Sunday, October 29, 2006

Just in time!!!!

I JUST THIS MINUTE finished the serious revision I was doing on "Star Sons" - POV problems are worked out, chapters have been divided differently, writing has been heightened, deepened, intesified and I have not counted the total words. The total chapters will be 52, I think. I need to renumber the chapters after dividing chapter 5 into three chapters long after moving ahead. To avoid any MORE confusion, I kept the numbering system the same. Now I'll go back and straighten out those problems and see how many thousands of words I've gone beyond my 120,000 goal! Ack! But first, maybe I'll ride my horse if the arena's dried out enough (we've had rains of biblical proportions recently!)

Now the decks are cleared for me to concentrate on my Nano project, which will be the sequel to "Star Sons." I'll just count up the words I've already written and write 50,000 words beyond that to earn my "winner" icon! That's the plan, anyway!

Friday, October 27, 2006


WHEW! The break I took to whine on here and putter around online was a GREAT help! As soon as I went back to the section of chapter 39 that had me stumped, I saw the solution! And it was EASY!!!!!!!!!! YAAAAY!

This whole experience is just testimony to the benefits of taking breaks!! Procrastination can be a good thing if you do it right!!

Change in plans

Well, that story I came up with for Nano has been shelved for the time being. I am actually STRESSING about not getting any writing done on my second novel, with all the editing I'm doing on the first. So, the Nano novel will be "Star Sons Book 2" - I need to think of a title, oh well. At least while trying to work out what to do for Nano, I realized I want to do my father's WWII memoirs as a screenplay. There's something else to work on in the future. But first I want to finish at least the first two books of "Star Sons"!!!! So "Star Sons II" is the Nano book. Good. Decision made, stressing over that is finished now. Yay.

Talk about stress. I'm quite frustrated with my POV problem in SS - I have some scenes where I want to see into *both* brothers' heads - that's one of the interesting things about having TWO main characters/heroes, IMO, seeing things from both points of view, but everyone who knows more about writing than I do tells me "Nope! Can't do that! One POV per scene! That's ALL!" Argh. I'm up to chapter 39 now (formerly chapter 17) in revisions and have the problems fixed, including a major rewrite of chapter 2 (so now two versions exist and will continue to do so until I decide which I like better.) Actually, the chapter I'm on should be #42, because I decided yesterday to divide chapter 5 into three chapters - so now those files are "Chapter 5," "Chapter 5a (will be 6)," and "Chapter 5b (will be 7)." Renumbering all the chapters and making certain I don't erase any by mistake will be another nightmare. But don't worry, I have everything backed up.

Maybe part of my stress is that it's been raining so long. I HATE HATE HATE gray days. And I'm stuck at home because we have workmen installing something (a two day job) and I can't leave. I'd like to just go to the grocery store, y'know? Just a change of scene, see some people, that kind of thing, but no, I'm stuck here. Ah well, I'll survive. I'd survive better if it wasn't gray and soggy outside!! *sigh*

Pardon my whining. The news isn't all bad - the revisions really SING! But it's so HARD getting them there. Writing is FUN! Revising is hell.

Saturday, October 21, 2006


A lot has changed since my last post. I've been working on the problems in "Star Sons" and am now up to chapter 20 (which used to be chapter 10 - some chapters have been broken into two parts, one into three, others left as they were; the POV problems are being worked out; and I'm polishing the socks off of everything as I go). I've come up with a story idea for Nano - just the characters, setting and ending so far (which is how most of my novels start out). I've tried every kind of "outlining" or "scene planning" or "plot diagramming" system I've heard of recently and every single one of them blocks me entirely. But put a blank computer screen in front of me and a cooperative keyboard at my fingertips, and the words just fly! So I'm not too worried (she said hopefully! LOL!). I hope my story idea is "enough" to spin a novel out of, but we'll see as I go along!

