Posts Tagged ‘The Next Paranormal’

Hey, Carolyn! What’s it Like To Be a Seat of the Pants Writer?

Monday, April 12th, 2010

I’m hard at work on The Next Paranormal. Chapter 5 to be exact. The villain is supposed to do something scary, stuff would happen and then the hero and hero would be closer than they were at the beginning of the chapter. This is what you call scene arc (at least 2 or 3!) and rising tension, by the way.

There I am, sitting in the back of the car while my son is at his tennis lesson. The villain has set fire to a car outside the house she’s in. She knows he’s there. She calls the police AND the secret bat phone number given to her by the hero. Help is on the way from TWO sources. The police knock on her door.

Editor Me (EM): Uh oh. The police are not the villain or the hero. This scene is at high risk of being boring…
Writer Me (WM): Shut up. I am in control. She opens the door and the cop is accompanied by the villain!
EM: (Being quiet as this was unexpected).
WM: The cop is on the villain’s side. He believes the villain’s lies. Heroine in trouble.
EM: Ahem! That’s a cop. How much trouble can there be?
WM: Just a minute! Sheesh. This book has demons and mages in it. The cop is possessed and is acting according to the villain’s wishes which are to be in the house with the heroine.
EM: (Being quiet as this was unexpected).
WM: The villain sent an evil minion around the back, distracting the heroine. Possessed cop pushes heroine into house—
EM: Excuse me! The hero has proofed the house against mages. The villain can’t get in.
WM: Oh. Right. Possessed cop pushes heroine outside . . .
WM and EM: Uh oh.
WM: Wait! I’ve got it!
EM: What?
WM: The villain takes off with the heroine . . .
EM: (Being quiet as this was unexpected, but also kind of impressed.)

I didn’t know any of this when I started.

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I’m done! And now I’m starting. . .

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

Revisions for My Immortal Assassin have been emailed to my editor. (Can I please hear a w00t!!! that authors can email these things instead of overnighting them?) Yay!!!!

And now I jump right into The Next Paranormal, because I am now on a deadline so tight my eyeballs are popping. I confess, though, that I am VERY excited about this story. I’m enjoying the honeymoon when everything is bright and shiny with the new story.

How about a picture to prove Spring will soon be here?

Small purple Iris amid greed

Iris from garden outside my window

There. Doesn’t everyone feel better now?

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Sooooo close

Friday, April 2nd, 2010

Actually, I am done with revisions. I’m just checking over the more recently (re)written sections for weaknesses and stupid mistakes. It will be out the door very soon. I hope to (re)start some work on The Next Paranormal this weekend. Which means I don’t have much to report as I have been very very very very busy. Writing. I hope to be interesting soon.

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Bright and Shiny!

Friday, January 1st, 2010

Happy New Year to everyone!

It’s a bright and shiny start to the year. Any day you can start off by sleeping in is a win in my book. I didn’t get myself out of bed until 10:30. Then I had lemon meringue pie for breakfast (home made by yours truly!) AND Darjeeling tea my brother brought from India.

Now that’s a good breakfast.

Even better, it’s Friday so I have a weekend in front of me with total denial about the day job locked in for an extra day. GRIN!!

I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions because they’re always the same, I just roll them over from the previous year. I’m on a 10 year roll. Heh.

I ended up taking a mini-break from writing from shortly before Christmas to now, and I’m must say I’m feeling refreshed and ready to go. I’ve been dreaming about writing, though, which in interesting. I have two big projects to get cracking on and well, yes. I am blogging instead of writing.

  • Revisions for My Beloved Assassin need to be done.
  • Final pass through Regency short story
  • Need to get going on The Next Paranormal
  • Must write up a different Historical proposal

So, yeah. Stuff to do in this bright and shiny year of 2010. How about you guys?

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Slash and Burn, Baby

Thursday, September 3rd, 2009

Yesterday I was so proud of myself for breaking 50K on the Work in Progress (WIP). Woot! That would put me closely on pace to being done end of September with October for revisions.

