From Imagination To Publication

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Writing World: Routine Writing

I've never been a routine writer. In the past I've always been fortunate enough that moments of inspiration were all I needed to make progress on a novel. I would wait for the "Aha!" idea to come, and when it did, I would matter where I was or what I was doing. 

Since baby-mania has taken over my brain (which apparently happens when you're 8 months pregnant) those moments which would have been spent building scenes and listening to characters banter in my head are now filled with all things baby. Sadly, it seems sort of out of my control. I can't fight the nesting, the obsessive planning, the reading and researching every minor detail about anything baby related. Just like I have some instinctual urge to eat cereal for every meal (...bone building juice for baby I guess) the mind works the same way.

Being the perfectionist that I am, it doesn't help me in my need to get everything tied up and ready for baby when I've got a third book to write. It's always in the back of my mind..."you need to write, author!" my mind scolds me in mockery. "I know. I know!" I tell it. So for the first time since...well, ever...I'm going to attempt this routine writing thing. Every morning from 7:30 to 9:30 I'm going to WRITE! I'll let you know how it works out.

Does this work for anyone else? What's your writing routine? Do you have one?

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Buzz: The Hobbit Movie Trailer

Hi all! I hope you had a fantabulous Thanksgiving break :) Mine was an awesome kind of you realize how hard it is to resist eating pie for every meal when you're pregnant? Torture I tell you! Not to mention the turkey, gravy, and mashed potatoes...*Homer Simpson Drool*

I'm sure you've all seen this trailer (as I'm assuming nearly all of America had their butts on couches watching football over the weekend)...Still I had to post it. YAY! I'm really excited about The Hobbit Movie. Mostly because it's been so long since I've read the book that I'm not going to notice or be super mad about all the changes they're undoubtedly going to make to the story. I mean...they're making three movies out of one book, so I'm assuming there will be some deviation from the original. We'll see I guess...

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Writing World: Molly The Magnificent's Editing Advice

Any published author knows that finishing your initial draft is only the first step of many in completing a novel. Get ready to read through/edit your book at least 5 times (maybe more, maybe less depending on how you work). Uprising (Children of the Gods #2) has been completed for a while now, but edits and read-throughs have continued. Recently I completed what is known as line-edits. The line editing process is a line by line analysis of the sentence structure and word choice. It's very tedious, but necessary. Molly, my editor at ZOVA Books, always gives me the best advice, and I wanted to share it with you along with one other thing I learned in the process.

 Molly's Notes:
The most common adjustments I made were (a) to eliminate some (but not all) of the repeated prepositional phrases and descriptions, (b) to adjust some (but not all) of the passive voice to active, and (c) to bring the action closer to the characters. 
For example: 
(a) Inside I was empty, lost, afraid. ---> Inside I was empty, lost, and afraid. (p.300) (This may not seem like a big change, but if you look at that page, there are three instances where the same sentence structure is used. "...she was in there, protected, safe." and "...someone being in here with me, naked, so vulnerable." This is an example of a poetic structure that's more effective the more sparingly it's used.) 
I scanned the hillside to our left, to our right. ---> I scanned the hillside to our left and right. (This was an easy one to fix, though most of these repeated prepositional phrases were a bit harder, as the information was necessary but the structure was repetitive. If you find more that you can adjust, feel free. I tweaked several, but not all.) 
(b) I pleaded as I began to succumb to anger. ---> I pleaded on the verge of anger. (p.10) 
(c) Men and women towered over him as he forced himself through the mob. Voices jeered and the angry protested. ---> Men and women towered over him as he forced himself through the mob of angry protests and jeering voices. (p.59) 
My words came out surprised. ---> I said with surprise. 
(In other words, rather than giving the action to some part of Elyse, the action is hers. Elyse's mind, brain, hands, heart, and voice do a lot of things. Used occasionally, this can be poetic. Used frequently, and it disembodies Elyse, making her actions seem disjointed and disconnected from her own will. In times of distress, this might be revealing of character. But on a continual basis, it's hard to sympathize with a character who doesn't own her own actions, thoughts, and feelings.)

Genius, right? I also learned that one of my go-to words is "eyes" ...jeeez. I did a search for that word and came back with a staggering number. I went through each instance to see if there was any way to eliminate the use of the word. It turns out, sometimes those overused words can simply be deleted. My advice would be to figure out which words you use too often. Then see if you can delete them from your sentences. Here are some examples:

I couldn’t see her eyes through the dark, but I could feel her looking at me. ---> I couldn't see her through the dark, but I could feel her looking at me.

He turned to look at me, his eyes full of regret. ---> He turned to look at me, full of regret.

What have you learned in the process of editing your manuscript?

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Buzz: The Host Movie Clip

Woohoo! It's looking good. Here's the first sneak peek of The Host movie :) I can't wait!

The Official Trailer!! SO GOOD!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Live.Laugh.Love...Building a Baby.

Well, 63 days until I have a baby...I know, right?! Whoa. I'm trying to take these moments in. They're the last days I'll be able to focus on me and my writing without a baby in the mix. Part of me is a little scared. I have no doubt I'll be able to continue my writing, but it's hard to plan for what it will be like. I DEFINITELY...won't be able to write whenever I want during the day and go to bed at 9pm anymore (I know, 9pm is lame. I'm aware. What can I say? I'm part grandma). I'm guessing my writing world will consist of late nights, early mornings, and nap-time cram sessions. The good news...I work REALLY well under pressure. No joke. Actually, since I left my day job to focus on my writing, I've been less productive than I was before. Go figure...9 hour work days, and I was cranking out the pages. All day at home, and I got nothing... Call me crazy, but I think the added pressure might do me good. Sometimes I need to be in that busy mode to get my mind working. Anyway, it should be an amazing and crazy adventure. I'm looking forward to the challenge :)

I've gone off on a tangent a bit. I actually wanted to post my Halloween costume pictures. My husband and I went as "construction workers" who were building a baby. It was a lot of fun! Here they are...

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Buzz: Breaking Dawn 2 Countdown!

Ooops...completely forgot to post yesterday. The election, baby building, and writing all have me very distracted.

Well, only 9 days left, and it will all be over. Whether you're happy to see the Twilight craze come to an end, or sad, this is it! First Harry Potter, now Twilight...personally, I'm bummed to say goodbye to the series. I guess it's more sentimental than anything. As many new YA writers can attest, Stephenie Meyer opened the door of opportunity for the YA genre. Thanks to her, YA is what it is today.

Yeah, the movies don't do the books justice. Yeah, they're kind of terrible, but hey...once a Twilight fan, always a Twilight fan. I'm going to see the movie for sure.

How about you? Are you going to see Breaking Dawn 2?