THE END. And book 2 is off to my editor

I did it. I finished my second novel, book 2 of the Deadglass Trilogy. I love these characters and this world, but can I say that 11 months is too long to spend working on a single book? These last two months have been great in forcing me to make dedicated time to write; there is nothing like a deadline to get the creative juices flowing. For my next book, the 3rd and final novel of the Deadglass Trilogy, I plan to spend the first month PLOTTING, the next three months writing, and an easy two final months to edit. I’ve been a panster, but it would be so much easier to plot. Recently author Rachel Aaron wrote an excellent piece on how she writes 10k a day (10K EVERY DAY??!?!!?!?!) based on knowing exactly where the scene is going and what needs to happen first. Since I wasted a lot of time writing scenes that got thrown out with Hearts of Shadow, I really, really want to try her method of how to plot a novel in 5 steps.

Do you plot? Do you have a method that works wonders for recovering pantsers? I’m going to use Cherry Adair’s plotting board too. Wish me luck.

Meanwhile, my editor sent me my very first copyedits for the short story Hearts of Fire that will debut as an ebook in July 2012. It’s a prequel to Hearts of Darkness. Copyedits make it all seem more real. I expect Hearts of Darkness copyedits in a few weeks too. Busy, busy December.

I still need a shiny new blog design, but who has the time? 😉

Thor and Writing

I’m switching it up this week, obviously, as yesterday I wrote about a fabulous book you should buy and today I’m talking about writing. Rules are made to be broken and all. Last night Mr. Kira and I went on a hot date to see Thor. I love comic book movies, especially when they are well done. The Shadow and The Phantom were favorites when I was a kid. I’m not a fan of the Sin City type movies, which are visually appealing until they turn gruesome. Thor was excellent. They had a challenge keeping the characters in their silly costumes without making it too farcical. Here are the top three reasons Thor worked:

1. The Hero’s Journey:

Classic story arc, with Thor showing remarkable transformation from egotistical, rash boy to wise, humble warrior. He won the audience’s support by showing loyalty to his friends and family early on (His Save-the-Cat moment). I should start doing point-by-point plots of movies like this.

2. Complex Villain:

No Snidely Whiplash here. The villain had hopes and dreams that the audience could connect to, and suffered betrayal and loss of identity that we could sympathize with. I know he comes back in the sequel (The Avengers) because we saw him in the teaser at the end of the credits. I hope he gets redeemed, because I still want him to have his HEA.

3. Well Motivated:

The inhabitants of earth (Jane & co) acknowledged the silliness of certain situations, behaviors and costumes and questioned their actions. They had motivations to make taking in a delusional, violent man somewhat believable. I didn’t get the sense that the characters were engaging in TSTL (Too Stupid To Live) moments.

The eye candy didn’t hurt either. 😉

Have you seen Thor? What did you think?

Writing Getaway to PDX and Afternoon Tea

Last Wednesday to celebrate my first sale and to get a much needed writing retreat, my Critique Partner and I took the train to Portland (Oregon) and back. We got up super early to take the 7:30 am train, which took about 3 and a half hours. Sleepiness impeded my writing ability, and the coffee on the train was crap, but I still wrote around 2,000 words on the first leg of the journey.

The weather in Portland was overcast, but dry, which in the Pacific Northwest is considered fairly decent weather. We walked to Powell’s–a book mecca for those of you unfamiliar with the place. The romance section has been moved into the cafe area, so while we had a snack and wrote we had a fine view of the shelves our books will someday grace. I forgot to take a picture.

Powell’s, unfortunately, does not have a nursing facility for the public, so we had to leave in search of greener pastures. Nordstroms came to my rescue. This was my very first day away from the baby, but as we are still nursing I had to find a place to pump. Nursing in public I don’t have a problem with; pumping in public is another story. Mooooooo!

We walked to the historic Heathman Hotel where we had a celebratory afternoon tea. My CP and I are huge afternoon tea aficionados. We take every opportunity to celebrate with afternoon tea: birthdays, page goals, contest wins, rejections, and just because. Our favorite place in Seattle is the Queen Mary Tea Room. This was my first trip to the Heathman. The ambiance was very English with dark wooden paneling, a giant open fireplace, and a large ornate chandelier. Tea was excellent, and we ate ourselves silly. The scones, in particular, were scrumptious. I had a vegetarian selection and English Breakfast tea. I should have written down the menu options. They included cucumber sandwiches, homemade marshmallow, and chocolate cake.

 

We wrote some more, and walked back to the train station, where we, you guessed it, wrote more. All in all I wrote 5,000 words, which I think is a record for me. It was a fabulous time.

One Upon a Time…

…there was a girl who liked to make up stories (who doesn’t?). She was ship wrecked on deserted islands and built tree houses out of vines in the deep jungle (equipped with mysterious and environmentally friendly hot-holes in the jungle floor to cook on), tracked international jewel thieves for the FBI (and sometimes the reverse), and led troops to battle the forces of darkness in petty fiefdoms high above the clouds. She thought, sometimes, about writing these grand adventures down on paper, but there were always too many princes to save from fire breathing dragons.

After too many years fighting briars down multiple wrong paths–*cougheconomicscough*–she found an enchanted tome (AKA Outlander) that transported her to far away Scotland with dashing and dreamy men in kilts. “This!” she thought to herself. She signed up for her first writing conference and set forth to do battle with the blank page.

The right path is not smooth. It has rocks and wicked witches and trolls under the bridge. It has giants that tried to stomp on her dream and alluring fairies who tried to lure her toward some other shiny, sparkly item. She fought on. Hurdle after hurdle. Rejection after rejection. Motivated by red-haired fairy godmothers in orange feather boas who shouted “FINISH THE DAMN BOOK!”

So she did. She pitched it at the next Emerald City Writers Conference and waited. And waited. And won some writing contests. And sent out queries and manuscripts to interested editors and agents. And waited some more.

Sometimes she thought writing was the easy part.

But then finally she got THE CALL, slew the dragon, and rescued the prince.

Now comes the hard part. Welcome to my shiny new blog. This is the story of a newby author. Hold on to your top hats, ladies. Here there be monsters.