Today I cut nearly 2,000 words at lunch time.

Sigh.

The words needed to be cut, but still. Rats. However, my motto is cut the crap sooner rather than later. I’m happier because, after a LOT of work, I got my chapters into an order that flows better and puts me in a position to move ahead. But that being hard work, I was brain dead for making up much word count. I seem to have spent an inordinate amount of time listening to old recordings of Susan Boyle. She’s the real deal. I wish the world had found her sooner.

(Back on topic!)

Which leads me to the title of today’s post. I did some slash and burn and it was good. Tough love for the MS.

I wish I had an amusing anecdote, but I don’t. I don’t even have a good rant. Well, I could think of one, as there is never any shortage of strong opinions here at Chez Jewel and a lamentable abundance of idiots places other than here. But not at your house. Some other house. Anhyhoo, no ranting because then I’d be up all hours ranting and I find that sleep deprivation generally decreases my ability to do quality writing.

As this point amply demonstrates.

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In which progress is made

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

By the way, if you haven’t voted for My One True Love (see previous post) that’s okay, really, but if you feel like showing the love, please vote.

Right. Get your mind off Viking vampires, Carolyn.

I’m transferring paper edits of The Next Paranormal to my document today. And I am, in a sick kind of way, happy to say that I did some massive chapter order re-ordering. The pacing was off. Way off. I’ve moved some bits from one place to another because I’ve got split actions and they need to be consolidated. I’ve also handwritten a big portion of a new chapter — just enough to set in my mind what I want to happen. I have 49K and really, really want to be at 80K by end of this month. I’m 2K behind target though.

In other news, my agent has sent my historical proposal to my editor and since this is Publishing we’re talking about it’s time to hurry up and wait. Hopefully they won’t want chapters because I’m not sure how I could hit 80K for the WIP and also bang out proposal chapters too.

I suppose it’s safe enough to say that I’ve signed the contract for two more paranormals, but until they sign their end, it’s not officially official.

Since I’m up too late, time to go to bed.

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Reading Through the Old MS

Saturday, August 29th, 2009

I recently printed off a copy of The Next Paranormal stuck it in a binder and am hauling it around with me so I can edit at every opportunity. I need to pick up a new binder as my current MS binder is falling apart. It’s neon green with one of those clear plastic thingees so you can slip a sheet of paper or what have you on the front and spine and spiffy up your binder. I put some colorful stars on the front of mine. Perhaps I will decorate The Next MS Binder with a picture of My One True Love, Alexander Skarsgard. Right. Focus Carolyn!

A wee story for you: At work, I have this large very large project with an insanely impossible deadline. Now, large projects (not unlike a novel) benefit from some kind of documentation. Luckily, I am not the documenter for this project. But the person who is expressed great surprise at the fact that the document when read on paper looked and was completely different from its state when read on the screen. I, of course, am saying to myself, well, doh! (I did offer a warning about this, by the way, but you know the saying about horses and water.)

Be that as it may, my point is that it behooves a writer who is working digitally to read through a paper version from time to time. You will find errors, places where the prose requires fixing, story problems become apparent, you’ll read sentences that are pure nonsense or that do not mean what you thought they meant when you wrote them. You will be bored (fix or delete that right away!) and there will be places where you say, hot damn! This rocks! and Oh. I didn’t know that was going on between them!

Sometimes when I do this, I don’t get very far before I know I have to redo my opening. And, being the person I am, I am unable to continue reading until that’s fixed, reprinted and I can start over. In one case, this meant moving chapter 27 to chapter 1. In other cases it just means really tightening the prose or shifting the focus of the chapter.

I’m happy to say that I haven’t had to do that with this project. (yet) I’m not quite halfway done so there’s lots of things that can change between now and having 95K words written. And there are many places that rock. Yay!

I’m not typically a writer who does multiple drafts, and this process is why. By the time I hit 95K or so, the book is final form and already edited for story and language problems. Works for me. Might not for others.

