March 16, 2015 § 1 Comment
Or, Writers–so dramatic.
March 16, 2015
So I finally saw the movie Whiplash. It is a brilliant illustration of the artistic passion that drives one to be great at something one loves at all costs.
At Saturday’s LERA meeting, Angela James, Editorial Director of Carina Press, conducted a fabulous and informative day-long workshop. Part of the workshop included a session where Angela would read the first two pages of our respective manuscripts and give a critique. I submitted mine, since I am in the process of rewriting. This was perfect timing.
Angela pointed out some things that I am either already aware of, such as my word count–I know, I know, I have to cut the word count— or that are relatively easy fixes. The best part was that nobody in class told me my dialogue sucked and that no real person would act the way my characters were acting.
I’ve come a long way since the 9th grade.
And hey, this didn’t happen:
I’ll take the win.
October 13, 2014 § 5 Comments
I Know. It’s Way Past Labor Day
October 13, 2014
I’m back. Not because I finally submitted my manuscript to the agent who requested it at RWA14. No. Because after a month and a half of condensing and cutting, my beloved manuscript is still way over the ideal word count. One of my Hot Tub Readers strongly suggested I take a break from it.
So I’m taking a break from it.
Anxiety is still skating across my chest, my stomach alternates between roiling with nausea and growling with hunger, and I want to cry about every two hours, but I’m working through it.
I have decided, for the first time, to participate in NaNoWriMo, also known as National Novel Writing Month. The founder of NaNoWriMo, Chris Baty, was the guest speaker at the LERA (Land of Enchantment Romance Authors) meeting on Saturday.
He is a great speaker. Funny, entertaining, and inspiring. I am inspired to give this NaNoWriMo thing a go. After the past few years of completely devoting myself to a project that has become my love and my obsession, only to hit a brick wall, it will be good for me to try something completely different.
At 1,667 words a day.
Like I said, it will be good for me. Right?
(Hee, hee. Couldn’t resist. I have to crack myself up somehow. Or else I’ll just crack up, period.)
August 18, 2014 § 6 Comments
August 18, 2014
That agent rejected my submission.
This year I pitched to another agent at RWA and he likes my premise but does not like the fact that it is split into two—like, “everything was great until you said it was split into two”—and he wants to see a definite ending.
I agree. My love my original ending. My original ending is the reason I wrote the book.
So now I’m back to my original version, the one that is not split in two, and that means I have to cut a hell of a lot of words.
Panic attack has happened, is happening, and will continue to happen.
I’m getting through it with a little advice from my friends and other sources.
Stephen King, from On Writing, advice from his newspaper editor:
“When you rewrite, your main job is taking out all the things that are not the story.”
These words are keeping my head on straight and guiding me through the darkness.
Ryan Winfield, author of Jane’s Melody, when I told him my woes:
“Don’t cut just to cut, but getting the word count down will hopefully make it crisper and make for better writing.”
So far, so good. I’ve cut 600 words from the first three scenes and they read much better. Only thing is, 600 doesn’t sound like very many words right now. I will not despair.
Louise Bergin, fellow LERA member and author of historical romance:
“Cut, but keep what you’ve cut off to the side and use it later as extras for promotion.”
Great idea. I’ve seen other authors do this, like Cora Carmack at the end of her book Finding It. I’ll probably end up with a year’s worth of blog posts of deleted scenes and original versions.
Dia of the invaluable Hot Tub Readers:
“Whatever you do, don’t cut any of the sex scenes.”