Monday, March 18, 2013

One and (not) done

I finished the first major revision of my novel last night. This morning I immediately jumped back in and began cleaning things up. Little things like making sure that I'm following the rules for eventual manuscript submission, and big things, like making sure that I'm not using a dozen words to say what should only take five.

It's been an interesting transition, coming from a place where the constant upward motion of my word count was a point of glee. Now the opposite occurs - as my word count falls from 66- to 65- to 64- to 63-thousand words, I feel that same glee knowing that I'm making the remaining words stronger. I'm forcing myself to send the draft over to beta readers without doing a third run-through, because like many beginning authors, I can probably go through and re-edit until I wheeze out my last breath.

That got depressing.

Lest I be concerned about leaving this world behind, as I go through on this second revision and figure out exactly what my characters are supposed to be doing and saying, the sequel is already developing in my head. Which is great, because I'm not ready to say goodbye Elleigh, Zee, and Officer Ray just yet. Oh no, we need another 60k words together, at least.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Book Rec: "The Selection"

I read a lot, too. I had every intention of doing some writing on the plane, but I've been holding onto this book for several weeks now just WAITING to open it up and read it while on vacation. Plus I shoved my laptop bag into the overhead compartment and it also had all my writing notebooks in it.

So instead I devoured "The Selection" by Kiera Cass and uh mah gawd y'all. I was blown away. I was a little hesitant at first because I haaaaaaate any and all dating reality shows (including dating reality shows featuring people with whom I used to be friends). But if all dating reality shows were as well-written as "The Selection" I might actually consider watching them. (Not really.)

In the novel, the selection refers to the televised reality event wherein Prince Maxon must choose his bride from 35 selecteds. We follow America Singer, a musician from Carolina province, as she (spoiler alert) is selected and goes to the capitol city to "vie" for Prince Maxon's heart. I was a little iffy about the subject matter - I'll admit - but I downloaded the Kindle sample and after I zipped through the few chapters I was allowed I immediately purchased the book and then purchased the unpublished (at the time) "The Prince," which like Veronica Roth's "Free Four," is a look into the story from our male hero's eyes. (It was also delightful.)

Much like other *ahem* reality show genre'd novels I've read, this book has an engaging lead character who is as awkward as I am, a cast of likable supporting characters (including characters who may even seem more likable than our heroine), and a hero who in my head is played by Ryan Gosling. Take my advice and read this book. And while you do, picture America looking like Castle's Molly Quinn (and then do yourself a favor and picture her dad as this rakish gentleman).

(picture obviously from

Sunday, March 10, 2013


This blog post has been bouncing around in my head for quite a while, which is going to be my excuse for shying away from writing in a blog that nobody actually reads anyway. I've been working in earnest to better develop my characters. I'm using background exposition, dialog, and action to do this, and I'm enjoying where this new information about my characters is taking me and this novel. I also like the direction that this new information is taking the novel.

Better yet, I'm feeling more and more confident with the novel. As I flesh things out I have more and more instances where I can sit back and be proud of what I've done. I'm also finding that in a lifestyle full of revelry and merriment, hanging out with girlfriends, and cleaning up at pub trivia, I'm at my best when I'm sitting in front of my laptop and fleshing out my characters. I feel at my best, at my most comfortable, the most alive when I'm developing my characters. This feels like personal character development - I'm developing my me.

My 40-hour a week job leaves me cranky and crotchety and hating the world. It feels good to come "home" to something that I love and that I feel like I'm genuinely good at. I feel better and more like myself when I'm working on my novel, so even if it never goes anywhere, I'll still have gotten the world out of writing it.