Posts Tagged ‘writing freaking writing’

Memoire of a Plot

Thursday, June 26th, 2008

Alas poor plot, I knew you well.

But now I’ve kicked you to the curb in favor of a brighter, shinier plot. A better plot. Sorry. But them’s the breaks when you’re at the mercy of a professional writer and panster. It’s not for the faint of heart, but there you have it.

Today, the machete came out. Maybe not the machete, but for sure it was the weed whacker. First, two or three days ago, I had this big but not enormous refinement which was great and good for more words. But right after I was almost done with that, I had a dream about a marriage under dire circumstances and it is just so way awesome a better plot I could hardly stand it.

Oh, new plot! I still get all shivery and excited just thinking about you.

I love you, brighter shinier plot!

But you are a High Maintenance kind of plot.

My New Plot is making me pay

Hence, the hacking and replacing. The new plot required that I change the names of some secondary but main characters, and first I changed it to Cartier because, well, it was half the solution to a crossword puzzle I’ve been working on and so it was on my mind. Only today I realized Ack! that left me with three names that start with C: Camilla, Crosshaven and Cartier.


So I changed that to Brooks becuase, well, confession time here. Meljean Brook’s Demon Night was sitting on the top of a pile of stuff I need to do something with (like just about everything in my room) because I want to keep it since it’s an awesome story, so I thought, hey, I’ll just stick an S on the end of Brook and no one will ever know I stole Meljean’s last name for my heroine’s cousins. Mwahahahah!

But then the fun part was over and I had to pretty much redo chapter 1 and then I ran out of time. I should be in bed already. Only I’m not.

But I’m about to. Thinking about my shiny new High Maintenance Plot that I still love.


Is Starbucks Evil? Plus Frisbee Flipping Dog

Sunday, April 13th, 2008

90,040 words now. Which for anyone who can do the arithmetic means I wrote 2040 words today. Considering how my day went, that’s pretty amazing. I spent the morning finalizing some promotional material that’s costing me a fair fortune. Got that sent off and I figured I had many hours in front of me to get through chapters 27-29 and fix the ending. Well, rats. The day job intervened and required that I drive into town for the wireless at Starbucks where I discovered that my favorite (least disliked?) local Starbucks had done something either very mean and nasty or very stupid:

They moved all the tables but one away from the power outlets. Yes, that’s right. There was only one table and chair near a power outlet, and it was occupied. Along the wall where there used to be three tables by outlets were two big huge chairs and one tiny table too far away to reach the lonely outlets anyway (and occupied). On the other side of the place there were two big chairs by the windows with a little coffee table no one in their right mind would ever use a laptop on because you’d have to hunch over between your legs to reach the keyboard or else sit on the floor. Also occupied. The middle was wide open, but hey, no power! And my laptop for work gets about 45 minutes of battery life. So after realizing this, I left WITHOUT spending any money!! and drove to the Starbucks across town where they did have tables by the outlets. I spent money there. Fixed most of what was wrong at work (in the specific sense of SQL Servers) and then went grocery shopping.

I got home from that about 3:30 absolutely fagged because I am just not a person for heat, and it was 84 degrees. Yuck. I should have spent more time in the freezer section with the doors open. I bought a pineapple plus lot of strawberries because I told The Darling Child I’d make Strawberry shortcake and I’ve learned if I don’t core the fruit right away by the time I get around to it, the fruit is in an advanced state of decay fit only for the compost or the chickens.

Then I had to shred my previous print out of the MS to make room in the binder for the new one I’ll be printing out shortly, and that meant emptying the shredder before I could shred and since it’s recycling day and the shredder was full again, I had to empty the shredder again.

So, then it was time to take down the garbage and the recycling and on the way back I stopped to talk to the neighbors for a bit, and the Border Collie came after me from the top of our driveway and then got all neurotic. She barks and growls at everybody until they throw a ball for her at which point she is their slave for life. Well, Ed had a frisbee in his garage and the only thing Patch likes better than a ball is a frisbee because she can flip a frisbee on her nose. This is hours of fun for her. She now loves Ed.

At which point it was 5:30 pm and time to start dinner. I called the DC several times only to be ignored so I started the strawberry shortcake without him. By the time he made it out to eat, the biscuits were cooking and he was very upset with me as it turned out he wanted to help make the dessert. Um, Darling Child, if you had come the first time I called you instead of 20 minutes later after the 3rd or 4th time, maybe the outcome would have been different.

So then I felt bad because he was upset enough to actually start crying (silently and trying to hide it) during dinner. Even though he should have come when I called him the first time to tell him I was starting the shortcake. Sigh.

