Wednesday Writing Tip – Oops

Today’s WWT is more for myself than every other writer out there. It’s sort of like a ‘Yeah, I screwed up, and I won’t be doing THAT again’, warning. But first, some back story…

I am not one to outline a project down to each final detail. However, I do think a basic outline is more than just helpful, but necessary, even stripped to the bones. I’ve talked about that before, no need to repeat. I’ve also said that I started using Scrivener. I really do enjoy it, but here is where I messed up: I started using this writing software program on the third book of the Find Me series, after losing my previous computer which had my Word program on it. So not only did I have to learn everything about Scrivener in a rush (and yeah, I still haven’t learned about half of what it can do) but I also started using it in the middle of a series. That’s two no-no’s in my opinion.

double-facepalmThe more I use Scrivener, the more I realize it has the potential to be fabulous, but not in the middle of a series when I don’t already have the characters mapped out, the notes, the descriptions, the previous books to easily refer back to… oops.

I’m not going to lie. Editing this book (FM3) has been more than a challenge. Because of the ease in moving chapters and sections around in Scrivener, I did just that, and copy and pasted so many sections that I got myself confused later on about certain scenes. I lost sections. I rewrote sections. It…it was a mess to read over the first time, and thankfully my editor caught things that I missed (big things, people, big things). She is wonderful, and if she didn’t live in Ireland I’d be sitting on her lap giving her hugs and kisses right now.

Anyway. Back to my mistakes. #1 – I started using a new writing software program in the middle of a series. #2 – I broke my Golden Rule and spent more time going back to edit (moving stuff about, editing previous chapters, etc…) that I forgot to do the one thing I find works best for me – which is ‘just write’. Because of this, it seems like it took more than the 6mths to get this book done, and rather felt like a decade. A really, really long decade. Gah. If I’m frustrated about how long this release has taken, no doubt the readers are. I apologize profusely.

So there you have it – a bit of a cautionary tale – do what works for you and stray only on the newer projects that you can afford to stray on. If what you are currently doing IS working for your series, it might not be a good time to start changing things up in the middle. Or you might find yourself swallowing a lot more chocolate and wine while working on your WIP, like me. Don’t be like me. Seriously. My thighs don’t need any more chocolate.

Happy Hump Day, Everyone!

#AmWriting

It’s time to get my write on. Especially after this was the last sentence I wrote in FM3…

“She’d been murdered…so, why was I seeing her?”

Yeah, super-freakin-annoyingly vague, I know. Like I said, time to get my write on. *wink, wink*

Seeing Red

I’m seeing RED this week. Not just in my head, but on the screen. It’s Slasher Week in the Dawson-Holly household. Like, no holding back, slice and dice kind of red.

Editing is messy work. It’s downright bloody. It’s the kind of disaster big enough that no excessive amounts of drop-cloths can keep the arterial sprays from hitting the walls. It sucks, but someone has to do the first round.

Recently I went through the last bits of two WIP’s and cut, highlighted, replaced, reworded, gutted and overhauled until I literally saw RED in my mind. The bratty little untrained editor inside my head is running around in circles with a chewed pen in one hand and a knife in the other – and she means business.

Even if someone hires an editor, like I do, you still must edit your own work. But, how is it that you can go from this:

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To your inner editor coming back with this:

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Sigh. I try. Really, I do. But I’m not a professional editor – I’m a writer. The creativity comes out in spurts when the Muse is well-fed which means sometimes I sit and stare at the same paragraph for hours, trying to remember if ‘the’ is spelled correctly or not, and other times I breeze through an entire chapter without stopping to breathe. Then I let that little brat of a wannabe editor have at it. And, well…

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After my Muse’s alter-ego has her way with my WIP, I’m drained. Often times I let it get to me – the painful process of doing the first round of editing. It’s an experience that can turn most writers inside out, especially when we know the difference between ‘too’ and ‘to’ but keep finding both in the wrong places.

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Yet, once the first go around of editing is complete, I find, surprisingly enough, that I have survived, as has my Muse and that little girl inside that likes to eat the ends of her red pens. She just wants to give me a big hug and tell me how much she cares about the artistic side of my brain. Sometimes she even goes so far as to tell me how she REALLY feels…

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So we hug it out. I forgive her for making me feel like a failure but I’ll always keep an eye on the knife she has tucked in the waistband of her jeans. I’m incredibly aware that she could pull that blade out at ANY time and stab my WIP till it bleeds to death. I told you, she’s a brat. I suppose I need her though. If it was just me and my Muse, we’d be in big trouble. Because the worse thing my pen chewing and knife-wielding self-taught editor could do is leave me. I…I don’t know what I’d do if she told me it was over between us. I would have to invest in more chocolate and new red pens and hope I didn’t ruin our relationship forever.

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Don’t tell her I said she was a brat. I don’t think she’d like it. Especially after cleaning up the beginning of my new WIP so nicely. Thanks to her fit this week, now I can go back to feeling a tad bit more fabulous and like I know what I’m doing. I’m a writer. I must write. Right? Watch out, we’re flying our way through this chapter to the next – the Muse, the Inner Editor and I. We are a force to be reckoned with and I guess I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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Happy Editing and Reading, Everyone!

Saturday Snippet!

Enjoy this excerpt from my current WIP: ‘Lost & Found’, the second book in the Find Me Series. Want more – follow my Facebook Author page for snippets!

 

Bubble baths and sateen sheets. Vegetable broth and crackers washed down with flat ginger ale. And sleep; days and days of it. I walked around the lavish bedroom during the day twirling my full-length nightgown, giggling at the soft feel of the expensive silk as it danced around my freshly shaved legs. At night I dined on salads full of every kind of vegetable, drenched in olive oil and vinegar. For desert I had wine – with a side of lemon gelato.

How glorious it was – this house. At least two stories, though I seemed only to wander around the same floor. In fact, I never left the bedroom or the attached bathroom with the whirlpool tub. But it didn’t matter. I twirled the nightgown. I danced. I slept. I ate. And then I did it all over again until the rain came.

Like a child, I cowered under the blankets every time the thunder boomed in the sky. I yelped in fear when white light flashed outside the windows. I was alone in this room and the storm wanted in. The window panes shook as hail pelted the glass from outside, threatening to break through with every gust of the vicious and unrelenting wind. I knew it wanted me.

The storm was coming. And I was all alone.