Tag Archives: nobodys hero

Woo Hoo!!!

I wrote the end on Identity Crisis for the third time. And this time, it’s really the end. I LOVE the feeling of finishing a book and knowing it’s good. There’s this strange giddy taste that builds up in the back of my throat and this lightness of excitement that hovers around my shoulders. I know people have to look at me and know something’s up. They just don’t know what. And if I ran around yelling woo hoo I finished, they’d think I was crazy. But woo hoo I finished and I love it all. The romance, the mystery. All of it. Hope the editor likes it too. It’s on its way to NYC tomorrow. Woo Hoo!
I can finally decorate for Christmas and get started on my next novel. Woo Hoo!!!!

Patience

My GH entries are printed and ready to take to the PO tomorrow. Woo Hoo!

One of them is the requested Intrigue wanna be. The one I finished earlier. Something about the book still gets to me. Something off. And I was tempted to say screw it, I’m sending this baby in. But then I realized something. I’m multi-rejected and unpublished. This book has gotten the attention of an editor. It’s only been three months since he requested it and he knew I only had the partial done at that time. (I think)
I owe it to myself, the editor and my characters to CALM DOWN and fix the part that’s bothering me. Good enough won’t cut it. It’s got to be awesome.
The romance is still the best I’ve written, but the suspense, especially one thread, needs some more attention. So I’m not sending it to NYC tomorrow. DH is going to groan when he sees all 300 pages still sitting on the kitchen table. 🙂 he’ll groan more when he sees me sitting at the computer, lost in that other world. But when this book sells, he’ll get over it. 🙂

If You Dare‘s been in NYC for three weeks. No news is good news. Woo Hoo.

Two MASSIVE months of writing following a major writing summer. It’s been a great writing year.

Making it seem easy

I’m doing a final revision on Identity Crisis. I’ve decided the toughest thing for me is making the story feel completely effortless, real. So much more than story alone goes into this. I guess it’s really all characterization. If the reader believes the people are real, she believes the story is too. Maybe.
I think about SEP’s heroes. They’re WAY over the top, but I feel like I know them. Suzanne McMinn’s PAX League heroes are completely unbelievable. But they’re completely real at the same time. I mean if you sit and think about them, you’re like NO WAY. But then you read a few pages and think, okay, maybe. And then you get to the end and it’s totally: I want to marry this man. Even Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunters are anchored in reality. These writers create totally different types of stories, and all seem effortless. I sink into their books. I totally believe their plots. I want my story to be that good. And it will be!

I checked my old e-mail account today. I NEVER check it. Way too much spam.
So today when I checked it I discovered Sulay Hernandez from Kensington e-mailed her request for If You Dare along with the snail mail request she sent. I got my first editor e-mail. Woo Hoo. 🙂
Granted, it’s over six weeks old, and I’ve already sent the full, but still. How cool is that? I want to e-mail her back and ask if she got the manuscript, but I don’t know if that’s professional or not.
Oh well. I still got an editor e-mail. I’m happy.
Off to revise…

Mysteries

I’m working on the major explosion scene on my Intrigue revisions and I’ve realized I have about a million things going on at once and it stinks. I mean some of it is great. But some of it is totally crazy. So I’m going to work the heck out of the plot tomorrow. Make sure the romance and conflict don’t get lost in the mystery. By Monday I think I’ll be done.
I want to send it by Wednesday.

I hate when I revise and start questioning every little thing. But I think that’s important with suspense.

Revisiting old works

I LOVE the Brava wanna-be I’m working on right now. It’s been so long since I looked at it, I’d forgotten these characters. Joe’s such a sexy guy. Del’s so funny. I can’t believe I wrote this book. 🙂 Boy is it steamy.
I want to flesh out a couple scenes before I send it in.
It’s pretty polished now, so I’m going to work on it and get it out before I sit down with Identity Crisis and give it MAJOR revision work. My hero’s conflict is strong but the motivation isn’t on the page. I know it, but the reader doesn’t. The suspense element is a little redundant right now. (Good thing! I need to cut about 20 pages) And my villain’s destruction is way too easy. I’m using the Discovering Story Magic sheets from Dallas National to help. Hopefully by Monday, that’s all I’ll be working on.

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.

