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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Its all coming back to me now

So, I've been out of it for a while. Not feeling inspired whatsoever. I got the printed copy of my book back and decided to read through it to check for anything that needs to be changed. We'll, I've been making some editorial notes here and there, things I didn't catch before, and all the sudden I'm adding in new parts. Not much so far, but a couple new paragraphs here and there.

It feels good to actually feel a little inspired again, and its pretty fun to read my own work. I'm trying to look at it the same way I would any other book. Trying to pretend I'm not the one who wrote it, and I'm actually enjoying myself! It hasn't been on the backburner for THAT long, but yet I feel like I'm refreshed.

So, here I go again! I'm reading through the book, making changes, and hoping to become all-inspired again. Though sometimes I don't like being bombarded with the voices in my head, I must say that I've missed them the last few weeks. Although they're still in there, they're muted. A lot. But now that I'm reading it again, Draven's right here with me, being the bad-ass that he is, and he's telling me how to modify how things really went. Or maybe not modify, but... enhance my way of describing things.

Friday, December 10, 2010

1st attempt: rejected

Alright, well its officially been long enough since I sent my synopsis and chapter examples to the agent. I can now say that she wasn't interested. One thing I do wish is that they would respond with a rejection of some sort. Instead, we authors have to wait the 6-8 weeks hoping for some sort of reply. Really, this may be a blessing right now anyway since I've been going through a hard time.

The biggest disaster that has ever happened in my life happened a little over a month ago, and my mind hasn't allowed me to concentrate on writing. Although the ideas won't stop running through my head, as soon as I sit down to type, my mind refuses to behave.

I am going to read through my book again (Draven is still pushing his weight around in my head) and see what I missed that he so desperately wants to me to add.

Currently, my sister has my book (I printed it out in book form), and I was planning on letting my other sister read it while she is out visiting for the holidays.

I could read it digitally, but I do LOVE to have the book in my hands -- that goes with any book -- so I think I'll try to read it really quick.

Anywhoo, I met another agent while I was at the writers conference in October. He is the agent for some of my favorite authors, so I'm hoping he'll like my book.

I'll keep you posted on what I decide to do. :o)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Character Profiles

I thought it might be fun to add the information that I collect on each character in my books. A few of these may sound a little funny, but keep in mind that I write Paranormal Romance.

When new characters pop into my head, whether or not they are in the book I'm currently writing, I fill in as much of these details as I can. Not only does this help when you need to remember details in future work, but it also helps expand on the character as needed.

Name: (obvious)

Type: (this is in here because I love Paranormal Romance. If they are "other" then what are they exactly?)

Mate: (Yep, who do they end up with and when?)

Good or bad: In every story there is an element of good and an element of evil (whether intentional or not), so I try to make a note of if they are on the good side of things or the bad. Even if they change somewhere, you'll want to know when they toppled on the other side of that fence).

Hair length and color: (Obviously these things can change, but if you do change them throughout your books, its good to keep a log so that you remember what happened. If you ever have a flashback in a future book, don't you want to have this info at your fingertips?)

Height: (This helps. Especially with the type of books I write. Most of my boys are ginormous).

Build: (Ah yes, the build. Is he scrum-didilly? Is he just average right now - but in a future book he is yummy (if ever)? Does he have broad shoulders? Does he have that oh-so-hot V-shape? Put WHATEVER you want in this field).

Eyes: (This can be as descriptive as you want. Color, size, are they nice eyes? Evil Eyes? Do they do anything cool? If you read my book you'll know why I say that).


Physical Markings: (This can be anything from tattoo to scars to demonic markings - and everything in between. This helps because you never want to screw up the placement of something throughout your books).

Attitude: (This one can be totally fun to play with. Especially if you already know their history. You just write up how they act. And then, in a future book, if their attitude begins to change, you'll make notations here so that you're up to date on everything).

Age: (obvious. Even if you don't ever say specifically how old someone is, you never know when it will be brought up.)

Born (year): (Trust me, this helps. Especially if you're planning on writing a series. You don't want someone getting younger-- unless they are "other.")

Born (location): (Yes, this can help, but its not a must. I've found that this can help with their history, such as: if they don't live there anymore, why? [more info could be filled in in the History field below}).

Speech/accent: (This one helps if you're planning on them being bi-lingual).

Family/heritage: (This one can be helpful, not only because of names, but sometimes a little bit of their history comes out in this field).

Abilities: (Again, here is one that is probably most used when your characters are "other." But it could be used if you have a plain old human, too.

