Tag Archives: crappy first draft

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. Weird.

It took 47 minutes of trial and error to get to one word of good revision on the Sam and Patty story tonight.

47 minutes.

And that word was glorious. No, really, it was “Glorious.” A one word sentence. That led to 1638 new words. All of them desperately needed to help flesh out this story with decent characters.

Thank God I found the words. Or they found me.

Three hours later, it’s time to call it a night.

I don’t want to.

I want to sit and write and write and write to the Ennio Morricone and Yo-Yo Ma playlist I’ve got loaded on Spotify. I never would’ve guessed those spaghetti westerns I hate would lead to great words. Unforgiven and Pale Rider? Sure. The Good, The Bad and The Ugly AND Hang ‘Em High? No way.

I didn’t realize what they were right away. I just typed in cello music and dragged a ton of songs over to the queue. I’m addicted now.

It sure makes writing easier when you want to listen to the music that moves the soul of the story.

 

And once again

I finished!
Only it was different and it’s not completely done.
I wrote this book long hand, in reporter’s notebooks and steno pads with my favorite pen. And I had a great time doing it.
I’m having serious tech problems at work. The computer was getting between me and my book. My book I love. So I chunked the laptop and ta-da, a writer was reborn.
I have a callus on my index finger again. First time in a lot of years.
The draft has a ways to go before it’s really done, but I love the base story, the pace, the conflict. And of course, I LOVE my hero.
Woo Hoo.

and once again Gray’s Anatomy was amazing.

Woo Hoo

Okay, so ugh might be the word I use most often when starting a new project, but it’s followed closely by woo hoo.
I love my new story. I can’t wait to see how these two end up HEA and alive. 🙂

I tend to be pretty sparse with description. These days I’m WAY more heavy on dialogue and I think description can weigh a scene down if you’re not careful. Still setting is an important part of the book and sometimes the clothes a character wears, the way they fit, the way the characters interact with their dog and kids, whatever, it all can play a big part in characterization and story. It’s something I need to work on. But it’s something for the edit stage of the game I suppose.

14 pages today. woo hoo. I wonder if that worked off the slice of chocolate dream cake I ate?

Music for Missing: Ozzy and Van Halen. Looking for something with a metal edge and some darkness, but not too much. Maybe a latin feel mixed in. Does this even exist?!

Finished

Well, sort of.
I embraced the You can’t fix a blank page philosophy for this book. Let’s just say I’ve got plenty of word-filled pages to fix now. 🙂
300 to be exact.
Still the draft is done. The mystery worked and it enhanced the conflict. I actually think it ended too soon. The last twenty pages are relationship pages. And that’s okay since the end of the mystery led to the relationship break, but I think Intrigue readers want the tension of the mystery to last a little longer.
My heroine stubbornly held to who she was even when I tried to change her early on in the novel. By the end I understood why.
During the revisions I’ll work harder at delving into my hero’s conflict. It seems a little forced toward the end. I love the book. Love the romance. Love the mystery. Revision should be fun. ahahahaha.

So why is it?

That I’ve been blogging for almost a year and I still pushed delete instead of send on the messages I replied to yesterday? UGH!

The book’s heading into the big YIKES then the black moment then the HEA. I hope it’s not too complicated. It made perfectly logical sense to me and my CPs when I plotted it. But now, I’m not so sure. After this draft is done, I’ll work through all the plot lines. Make sure they’re logical. Then flesh it out. I’m not going to rush though. I plan on having it out the door by Nov. 18. That’s still a month to polish it, make it shine. Make sure the words work. 🙂 With the other request, I’m still shooting for Halloween.

I got contest results back on my Romantic Elements ST. And yep. Split decision. One This is ready to send with minor errors fixed. One this is okay but…. And one, the writer is obviously a newbie…. UGH!!!! 🙂
Actually it doesn’t bother me a bit. I got great feedback and I’d enter the contest again no question.

