Dec 19, 2008

Happy Holiday Hiatus

As might be guessed by the post title, I’m taking a bit of a break from writing for the holidays.

If I get some writing done, that’s fine. But I’m not expecting to and if I don’t I’m not going to feel guilty about it.

So, because this is my writing blog and I’m not planning on getting any writing done, I won’t be posting again until January.

I wish every one Happy Holidays, and I’ll see you again in the new year.

Dec 16, 2008

The Best Laid Ideas . . .

Um, so much for the great idea I had that was bugging me, I can’t remember what it was!

Just as well, I’ve pretty much decided that for the January Faux Nano, I’m going to make up my 50K word count by finishing the stories I’ve already got on the go. Unless a really great idea comes along to whack me across the back of the head, it just makes more sense to me to finish the stories I’ve started before going on to something new.

That could be why I'm struggling so much now that I'm close to the end - I have a problem finishing what I start when it comes to writing. Just take a look to the right where my WIPs are listed.

To be honest, I’m not getting a lot of writing done these days. I’ve been doing research to go back to school, the holidays are coming and right before Christmas we need to move the daugher and her fiancĂ© back home. Too much going on right now to focus on the writing.

I did, however, have lunch with a writing friend on Sunday and we had a nice chat about our works in progress and what we hoped to accomplish. She’d been on a hiatus from writing to take care of her sick husband, but he’s on the mend and she’s ready to get back to work.

I seriously doubt I’ll get my Nano novel finished by Christmas, but for sure I’ll get it done by New Year’s, even if I have to take my lap top to a coffee shop where people can give me pointed looks if I start playing games instead of writing.

Dec 13, 2008

Make It Stop!

God help me, I had another idea.

What I think is actually going on is it’s a plot by my Inner Editor to get me editing before I finish my first draft.

As I mentioned before, I added a section to the beginning but I wasn’t happy with the way it turned out. It goes on for a few pages, and then skips to my original beginning. Now I’m starting to wonder if I should keep the original beginning and incorporate the new part as flash backs as he regains his memory later on. Which, of course, would require editing.

And this isn’t even the worst part. The worst part is I’ve already got an idea starting to rear it’s ugly head for January (when I’ll be doing the unofficial Nano over at AW). Wouldn’t you know, it’s another space idea.

I don’t know where all these space/adventure/romance ideas are coming from. Maybe it’s my subconscious taking me back to when I started writing and my first love was science fiction. Seriously, I always thought I’d end up being a science fiction writer, that’s what I was interested in. Then I started focusing on fantasy, and finally romance.

However, looking back I see that the science fiction I enjoyed the most was Edgar Rice Burroughs, C.L. Moore, H. Rider Haggard and the more romantic Sci Fi writers. So, I guess maybe, in it’s own way, it does make sense.

This doesn’t mean I’ll be abandoning my paranormal or fantasy romance writing in favor of more science fiction based romance. It just means I’ll have to start writing faster to use up all these ideas.

Dec 12, 2008

It's Getting There

Yesterday I wrote a scene I’ve been wanting to add with my main characters up to their necks in hot water, literally. Who knew a bath could stretch out for so many pages, or so many thousand words. ;-) Today they get to move the action to the bedroom and in a couple of days (their time) it’ll be time for the MMC’s ceremony confirming him as heir to the throne and time for the antagonist to make her move. The end is in sight. Well, the end of the story, not the end of the writing. There’s still a couple of plot craters to fill.

After I finish the ending, which involves the antagonist poisoning the FMC and then leaving her unconscious body in the catacombs and the MMC has to find her before the poison kills her, I still have two major transition scenes.

The first takes place shortly after they arrive on the MMC’s planet and they discover who he is. At the doctor’s suggestion, they take him to places and show him things he used to do in an effort to jog his memory. It bodes to be boring, but it’s still necessary because I also need to work in the antagonist’s animosity towards the FMC and there needs to be a couple of subtle attempts on the FMC’s life.

The second takes place after he gets his memory back where he attempts to prove to the FMC just what a manly man he is. It has a potential for humour and it is, of course, where the first wedge gets driven between them.

Would it be too much to ask that I get this sucker done by Christmas?

Dec 10, 2008


I was bad yesterday. I had every intention of getting lots of writing in, but . . . .

The phone woke me before I was ready to get up, not one, but two telemarketers in a row. I know because when the phone rang twice like that I thought it was someone important trying to get a hold of me so I went downstairs to check the answering machine. While I was down there I had a bowl of Corn Pops, and while I was eating my Corn Pops I started reading the new Kerrelyn Sparks book (All I Want For Christmas Is A Vampire) I’ve had sitting beside my chair all during Nano and been manfully (womanfully?) resisting.