History: (This is a BIG one. Sometimes you develop your characters' attitudes based on what they've told--or showed-- you they've been through - I know it sounds funny to say that, but really, most of the time your characters will tell you instead of you telling them).

Other: (Whatever floats your boat. Anything important that will help you.)

Anywhoo, that's pretty much what I fill in on my characters. Really, if you know the information that is in these fields then you are pretty much good to go.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Added a new page!

I just added a new page to my blog. Since I am now starting to write multiple series, I realized I would need to create a page for each of my projects as they get closer to completion.

Keep an eye on the Guardians' page since I will soon start adding in sneak peeks of my first novel. And who knows, maybe some snipits of the second.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Back to writing

I took a little bit of time off of writing, but I think I'm back now. Not only am I going to continue working on Thrash's book, but I also have two new series that are starting to push around in my mind. So many thoughts swirling around that I hope I can keep up, and I hope I can do the characters proud.

It feels like an inspiring time right now. A friend from work has just had an amazing idea for a book, and I'm extremely excited for her to write it. It will be a winner for sure.

One of the new series that is popping around in my head will be dedicated to my mom. Although its not about her, I believe she is inspiring it right now. It will be pretty different from the Guardians series, although I do love Paranormal Romance.

This new series is about an angel, which my mom is now.

My other series idea is another Paranormal Romance, pretty excited about that one too.... hopefully I can give them equal attention - unless of course one pushes harder than the others, LOL.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Nerves

I think my nerves are getting to me. I'm really nervous that the agent won't contact me back because she doesn't like my sample pages of Dark Seduction. I'm constantly thinking that the book isn't good enough, and I'm always tempted to make changes to it.

I'm over 12,000 words now on Thrash's book, but I'm having a terrible time at keeping my concentration on him.

My wonderful hubby keeps telling me to not change book #1 until I hear feedback from an agent, but the issue is, if they don't like it, they don't even contact you back.

Stupid nerves...

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Prologue for Book #2

I think I've nailed down the Prologue for Thrash's book. His novel is now at 11,000 words so the story is just flowing out of me whenever I have enough time to type it up.

It looks like the pain-in-the-ass (and faaaar too tempting) Thrash is winning in the battle against Draven for my typing attention.

Go Thrash!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Holy Crap!... and then, not.

Wow, I got really excited today. I looked in my email and saw a message from the agent that I pitched to (and submitted my 10 pages with synopsis).

HOLY CRAP, right??

Haha, not so much. It was the autoresponder coming through saying that she got my submission. I guess I'm just playing the waiting game now. *pout.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Oh, the crazies in my head

So I'm back now, and the Guardians are vying for attention in my wee little brain. Draven wants me to keep at it on his book, but Thrash is quite a bit louder and much more pissier when it comes to getting what he wants. Not to mention the others who still haven't gotten any attention and are just throwing hissy fits...

/sigh

What's a girl to do? Maybe I'll just open up both Draven's and Thrash's books and try to give the boys equal attention.
The others will just have to wait their turn.

The Pitch

Dun, dun, duuuun (scary music).

The Pitch...
Could there be scarier words when it comes to an author? I doubt it. Well, except for the dreaded "Your book sucks."

For weeks I've been trying to write my synopsis, perfect my first 3 chapters, write my cover letter (which I kicked ass at by the way), and type up my pitch.

At first, I tried to use my cover letter as my pitch, but it filled a whole 2 minutes instead of the minimum of 4 that I need to fill. So, scratch that one! Instead, I started using parts of my cover letter (because again, I really did kick ass at writing that thing up), but I had to make it flow a bit better for the way I talk. I didn't want to go in there and sound like I was reading something. I wanted to be bright and cheerful and... me.

Welllllll.... nothing really goes as planned, does it.

I had the hardest time memorizing my pitch. Even in front of my wonderful husband, I would freeze up and giggle. (Yes, I'm a giggler). I started to panic.

I can't do this, holy crap I'm going to puke on the agent...

So, my friends and I get to the conference. On and on, I kept memorizing my pitch, and I finally got the dammed thing memorized. I had it flowing well (in my head), and I thought that maybe I could really pull it off! Yeah, not so much... As soon as I tried it outloud (meaning on the phone with my husband while trying not to look at my cheat sheet), I blew it.

Panicking... Shaking... Sweating... Urge to puke building.... This is going to suck.

So, my time comes up, and it is time for me to pitch. I walk to the elevator and hit number 6 to go up to the suite for the pitch appointments. I feel sooo sick. I'm going to screw up this chance and I'll never try it again...