Writing Down the Bones

If the scene stunk I’d be happier.
I’ve reached the huge moment in my story. This moment that shows my two protagonists in conflict at the same time they’re in agreement. It leads to growth for one and more confusion for the other and I know it can be a WHOA scene.
Two days ago it was just bad. B-A-D.
So I reworked it. Approached it from different angles, different POVs.
Now it’s a perfectly fine scene. But it’s not an awesome scene. And I want it to be awesome. I want it pack a huge emotional punch. I want it to BE the girls. BE the confusion. BE the pain and disbelief.
And right now it doesn’t do that. Right now it just is.
I’m not moving forward until I get it right.
So that brings me to this morning making waffles, throwing melted ice packs in the freezer, listening to Tom Cruise explain his dislike for psychiatry with Matt Lauer on Today and I’m not really there. Not at all.
I’m back on that scene. It’s driving me nuts.
And I’m thinking: What scene have I read that does what I want to accomplish?
And then it hits me. The Girls Guide to Hunting and Fishing.
I read the book years ago and loved it. I have no idea who has it now. I just loaned it out and it started on its path around the world and I promptly forgot all about it.
Until today when I remembered the way the author recreated the emotion of discovering you have cancer.
She didn’t go on and on but the starkness, the emptiness, the fear, the knowledge that we’re here today but there are no tomorrow’s promised, it’s all on the page.
I’m probably going to scrap the perfectly fine scene and try again for this feel. ACK!

The Next

I love the fact that my daughter’s old enough to listen to my story ideas and say,
Uh Mom, that’s not going to work OR
Uh Mom, can we say cliché? OR
Uh Mom, if people think you’re writing about me I’m gonna be ticked..
(Why would she think that? So what that my new story has a teenager who changes her hair color every week of the summer because she’s bored and her mom told her she had to do something other than sit on the computer or watch movies all summer?) But hey, on the bright side she thinks other people are going to be reading this story, which mans she thinks it’s going to be published, which means I haven’t totally wrecked her belief in dreams even though I’ve been rejected a million times since she was five. That’s gotta be a good thing. 🙂
The best part about it was she pushed me to look for something new and now I have a basic plot structure and my new characters for my next womens fiction. Woo Hoo!
She even thought it sounded good. (Other than the teenager)
I’m trying to figure out exactly what it is I’m writing. I know, that’s a strange thing to say, but it’s true.
It’s definitely Christian because the themes running though it deal with belief, redemption, forgiveness.
But then there’s the whole self-discovery character arc that runs through all womens fiction.
The books are older–married, starting to see those lines, battling the bulge and gray hair, oh-my-God I’m middle aged.
They definitely have romance throughlines.
And they’re real, meaning they don’t strictly follow CBA standards. They feel passion, the cuss when things go wrong. But I doubt they’ll be dropping the F bomb. Actually they might, but it wouldn’t be spelled out. I’ve decided not to worry about it. These people are completely real in my mind and I think they’re completely real on paper. I love them. I live them while I’m writing. I’m letting them tell their stories and it is awesome.
I love summers!

Exhausting, Exciting, Woo Hoo!

I’ve come to the realization that Christian Womens Fiction is a huge, diverse market. And every editor acquiring it includes agented material only. So I’ve started my agent search because this book is awesome and it deserves a home. 🙂
I don’t usually think of my books in terms like awesome, but this book keeps making me cry. One minute I’m Mary Beth Lee, romance author and the next I’m one of my characters or all of them. I feel their pain and God, it HURTS but it’s also an amazing experience. I know this is what Shirley McClane (sp?) goes through with her out of body experience. It has to be. Only mine are better because they’re not in REAL bodies. (EWWWWW!)

Agent proposals are more difficult than writing. One page queries that include why you’re a good bet plus a brief overview of your book. Two pages queries that do the same thing. Full proposals. All with SASE included. E-mail. Snail mail. It’s a jungle out there.
But I’m making my way through that jungle. I was up til 2:30 this morning; I just couldn’t stop working, and then I got up at 6:15 and finished getting everything together. As of noon I have my first agent proposals out the door. I have no idea what will happen. But I know I’ve given it my best. And I’ve been to the post office twice this week,so I’m on the right track. 🙂

I’m taking a break this afternoon. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are calling my name. I hope the movie is as good as the previews. Hot, hot, hot!
Just gotta love it. 🙂
J