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When the wrong way is the right way

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

Today I did some major chopping and moving around of stuff in The Next Paranormal. Always a scary thing at the start. But I have a keeping-track-of-the-interim-mess method that works pretty well for making sure renumbered chapters get moved to the right place. I updated my chapter outline to match the story and then got in there with the machete.

And yes, I did end up about 300 words in the hole, not the direction I was hoping to go. But things are in a better order and the story that is emerging for my hero and heroine is making me happy.

I have a few other little things to clear up. My villain needs a name change. Currently it starts with M and I’ve realized his name can’t start with M. I also need a title but haven’t thought of anything that isn’t horrible.

Anyhoo, I’m fairly happy, glad to have cut out crap and reordered stuff and things are OK. Hopefully I’m now in a position to start writing new chapters instead of fixing existing one. I’ve learned, though, that there’s no point (and in fact there is harm) in going forward when what I have isn’t solid yet. But now the foundation is better prepared.

Tomorrow I hope to make up the word count.

By the time you-all read this, chances are it will be Friday, so happy Friday!

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Reading and Writing.

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

Today I worked from home because this was the only day I could get my baby registered for high school. (How did that happen?) He got his paperwork all turned in, got his picture taken, got his schedule and I bought P.E. clothes and paid $420 for him to take the bus to school. He’s in Geometry which is good except that with the math tutor I take him to, he’s already been through and done with 9th grade Geometry. He wants to find out if he can test out of it and take Algebra 2 instead. We’ll see.

Interestingly enough, my son struggled to learn to read, in part, I think because it was the only thing he actually had to work at. But we got him over the hump, he learned to read and caught up quickly with his classmates. The thing is I’ve always thought of him as not as strong in language skills as he is in, say, Math and Science. But every year since about 3rd grade he tests higher in ability, from slightly below his grade level to grade level and now, he actually tests as not just proficient but advanced.

For anyone who worries about a child who is having trouble with reading (and is not learning disabled) I think I can say that this doesn’t mean he or she is doomed to poor performance forever.

Until he was about 12 I think, I read to him every single night. I read him books well above his grade level as well as books at his level. I bought him books, and, of course, he’s surrounded by avid readers. And there are certain books he inhales the minute they come out. And now that he’s picking his own books, he has a pretty remarkable open-mindedness about what to read. And somewhere along the way, he seems to have improved his language skills to the point where I can’t point to anything and tell him he needs to work at it more. This, DESPITE the fact that he spends too much time playing World Of Warcraft.

Anyway, just wanted to mention that kids can catch up as long as they have support in the effort.

As for writing, right now, it’s going slower than I like. I started freaking about how my hero and heroine in The Next Paranormal hardly interact so I started cutting other characters out of the scenes and getting my two together. Seems obvious now. But I caught it fairly early. But this means I’m cutting a lot so although I’m adding word count it’s not 1000, more like 500 ish. However, I can report that I really like how it’s coming out now. There was a nice little shift in dynamics that I’m looking forward to working — if I can just get through this cut-the-crap bit.

I have 42.7K words, which is good, but critical mass is about 10-20k words away.

My son is going camping with my bother and his family until the day before school starts so I’m going to have several days with a Monday and Tuesday off to get myself caught up and moving on.

Wish me luck.

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Miss Behaving

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

I just scheduled a post (It will post tomorrow, August 12, 2009) over at the Risky Regencies that is, well, just plain odd. But so fun! Head over there, check it out and join the fun.

Update: permanent URL to the post is here. Click on over if you think you’d like to be a Risky Regencies Minion of Evil.

What else? I’ve been working hard on The Next Paranormal. I’ve got just over 40,000 words and things are starting to shake loose as to what plot points aren’t going to go anywhere and where I need to concentrate instead.

I remain baffled by my dog’s inability to get on the bed by himself. Unless there is food on it.

MacFang continues to be a pleasure to work with. I smile whenever I see his fangs. But mostly I smile because he’s not breaking my back to carry around.

Off to word-work for me.

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