Monday, January 31, 2011

Read Throughs

Why are multiple read throughs important?

Because, last time I checked, I was human and I miss things.

Example: Katherine wanted to know if he learned anything knew.

What's wrong with above sentence? Different word, right sound . . . wrong for the sentence!

So, changed knew to new and all was right with the world. Okay, all was right with the sentence. The world, last time I checked, was in sore need of some fixing!

So, multiple read throughs of a manuscript are important because we - I - miss things. For me, that's the Number One reason not to jump the gun and submit a first, second or third draft of a manuscript for query. You - I - are going to miss something, and that something (knew vs. new) could make the difference between an agent saying Yay versus Nay.

Then again, it might not. I don't know enough about agents to make that statement with 100% accuracy.

This writing journey I have taken on, this joy in my life, isn't a race to the finish. It's a slow progression from start to finish with many stops on the way. It doesn't matter if others out there have agents or success before me. All that matters is that I do the best I can.

In order for me, nobody else, to do that best, I need the multiple read throughs. I need the slow and steady pace to ensure that when I do query, when the agent ask for my manuscript, I am submitting the best manuscript I can to said agent. I don't want him/her to come across the sentence above and write me off as inexperienced. I want said agent to come across the correct sentence and somehow - fingers crossed - know that I take this writing journey seriously.


Friday, January 28, 2011

Nifty Little Tools

I bought a new computer recently. It was time. I shopped around, looked for the best deal, even though I was leaning toward buying a Dell again. I loved my Dell laptop, and the one before that. Heck, the IT guy at work loved my Dell laptop . . . which is why he bought it from me. Ha!

Anyhow, finally settled on an HP because they had the best deal out there. I even purchased Office 2010.

Love It! I'm a Word junkie. Yes, I know, there are other programs out there. I love Word. In fact, Word 2010 has a nifty navigation bar that appears on the left hand side of the screen.

What's so nifty, you may - probably not - be thinking? Well, since I have a table of contents, that's what shows up in the navigation bar. So, I can just click on the chapter title and POOF there I am. Voila!!! LOVE IT! This makes editing so much easier.

The other nifty tool on my new computer is Sticky Notes. Basically, it's an electronic post it note that appears on the desktop. You know what I do with them? I write what chapter is next to edit. No more start here inserted into the document so I have to do a Find in Word. Nope! Now, I just open Word, look at the navigation panel, click, and poof there I am, right where I left off. Woo-hoo!

So, that's the post today. Yeah, not a lot about writing, but . . . nifty little tools do come in handy in the writing process. Sticky Notes is my new best friend.

As for the writing . . . I started the read through the other night. I changed a few words, deleted a sentence or two, but, so far, nothing major. I hope to get through a good portion of the read through this weekend and then get back to work on my query next week.

I hope everybody's had a good week and has an even better weekend.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Here, There, and Everywhere

Okay, very busy at work, exhausted at the end of the day . . . no time. So, that's why you're not seeing much of me on the blogsphere or here on my own blog. I'm still here, but my time is limited and by the end of the day, I don't want to get on the Internet and read a gazillion blogs. I'll catch up . . . one day.

Other than that . . .

Procrastination. I realize I've been procrastinating.

I haven't finished my query.

I haven't finished my synopsis.

I haven't done the next read through.

In fact, in regards to writing, I've done little to nothing in weeks.

That changes tonight. No TV, no personal reading, no nothing until I pull out the current manuscript and read the first few chapters.

Time's a'wasting, dear readers, and I'm not getting any younger!

I need to set my fears - yes, I think it's fear that is causing me to procrastinate - aside and just get on with it. I know the story is good. My beta readers loved the story. My beta readers all want to spend time with the main character. Hey, I don't think a writer can get a much higher compliment than the words: I love (insert main character's name)!

So, with all that said, I still haven't finished the query, the synopsis, or the next read through.

I think I just needed a break, some time for me, and now it's time to delve back in, dive into the trenches, polish that coal until it's a diamond, write the query, the synopsis, finish the read through, and send off those dang query letters.

How about you? How's your writing progressing? What exciting gem of brilliance are you working on right now? How about dem Bears? So close, and yet so far away!!


Monday, January 24, 2011


Real people move - they act. They talk with their hands, turn around, walk forward, step sideways, reach for a glass, toss this, toss that, squat down, duck, run, and . . . ACTION!

The characters I write must do the same. They can't just stand immobile throughout the course of the book.

But . . .

