Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Progress at the Speed of Light...

Three more writing days have passed and I'm amazed at the progress I've made over the last while.

Wednesday didn't go quite as planned writing wise, but I did get a few things added to the main manuscript file. Friday was a different story, I managed to get over a chapter written up and by the time the guys arrived home, I was so stunned that you could have knocked me over with a feather and I was walking into walls. Figuratively, of course.

Yesterday saw a HUGE event... The first splice that was more than a page long! It was the part that I had written over the Victoria Day weekend... Now it has been tweaked/edited a LOT and I did have a couple of problems figuring out exactly HOW to lead into it - I did know exactly how the "cat is let out of the bag" so to speak, but how to get there was a mystery until I worked things out yesterday. I am now at the start of Chapter 19 and hope to get at least half of it done before the weekend, IF I can do it.

As always, things are still in rough draft at the moment even with some detailed editing/tweaking but it's pretty close to what I like to see in a first draft. What's there is pretty powerful by times and some of it may make the reader cry or smile--or both!--and if I can do that much, my work as an author is done.

The over 18 scenes have started and although there are a few "detailed" ones, there are several "fade outs"... I give the impression "something in the over 18 realm" went on but let the reader's imagination take over. Sometimes doing that is the best way to go, especially if it's a longer story like the ones I wind up writing. As it is, FP/Book 2/Untitled 8 is on the way to being just as long, if not longer than its predecessor, NR/Book 1/formerly Untitled 7... And since we all know that one is well over 200,000 words, we all know I'm writing yet another EPIC!

Oddly enough, yesterday was the 16th anniversary of my father's passing... Daddy passed away on May 28, 1997 and I was thinking about him all day... How ironic that the story I'm now working on may be in the "romance" genre, but it's not all focused on the love story... It's also about FAMILY and what it means... Odder yet is how the scene I spliced in yesterday focuses on a father-daughter bond and what it means.

I keep wondering if Universe worked things out like that, or I did it unconsciously.

I don't know, but either way, I could almost sense my dad nearby as I was working, and by times I swear I could hear his voice in my ear, telling me that I can do this... Again. 

My father won't be around to see my first book published... But I know that wherever he is, he is proud of me, and all of his children and grandchildren (three granddaughters and two grandsons), and will be patting me on the back when my books are published, even if I don't hear it directly from him. My mother is still around--thank the stars!--and she WILL see her oldest daughter become a published author, hopefully very soon.

Miss you Daddy.... xoxox

In other news, today is my son's 9th birthday! I can't believe he's nine years old already... It seems like only yesterday I was holding him in the Special Care Nursery (NICU) at the IWK Grace or staring at him through the clear walls of his incubator. He was born three weeks early and so tiny, but healthy. He came home at the age of 12 days old and was caught up weight and height wise by the time he was three years old... He's now about average height, above average weight, built like a brick wall, and one heck of an intelligent child. He's one of the top math students in his school, and recently placed second in Mental Math at a local Knowledge Festival. Keep in mind he has Autism and we've worked so hard to get him where he is today... It's not always sunshine and roses being a mother to a special needs kid, but at the end of the day, it's more than worth it to see him growing and learning about the world around him and the wonder in his big brown eyes.

Happy Birthday, J... From all of us!

Have a wonderful week everyone!
 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Late Nights Have Started...

...And it's not even summer vacation yet!

Friday was a great day for writing for me. I got over a chapter's worth of stuff added to FP/Book 2 and things are really starting to move quickly between the main characters. The over 18 stuff isn't that far off and although they ARE fighting their feelings for each other, they're starting to see it's a battle they won't win.

Another heart touching scene was added, along with some more humor and other things.

That said, when I did the initial reread/edit over the weekend, I realized I had left out something very important, something that HAS to be added in to make something else more logical. I'll be getting that written up and added sometime soon, as soon as it gels more in the brain. I was kind of rushing again because Friday's writing time was a shorter one, due to my husband having the shorter day shift that day. He has a shorter one coming up tomorrow but on Friday, I'll be making up for it. Son has an after school activity time and Hubby works the longer day shift, so I will have PLENTY of extra time to work that day. I imagine by the time Friday evening rolls around, I'll be so darn spaced out, I'll be somewhere around Jupiter or maybe even Uranus... hehehehehe!

This past weekend was the start of the summer season here in Nova Scotia and to get it going, I had my first late night writing session this past Sunday night. Hubby wasn't working on Sunday or Monday morning so I stayed up late to write.

