Thursday, August 31, 2006

Hurricane Party

We're battening down the hatches here, preparing for Tropical Storm Ernesto. Dozens of schools are already announcing cancelations and delays for tomorrow. Right now it's dreary, but not particularly ominous. I may or may not leave the house tomorrow. (I'm leaning toward not -- four day weekend!)

Meanwhile, I'm baking a cake and I stocked up on movies. I'm really excited about Unveiled.

And of course, I'll be using the time to write. I need to edit first. I made some progress over the last two weeks (despite all the insanity that has been going on here). I'm caught up to the scene that I jumped ahead and wrote a few weeks back. But the last three chapters need some heavy editing to fix the flow.

And Winston would like y'all to know that he reads your comments, and yes, he is also an aspiring novelist....

Jarron Ennis said...

Cute pooch! And yeah, I just can't see how you get any writing done. Looks like the Poochmeister is trying to write his own novel....

current word count: 49,721

Sunday, August 20, 2006

negative progress

Yes, the current word count is correct. But the good news is three-fold:

1) The cuts were REALLY necessary and I'm much happier with the beginning of the story. There was way too much filler and description, and now we get to the action much faster.

2) I actually cut around 3500 words. So while there was a net loss, I did manage to get farther in the story. I wrote around 700 words tonight after the glut of editing. I'm well on my way in the next chapter, and I'm hoping that tomorrow will be a very productive day.

3) I got some REALLY nice comments in the critiques I got back today. Along with the incredibly helpful constructive criticism that led to the gutting of the first two chapters, there were some fantastically complimentary comments. That definitely gave me something to hang on to when I was scrapping large swaths of writing.

current word count: 41,701

Friday, August 18, 2006

thursday already?

I finally finished chapter sixteen, which was killing me. I don't know why it was so hard. It wasn't a critical chapter, but it was like pulling teeth to get it finished. I let it sit for a few hours and went back over it, and it's actually better than I thought. (Which isn't saying much.) So at least I can be thankful it is finished. I'm looking forward to moving on, though I admit to being a little nervous that the next chapter will be just as hard.

In the meantime, I've sent the first two chapters off to be critiqued. I'm nervous but very excited to see what kind of feedback I get.

Lizzie and I have a new joint venture that I'm excited about as well. Now's definitely not the best time for me to be taking on a new project, but it's too perfect to pass up.

current word count: 43,442

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


It's been far too long since I updated, which is really indicative of the fact that it's been far too long since I made any substantial progress. The last week has been crazy. Among other stresses, I finished my last week at work and gained a roommate.

The good news is, I now have one week until my classes start and ten days until I start my new job. That's lots of time for writing! I need to buckle down and get back on track.

current word count: 42,607

Friday, August 11, 2006

quote of the day

lizzlecc: apparently I have made out with someone who performed at Lilith Fair. Of the two of us, I was pretty sure you were going to reach that mark first


The past two days have been a total bust. I've been overwhelmed with real life stress and utterly unmotivated to write. I managed to eek out a couple of pages tonight, but not enough to count for much. I need to do another big push this weekend, but writing is a secondary priority since I have to prepare for the arrival of my new roommate on Sunday.

current word count: 41,250

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

caught up

Chapter two is complete and added into the main manuscript. I managed to get across a lot of introductory information that really had no home before, which is exciting. Hopefully the chapter doesn't read like one giant exposition. I did some general cleaning up of some earlier chapters as well. No forward progress, but there's only so much you can do in one night. And I still don't really know what's going to happen in the next chapter. Maybe the inspiration will come to me in a dream tonight. One can hope.

current word count: 40,893

take two

Common consensus seems to be that I'm doing a disservice to the prologue by labeling it as such since many editors/readers dislike prologues. The fear seems to be that many people will skip or skim it because they will think it's unimportant.

My argument has always been that it needs to be a prologue partially because it is set a few months before the rest of the narrative, but moreso because the POV shifts in each chapter and Chapter 1 is also from Amy's POV. I had toyed with an intermediate chapter from Brett's POV but couldn't think of what should go in that chapter and didn't want to waste space.

The good news is, I had a brainstorm today for that section. I realized that the prologue is only 1700 words, roughly half of my other chapters. If I write another chapter of that legnth, I can have the first two chapters be shorter, introductory chapters so that the reader can get to know each character individually. Then once they meet, the chapters can be longer.

I'm actually thrilled, because now that I'm half way through the story, I can think of lots of things that belong in Brett's introductory chapter. So my job for today is to write what will now be Chapter 2.

lucky thirteen

Thirteen chapters down! I would have liked to write a bit more tonight, but I have no idea where I'm going next, and I think I need to sleep on it. I have a short list of possibilities for the next two chapters, I just need to figure out how to organize those scenes. I made decent progress tonight. I think my big press this weekend really got my on the right track again.

current word count: 39,428

Monday, August 07, 2006

Distractions, part 2

Who can write when a sweet baby wants to play dress up?

