Posts Tagged ‘writing freaking writing’

With a Wave of my Magic Wand…

Thursday, March 20th, 2008

I would make writing easier, that’s what I’d do.

I have a chapter that needs some TLC, so I am fixing it in between finding something, anything! to distract me from actually doing it. Only I am doing it. It hurts. It’s agony and then something interesting starts to happen on the page and I conveniently forget all about the mess further down. Fixing fixing fixing.

Tomorrow, my bothers, my sister, me and all the kids are going to visit our other brother and his wife in Santa Barbara. Her mother and brother are here from Denmark, so we’ll get to meet them. Hopefully, we won’t horrify them too badly. Apparently it’s snowing in Denmark and in SB, it’s Spring. They’re enjoying that. I’m not packed yet, but then I’m waiting for laundry to finish. Speaking of which…

Ahh. I have on my jammies now, still slightly warm from the dryer. I am now partially packed.

Back to work. Then I’m going to print off the MS so I can work in the car on the way down. I am not a primary driver in this escape to the South, I will be in the navigator’s seat.


Backward Progress Today

Tuesday, March 18th, 2008

Xia is still going well enough. As long as we’re all pretending that writing is something that ever goes well enough. It’s very hard work, and today I did hard work cleaning up crap. So, although I am down about 150 words to 72.6 something, I am able to see a silver lining to being in the red, word-count wise. Namely, that I have reduced the craposity and increased the goodosity. Aren’t we lucky I’m a wordsmith? Oblige me and do not answer that question.

But I’m starting to freak about not being further along. More words. I need more words.

With that, I’m off to bed. Because more words requires enough sleep which I did not get last night.


What a load of horse manure!

Sunday, March 16th, 2008

I’m blogging early because I’ve been a writing slug today. Which means I will be writing late tonight and that means if I leave the blogging for last, I’ll be too tired or else I’ll blog anyway and be too tired tomorrow. Take your pick as to which is worse.

Yesterday I had to get new tires on the car. Oy. Money flying out the wallet. So sad. Today I had a flat tire. Sigh. The bright side is I discovered this while I was at home. So I called AAA to make them come and change it — got my money’s worth for the membership at least. The tow truck was so big he almost took out one of the posts down at the gate. The plan was to put on the spare (duh) and then my dad would take the flat NEW tire to the car place tomorrow allowing me to go to work in the morning as per usual and stop off afterward to do the switcheroo. This plan confused the AAA man who was otherwise pleasant and jocular. He tried to put the tire in the back of my car anyway. Then he wanted to put the tire in my dad’s car. But, as I said, "My dad’s truck is full of horse manure right now, so just leave the tire there (me, pointing) and we’ll move it later." Seeing as how he didn’t want to go near a truck full of horse manure, he allowed that our plan was okay after all. He moved the tire to the side of the driveway and managed to get his behemoth truck turned around and all the way down the drive without taking out the gate.

That was our big excitement today. AAA man scared by truck full of horse manure.

I have 70K plus words for Xia. I’m working up to the planned 3-way with Kynan, Xia and Alexandrine which I’m quite interested to know how that works out. There’s only one way for me to know; write it. Rats.

Off to work.


Uh oh. I thought I had something to say!

Tuesday, March 11th, 2008

I made back the 1000 words I cut yesterday. I rejiggered chapters 12-15 which were all in the wrong order and started writing the new bits. Alexandrine is turning out to be quite the interesting woman. First off, which I may have mentioned, it turns out she’s a former teen drug addict. Second, she has no problem whatever taking action to get what she wants. And she wants Xia. Today at lunch time, she got in the shower with him.

I’m trying to think of a Romance in which the sexually assertive one is the woman. I know there are some. But not so many. Most of those women are Evil Exes or just Evil. That’s always bugged me, so I’m happy to be writing a heroine who takes charge of herself without de-alphabetizing the hero, too. (Xia loves it, by the way.) Especially since all my heroines start out their lives as total wimps. This is my writing challenge.

Anyway, I’m in the middle of The Ritual scene which, I am happy to report, does not end at all the way Xia and Alexandrine hope.


Tomorrow will be heck

Sunday, March 9th, 2008

I dislike this time change. ‘Nuff said.

Today I futzed around with Xia all freaking day and then I ran into two confusing chapters and had to figure out what to do with them. I think I did. I reworked so much stuff my head is spinning. I have 69K which is OK, I guess. I was hoping for more but fixing crap involves the liberal use of the delete key. I’m up to chapter 13 in the fix-fest. Right now I’m re-doing a chapter from Xia’s POV because at the moment, there are far too few chapters from his point of view.

What else? Nothing. I still have no title, wicked or otherwise, for this book.

Sorry this post is so dull.


Literary Twister

Tuesday, March 4th, 2008

Last night, this morning at the gym and during various downtimes of the day, I’ve been mulling over this particular scene that Just Wasn’t Working the way it needed to. It involves Xia giving Alexandrine a substance that affects people with magic. Originally, he did it to prove to her she has magic. But the new! Alexandrine already knows that. Obviously, that original scene needed a re-write. While notebooking at the gym, I settled on her taking the pill by accident. I recognized the idea was a wee bit lame, but I thought if I meditated on it some more, I’d see my way to the solution. I am not at my best at 5:00 a.m.

So I sat down to do the work this evening and I was in there with the machete getting things conformed etc and at last I get to the substance scene at the end of chapter 6. How is she going to take this pill?

