Showing posts from February, 2011

WineLit and Eight Hours of Editing


Yes, it's a brand new literary sub genre, WineLit, coined by Talli Roland.

I've been editing like crazy - eight hours yesterday (just like Theresa did!), after slacking off for two days last week - and I'm at 63,050 words of 141,969.

Still can't seem to cut the words down, but I moved a lot of scenes around - again! - and set up a calendar of events; the story moves from 3 August 1492 to 20 April 1493, and I think I've finally figured out Rosa's birthday: 12 October. With less than a month to go in the Round of Words in 80 Days, I've still got about 78,000 words to edit; I need to do at least 3,000 words per day, while I've only been doing about 1,000.

Hence the need for WineLit.

One of the scenes I edited yesterday features a long night of friendship, laughter, and wine drinking. Of course, there's romance involved. I meant to post it here, but as it's rather long, have posted it to my Facebook author page instead; a WineLit snip from O…

Passing on Awards and Passing on Editing

riday! Oh frabjous day!

A long night of editing, followed by a full Saturday of editing and then - er, wait a moment, I need to check my nautical chart again. How long does it take to sail from Malta to Selonika? Well, as long as I have Google up, let me just open a new tab and check my email...

It's midnight? How is that possible? I was only just getting started!

I've had a couple of days of slacking off from editing, and you know what happens when your butt's not consistently in that chair - your mind wanders even more. I swear I'm shutting everything but the word processor down in half an hour. I've got to have some progress to report for #ROW80 on Sunday.

Thank you to my over 200 followers! If I haven't followed you back yet, it's because I couldn't find a linky on your profile - please leave a comment and let me know how to find your website or blog.

And to Trish and Alison for these two awards!

Let's see, I've got to share seven things about mys…

Does Your Character Regret Anything?

emi's giving away the Cherry on Top Life is Good Award to everyone!

Recipients are to share with everyone things about their pasts that they would change. I'm with Jemi on this, though; I don't regret anything from the past that's led me to where I am. So let me see if I can do this from my character Rosa's point of view (from the novel Out of the Water, set in 1492-3 in Spain and Turkey):

1. I'd let my father and older brother do the rescuing. If I hadn't barged in, acting like a boy, I wouldn't have fallen down the cliffside in the first place.2. Of course, then I wouldn't have met Brother Arcturus and gone down to Palos, where I discovered who my real father was. Still, I might have been happier not knowing. And if I hadn't been on my own, I wouldn't have been captured and questioned by the Inquisition.3. At least I escaped - right into the arms of my husband to be. Of course, I didn't know that at the time. If all of the terrible thin…

Teenreads Ultimate Reading List Choices

ven though I'm working hard at a historical romance at the moment, and much of my research and side reading is geared toward that, my go-to books are always Middle Grade and Young Adult.

I love the way they crystallise events and problems, focusing only on what's most important, and the way strong characters shine through clearly, without lots of emotional baggage cluttering their approaches to life - thinking here, for instance, of John Green's Looking for Alaska, and how straightforward the characters are, yet how much depth there is to them at the same time.

I thought of this yesterday when I received my copy of Dear Canada: Hoping for Home - featuring short stories by the likes of Kit Pearson, Jean Little and others (I know I know, I really Do Not need to be adding to my To Be Read pile!) - and realised that I'm willing to drop everything else just to read it.

Also, the folks at Teenreads have just released their Ultimate Teen Reading List of 400 books! Some of my …

First Crusader Challenge, ROW80 and Tolkien versus Fantasy

ey there fellow crusaders, and partners in the Round of Words in 80 Days!

My goal for the Round of Words was to edit at least a page of my novel, Out of the Water, every day. I'm on about page 62 of 178, 54,808 words of 136,787 - and the finished novel is only supposed to be around 120,000 words! Slacked off a little here and there last week (pub quiz, anyone?) but at least was writing missing scenes on pen and paper when not editing.

The first crusader challenge was posted on Friday! Here are my replies, which include a secret, a lie, an interesting quirk, an annoying habit, one of my best character traits, and one of my favourite things in the whole world:
I never bloviate but I crack my knuckles. I listen well to others. My hero is not a dashing blade; he's a wandering ragged stranger, but he's kind. I can't wriggle my nose like a rabbit, though I can bend my pinkie all the way to the back of my hand. I had a dream once where my sister, my grandmother and I were fuli…

Welcome Crusaders and New Music from the Whisky Trench Riders

elcome fellow crusaders!

It's such a treat to meet so many new bloggers at once. Thanks so much to Rachael for organizing it, and to Zan Marie and the authors at All The World's Our Page for calling my attention to it.

I'm off to a Cheese Festival this afternoon – at which wine may or may not – but hopefully will – be served – and before I go, I thought I'd do a little introductory post about myself and what I write.

I'm sorted into two groups for the crusade, the MG/YA group and the romance group. Seems a little disparate, no? In fact, romance is my first love, when I write novels, and MG is something I'm more used to tackling when I write short stories. My last complete novel, The Face of A Lion, was the first full length MG I ever wrote.
When thirteen-year-old Austin's parents drag him along to a villa in Turkey they've rented for the summer, he hunkers down and counts the days until he can get back home to his friends in England. But that's befor…

Bernard Pivot Blogfest, Many Links and an ROW80 Update

veryone doing the Round of Words in 80 Days could use a bit of chocolate, right? Does anyone have any to share, leftover from Monday, perhaps?