I didn’t even boot up my lap top until around 3 p.m. And then of course I had to do my daily e-mail and blog checks, which led to more reading. Needless to say, I got very little writing done.

The evening was somewhat better . . . I did get the opening scene mostly finished but it’s not a pretty sight. Some days I look forward to the day I get this done so I can start editing, and other days I shudder to think of all the work ahead of me.

Today I’m going to continue to fill plot holes. The only trouble is I keep finding more. There’s a couple of places where there’s a series of smaller plot holes that combine to make a plot crater. I want to finish the opening scene (which seems to be dragging out longer than I expected) and then keep moving.

I also have to come up with a name for my MMC’s planet, a name for the palace doctor and a name for the specialist who restores his memory. AND I have to give his brother a little more story. I thought about cutting the brother out entirely, but he’s integral to the beginning. I also have to work in a little more about the woman who’s after the MMC in the beginning - she could be a real source of trouble.

Is it just me or is this beginning to sound like the story that never ends?

Dec 9, 2008

Life On A USB Key

I wonder if the current low price of new lap tops will push the price of computer repair down?

My lap top is two (three?) years old. I have never had it properly cleaned. It is getting very slow. While I’m not worried about an imminent crash, I do worry about viruses and such. And it’s not like I’d be completely stuck, I do have a desktop computer I can use in a pinch, but it just wouldn’t be the same as my lap top.

I’ve read a couple of posts over at Absolute Write by people who have lost everything when their computer crashed . . . It’s a scarey thought. Probably 80 % of what I’ve written has a paper back up but the other 20% (the most current and better stuff) is all electronic.

I have 3 USB keys. Two 2 GB black ones that I alternate backing up my files onto(when I remember), and one red one that’s 4 GB that I have my whole life backed up onto: document files, photographs . . .

Once my Nano document went over the 25K mark I started backing it up every night before I shut down. Today I just realized that I haven’t backed it up since I hit the 50K mark. Oops! My bad!

Yesterday I finished the space pirate scene. They came, chased my FMC into the asteroid field, got chased away by a war ship, and my FMC was left in a crippled ship. Then I added a bunch of pages to where my hero comes to the rescue. I guess that would make him her hero, wouldn’t it?

And for your reading enjoyment, Mari Carr is offering a free read on her website: HERE I read it yesterday before I started writing and enjoyed it immensely. I really liked the way she resisted the temptation to drag out the ending like so many writers do with this kind of scenario.

Today, I’m tackling that pesky section I need to add to the beginning.

Dec 8, 2008


Saturday was a write-off, writing wise. Instead I spent the day out of town Christmas shopping and when we got home we still had the grocery shopping to do. By the time that was done it was pretty late and I was exhausted.

Yesterday I worked on the space pirate scene in my WIP, although I had to keep reminding myself why I thought this was a good idea. Yes, it does make more sense than the sabotage - not only does it explain what she's doing in the middle of nowhere with a damaged ship, it explains why she's so far off course.

I started out with the aftermath where my FMC’s ship is disabled but the pirates are gone. Then I moved back to the pirates attacking. Then I moved back to where she’s just left the MMC’s planet (which still doesn’t have a name) and is trying to convince herself she’s doing the right thing.

Also yesterday, I posted a piece on the Erotic Share Your Work forum over on Absolute Write. I’ve been participating in a weekly practice challenge, which has been a lot of fun. This week’s challenge was a scene involving two people meeting for the first time. Previous ones included: describing a kiss; touch; and describing a body part.

Anyone who’s interested in erotic reading, Samhain Publishing is offering a free story every day this month. You can either download it to print it out or read it online. The link for this is HERE .

Today I’m going to try and finish with the space pirates and then move on, or rather back, to finish the scene I’m adding at the beginning. Or maybe just finish the pirate scene and then treat myself to some reading.

Either way I expect to get some writing done.

Dec 5, 2008

It’s Getting Drafty

It’s still a first draft until I print out a hard copy.

I decided this yesterday while I changed over my sabotage scenario to the pirate scenario because it took a bit of judicious editing to make it fit. But it does make a lot more sense with the pirates, believe it or not.

I checked out my plot holes in my Nano novel yesterday and I wrote a few point form lines of what needs to happen in these places, just to get me started. It appears to have worked, because I’m back in the head space I need to be to get the thing finished.

While I was in this headspace, I started thinking about why certain things took place in the story and before I knew what was happening, this whole conspiracy scenario started insinuating itself into the story. Excuse me? Isn’t there enough going on without adding conspiracies into the mix? Apparently not.

I have even figured out a logical reason for the MMC to know why the Imperial ruby he sees in the market place has a flaw in it. AND it’s even makes sense that the ruby is there when you know that he gave the ruby to a woman who pawned it to pay for someone to sabotage his ship which gets him into trouble in the first place. So I guess the section I was contemplating adding to the beginning is important after all.