Action is a tricky thing. Too much action = confusion. Case in point . . .

Katherine stood up and walked across the room. She stood in front of the bay window that overlooked the expansive acreage of her Belle Meade property. The house itself, a massive Tudor was impressive enough, but magnificent when combined with the forested property. “My son was out and proud, as out and proud as you could get, much to the detriment of our family name, and much to the glee of my society friends. Oh, how, they loved it when they found out the high and mighty Katherine Deluca, she of the wickedest tongue in Nashville, had a gay son. They delighted in my shame and horror.” She turned around. “I delighted in becoming the proudest PFLAG member ever. You should have seen the horror on my society friends’ faces when I invited every drag queen in town to the charity lunch.” She laughed softly. “Yes, a bit petty on my part, but I am the Bitch of Belle Meade, after all. I do need to live up to my horrible reputation.” She turned back around. “My son was quite vocal in his activism. He outed more than one prominent member of Nashville society. He has a blog, the address is in the folder. Check it out. You’ll understand my son far better by reading his blog than by anything I can tell you.” She turned around again, her hands clasped in front of her. “Is this a typical hate crime? Was my son attacked for being gay?” She shrugged. “I don’t know. I do know, the word faggot etched on his forehead was intentional. That, dear detectives, make this a hate crime in my book. Wouldn’t you agree?”

Question: without looking back at the passage, which direction is Katherine facing - toward Peter or out the window?

Yeah, I guessed it - you have no clue. Neither do I and I wrote the passage. I made a very - at least in my opinion - common error: too much action in too little space. Yes, Katherine, for all intents and purposes, needed to turn around once or twice . . . just not so many times that dear brilliant - ha - author here is confused and, ultimately, so are the readers.

So, lesson learned: too much action isn't a good thing. Less is more! Okay, I didn't come up with that gem of brilliance on my own, but it is a good one and something that I will pay much more attention to in future writing endeavors and in the editing process.

How about you? Too much action in one scene? Are you and your characters confused about their position? Forward? Backwards? Sideways? How many times can one character turn around in one paragraph? Ha!

So, words of advice from yours truly: don't confuse yourself or potential readers with two much action in one paragraph/scene. Limit the action to the necessary and delete the unnecessary!


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

WiP Wednesday - January 19, 2011

I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaccccccccccckkk! Be afraid, be very afraid. Okay, not really.

I'm back from vacation. I miss the sun and sand already. Heck, I missed it the moment the plane landed back home amid the rainy and cold day that greeted me.

Reality stinks most times! Ha!

So, I'm about to delve back into another read through of the manuscript before I put the final touches on the query letter and get back to work on the synopsis. I have two posts in mind for later in the week and, hopefully, I'll get those pre-written and scheduled to post tonight. I think I've caught up on some of the sleep I missed during my FL vacation. Let me tell you, 4 - 5 hours of sleep per night takes it's toll after six days. OY!

On that note, back to work - you know, the job that pays me so I can pay my bills - and digging out my desk after a week off. Geesh!


Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year

So, after some time - for the most part, not totally (ha) - away from the blog . . . I'm back, at least for a bit.

The last few weeks of the year were spent reading and not writing. I pulled myself - almost - totally away from writing. I needed a break. I needed distance. I needed time for me, to gel, to reenergize, to just have a break from pretty much anything to do with writing.

Now, the New Year here, the sun shining, the temps frigid, it's time to delve back into the writing process, or, more importantly the editing, finish the query, finish the synopsis, research more agents process.

Editing so far and yet to come . . .
  • Beta Readers Comments Received and Read
  • Read through without correcting a thing - done!
  • Typos and incomplete sentences fixed - done!
  • Second read through without correcting a thing - should get underway later this week.
  • Review Beta Readers comments and debate pros/cons of making some changes based on reader feedback - will happen this week. Heck, will start happening in a few minutes.
  • Respond to Beta Readers questions - sometime today.
  • Go through MS sent back from Beta Reader with typos and incomplete sentences highlighted and red flagged - yeah, she went overboard! Ha! - I should start on this later today, and will work on it throughout the week. Hopefully, between my corrections already, there won't be many things to fix. Hopefully.

Next week - off to FL for an annual trip with a group of friends, so very little writing will occur. Okay, no writing at all will probably occur from the time I leave and the time I get back. Ha!

So, I ease back in this week, a blog post here or there, editing everywhere, back to work, and just life in general.

I hope everyone had a fantastic New Year and may this year be filled with happiness and dreams come true.