I've entered that cycle - slack off, feel guilty, slack off some more. Ah, I shouldn't be too hard on myself - I got most of some very important dialogue written last week, and edited a scene featuring one of my villains (the hero's father) and shared it as my exercise for February on the Compuserve Forum. Then I did some random copy editing this morning, and it was so much fun rereading scenes from the story!

Along the line of that, Susan has a very inspiring post on nourishing your creative spirit.

And Nicole's hosting a Bernard Pivot Blogfest! I've answered a few of these questions before, but here goes:

What is your favorite word? Wariangle

What is your least favorite word? Like ("like, OMG, LOL!")

What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally? Creatively - writing a story that's flowing well; spi…

ROW80 Check In, Villains and Len's Contest

orget this weekend. And I do mean forget it. Let me see, did I get any editing done? No... And that, of course, was my main goal for the Round of Words in 80 Days. Writing only counts when I'm creating scenes that were missing, and that's what I did on Wednesday and Thursday - yet I haven't even typed those up!

I know what the roadblock is about though - I need to write a scene featuring my villain, mainly because it's a necessary scene in the novel that needs major editing (I cringed at how out of place half the dialogue and most of the action is in the scene as written; I hadn't reread it since I first wrote it nearly half a year ago) and partly because I'd like to submit it for this month's writer's exercise on the Compuserve Forum.

And the roadblock? Well, it's not a romance scene is it? And therein lies the rub...

My hero loves the heroine (let Joanna Bourne tell you why) and the romantic scenes come so easily. But antagonism? The heroine standi…

Procrastinating With Rowan Atkinson

ame home late tonight to find that there was nothing on TV, as usual. Does watching the first season of Blackadder for the umpteenth time count as research?

There's the wonderful line: "Let all those who go to don armour tomorrow, remember to go before they don armour tomorrow."

Somewhere in there among all the episodes is one of my favourite lines: "Fortune vomits on my eiderdown once more."

Ah, who am I kidding? All the lines are quotable.

I feel as though I'm slacking off, yet truth be told I penned a few thousand words of dialogue between yesterday and today. All of my dialogue scenes start off the same way, as two or three talking heads in a void.

All along the margin I scribble "need tags!" and other notes like "link to later scene in Selonika" or "Arcturus makes a face here". Somehow, I can't seem to describe the characters' actions and focus on their words at the same time, though I do visualise their faces and …

ROW80, Sarah's Key and Brian Jacques

etween dinner, editing, sleep, work, and dinner again, I just spent every free moment of the last 24 hours reading Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay. A brilliant, moving, absorbing book set in France, the US and Italy, 1942 and 2002. If you haven't read it yet, do.

On page 60 of 180, 48,527 words of 139,030, of Out of the Water and I feel like I'm not getting anywhere. Still sticking to my original A Round of Words in 80 Days goal of editing at least a page a day but the MS is still littered with close to 3,000 square brackets.

Turns out Misha's going through the same thing, and her advice is sound. One word at a time, that's the only way.

At least I'm still in love with my story and my characters, and their love for each other. If I have such a pleasant time seeing Rosa and Baha together, living through their adventures, I simply have to make sure I write their story in such a way as to give everyone else that joy.

Meanwhile, in keeping with my series of Why Do…

ROW80 and X Marks the Spot

is for...

eXactly ten pages I've edited in the last week

X thousand words that I've added to the novel. I didn't do it on purpose, I swear!

X hundred words that I've successfully cut, finding some true gems along the way (a lingering character name for instance, when I thought I'd Exacto-knifed him out of that scene months ago).

X more books I just added to my To Read pile, having started a book club with some close friends. First up, Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay.

X scenes and snippets and exercises and books for review I've volunteered to read. So far enjoying Pilgrim for Love by Anna Austen Leigh. And she's writing in my time period, too!

eXactly X major items on my Writer's Life To Do list. (Let's not think about the Work Life To Do list or the Knitter's Life To Do list. And let's ignore completely the Housework To Do list.)

X is the hour that I'd like to be asleep by every night so that I stop getting distracted every five minute…

Second Writers' Platform Building Crusade and A Book Review

oin me and Zan Marie and Tara and the authors at All The World's Our Page as we join Rachael Harrie's writers' crusade, from now until April 30th.

"Basically, the Crusade is a way to link those within the writing community together with the aim of helping to build our online platforms. The Crusaders are all bloggers in a similar position, who genuinely want to pay it forward, make connections and friends within the writing community, and help build each others' online platforms while at the same time building theirs. Last year (my First Crusade) we had 55 Crusaders, many of whom have become great blogging friends. We saw our followers skyrocket and the comments on our posts increase, and had fun taking part in Crusade Challenges as well."
My latest review, for Ellen Margret's Fairies Forever, is up on the One Hundred Romances Project!

And something else I just noticed - Elena's done a recap of all the things that were wrong/repetitive/not exciting with …

Editing, Procrastination, and Check In on ROW80

hee! Plugging along on edits. I've done about 52,000 words out of 136,000 and still have 2,576 square brackets to clear up.

I named my two villains yesterday!

Three IFs:

If you're looking for an author to support, head on over to India Drummond's for ways to help. Her novel Ordinary Angels launches in less than two months!

If you're further along than I, working on your query, here are all the successful queries featured on Guide to Literary Agents. Somewhere in the middle is Hélène Boudreau's letter for Real Mermaids Don't Wear Toe Rings - and guess what? There are two sequels for that book coming soon!

And if all you want to do is procrastinate... Pillow Astronaut offers a widget for calculating your weight on other planets. Just one more reason Pluto is my favourite planet.