Sunday, March 1, 2015

Arson Dogs

Here's a cool video from Victoria Stilwell about arson dogs.

The cover for FLAME GAME is getting close! This is so exciting!

It's all better with friends.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Wednesday Wisdom For Writers and Those who Love Them

"You're not a hundred dollar bill; not everyone is going to like your story." —Meg Cabot

Nuff said.

It's all better with friends.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Wednesday Wisdom for Writers and Those Who Love Them

"You write to communicate to the hearts and minds of others what's burning inside you, and we edit to let the fire show through the smoke." —Arthur Plotnik

FLAME GAME is in the beta reader stage. Next up, a professional edit. This quote was just too perfect not to use.

It's all better with friends.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Wednesday Wisdom for Writers and Those Who Love Them

"Writing is the only thing that, when I do it, I don't feel I should be doing something else." —Gloria Steinem

Since that's true, I have to wonder at my incredible ability to procrastinate. And doubt. Yeah, mostly doubt.

It's all better with friends.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Winkin', Blinkin' and Duh

Tonight I finished my text-to-speech edit for FLAME GAME. It's amazing what else I caught. It's scary what else I caught. It makes me terrified of what else I've missed.

And overused words? Oh, my.

I have a lot of four-letter words that I'll be cleaning up. When I wrote them they seemed to fit. But hearing them? Oh, dear. A little too much. Especially the f-bomb. There will be plenty that will win the war and remain in the manuscript, but seriously, it's embarrassing.

Then there's my newest: wink. Everyone was winking at everyone. I went from easily ten "winks" in my manuscript to three. And two of them were from a dog. That's how bad it was. You need to know though, I kept one of those. I might even have a contest surrounding that particular canine wink.

My next step is to assign chapters and do a little more finessing based on notes I've made and additional research that's come in from my experts.

Then off to my beta readers! I'm so excited to hear what they have to say. And just a little (okay, a lot) anxious.

It's all better with friends.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Wednesday Wisdom for Writers and Those Who Love Them

"A writer is somebody for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people." —Thomas Mann

Can I get an amen?

It's all better with friends.

Friday, January 30, 2015

The Steps We Take

I was talking with another author recently and he was stunned at the myriad of steps I take before I consider my book ready to let go of. Well, ready to be willing to let go of.

I finished the first draft of FLAME GAME several days ago. This book took me forever to write and it's not all that complicated. 

Who knew?

My schedule has not only been backed into a corner, but shoved up the wall. Not pretty.

Here's how birthing a book happens in my world:

  • Finish the first draft. This is by far the most difficult thing for me to do. During this phase I will do a lot of light edits. And I have a good friend who tries to read some bits and pieces in spurts. Not the most effective way to improve a story, but she's good and I take what I can get.
  • Let it sit. If I'm luxuriously ahead of my schedule, 3-7 days is wonderful. With this book? 24 hours was all I had, and that was a stretch.
  • My first self-edit is to read it through. Make notes, write stickies, try and answer all of the silly things that need answering. Incorporate those edits. This is where I begin to believe I have a book. This is where I really begin to love the process.
  • Listen to it. The text-to-speech function is incredibly robotic and boring. But maybe that's the point. (This is the step I'll begin next.) Incorporate those edits. More loving.
  • Beta Readers. These are the angels in my life. Writers and readers of my genre who are willing to read a manuscript that's still pretty raw. I have a general list ready for these angels to keep in mind as they read, but of course they're free to add whatever they desire. These take a little more time and evaluation, and there will more edits to incorporate. At this stage I've actually coughed my book out to readers.
  • Professional edit. This is where I go when I can't possibly pull together a better story. When I need a professional to evaluate and probe and pick and push. It's a strange mix of collaboration and admonishment. I love it.
  • Proofreading. With all of these edits there's likely to be details that are missed. A word that has been unintentionally deleted. Quotation marks that need to be adjusted.
  • My cover designer and I have already been in communication. We're working to create a cover that will put my book in a place where a reader who's never heard of me might be compelled to take a closer look.

It's all better with friends.