Posts Tagged ‘Xia’

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.



Thursday, March 6th, 2008

Tomorrow is Friday. Yippee!! Xia is still coming along. I have 66K words now. A goodly amount. Can I be at 70K by the end of the weekend?

My agent has been nicely nudging my historical editor for revisions on Scandal. They better come soon given the May 1 deadline for Xia. I’m told they are. Also, my Berkley editor sent me a cover (not mine!) by the guy she’d like to use to do the cover for Scandal. He’s a wonderful artist. That was pretty exciting, actually.

I now have my artwork-only jpg for My Wicked Enemy which I need for bookmarks and I have my preliminary order in. I’m on the fence about a book trailer. Does anybody know if they make a difference? Readers, do you like them? Do you care? Does anyone have hard figures on what the ROI might be?

It has occurred to me that it would be nice to have a title for Xia. Probably with the word Wicked in it. I have no ideas right now. Wicked Tired?

Off to bed.


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.


I have ARCS! Now what?

Monday, March 3rd, 2008

Xia seems to be going pretty well so far. I’ve been chipping away at my Stuff To Do list. I have a problem with avoidance behavior. Sigh. At least I know I have a problem, right? Today, I requested the vacation time for Comic Con in San Diego — Looks like I’ll be signing My Wicked Enemy there (don’t know what day yet). I’m planning to fly there and back on the same day. Hope that works. I also threw in the vacation time for RWA. So that’s done. I also emailed my editor about getting the artwork for my cover so I can do bookmarks and maybe a book trailer. But I haven’t done any of the BIG stuff on the list and I just don’t want to talk about it. I’m procrastinating, thank you very much.

Now I need to figure out where to send my ARCs. I know where one is going. That leaves 13 others. Some to on-line reviewers, but which ones?

I also need promotion ideas. I can’t afford any of the cool ones I’d like to do and I lack the talent for a DIY. Not to mention lacking the time. The issue for me is I’ve never heard any one say the things writers commonly do are known to work. Does MySpace actually sell books? Dunno. Do contests sell books? Dunno. I have minimal and anecdotal evidence that bookmarks work. Book trailers? Dunno.

What makes me buy a book? There are 2 big reasons:

  1. I love the author
  2. People are talking about the book

That’s pretty much it.

If I’m browsing in a bookstore:

  1. I know the author
  2. People are talking about the book
  3. The cover art or title is interesting which makes me read the back blurb, and that sounds neat

Nothing on either of those two lists is anything I can do something about.
I’m wretched at promotion. But mostly I’m impacted for time. Ok, I guess I can do something about letting people know what my books are about. MySpace may actually be good for that.

Off to work on Xia some more.


Good Stuff Bad Stuff And Stuff In Between

Sunday, March 2nd, 2008

I’ve been reading through Xia and conforming things to the new! and improved Alexandrine. I’ve had to rip out some stuff, but I’ve replaced it with even better stuff, so I’m happy. The story is complexifying in ways that I like. A lot. For a while I was worried that Kynan was taking over, but he’s not. Xia is a totally hottie bad boy. I’m up to Chapter 7 and I’m not depressed yet. That is A Good Thing.

Another thing is I read Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dream Chaser this weekend. Boy, did I love this one! Xypher was a fabo hero and there were some very sweet moments. That’s another Good Thing, unless you feel inclined to point out that I should have been writing.

My son went fishing with my bother and his kids today, and I went grocery shopping and then came home and futzed around with MySpace and you know, important stuff. Had to pay bills, too. And fight Jake the Cat for space on my chair. Just when I was about to look at Xia, my sister-in-law called to say they were on their way back from fishing and since my son also had soccer tryouts again today, I had to go do that. Perhaps mostly A Bad Thing here.

But at soccer tryouts, I sat in the car and worked on Xia. Afterward it was so spectacularly beautiful out, I took the boys (my son and a tryout-mate I was giving a ride home) to get frozen yogurt. On the way home from that my son’s friend asked my son if he’d finished the math homework. Dead silence. Uh oh. Shall I mention this is a project the teacher gave them two weeks to complete? So, a Good Thing for me, yet a Bad Thing for my son, which factors out to A Thing In Between.

Then I fed the Darling Child leftovers and made cookies and I didn’t eat a single one! This is a massively Good Thing.

Also, I learned from looking at an ad my publisher sent me that My Wicked Enemy will be out at the same time as Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Ash book. This is me, hyperventilating about Ash. Squeeee!!! Ash is going to fall in love and show us all his massive, um… uh oh this is going in a bad direction … love making skills! Good save Carolyn!. But let us all hope that everyone decides to throw in My Wicked Enemy while they’re getting Kenyon’s book.

Now I’m going back to work on Xia.


Random Thoughts. Or Something.

Thursday, February 28th, 2008

Today for Xia’s story I fixed almost all the Kynan stuff AND I hit 58,747 words. So, even though it’s likely tomorrow I’ll delete a bunch since I stopped right before the place where’s he’s sitting with the folks in Oslo, I’m happy to say that he’s developing a character! It was interesting to look only at the chapters that are in his POV.

Today was another beautiful day. 75. Blue skies. Really, really lovely.

Aside: don’t you suppose that if you’d decided to write a novel set in, say, Elizabethan England, that it would go without saying that you actually like the period enough to be on more than a know-the-name only basis with the major figures of the time? I mean, wouldn’t you expect such a person to know more than there was this Shakespeare guy wrote some plays and some of them were funny? Wouldn’t you think such a person would, in fact, be such a dork for the period that they might have at least thought about reading some Shakespeare? Just wondering.


The Un-Do Plot Button

Wednesday, February 27th, 2008

Today was another gorgeous day. It was almost cruel having to go outside at lunchtime because going back inside was torture. If this keeps up, I’ll be putting away the sweaters much too soon.

Worked on Xia tonight. I think I’m just about at the last chapter before the end. But I have some earlier chapters to rewrite. I had a pretty cool idea about what to do with a major secondary character. Originally, I sent him off to Olso so that he would be far away and unable to interfere, which at that particular point in time he was doing. Take that you interfering character you! I’m sending you to Oslo! Then in the following chapters, while he was in flight apparently, I inserted another character because of some stuff I needed to happen. I used Iskander, the same poor guy I wrote out of earlier chapters (chances are you-all see where this is going… well, I didn’t. Not until recently) and then suddenly realized a day or two ago that I needed to write him out again and substitute Kynan again. Only Kynan, for crying out loud, was in Oslo which is, as you may know, pretty far from San Francisco, Berkeley and Tiburon, where the story is set.

And yes, for a while I was trying to figure out how on earth Kynan would get from Oslo to Tiburon in time. Some times I am a complete idiot. It’s a story. I make it up. If I mistakenly send someone to Oslo, even if it is First Class, I am at complete liberty to unsend him. No flue powder necessary.

At last, that brilliant idea occurred to me and voila. Kynan was never in Oslo. Instead he’s somewhere else not so far away, misbehaving as it turns out. But now I have a chapter where he’s sitting in Oslo, with some folks who are there, and I confess I was momentarily panicking because– well, I won’t bore you with the details. Suffice it to say I will be completely rewriting this chapter with heavy use of the Un-do Previous Plot button. The icon, in case you’re interested, looks like the back of my head. I think that’s where all my brains leak out.

I’m told my ARCs are ready for My Wicked Enemy which means people are going to be reading it. Holy crap!


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.