I get to the suite, and sit down. The agent took a quick break to grab some food, which left me some more time to rehearse my memorized pitch in my head. My shirt was sweaty under my pits and I just knew I would die if I eff'd this up. The agent walks in and sits down, and the strangest thing happened.

A calm came over me. Now, really its the strangest thing. Every time I go in for an interview, I'm nervous as hell before it. But as soon as I actually see the person I'm meeting with, I calm down. Cue "me."

I smiled. I introduced myself. Introduced my novel as Dark Seduction, and that its currently 100,000 words. Yes, I said currently, I couldn't help myself. You just never know if you need to add a little or take a little away. The only thing I said to her that I actually memorized is my hook line. Everything else I pulled out of 'Calm Kristie's" mind, and I nailed it! The agent actually liked my idea and asked me to send the synopsis along with the first ten pages of my novel.

And here I thought I was going to puke on her and screw the hole thing up. I guess things never go as you planned. Sometimes they are better!

The Synopsis

Okay, so my book is 'completed.' (HA!)
I knew I was going to the RWA Conference and I had signed up to pitch to an agent. Well, that means I need to get everything ready for that pitch, right? Cue the Synopsis...

Wow, that sucker is hard to write. I researched online about the best ways to do it, and found some helpful sites. I tried it their way, and within a few days I gave up on their idea (because my 1-2 page synopsis ended up being 11 pages). I decided to go my own way. I closed my eyes and watched a fast-forwarded view of my novel and wrote down the parts I felt were the most important.

Anything involving the hero and heroine that were important to the storyline went into the synopsis. It was pretty quick to type it all up, but the darn thing was still too long. I had a friend from work critique it and we got it down to just the right size.

All I can say on that one is: follow your gut and type up the synopsis on things YOU feel are important to the storyline. They don't need to know that the grass was wet, or at that the sky was blue. They just need to know what's important to the storyline that would keep readers a-reading.

HAHA... Not!

Okay, okay. So I thought I was done at 80,000 words. Silly me, I keep going back and adding things in. "Oh, they need to know about this, and they need to know about that," (Yes, that was my brain).

My friends (and critique partners) are going to kill me...

Since I 'completed' my book, I've added over 20,000 more words. Scrambling to 'make it perfect' before the Romance Writers of America Conference, I just couldn't stop myself. But I must say, I'm glad I've gone through and added/edited more. The changes have made me happier, and I feel like it flows a bit better.

Well, honestly, I've found out that a book will never be 100% perfect.
Hopefully my friends won't really kill me, even though they don't have the most recent copy. :o)

A little bit of background

So, here's a little bit of background on my wee little journey (so far).

I started writing my first novel in December of 2009. My working title since day one has been Dark Seduction. Its a Paranormal Romance set in modern day.

I started writing it because my imagination started running away with me one day. I couldn't get certain scenes out of my head. I would dream about them, both day and night. So, I sat down and started typing one day. Now, I didn't type up the entire outline from beginning to end; that's just not me. I typed as the story unfolded in my head. The characters were navigating ME.

So far, probably the most intense and detailed scene that went through my head has been...
Nope, sorry ladies and gents, it was not a (cough, cough) romance scene. Those are detailed enough, LOL.

The scene that literally just slapped me in the face is what I call 'The Ascension.' I was driving to work one day, and I had just bought a Muse CD. I got to track #9, and as soon as it started playing a scene unravelled in my head. Ever since, every single time I hear Exogenisis Symphony Part 1, the Ascension plays out. Probably the only exception to that is when I saw Muse in concert. They played that song and I was soooo overwhelmed that I may have started tearing up a little. (Love you Muse!!)

Anywhoo, I got off track. After starting my book way back in December of '09, I've gone back and forth on if I wanted to even continue writing. I had a few friends who have urged me to continue. But finally, after a few times of giving up, I knew I couldn't just ignore the story that was unfolding in my head.

I continued to type, sometimes ignoring it for a week at a time, sometimes writing every night after work, until I (thought I) completed it at 80,000 words.
Yay! Done!

RWA Conference

Wow! I just got back from the Heart of the West RWA Conference.

It. Was. Amazing.

I learned so much at the conference:
      Tips on discipline, marketing, pitching, querying... You name it, they taught it.

There was an incredible panel of agents, editors, and publishers there. Even a buyer for Borders was there to tell us about what is currently selling. So I've decided to start this blog and start keeping track of the processes entailed in writing, pitching, querying, et cetera, et cetera.