worth trying. A writing buddy is there to encourage you, be a sounding board and help you to meet your goals...and you help your writing buddy to meet her/his goals, too.

Now, get all of your needs together before you start...bottled water, pens/pencils/markers/highlighters, box of tissue, snacks, candy, gum...whatever you need to have nearby so you won't make excuses to get up and walk away too frequently...and get started. The day's getting away! It's 8:40 a.m. already!!!

Monday, July 02, 2007


Can one do too much research for a novel? I've enlisted the help of a friend to find information for me on a couple of my WIPs (Works In Progress). There's a ton of stuff and I appreciate the time he's put into finding this information for me. It is saving me a bunch of time. I'm thinking, though, that different lengths of research are needed for different genres of writing.

Non-fiction: the more facts the better.

Romance: The bottom line of the whole story is the relationship between the hero and heroine. So the facts are less important than the relationship. That being so, I think that I don't have to go into great detail about the heroine's job like I would for a mainstream or literary novel where the job and the romance are pertinent to the story line.

On the other hand, Titanic, the movie that made out very well financially, was considered a "romance" story. Hm...yes, it was more romance...

Back to work...

Well, after I share this bit of news. Carolyn Garriott, author of Shadow of the Cross, met with a movie producer in California while she was promoting her book at booksignings in June. Carolyn was hoping to be a consultant on the making of the film. But she is writing the screenplay. I'm thrilled for Carolyn!!

Now, back to work.