I tried to write "Star Sons" conservatively (meaning "tightly" - not a lot of words, not following every possible story thread that presents itself) because I know I can write TONS of words in a very short time. Now I'm not worrying so much about keeping the word count down (I have deleted an entire scene and tighten some others so far). It was 115,000 words before I started this draft of it. Hopefully I won't go over 120,000, but with the editing I'm doing as I go along, the word counts aren't varying TOO much -- so far -- hopefully!

The Nano novel will be a completely different thing, not part of the "Star Sons" saga. I'm frustrated about not having time to work on the second novel, which is SCREAMING to get out, but I want the first one polished while I have all the things I want to fix fresh in my mind. I can't do the second one as my Nano novel because you're not supposed to work on anything that's already started, and I have the first two chapters and some of the climax already written for "Star Sons II" (whatever its title may be. . .).

"Star Sons" is being critted on now and Boris and Pyx, in particular, have been a great help so far. It's amazing the things I think readers don't really need to see that the people who read it WANT to see. I'll have to be careful about that, because fulfilling such desires in readers is what made my HP novels go to 50 page chapters and over a million words for the two novels together! I can't be that "generous" with "Star Sons" or no publisher will ever take it.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

A new direction???

As I just said in a reply to Sherri's NaNoWriMo comment, I learned at Context that stories with male protagonists are rare in the YA market, so they should have a better chance of selling there. I hadn't planned on aiming my story at the YA market. The second novel will have some sex in it (dunno how far I'm gonna go with that, how much I'm gonna show, but it's there), but I'm told sex and violence aren't a problem in YA books. I suppose I have some research to do to see what's acceptable in the YA market. My heroes start out at 16 and 19, and are 17 and 20 by the end of the book. I don't know if that's too old for the YA market or not. I guess I'd better find out!

Another thing I learned at Context was that I REALLY enjoy screenwriting and it comes easily to me! So that's something I plan to explore!

And then there's the technical stuff I learned there, which means I'm rewriting "Star Sons" completely to fix some things that can't be just fixed here and there - the whole book needs to be gone through with a fine-toothed comb to get all these things correct. I have to tighten up some POV issues, change where some of my chapters break, etc. OH boy. . .such fun. . .argh. . . . And NaNoWriMo is coming soon and I have NO IDEAS. Well, I have a few, but still, this stuff with my novel has me so distracted, I can't think of anything else right now. It will all work out in time, I'm sure. I just have to keep plugging away at it.

Friday, October 06, 2006

I'm off!

I'm off to Columbus, Ohio, for the Context 19 writers' conferences. They were considerate enough to ensure the conferences didn't overlap, so I signed up for ALL of them! Critiques of the first couple of chapters of my novel by my peers and some pros; a screenwriting workshop; paranormal romance workshop; etc., etc. And they're roasting author Mike Resnick Saturday evening, too. Should be fun!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


Well, I'm gonna have a go at writing a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. I've signed up for the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). My participant icon is SUPPOSED to be on here - I tried to upload it. We'll see if it "took" or not!! Oh, and I joined the Dayton NaNoWriMo group - I'll try to get to their meetings. It will be nice to have a face-to-face writing group to meet with regularly - I think! (Never having been part of one, I have no idea if it will be helpful or just give me more to be confused about! :))

Meanwhile, I'm busy re-editing and polihsing my novel, working on a new query letter to go to a new set of agents (8 rejections out of 11 queries so far - time to move on to the next ones on the list). I'm not discouraged - I know I aimed high (I queried the best-known fantasy agencies who were looking for new authors. Now it's time to move down a tier, I guess. I didn't really expect any of these guys to take me on, but hope does spring eternal and all that!)

I have several ideas rattling around in my head for the NaNoWriMo project. I have no clue which one will be the one I work on, but at least I have more than one idea -- if one doesn't work out, I can do another!

New writing boards I'm enjoying:, I'm also enjoying the Context-19 writer's workshops message boards and reading assignments (the scripts we have in our reading list are awesome! "Braveheart," "Pirates of the Caribbean," "The Princess Bride" and "Superman" are the ones I've chosen to read of the list offered. These are early drafts of each script, I believe. It's amazing to read them and know how different each one became from its early draft. I'm looking forward to Context this weekend!