Monday, December 31, 2007

Starting Early.

Yep. I started early. It just felt right. I worked out Saturday and Sunday. And I'll be at the gym tomorrow as well. And today, I ate the way I'm supposed to eat. No sugar, no potatoes, no white flour. It really wasn't even a big deal. The health thing. Which we should all do and we know it but, know.
I once read that you should spend New Year's Day doing what you want to do for the rest of the year. So, tomorrow I will go to the gym and I will eat healthy (gotta put the black-eyed peas in a bowl of water soon), but for fun, I will write. I will force The Husband to listen to me talk about the plot and he will supply me with many twists. I will work on my outline. I will write character bios. I will add to my word/page count.

I will write.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Break through

Finally! I've been wrestling with a plot point for days. And it took me a couple of weeks to even realize that was the point that was hosing up everything else. This particular plot point doesn't seem to be all that important, but there's a lot of later stuff that is based on it, so it was.
I went to the gym today. Lifted weights for about 20 minutes, then swam for half an hour, then jumped in the hot tub. After about five minutes of stewing in hot water, it came to me. I could hardly wait to get home and write it down.

Tomorrow we're going to see I Am Legend. I've heard a wide range of reviews for it but, hey, it's got Will Smith. How bad could it be?

Friday, December 14, 2007

Stuff I like to do, but goes so damn slowly

Synopsis. Yeah, I kinda like doing them. But this one is being difficult. I think it might be that I don't have the main character really set in my mind. But, actually, it feels like the whole story is there. Just churning around in the recesses of my mind. Possibly it's just not done yet.
If you're a writer, I know you're probably still sitting there wondering how I could actually LIKE writing a synopsis. There's a trick to it.
Write it before you write the book.
Seriously. It's so damn hard to write a synopsis after you've written 400 pages of story. You're too close to it, too invested in the individual stories that make up the whole book. My typical method of writing a book is this:
Get an idea. Sometimes it's a particular character, but usually it's just a premise.
Get a character. I figure out what kind of character would be involved with this premise.
Get all excited and pound out a chapter or a couple of scenes. Sometimes, this ends up being three chapters, but not more than that.
Realize that I love the premise, I love the character. And I have no idea where I'm going with it.
Then I write the synopsis.
I'm not so far along in the story that I'm married to any one idea. So, I just let my imagination go. It's not like I'm actually writing the book, so I can be as outrageous as I want to be. It's just a couple of pages. I can change it as often as I want.
Erica Orloff blogged about writing a synopsis on November 24. She mentioned that her agent always puts the tag line on the first page. I've never done a tag line but I liked the idea. So, I worked on one. Here's what I came up with:

Prophecy. Power. Corruption.
Everything hangs int he balance.

Probably doesn't make any sense to anyone but me. But it really encapsulates the book for me. As to whether it makes it into the final synopsis, we'll have to see.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Stuff I hate to do

No, it's not cleaning the bathroom (what's the big deal about that anyway?). It's promotion. Actually, I don't hate promotion--I just never know what to do. Friday I got an email requesting three books that are similar to my next suspense novel with a list of similarities and differences for each one. I am now reasonably certain no one else has written a book similar to this one. I suppose that's a good thing.

Anyway, the problem I had was what kind of similarities were they really looking for? There are certainly other novels with female private investigators. And thieves. And covert groups. And international terrorism. And assassination attempts. Just not all together.

So, I spent about 5 hours coming up with something that I'm sure isn't really right and probably not what they wanted. Still I'm done. And it makes working on this synopsis look like fun.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Driving myself crazy

I'm sure other authors do this, too. At least, I like to believe they do. I wrote a perfectly decent first chapter to my WIP. Then by chance an agent asked me to send a chapter or so to her. From our communication, I have to believe that she understands this is not complete, that I'm still working on it--that's what WIP means to everyone, right?

Now, this agent is one of my TOP choices. I do NOT want tot blow this with her. I want to send her the very, very best first chapter I can possibly produce. (A little aside: The first partial she requested from me had a grammatical error in it that happens to be one of her pet peeves. I don't want to screw this up -- again.) So, I started second guessing it. I decided it didn't start with enough action. Actually, I decided the whole thing sucked. Anyway, I rewrote it. Moved scenes around. Did more second guessing. Then I sent it to my writing buddy, Jeff. Jeff is incredible, but more about him later. He read them both and chose the first one. Hands down. Then told me to trust my gut.

He's so right.

So, now I'm working on the second chapter. And I'm second guessing myself again. Maybe I'll just send the first chapter to the agent and the second one to Jeff. I hope he's got a lot of spare time right now.