Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Oh geeez

Since I'm done with the Nook editing, I decided to take the first four chapters (including the prologue) to work with me today. These are the pages that I need to tighten up because they'll be the first ones any agent/publisher reads and should be the strongest. I started editing and BOOM... look what happens! (And this is edit number 6 or something). I'm not feeling discouraged--well, maybe a tad. I just have to wonder if it'll ever be perfect to me. At some point I'm going to have to stop picking at it and be satisfied. I refuse to believe that it might not happen. After work I went to Target to read the first paragraphs of some of the YA books on the shelf and there are a mix of openings: dramatic, action-packed, detailed. It didn't really help me very much. At any rate, I've decided that this edit I'm working on (about 50 pages away from the middle) will be the last one. I really need to start writing something else and too much editing can destroy a story. I want to pick up the speed of the first four chapters, so I may look at trimming some of it out, and I may re-post here for some feedback (if anyone's willing to give it).

All right, let me get back to entering another chapter of Nook edits. Sixteen chapters down, twenty-four to go. My page count is still under 500 pages, but it slips back up a little. So far I've cut out 2,000 words (give or take). An old tip for final drafts is to trim about 10%. That means I'll need to cut 16,000 words. I'm really note sure if that's going to be possible, but my goal is to cut the fat (and a lot of the fat may be in the beginning). We'll see. Tyra Bank's book was well over 500 pages, but then she's a celebrity and I'm sure publishing houses were willing to gamble a bit more. Has anyone read that book yet? I've got it on hold at the library--I'm curious, but my expectations are somewhat low. We'll see.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


I like updating my blog, but I'm not sure if I'm feeling this background. Thoughts?

In the past two days I've probably edited about 25-30 pages of SURRENDER. Yay! I need to start thinking of a new titles because this one worked well when I still had the original ending. But since I removed the last 100 pages, it kinda fails. Just something else I need to work on/think about. It feels good to be back in a groove. I just hope that I can keep it up!

Friday, September 23, 2011

And then a year passes...

Today is the year mark of when I began SURRENDER. I'm not finished, sadly. I did finish my Nook edits today though, but now I just have to put them in to the computer. I'm having a hard time finding a rhythm to my editing. I used to come home and set up shop on the downstairs computer for a few hours. Now I can't really do that because the computer I was using belonged to my brother-in-law and my personal computer sucks... it takes about 20 minutes for it to really get going and I don't have the patience for that. I'm looking into a new laptop, but that's taking forever too. Ugh. The stupid hurricane really threw me off and that was like a month ago. There's no excuse. Wait... can I blame the new fall TV?! :)

I never did finish MISFIT. I didn't even read beyond what I wrote about last time. In fact, I haven't read much of anything lately. This isn't much of a blog post, but there you have it.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

After the earthquake (oh, and hurricane)

So, the past two weeks have been a little bonkers for me. First we were hit with an earthquake (well, we felt the tremors of an earthquake that hit some place in Virginia) at the beginning of the week and ended the week with Hurricane Irene, which knocked out our power for 5.5 days. I'm used to blackouts like this (I used to live in New Hampshire where one winter we had an ice storm and lost power for at least 4 days, and the next winter we had a wind storm that knocked out power for 3 days), but by the end of the week I was ready to pull my hair out. Reading by candlelight is very 1800s, but it can get extremely boring. No wonder they sat around and sang to each other! And besides, I can only go so long with out a full hot shower (instead I had the equivalent of cold sponge baths. NOT fun)... not to mention I was running out of clean clothes.

So, I spent the long Labor Day weekend enjoying the splendors of electricity. The most exciting thing I did was watch the 8 episodes of Vampire Diaries that I had saved to our DVR. I don't know why I held off so long! This was a great season (lots of death, betrayal, and cliffhangers). Actually, I'm glad that I saved them up because there's nothing worse than waiting an entire week for the next episode. I'm also glad I stuck with the series because at first I didn't like the actress who plays Elena (I'm used to her now and she's getting better). I'll never get enough of Ian Somerhalder (drooooool!). But here's my question to all VD fans out there. Are the books similar to the show? Are they worth reading? I started with the show and now I'm worried that if I read the books I'll be disappointed one way or the other. Ooo, I just saw that the new season of VD starts next week (even better!).

Needless to say, the last few weeks have been horrible for my editing. I've managed to edit on my Nook (which is progress), but I really need to get these edits into the computer. I need to find a rhythm again. What I really need is a laptop. I did start hand-writing ARABELLE WILD (the short novella that I was working on earlier this year) while the power was out. I may try to finish that one by hand and then type it all up later (again, it's progress). I also read several books: THE SEASON (a YA, regency England novel; it was decent), DIE FOR ME (a YA, zombie/dead immortals novel; it was decent too), and THE GODDESS TEST (a YA, Greek mythology retelling; it was good). I have not finished SUPERNATURALLY and I might not. I made it halfway through and I feel like nothing's really happening--there's not really a plot that I can see. I gave it to my sister to read and she finished it and basically said that it didn't get much better. This is kind of a let down since I liked PARANORMALCY so much. I may give it a chance... I don't know (I'll still read Kirsten White's stuff, but I might have to get it from the library).

I'm currently reading: MISFIT by Jon Skovron. I almost stopped reading this one because the story is told in present tense (Janie says this. Janie takes her socks off) and feels a little awkward. I'm so rooted in past tense writing/reading that I actually really don't like it. But then I skimmed ahead and saw that there are some past tense sections, which is weird, and now, looking at it from a writer's POV, I want to see if Skovron can pull it off. Still... the present tense really bothers me. (Here's one reviewer who thought the same thing about the tense switches). We'll see how far I get in this one. There are a few books (I found them while browsing at Barnes and Noble) that I need to get my hands on: POSSESS and WILDEFIRE. I need to wait until the library has them (or until I have enough money to buy random books). I did buy THE FALLEN: END OF DAYS by Sniegoski. He's one of my favorite authors in the "fallen angels" genre. Side note: the actor who plays "Stefan" on VD also played the lead role in "The Fallen" TV miniseries.

That's all the news from me for now!