What was written up wasn't part of the main manuscript, it's a scene that shows how far the leading lady has come with certain things and how she is coming to terms with some upheaval in her life. It's another more serious scene but it's a powerful one at the same time. It's very rough and I have to write up the lead in to it but so far so good and it's not one I'll be tossing into the scrap heap. I think it's the best stuff I've written during a late night session ever and I'm glad it's "rough draft" worthy. 

I've chucked out so much stuff that was written during those late night sessions that I was worried about this one being "not good enough", but for once I surprised myself and this one will be used in the main manuscript, with some tweaking and a lot of polishing of course.

My beloved mentor has seen it already in its rough draft, and she said it was "solid". That is a HUGE compliment in my mind and I'm so tickled she thought so. Thank you Sandra! 

I already know exactly how I'm going to lead into this part, and will be writing that up very soon, hopefully this week, either tomorrow or Friday. It isn't the first time I wrote up a scene and spliced it in (after tweaking) after all and I'll probably continue to write like that as long as I'm able to come up with new ideas for original stories. 

I'll be back with another update when things progress. 

I hope my fellow Canadians had a wonderful long Victoria Day weekend. It was cool and rainy here all weekend but it was quiet at my little house, which is the way I like it!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Zoom? *blink!*

Another writing day has come and gone and when I look at all I accomplished yesterday, I'm blinking.
"Zoom" isn't the word for it... I kinda zipped through adding a chapter's worth of stuff yesterday, plus a little more! I got the end of Chapter 13 finished and then managed to get the entirety of Chapter 14 added! 
The sweet/moving scene was finished and some necessary humor was added to lighten things up for the main characters and the reader, then things went back to the serious side for a while. The leading characters are finding out a lot more about certain things but at the same time, more questions are arising that they feel have to be answered, and not just for them. The over 18 stuff is starting to show up more and I'm hoping to get more into that either later this week or sometime next week if I can do it.
So far, the main manuscript's grand total for word count is over 68,000 words and it's not even halfway finished yet! *THUD!* Yeah, this story is turning into another EPIC like Book 1/NR did! NR took place over more than a decade from the first chapter to the final one/epilogue so I could see that one being so long, but this one has a timeline which covers about six months in the main body of the story... However, a LOT happens in those few months and there are not gaps of a month or even years between key spots, etc. I'm doing my best to cover all of them without going crazy but at the same time, without leaving anything out too. There is another 25,000 words to add, which is the build up to the grande finale, and that will be spliced in when I get to that part of the main manuscript.
Yes, another epic. Good grief. 
The ideas file has a lot more marked off as "done" but it's also getting longer as more and more ideas are hitting me, same with the "over 18 ideas" file. My main problem nowadays is that the ideas always seem to hit me when I'm either not at the computer or the guys are around so no writing for me! *SIGH*
I hope all of you have a great Wednesday and if you're a CSI fan like I am, y'all enjoy the season 13 finale... Ozzy is supposed to be guest starring on it so I KNOW it's going to be good! WOOT!   

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Revisiting and Other Things...

I don't like revisiting certain things but sometimes it's necessary, as a reminder of how far I've come with different things or how little has changed...
As a lot of my regular readers know, I have several "dead" manuscripts that I had started in the past and will probably never be finished, due to me losing the story or everything in it wasn't logical, etc. I keep those manuscripts/ideas in a special folder for my own records, and just in case I had a good idea for them that I may use in another manuscript in the future.
Well, yesterday I was working on FP/Untitled 8 and I thought I may be able to use an idea from what was "Untitled 6". I looked at the original file and thought it would work, so I did a copy/paste into a new document and started reworking it for the current manuscript. I continued on in Chapter 13 after that and didn't think much of it.
HOWEVER...
Sometimes doing something like that can bite you in the behind. I had mentioned to my mentor via PM exactly what I had used for that spot and after thinking it over, I realized it was a little too "graphic" for my books... And probably for the audience I'm hoping to have for my work. I tend to keep things somewhat toned down in the amount of "over 18" stuff I have in my stories and although I am pretty descriptive in the erotic scenes, even this particular area was a little too much for my story.
I wound up doing a rewrite on the scene in between things, to make it less so.
I let it sit for a few minutes between things in real life and reread it.
It was worse than before, way too graphic for my books and hopefully future reading audience. *SIGH*
Another rework, and it still wasn't great, so I decided to scrap the entire idea and go with something a LOT more toned down. 
It's better now, and I learned yet another lesson about my writing... Be careful of how graphic you want to get.
I thought I had learned it with that one scene I had written up for Untitled 6... The one that I was hoping to push the envelope with but wound up going into the realm of "NOT FIT FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION".
Yeah, that's the scene I was going to tweak and use for the new story... BIG MISTAKE! It didn't work whatsoever, and although the over 18 stuff in this book will be a little more "in your face" than the stuff in its predecessor (NR/Book 1), I didn't want to make it THAT bad.
Lesson learned--AGAIN... And I'm left wondering "WHAT THE DICKENS WAS I THINKING????"

