Bischofff, Bourne, Synopsis for The Charm of Time, and Swimming!

Gone swimming!

It's August and I haven't yet been in the lake, but today's the day!

In the meantime, some book bits, and a synopsis...

But first, today is Insecure Writer's Support Group Day!

This month's question: What are your pet peeves when reading/writing/editing?

Typos and grammar mistakes always catch my eye when reading. My pet peeve when writing is typos too -- I want to be able to type without errors so that my words flow as quickly on screen as they do when I'm drafting with pen and paper. As for editing... I wish I could stop overusing the same words and cliches all the time. Pushing, pulling, sliding, grazing, up, down, sitting, standing, looking, noticing out of the corner of the eye... I think going back to writing poetry would help a lot with this!

Thank you to this month's co-hosts:

I keep recommending this book to writers, so it's only fair that I mention it here: Susan Bischoff's The Story Toolkit is an invaluable, straightforward craft book. A great place to start when beginning a new story, whether you're a pantster or a plotter.

The Story Toolkit is like having a developmental editor in your pocket--someone who can ask the right questions at the right stage. It can straighten out that story you've got tangled up in your head, and smooth it out into a clear plan you can use to write a successful novel.

It does this through a series of worksheets to help you build your novel into something of ever greater complexity. It provides a framework to combat the chaos of disordered thinking and too much possibility. It teaches the dramatic structure that is the basic underpinning of most successful commercial fiction. Yet, because this is a self-guided journey, it's entirely flexible.

You're still the one in charge of your plot. You decide how complex your story will be. You decide how much planning to do before you sit down to write. But any time you get stuck, you can always go back to it for help.

This is a method that works for writing any kind of fiction. Whether your genre of choice is romance, science fiction, thriller, adventure, or any of dozens of others, popular commercial fiction of all types shares a common structure. I want to show you how to use that to build your own stories, so you never get lost in the middle again. ... The Story Toolkit will give you a method for creating compelling stories readers and publishers long to buy.

A new release! Joanna Bourne's Beauty Like the Night came out yesterday!

Séverine de Cabrillac, orphan of the French revolution and sometime British intelligence agent, has tried to leave spying behind her. Now she devotes herself to investigating crimes in London and finding justice for the wrongly accused.

Raoul Deverney, an enigmatic half-Spaniard with enough secrets to earn even a spy’s respect, is at her door demanding help. She’s the only one who can find the killer of his long-estranged wife and rescue her missing twelve-year-old daughter.

Séverine reluctantly agrees to aid him, even though she knows the growing attraction between them makes it more than unwise. Their desperate search for the girl ​unleashes treason and murder. . . and offers a last chance for two strong, wounded people to find love.

Even if you don't read romance as a genre, or historicals,or any of the other keywords under which this book falls, if you want a well-crafted story with original turns of phrase and characters with deep backstories, Joanna Bourne is an author you mustn't miss out on! I love the way the characters in each book are all connected, too, even if the stories can be read as standalones.

Severine and Raoul are masters at their game -- but even masters need help once in a while, and it's thrilling to watch these two dance around each other, reluctant to give in. I'm already looking forward to rereading this book!

One of my main ROW80 goals at the moment is to finish entering the edits for The Charm of Time, and then print it again to edit again. In the meantime, I've also gotten ahead on the synopsis, which I've shared over at the Forum: Compuserve Books and Writers Community synopsis for feedback. It starts like this:
When Christianne MORAND’s car breaks down as she’s finally headed home after a day of follow-up tests with her oncologist, it’s merely the latest disaster in a year of trouble and heartache. Yet rather than bemoan her luck or fate, she declares “I’ll make my own way,” and keeps going. In this case, up the stairs, to the office of the garage to which the tow truck has brought her car -- right into a dinner date with the attractive owner.

Rory MACDONALD, an expat Scot in Geneva, has had many a late night at work since his divorce over a year ago. While the divorce was a relief, following years of estrangement that ended after he discovered his wife’s affair, he hasn’t managed to define much of a life since. Late hours and eating takeaway at his auto body shop, weekly Skype calls with his sons who are travelling abroad, and sessions at the gym make a steady routine, but don’t offer much hope or excitement for the future. When Christianne appears -- soigné despite her obvious tiredness; wearing some very attractive boots that accentuate the curve of her long legs -- he doesn’t hesitate to ask her to share his meal.

Christianne feels a spark of life for the first time in a year, and does not want to lose this thrill that’s suddenly thrumming in her blood. She ought to act cool and collected, every inch the Chief of Brigade in the cantonal police force that she is, yet Rory’s obviously interested, and calmly attentive and, over dinner, she finds herself pouring out her woes. Everything from her skin cancer diagnosis and the treatments that only ended a few months ago, to the fact that she’s a young widow -- her officer husband was shot in the line of duty last year -- with an added layer of guilt, as her marriage had already been on the rocks. She waits for the inevitable platitudes and for Rory to decide he doesn’t want to get involved, call her a taxi and send her on her way.

Except he doesn’t do any of that. He shows his sympathy, then offers to drive her home. And Christianne realises she’s not ready to stop talking, stop sharing – and she wants to know more about him in return. She invites him up to her apartment.

Rory’s never before felt this attracted to, and this comfortable, with a woman. Christianne is easy to talk to, amusing and charming. She keeps surprising him, with her words, and her actions. She’s certainly suffered, but he seems able to bring out her joyful laugh often -- and late that night he gets to be the one to reawaken the passion smouldering inside her, igniting his own desires as well.

Now I've got to get the entire synopsis down to a one-page version!

Hope you're having good weather wherever you are! Off to the beach... Or is it winter and are you skating or skiing?


Blogoratti said…
Great thoughts and perspective indeed, and nice of you to share. Greetings!
Thanks for mentioning the book, sounds interesting and I shall buy it.
Crystal Collier said…
Wahoo for the one-page! That's such a nightmare task, eh? I'm adding to my list, based on your recommendations. Thanks, btw.
I agree about typos. They drive me nuts too. I try not to pay too much attention when I'm writing the first draft. If I'm too focused on correcting typos as they come, it makes me more focused on editing in general...which can really spoil the flow of writing. Still, it's better not to have to correct a bunch of typos later. Sigh.
Chrys Fey said…
Oh yes. My editing eye can't stay away from mistakes when I'm reading. It's a bummer, for sure.
Jemi Fraser said…
Joanna's book sounds lovely!

I'm not a fan of typos either - they do drive me nuts as I go along :)
I'll have to pick up that first book.
I hate my own typos. I'll delete a comment and retype it if I make a mistake.
Yolanda Renée said…
I hope the typos don't take away from the story. Wish I could write perfectly, but alas, I'm a typo waiting to happen. :)
Great book suggestion!
Nas said…
Ha! I hear you on typos. I'm always finding that I need to edit my emails before sending.
S.P. Bowers said…
Have fun at the lake! I'll have to go see what's going on with your synopsis. I'm sure you've already got a lot of great feedback, but I'll take a look.
Deniz Bevan said…
It's always in a post about typos that a typo appears! I seem to have added an extra f in the title...
Hi Deniz - hope the swim was warm? The weather's been awful here. That first book sounds good ... and I love your plot line - good luck with its development - can now see where the Scots words are needed! Typos - hate them and keep finding them in my own posts and no doubt emails ... cheers Hilary
Zan Marie said…
I just read Joanna Bourne's BEAUTY LIKE THE NIGHT. You can't go wrong with her books. It's another winner!
P. S. I loved seeing your name in the acknowledgements.
Deniz Bevan said…
Thank you all for coming by! Hope our typos grow less and less :-)

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