So, I didn’t sit down to write until nearly seven. But I doubled my minimum and got to my comfort zone of 90K words with time to spend on having the MS read back to me and some more serious editing.


Reporting in As ordered

Saturday, April 12th, 2008

Not really. But I am reporting in. Tonight I’m up to exactly 88,000 words for Xia. I’ll feel better when I’ve cracked 90. That’s pretty much done for me, which in this case means ready for more massive editing. The strange thing is I have only 29 chapters, and usually at this point I have 30-33. So I started looking for chapters that were 14 or more pages since for me that’s a chapter that’s too long. But there weren’t any. What I have is a lot of chapters with 11-12 pages. Not long enough to need to chop in half. So, maybe this book will end up with fewer chapters than usual.

What else? I have some writing related have-to-do stuff that I really have to get done tomorrow that isn’t writing Xia.

Thursday, I got ZIP writing done. My son fell in P.E. and bloodied himself up enough that he had to come home. My dad went to get him so I didn’t have to leave work. But I talked to him on the phone and once I was sure he was mostly OK, told him to work on his English project, which was due Friday. He needed to create a facsimile of a newspaper page containing articles about some short stories they read. When I got home, had he done any of that work? No, he had not. And he’s a terrible speller and well, it was 9:30 before the project was done, assembled and mostly error free. Friday, I was going to give him a lecture about how disappointed I was that he hadn’t had the time to do his best work. Only he starts telling me how when he turned it in the teacher said that if it didn’t contain a lot of spelling errors, it looked like A work to her. Dang you, teacher! And that she would show his to all the students who complained about not getting an A on theirs. So, no lecture.

Any way it’s my usual sign off tonight. I’m tired and going to bed.


Still alive, mostly. Rant Alert, too. Sorry.

Wednesday, April 9th, 2008

Still working on Xia. Right now, it’s going a bit slower than I’d like. Yesterday I cut some stuff, I think only temporarily, but I haven’t found its new home yet, and then rearranged some chapters which worked out really well, actually. I’m always glad (even when I have to remind myself of that) when I cut words that don’t pull their weight. I did some of that yesterday and tonight, but wrote a bunch of new ones.

And, let’s see, yesterday I tried to buy one of Harlequin’s Spice Briefs (sorry, no URL I’m too tired to find it) because my awesome friend Alice Gaines wrote one and I seriously wanted to read it. I couldn’t. I had no idea their e-commerce site was so awful. Wow. They’re really not doing themselves any favors. Not only do they not take all types of payments (No PayPal? No Discover?? Huh?) but it doesn’t work. Limited formats, too. But the part that got me frosted was the DRM. No Printing. What?? If I’d been able to complete the transaction (which I was not) I wouldn’t be able to print it, stick it in my binder of ebook goodness and read in bed. OK, so that’s pretty dumb, but I don’t think your average buyer is going to print it out and then copy it for all their friends. But I get that HQN is dumb about this. Most trad publishers out there are about this. But there’s also no reading aloud. WTF!??

So, I assume what they mean is if you’re vision impaired and want to have your text reader read it for you, no go. How stupid and anti-Americans With Disabilities is that? Isn’t that limitation illegal? That also means I wouldn’t be able to invite five friends over and read the story to them. Why not? I can invite those same five friends over to watch a movie. That’s not illegal yet. If I want to read a freaking book out loud to my friends, I can. What if I want to read out loud to myself? Like they could stop me. What about people who move their lips when they read? What if they accidentally whisper? Are the HQM DRM police going to come over and put them in jail? Can’t we outlaw annoying cell phone conversations first?

In short, HQN has stupid and probably illegal DRM on their ebooks. They only offer three formats. There’s about 10 people with Mobi readers. Wouldn’t it have been smarter to turn down the marketing bucks from the Mobi people and offer more formats? AND they have a shopping cart application that is flat out broken. AND they only accept two methods of payment.

Ellora’s Cave takes PayPal. They offer I think 5-6 formats. No DRM that I’ve ever seen. I print them out in a two pages per sheet small font, duplex and save them to read in bed. I’ve probably spent something approaching $100.00 of EC hotness. I have spent $0 on HQN. Which publisher do you think is laughing all the way to the bank?

And worst of all, I couldn’t read Alice’s story.

I’m tired. off to bed.


The End is Nigh

Saturday, April 5th, 2008

Did more fixing of chapters 27 and 28. Mostly 28. Tomorrow, I think I’ll print it out and start from the beginning.


Going to bed.


No fork yet, but….