It's the way I want it for a first draft now. It's a darn good thing I am NOT on a deadline for this one because with all of the rewrites, revisions, 86ing, etc, it's going to be a while before it hits Draft 2 stage, let alone ready to be sent out to any publishers
I'm also working on some things that will be inserted into the main manuscript file now and then, when the time is right. I'm not saying what it is, but it is VERY relevant to the story itself and how a character finds out a lot of things about herself and the past. I got the idea for it the other night and I started working on it yesterday. It's slow work and not the easiest to write so I'm bouncing between that file, the main manuscript file and the build up to the grand finale file to keep myself from burning out. I have the first part of it written already so that will be ready when the main file is, which will be sometime soon.
NEWS:
This past Sunday (May 5th) my beloved Mentor, Sandra Durham, released the much anticipated third book in her Keyholder's Castle Series, "Destinies"!
I did purchase a copy of it and it's on my Kindle Cloud, along with a prescreening copy on my desktop. If anyone wishes to purchase Destinies, please click HERE!
Congratulations--AGAIN--Sandra! 
Have a wonderful day everyone!   

Friday, May 3, 2013

On a Roll, and a Milestone!

Another week has gone by and things fell into place a lot more smoothly than I had hoped...
Tuesday was a writing day for me and I dove into Chapter 9, breezed through the remainder of that chapter and got into Chapter 10.
Wednesday afternoon, Hubby took our son bowling so I had a few hours to myself again. Of course, I went offline and began writing again. I finished Chapter 10 and started Chapter 11.
Today was another writing day and although I thought things would move slowly due to having a cold and the nature of this part of the manuscript, but I guess the story is really starting to suck me in because I did a lot more today than I had hoped to get done! Chapter 11 was completed before I realized it and around 12:30 p.m. Atlantic time, I did a copy and paste to splice in a scene! 
I'm not going to say what it was about, but it's one I had written up back in January over five hours and only three pages or so... The one I had a VERY strong image of it in my mind and had to work around my son's demands and him hanging around the computer because school was canceled that day. 
Now, I had to do a LOT of tweaking with it to get it to fit into the story smoothly. I had originally had it set at a location that wasn't exactly logical for the part of the province this chapter happens to be set within. So I took the time to really tweak it until it was perfect and then polished it up so everything was perfect--after I had spliced it into the main manuscript file. I didn't want to mess around with the original file itself because I wanted to have it for my own records so I waited to do the final tweaks/edits after it was added.
It looks good and after things were smoothed out and perfected, I continued on in the main manuscript file.
I'm now halfway through Chapter 12. Today alone, with the splice, I added about 11 or so pages worth of stuff!
No wonder why my eyes feel like they're being ripped out of their sockets... 
I'm not sure exactly how many pages were added this week, but I'm pretty sure it's over 20, if not closer to thirty.
No wonder why I feel like I was dragged through a knothole crossways! I managed to get a lot done this week, and I'm very pleased with all of it!
Of course, all of this stuff does need work. It is a first draft, after all, and things will be taken out, added in, etc over time and when FP goes into its second draft.
I'm thinking this story is going to be close to the length of its predecessor, and if it is, oh boy... It's going to be one heck of a duology with both books!
I haven't done a word count on the main manuscript file yet but I'd be willing to bet it's over 50,000 words, if not closer to 75,000... And that does NOT include the gem of an idea my beloved mentor shot at me back in March! *BLINK*
Yes, I can see this one being as long as its predecessor even if it does cover a much shorter time span... 
Anyway I hope y'all have a great weekend! I know I'll be avoiding looking at Word a lot due to eyestrain from working all week. Hopefully the eyes will be better by the time Monday rolls around...
~Valerie-June~