The beginning section is harder than I thought it would be, mainly because I like my MMC the way I’ve portrayed him throughout the rest of the book - kind, gentle, but stubborn as hell - and now I have to paint him in a more unfavorable light. I think maybe if I’d had that section in the beginning, I might not have ended up liking him as much as I do.

So I guess it works well this way after all.

Dec 4, 2008

Getting It Done

Repeat after me. The first draft doesn’t have to be good, it just has to get done. The first draft doesn’t have to get good, it just has to be done. The first draft doesn’t have to be good, it just has to get done.

Yesterday, on Absolute Write, someone posted a concern that the first draft of their novel was taking too long to write. From reading their post it appeared, to me at least, that part of their problem was that they were editing as they went along.

This person was also concerned that other writers produce first drafts that are 150K+ and are pared down through editing, while it doesn’t happen for them. You know what? It doesn’t happen for me either.

The first draft of my first novel was about 33K, a third of what it should be. I thought the story was complete, but afterwards I wasn’t so sure. It’s been languishing for a couple of years now and I think that I’m going to use that first draft as an outline and start from scratch.

Everyone writes at their own speed and in their own style. What works for one writer may not necessarily work for another. Maybe this guy should do less worrying and more writing.

Maybe I should do less blogging and more writing. :-)

Dec 3, 2008

Characters Gone Wild

My FMC starts out pretty strong and sure of herself (of course in the situation she’s in she has to be) but then she starts having all these insecurities pop up, especially when it comes to a relationship with the MMC. She was fine when he had no memory of who he was, but once he becomes a prince again, boom! Insecure city.

And my MMC . . . he starts out as an arrogant SOB, loses his memory and becomes a likeable guy, then regains his memory and kind of blends the two, with the emphasis on the likeable guy. But first he becomes a bit of an ass trying to impress the FMC.

And, to top it off, I’m stuck in a plot hole. My FMC is fed up with the MMC (see acting like an ass comment above) so she’s gone off to visit her friend on another planet. Now, someone on the MMC’s planet (which still doesn’t have a name) wants her out of the way, but I can’t decide whether they sick space pirates on her (she’s a trader so they could just tell them she has something really, really valuable) or if they sabotage her ship.

I already have most of the scene written using sabotage, but I don’t like the way it’s reading. It might make better sense to use the space pirates - they could damage her ship, she could end up off course, they can get scared off by a warship who doesn't notice her . . . Hmm, I’m starting to like that idea. Then, when the prince goes after her, he can commandeer the warship to help him search.

See, who says blogging is a waste of time? :-)

Dec 2, 2008

Nano Aftermath

With the excitement of Nano behind me I’m back to having to rely on myself for motivation to get the words in every day, and we all know how well that’s worked in the past. It does not help when your best friend sends you a link to a website that leads to a highly addictive game.

The game plan for December is: fill plot holes in Nano novel; start edits on Nano novel; finish one of my other WIPs. There’s a Nano thread on Absolute Write where people like me are unwilling to let go of the Nano experience and are keeping the spirit alive by having a January Nano. This will just be for our own entertainment and we’ll be on the honour system, but it’s something to look forward to it.

So far I’ve filled a couple of minor plot holes and managed to ignore my inner editor. I really don’t want to start editing until the whole thing is finished. Ahead of me are some major plot holes, the ending for one, which has the potential to run on for pages. I’m also considering adding a section to the very beginning that will help define the male MC before he suffers memory loss, for comparison purposes later on. The other two major plot holes I have are the section where the MMC is home without his memory, and how he changes after he’s regained his memory. There’s also a scene with my MMC and FMC in a sunken bathtub that I want to try to fit in somewhere. ;-)

Hopefully, these plot holes won’t turn into deep chasms, although I am finding out why I skipped ahead on these sections. They may be important to the story, but they’re pretty draggy to write! I’m just going to have to bite the bullet and get ‘er done.

It’s going to be a long month!

Dec 1, 2008

Things I Learned From Nano

Planning ahead, while not necessary, really helps. Even if the plan is all in your head.

It’s so much easier if you actually like the story you’re working on.

Gummi worms, while not a healthier snacking choice than chips or goldfish crackers, are a better choice because I tend to eat them slower and don’t eat as many in one sitting.

While I’m able to work on more than one WIP at a time, I make much better progress if I focus on one project until it’s done.

My mind does not work on a linear track.

I prefer to write the first draft in single space rather than double spaced.

I can do anything I set my mind to.

I think the most important thing Nano has taught me is to not give up. When the going got tough I didn’t give up or work on something else because this was the story I was going to win with. Working on something else would be just as bad as not working at all. So even when I felt the story wasn’t there, I persevered and pushed through it. And in the end I think the real win was that I finished what I started.