Thirteen pounds of love and smiles. Happy 4-month birthday, Lauren.

Sunday, August 06, 2006


It's amazing I get anything written with these work conditions....


It was a hard push, but I did it!

In just over 48 hours, I cranked out 7,005 words. If only I could keep up that pace, I'd be done in ten days! (That sound you hear is hysterical laughter as I contemplate the possibility of maintaining this pace.)

I had plenty of momentum at the beginning, but the last 1000 words was like pulling teeth. I couldn't give up once I was that close though.

Also this weekend, my prologue was up on crapometer and I got lots of great feedback and advice. I made a bunch of tiny edits and now I feel like the prologue is finally on par with the rest of the story, which is a great feeling. It's nerve wrecking enough to feel like you have a giant weak spot, but it's even worse when that weak spot is the first thing that people (ie editors) read.

current word count: 37,555 (!!)

Saturday, August 05, 2006

progress report

Halfway through the weekend, and I'm halfway to my goal. I'm at 34,292 words and taking a short break while I figure out where I'm going next. I hope to get in a little more writing tonight and then the pressure is on for tomorrow.

In the meantime, I'm indulging myself with teeny-bopper romantic comedies (Legally Blonde and 10 Things I Hate About You) and cuddling with my sad, neglected little dog.

In other news, I have a cute new neighbor and she baked me cookies. Can't argue with that. :)

**bedtime update (2:30am)**

current word count: 35,210

Friday, August 04, 2006

goals are a good thing

After my glut of progress yesterday, today has been slow. I spent all morning/afternoon at the mall. And so far this evening all I've done is a little brainstorming.

There's no reason I can't make major progress this week. I have no plans and it's far too hot to contemplate any outdoor activity. So I'm setting an ambitious goal for myself: halfway point by Sunday at bedtime. Half of my estimated 75K words is 37,500. So I need to write approximately 7,000 words in 53 hours.

Let the games begin...

Thursday, August 03, 2006

one-track mind

I spent ALL DAY today writing and editing. Lauren was kind enough to take a long morning nap, and I only had to work a half-day, so I was home by 1pm. I wrote almost an entire chapter today, I just need to add one more conversation. Unfortunately, I jumped ahead and wrote Chapter 17 in a separate file to be added when I get to that point. So it doesn't look like I made much progress.

Chapter 17 is at 2756 words. A chunk of that (approx. 750 words) was ripped from the earlier story I mentioned in yesterday's post. It required some really heavy-duty editing, but I'm thrilled that I got to use a couple of descriptions and lines. It was definitely worth salvaging.

I'm not going to add this chapter to my current word count right now. I'll add it when I get there chronologically.

current word count: 30,550

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


Excellent update today:

I finished Chapter 10 -- a major accomplishment since that final scene was giving me fits.

I'm already over the 1000 word quota and I think I can squeeze out a few more paragraphs before bed.

And I got the nicest email today from someone who had read one of my old, old short stories that is apparently still posted online. I had forgotten all about the story and the feedback inspired me to go reread it. Upon reading it, I realized that there is a scene or two in there that is PERFECT for this novel. With just a little adapting and editing, I think I can find a home for some of those scenes. Which is exciting not only because it helps this story, but also because I really, really loved that story but had no idea what to do with it. I'm glad that part of it will find its way into something bigger and better.

current word count: 30,397

Slow but steady

Progress is slow going. Once again, I didn't hit the 1000-word quota today. I wrote about half of that, but I also did a bunch of little edits through the text. I need to stop fiddling with it and just push forward. I can revise later.

On the home front: I had another job interview today. Why is it that whatever interview Ive had most recently is the job I want? I've now got two preliminary offers and probably one more coming later this week. So at least I'm not stressed about finding a job anymore. Now I just have to decide which to take or how to arrange it so I can arrange my schedule to take more than one. I'll be so glad when all of this is settled. It will be nice to have the piece of mind, and it will be nice to come straight home from work and not have to rush off to job interviews.

current word count: 29,379

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The times, they are a-changin'

Well, not so much the times as my story, I suppose.

I did some MAJOR brainstorming for the sequel today, which required some backtracking and rewriting of this story. Melissa's name has been changed to Campbell and she's now much older and a lawyer. Her relationship with Jodie has changed too, there's still the unrequited love, but now they have a history.

And the story's new working title -- suggested by one of EE's minions -- is Learning Curves. I think that works on a lot of levels, as Brett and Amy, who are both teachers, are learning now to make a relationship work.

Speaking of the minions, tons of feedback on my query letter. Check it out.

current word count: 28,804