Tag Archives: first drafts

Another rough draft done….

…and now the real work starts.

I started writing for publication the fall of 1997. Back then I wrote religiously.

And after five years of rejections, I started fiddling around. I pretended to write. I wrote in spurts. I played at being a writer. But those rejections slayed my writing spirit. Another five years of rejections killed that spirit.

Honestly, even though I’d write a book a year–usually–, that book wasn’t heartfelt. It was almost fearful. I tried to write to the rules and to what I thought Harlequin would want because Harlequin was my dream.

Two and a half years ago (or maybe three) I put my thesis online. Honor and Lies was my heart. My professors loved it…which isn’t always a good thing. I mean, you don’t want an audience of professors to be your only fans.

But what did I have to lose? The book was sitting on my computer and in the MSU library. It was a tribute to my grandma, and I wanted to give it a chance to be shared by others.

A couple months later I published a couple romances and that was that. I figured I had a backlist of written works, I’d go through them and post them and whatever happened, happened.

Only I started The Artist’s Way with colleague Scotty Coppage and I started working again. It was bits and spurts at first.

The first book I wrote to self-publish was Dead Girl Walking, the first of the Sharlene Gallagher guardian angel mysteries. And since then I’ve written everything to self-publish.

Last summer I came up with a business plan and a publishing schedule. And my arm quit working.

If you know me in real life or kept up with the blog, you know I mean it quit working completely.

For a month I cried because all my plans were flowing away with every day the arm got worse. Not only that, but with each non-writing day I saw myself growing closer to the “writer” Mary Beth. The girl who wrote some, when the muse hit, when she wanted to, instead of the committed writer, working on her craft.

Right before NANO one of my former students Emma found out about my arm and suggested the Dragon software.

In two weeks I wrote an novella using spiral notebooks and dictating to Dragon. The arm wasn’t an excuse. Since then I’ve worked on novels and novellas. I haven’t worried about the business side. I embraced the creative side and the excitement of creating characters and worlds and conflicts.

I’m not writing for anyone but me.

And I’m loving every minute of it.

Suddenly I’m not okay publishing the books I’ve got lined up on my computer as possibilities just because they’re done. I’ll go over them later. I want them to be the very best they can be. Sexy, scary, heartfelt…whatever it is they’re supposed to be, I want them to be that times a ten million.

Self-publishing gave me this even though I haven’t published a word since August 25.

I’ve written hundreds of thousands of words since then. I re-discovered my voice, my art.

And I’ve learned to trust in my creative soul. To pray first then write and let the words work.

I’m not ready to publish the books I’ve written since August 25. They’re all in different stages of the revision or editing process, but I will be soon.

For now, I’m happy that I’m writing and creating and loving it and hating it and working the craft.

It’s so funny to think that because of self-publishing I’m writing more–and better, I think–even though I’m not publishing a word.

 

 

 

Life is good

Yet again I’ve proven my theory that the way to break through a block is to write.
Okay, so it’s not all that originbal, but man, it feels good to know it’s the truth.
I’ve written a ton the last couple days. Will I keep it all? Probably not. But I will keep the scenes and the secrets and the emotional outline. I really like my plot. I think it’s fun and unique. I really like my characters. They’re so real.
I’d forgotten that because I wasn’t writing enough.
It’s easy to let that happen when there’s no contract to keep you going. But I’m going to take Suzanne McMinn’s advice and write this baby as if there were a contract. Because, let me just say, there’s no reason for this book not to sell. It’s GREAT! And when it’s done, I’m going to send it out there. And someone’s going to pick it up. And if I don’t believe that I have no business sitting here at 11:30 at night writing. I could be sleeping!
🙂
I am super writer, hear me roar.

It’s Monday, so I better update my weight loss journey. Down 1/2 pound. I thought it would be more. And if I hadn’t made the best manicotti in the world yesterday, it might have been. (Everyday Italian. YUM! It’s on the food tv website.)
But weight’s only one part of this journey. And diets aren’t allowed. So 1/2 pound is a good thing.

To Edit or not to edit…

You’d think after all this time I’d know which way to go. Write the book, boom, OR edit as I go.
Nope. Not a clue. But I have decided to write the book through this time just to see what happens. I used to love my nightly writing sessions and I think that’s why, so I’m going back to that and we’ll see what happens.
I wrote a lot last night. 🙂

Lucky for me, Julie Miller’s doing a Q&A on e-Harlequin this week. She’s such an awesome writer. I asked her my burning RS question. How to keep the plots from getting so big! I know when I read romance I’m reading it for the people. I want to know them. The suspense is secondary. I’m afrfaid I’m building huge plots without enough characterization. So I’m working on that. It makes for interesting questions while I’m writing. I don’t know if there’s such a thing as too much characterization. I guess we’ll see with my new work.

I watched Hope Floats again last night. Now that’s what I’m going for. Those characters are so real! I LOVE that movie.