The importance of ritual

As I rediscovered my story, I also rediscovered some of the quirks about my writing style.
Music is extremely important to my stories. And finding the right music for each story is even MORE important. I tried writing Identity Crisis to my Prodigal soundtrack and could never get into the groove. There’s no way I could use my Cowboy Complications soundtrack to write Fallen. With my soundtrack playing, I can usually get into the feel of the story no problem.
This summer I discovered incense. I have to be careful. Some of it is so strong it gives me a headache and that doesn’t help much on the writing front. But if I find the right scent, that helps too.
Finally is place. I wrote my last book sitting at the dining room table. I tried the same thing with Identity Crisis, but it just didn’t work. Maybe that’s because it’s such a different book. I don’t know.
I tried sitting in my chair with the laptop. No good. I tried using the desktop computer. Still no good.
FInally I pulled my computer chair into the bedroom and found my place. I moved the chair into the livingroom and discovered it’s the chair not the place. For Identity Crisis, the chair is the key.
I don’t know if other people go through this or not.
I’m sure I could write without he chair and music if I had to, but those things help me get into the story faster.

The ever-changing characters

I’m working on my new story, determined to write through the suckage to find the excellence. To give the girls in the basement their chance to work. It’s been interesting. One thing I’ve noticed with Identity Crisis is how much my characters want to change. That fact was rammed home when I read Mary F’s blog and saw how concrete, how real, her heroine’s are. My new heroine Callah is somewhat real, but not absolute. And she keeps doing things that make me wonder who are you?!
This weekend our speaker Evelyn Vaughn talked about the importance of making the characters real. I’ve decided to write through this. To see where the story goes. To get it down on paper then go back and revise the heck out of it. I think I’ve figured out a major issue already. Callah’s not exactly strong when the story starts. She’s let people walk all over her. Co-dependence is her middle name. And she’s working on that. The fact that her life is suddenly in danger just forces her to work on it a little more than she planned.
I’m planning on a major writing day today. I’m going to let Callah call the shots, move the story where she wants it to go. I know the end. I know why things happen the way they do. But Callah needs some growing room and I’m going to give it to her.

the best part about writing romance

There’s nothing easy about writing this latest book. I submitted it on proposal. The editor asked for it. I thought I’d spit it out in a couple weeks.
But that’s not how it worked.
This summer I wrote a ton. Several proposals. An entire single title. But I raised the bar. I know it’s a cliche, but it’s the truth. The last book I wrote was real. And it was deep. And it challenged me in ways I never thought possible. So now I’m working on a completely different type of book and I realize I’ve got a great story but for the last month I haven’t been able to write it.
It’s scared the heck out of me.
I don’t know if it’s the stress from work, the fact that it’s suspense and it’s plotted. That it has several bigger book themes running in this condensed word count. I don’t know.
I suspect it’s the last five years of rejections. 🙂
But tonight, I took the book back. At first I hated everything I wrote. But within a few Ozzy songs I was back on track.
I left my characters in an impossible situation. (Which I HAVE to rectify tomorrow!)
I love writing fiction.
It’s so much fun to create a heroine who’s discovering she used to be kick butt and she wants that back. And it’s a blast to write a guy who never thought much about himself but suddenly he’s in this hero position and he kind of likes it.
And it’s fun to recreate the emotions of falling in love.
The danger added to this one just ups the stakes.
I added a new character tonight. He was sitting at the diner when my couple walked in a month ago. He watched them awhile, then got up and left. He looked just like the marshal on Pale Rider (one of the best movies ever). He’d been in that diner for a month telling me he was a part of the story and I was trying to tell him to shut up–I only have 70k words. He needed to go away.
Stubborn man. He refused.
He was right.
I love it when stuff like that happens.

Music makes the Books Go Round

Okay. Here’s the deal. I’ve really hated my heroine. I liked her to begin with, but somewhere around page 57 she became a victim. A whiny victim at that. I wanted to knock her off myself, but there’s some rule about not killing your main characters in romance, so I was stuck with this vapid creature who was driving me insane page after page after endless page.
And let’s face it. If she’s driving me crazy, the editor’s not going to love her either. I could see the writing on the proverbial wall: Dear author. Thanks but no thanks. Your heroine needs a spine. Your hero should’ve run off with the waitress in chapter one and let the bad guys take care of business. Yada. Yada. Yada.

Then for some reason I had a magic moment of clarity. Callah’s problem was Enya. Or maybe it was ocean waves and thunderstorm.
I’m not sure.
But I do know the minute I loaded Ozzy, Van Halen, Journey, REO Speedwagon and Heart onto my iTunes playlist and started working, Callah completely changed. This gal’s got guts. She’s tough. She’s sexy. And she’s more than enough woman to handle poor Riley. He’s a little on the frustrated side right now. It’s perfect.
The bad guys are definitely going down now. They’re going to wish they’d never even started this little game of murder and mayhem.
And that editor better get ready.
Because this book rocks. Literally.