Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

Seriously?

Yesterday, I asked my brain to get serious about this whole “editing and revising” thing we’re supposed to be doing. Instead, my brain flashed a shiny new 4000 word short story at me.

So we went with that. Now I have two things to edit and revise. I ask you, brain, what the hell was the point of that little detour, hmm?

Still, it did let me work out some world building and details for a character who’s been kicking around the back of my head for a while. Once my brain has recovered from its current puddingy consistency (don’t ask), I’ll write up a bit about Bell. I think you’re going to like her.

Well, I like her, anyway. That’s good enough for now.

WTB: +5 Shears of Editing, PST

Yeah, I totally geeked out on the title there, sorry. Still, some +5 Shears of Editing would come in really handy right about now.

This particular novel wanted to be Young Adult, whatever I thought about that plan (I’m actually quite enjoying it). The average length on a YA novel tends to be on the lower. I’ve seen estimates ranging from 40,000 to 80,000 words with the caveat that only books with speculative fiction elements should be at the higher end of that range.

When I pitched this at Desert Dreams 2012, I couldn’t remember my exact word count after the latest revisions. I guesstimated that it was around 90,000 words–too high, but not ridiculously outside the realm of possibility, especially for fantasy.

Imagine my surprise when I finally sat down to work on further revisions this week and saw the actual word count: 94,000. Whoopsie!

Thankfully I already had plans to axe a couple of scenes. That brought me down to about 90,000 words yesterday. Today I condensed three more scenes, so I was feeling pretty good about my progress. Then I checked my current word count: 90,500.

I’ll be damned if the thing is getting shorter, but it’s definitely getting better.

Desert Dreams 2012

Beth Cato and I stealthily blend into the landscaping.

So for those of you following along at home, Desert Dreams 2012 was a writers’ conference in Arizona, hosted by the excellent ladies of the Desert Rose chapter of the RWA. They did a fantastic job.

This was my first writing conference, and a chance to go somewhere sans children, so I was very excited. I planned to pitch my novel to an agent for the first time. I got the news late in the week that I’d be pitching to my friend Beth Cato’s agent, Rebecca Strauss. So yeah, I was a nervous wreck.

Complicating my plans was the fact that my older son came home sick during the week before the conference, severely cutting into my preparation time. Okay, I also discovered a tendency to panic and find a dozen last minute chores to take care of every time I sat down to work on my pitch, so that may have impacted my productivity as well. But hey, my cats are nicely waxed, so at least I have that going for me. Thankfully my travel plans went smoothly, kicking off with two of the women working the security checkpoint complimenting my hair. It was a weirdly auspicious start for the weekend. Anyway, here are a few notable moments from my trip to Desert  Dreams.

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The Bends

That pretty much describes how I’m feeling post-conference. I came up too fast from my dive into the publishing world and tried to hit the ground running in Mom/hostess mode. Yeah…not so much.

Desert Dreams was a fantastic experience! It was inspiring to spend so much time around other people who understand where I’m coming from and why I spend long periods of time making things up for fun. I will write a more comprehensive post about the conference when I’ve recovered a little.

It will be a daring tale of cheese ninjas, blood sacrifice, and why you should always always drink the wine at the “Practice What You Pitch” panel.

No really. Seriously. Drink the damn wine.

Blast from the Past

I’ve had a few people ask about my previously published short fiction since my recent post about the new piece that will be published in June. For ease of reference, here are my previous short stories:

Eclectic Flash Volume 2

Eclectic Flash Volume 2

 

 

 

They’re dark and darker, though one is at least darkly humorous. I’ll let you figure out which is which. How many times can I repeat the words in this paragraph before they stop looking like real words?

On Writing…
The main rule of writing is that if you do it with enough assurance and confidence, you're allowed to do whatever you like. (That may be a rule for life as well as for writing. But it's definitely true for writing.) So write your story as it needs to be written. Write it ­honestly, and tell it as best you can. I'm not sure that there are any other rules. Not ones that matter.~Neil Gaiman
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