She’s not. It turns out, as I was writing, that, as a former teen runaway (which was previously established) she had issues with drugs and does not take any drugs ever anymore. Color me surprised! But this revelation ended up being a major development in their relationship. Oh! Oh! I get it! Neat-o.

But now I had a chapter 7 of substance-induced events that needed a new home. And I knew the perfect place for it. Between chapters 13 and 14. The beginning of 14 got spliced onto the top of chapter 7 which was renumbered as Chapter 13 (with 8-13 becoming 7-12) Are you following me here? and then about-to-be 13 and 14 were temporarily combined so I could look for the best chapter ending. Found it. Chopped it. And Voila as they say in France. Chapters 7 and 14 were spliced and split and became 13 and 14. It’s a bit messy yet but tomorrow I will smooth that out into a scene that has my heroine who is afraid of backsliding on drugs facing the ABSOLUTE NECESSITY of taking a drug that humans with magic routinely abuse… See? Much more at stake.

It’s like that game Twister. Only with words and paragraphs and my characters and story instead of people.

This sounds like a horror show, I know. I suspect it is, but that’s how it’s been for all my books so far. I have an advanced case of esprit d’escalier only since these great ideas have to do with a novel which takes a while to put together, I can actually go back with the perfect bon mot and nobody will ever know I didn’t think of it until way late.

I have to do this kind of slice and dice very quickly because I often need to have 3 or 4 chapters all in my head as I reassemble and sort out the bits and put the left overs in the right places, and I don’t want to forget who’s going where. If I go too slow or think too much every thing just goes to heck. It’s scary because in the middle every thing’s a bit fat mess, and I get in there and muck about and then it’s all better. Usually. To be honest, sometimes it’s not and I have to start over. But this one feels good.


Monday and Stuff Like That

Monday, February 25th, 2008

OK, so I won’t bore you with the usual litany about Mondays. Insert our own if you want to.

It was a beautiful day, though. Perfect weather, which was nice after that recent storms. Daffodils! And by the way, I had out go outside in the rain this weekend to get pictures where the light didn’t wash out the yellow. I’m still having trouble getting them just right, but, still. They’re daffodils!

One Yellow Daffodil
Two miniature yellow daffodils

I’m up to 54.3K on Xia’s story. I want to be at 60K by the end of the month. And I want to have a complete draft by end of March so I have April to get it read and massively fixed.

Off to bed.


Well, golly! Taking a moment to bask

Saturday, February 23rd, 2008

Today I noodled about all day, pretty much, working on chapter 23 of Xia’s story. So I was worried that I’d missed my minimum, despite working A LOT on the chapter. But I didn’t. In fact, I was only a couple hundred words away from doubling my minimum plus exceeding 50,000 words. So I took a look at chapter 1 and noodled around there long enough to more than double my minimum PLUS discover the chapter rocks. I rewrote the chapter for the new Alexandrine and I have say, it works massively.

So, I’m basking in the glow, insecure in the knowledge that I will be ripping things to shreds shortly and will need to look back at this moment so as not to totally despair.

Also, note to Patti O’Shea: Do NOT stop blogging. I love your blog. I need to hear about your day and your characters talking to you.

Off to bed.


A lap is only so big, you know…

Thursday, February 21st, 2008

It’s been raining off and on today with the result that my lap has been in high demand. My cat Jasper is small and he fits very nicely on my lap. Jake, however, is big and fluffy and he does not fit so nicely. Plus, he’s a pig (not a real one of course, he is a cat.) and when he’s curled up behind me, he’s always trying to push me off the chair. And then there’s the Fudgester who, on nights like this, wants me to hold him. I can only type one-handed for so long. And yet, I managed to double my minimum today.

Xia has been successfully kidnapped and rescued along with another character. I have 23 chapters and and 48,656 thousand words. I think I might actually be at critical mass, except I haven’t deleted very many chapters, which is worrying me. I have a lot of cleaning up to do. I have to move one of my hot scenes or maybe write one, to a different spot and then conform my heroine to the character she’s becoming. Which means substantially changing another hot scent because, as it turns out, she’s more of an adventuress than I originally thought. There’s certain things that don’t bother her! Anyway, I think the basic story is in place now. The other 10 or so chapters will magically appear (I wish!) when I split off chapters that get too long as I rewrite the heck out of this young puppy. The last scene I save for, well, last. I’ve learned that for me, it’s pointless to write it until after I know everything else. Which comes dead last.


Carolyn Wrote

Thursday, December 27th, 2007

My sister took my son to the movies and then out for burger tonight. I got to stay home and write. Over 1800 words. Chapter two had some interesting revelations for me, just as did chapter 1. I find that with a full time job and family etc, that I just don’t often do much more than 1000 words a day. So that may not seem like so much, except at that rate, in 90 days I’ll have 90,000 words. Have to, actually.

Then I ran into some trouble with zipping files. I forgot how much the file zipper program that comes with XP sucks. Awful! I’m not going to deal with WinZip again, though I like it a lot so I ended up downloading 7-zip which is a nice, free little program. Then I re-discovered the fact that the Mac OS assumes a file drag is a file MOVE, where as Windows does a Copy. Oops. So I had to mess around with getting my zip archives (one for the thumb drive, containing only the chapters and a few supporting documents) and a daily zip of everything — I just add the stuff that’s new, and save it with the date name. That way I have a daily archive of my work. And, as happened recently with Scandal, I did have to troll through my archives looking for a certain file in a known state. So, now I have two daily archives and one to transfer to the laptop. Whew! Plus I found a version of 7-zip that works on the Mac, so I think I’m good there.