Friday, April 4th, 2008

Today I hit 80,383 words for Xia, after chopping much of the current last chapter and rewriting it completely. (My contract sets out a word count of 85-95K, but I’m never done until I’m between 90 and 95K) All the rest are brand spanking new words. Carolyn like shiny things! For the last four days I’ve been see-sawing between 78 and 79K. Cut some stuff, write some stuff. Cut more stuff, write more stuff. But tonight I have not only the ending roughed out, but a tentative title in place.

I also substantially redid chapter 27. Mostly it was total carnage. I think there’s like 5 words left from the original chapter 28 and 10 left from chapter 27. But they’re a really good Five and Dime. (Joke!! I made a joke — does anybody get that?)

Right. What else?

Um, I signed up for a Twhirl account (what is it with these Web 2.0 names?) and got my twitter stuff on my desktop. And I learned that while I was writing and rewriting, a lot, and I do mean a lot, of people were watching TV. And twittering about it, obviously. Kind of blew my mind. So, right now, every aspiring writer should be swearing off TV. Because while you were doing that instead of writing, I was getting myself inches from meeting my deadline with time to spare.

What do you want? To write the book of your heart (because there’s no point to writing any other kind) or know what happens on Battlestar Galactica tonight instead of later after you’ve hit your minimum? Just pointing that out there.

Of course if you are a writer who is procrastinating, that’s a time honored method of building up the appropriate level of panic to get your butt stuck to the chair. By all means, watch TV. But if you don’t have a deadline, TV is probably a bad thing for your writing.

Off to bed.


Chugging Along

Thursday, April 3rd, 2008

Working madly on Xia, of course. Have thought of a possibly lame title. I need to push on, so back to work. Just letting you-all know I’m still alive. Sort of.


Catching up is hard to do

Monday, March 31st, 2008

I’ve been writing madly. The weekend required the machete. Today required the weed whacker. I fixed chapters 21 and 22. Tomorrow I go in after chapter 23, which is either in the wrong place or a mess. I’m not sure which. I have 79.2K words. Close enough to 80K to feel relatively less panic stricken. I still have no last chapter, but then until I finished fixing stuff, I won’t know for sure what’s right for the last chapter.

I’ve heard some preliminary feedback from one of the big Chains (starts with a B) on My Wicked Enemy enough to turn my head. So, all good there!

Also in the good news department (bear with me, it doesn’t start out that way) last night as I was falling asleep after wrestling with chapter 21, I realized the chapter needed to end a different way. Then, this morning I hauled myself out of bed at 4:25 am, etc, and stopped for gas on my way to the gym. It was then 4:50 am. E.G. Cold and Dark. I did not have my purse with me. This makes it hard to pay for gas. I got home at 5:03 am, changed my shoes and did 30 minutes of driveway torture instead of biking at the gym and writing out my fixes to chapter 21. During said torture, I finally got a glimmer of an idea for the historical due in November. Yay!

At lunch, I worked on it, finished when I got home and then fixed 22.

So, I’m in a pretty okay mood.

Off to bed. Chapter 23 awaits me. I have the machete if needed. Tremble in fear, Chapter 23.


Freak Out! Get a Bookmark, too.

Thursday, March 27th, 2008

I’m writing like mad. Things are going OK with Xia. Doing a combo-read through and edit. So far no disasters. The machete has stayed in the closet. I need a title for the book though. A few ideas have occurred, mostly lame ones. My Wicked Lover, A Wicked Kiss. Good gosh, I need ideas and have none. Help!!!

In other news, I heard from my editor at Berkley on Scandal which I was panicking about since I’m in the home stretch of finishing Which Wicked Witch Kidding!! and was having nightmares about revisions coming at the same time I’m in the last days of finishing the Work In Progress. (WIP). And, yay! She loves Scandal and has no revisions for me.

I got a wonderful cover blurb for My Wicked Enemy from author Lara Adrian who writes the awesome Midnight Breed vampire series. I don’t know if it’s okay to share the blurb here, but if I find out it is, I will share.

My bookmarks came for My Wicked Enemy. If you want one, and really, how could you live without one? send me an email with your name and mailing address in it.

Back to work.


I’m baaack!

Sunday, March 23rd, 2008

Back from visiting my brother and his wife in Santa Barbara. We had a great time, even though I did, sadly, lose my camera somewhere in the SB mountains. Rats. So I do not have any great photos of breathtaking views, although we saw many such views and I’m sure at least some of my pictures were great.

Other than that, I cut a chapter of Xia. Sigh And got up to about chapter 8 or 9 I think on a read through. Which considering that I was doing family visiting stuff, isn’t too bad. Most of that got done in the car on the way there or the way back.

Had to give the Fudgester a bath when I got home. He’d rolled in something v. smelly. Of the not so recently dead variety. He has forgiven me, I think.

I’m in full freak out mode and tired. Back to work.