I know what it looks like, but despite appearances, this lovely poster board is NOT a second grader’s English project. In fact, this is my attempt at plotting. You’ll notice it’s a bit sparse, but all the major plot points are laid out and there are a few pictures to keep me inspired. On my little book timeline, I have the catalyst, the first turning point, the second turning point, the black moment and the resolution. That’s it. Too many details make me insane, so it’s best to keep it simple.
I start writing today. My goal is to have the rough draft done in by the end of November, but we’ll see if that happens. Fingers crossed!
I’m happy to report that the book has been sent off and is now waiting in Ms. Editor’s inbox. Whew. There were moments in the last couple weeks when I honestly felt like the book would never be done.
So, what did I take away from this? A few things I’ve learned from my little foray into novella writing:
– Writing short may sound easy, but it’s not. Going from first meet in chapter one to love and rainbows by page 90 is nearly impossible. Climb Mount Everest if you’re looking for a challenge. Trust me; it’d be much easier than writing a novella.
– I’m never using a comma again in my life. There were SO many useless commas in that book; I must have deleted millions. From now on, it’s run on sentences for me. Who needs punctuation? So overrated.
– I must plot. Whimper. Just thinking about plotting makes me want to crawl under the covers and cry out for my mommy. But without the plot firmly nailed down, I end up wasting countless pages trying to get it right, until finally, by some miracle, I hit on something usable. No more, I tell you! Pass the index cards.
Today, I’m thinking about the next book, trying to get it all worked out in my head. In the meantime, I’ve picked up Waking Up With The Duke by Lorraine Heath. The heroine is married to a cripple who needs an heir, so he asks his cousin (the hero) to get her pregnant. I have to admit, I’m a sucker for edgy, slightly immoral plot themes and I’m dying to see how Ms. Heath pulls it off.
…but just barely! I’m mired deep in edits at the moment. I’m on the second round, which means the end is in sight, thank God! Just a couple more days, then I can rejoin the land of the living.
Hurrah! My local RWA chapter meets this weekend and the lovely literary agent, Laura Bradford, will be speaking. I haven’t been to a chapter meeting in ages and I’m just dying to see everyone.
In the meantime, I’m STILL working on my siren story. The rest of Jen’s comments came back and there’s some major work to be done. My characters aren’t behaving as they should–goals are sketchy, motivations are unclear…sigh. It’s a good thing I love this story; otherwise I’d quit and take up knitting. This writing business is just brutal.
And take my advice–if you ever find yourself thinking it’d be easy to write a 30,000 word short story, think twice. It isn’t any easier than writing a 90,000 word novel. It’s just as much work, maybe more. Plot, world-building, sympathetic characters, believable romance…everything has to fit into just 100 pages. It’s going to take a lot of blood, sweat, and tears, but I think I can make it work. Let’s hope, anyway.
Allow me to introduce Jeff, this week’s man candy. Yum, right? I’m not sure what’s happening with those man-panties, but I think he’s into you. He wants to meet you in the pool house. I wonder what he could possibly want to chat about…
So, while you and Jeff are getting to know each other, I’ll be slaving away in my writing cave. Jen’s comments came back and well…let’s just say I’ll be in there a while. If you hear inconsolable weeping, it’s just me deleting millions of useless commas.
It’s Friday, and I have some wonderful news! My amazing critique partner, Brenna Aubrey, is the grand prize winner for the Jane Austen Made Me Do It contest!!! Her short story, The Love Letter, will be published in an anthology alongside some pretty amazing authors. I’m so thrilled for her! The anthology will be available Oct. 11, so don’t forget to snatch up your copy. You can read more at http://brennaaubrey.net/jane-austen-made-me-do-it/.
I also have some good news of my own. I finally finished the revisions for the Siren story! Yay! Now, it’s in the hands of my other amazing critique partner, Jennifer Haymore. She’s already warned me the comments aren’t going to be pretty, so I’m trying to prepare myself for that. lol
You know, I’ve been at this writing thing for a while and I’ve gotten pretty good at weathering criticism from people I don’t know personally. My voice just isn’t for everyone and I’m completely okay with that. It’s harder with my critique buddies. I trust their opinions and I desperately want them to love the story as much as I do. I have to remind myself that it isn’t their job to love everything I write. They have to look at the story with a critical eye and tell me honestly what they think. It’s that honesty that makes the story stronger in the end, even if it’s painful to hear.
So, this weekend, pray for me. I have a feeling I’m going to need it!