Saturday, December 26, 2009

Writing Goals for 2010

Only five days left until 2010. This year was a great year for me and I feel blessed to have an agent and three completed manuscripts. (The latest one is in living in Editville right now.) It's easy to forget the little things like:

  • Having a functional laptop (even though writing Bachelors and Broomsticks resulted in a broken 4 key... Don't ask.)
  • Having an understanding family that allows me to lose my mind in the worlds I create
  • How good it feels to read a great book by other authors and get lost in its world

My goals for 2010:

  1. I will write 4 manuscripts in 2010.
  2. I will sell my first manuscript in 2010. (Optimism = Yay)
  3. I will complete 3 novellas. (I have two unfinished ones. *sigh*)
  4. I will harness and understand my process of writing. (Yes, it took me a year to figure out I'm not the write everyday type of gal. I need to live with it.)
  5. I will break my previous record of 8,000 Words in one day and will knock out 10K in a day.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Creating a Word Notebook - Day 1

Happy Holidays! A few more days until Christmas!

Based on Bria Quinlan's motivating blog entry, I've decided to create my own Word Notebook. Most of the time, I use 1000 Verbs to Write By via Deanna Carlyle. But now I'm biting the bullet to use the notebook to see how it will improve my work.

Phase 1: Overused words hunt
Using a demo of heal-a-doc

OK, so I ran the demo and now I have a list of my overused words. A few of them I expected to see while some other ones reflected the popular crutch words I used at the time.

Manuscript #1 (Top 5)
1. Really
2. Very
3. Issues
4. Whatever
5. Beeline

Manuscript #2 (Top 5)
1. Really (I'm sensing a pattern here. LOL)
2. Suddenly
3. Very
4. Whatever
5. 24/7

Manuscript #3 (Top 5)
1. Really
2. Whatever
3. Focused
4. Suddenly
5. Issues

I think I really use the word really too much. I mean really, the word is a junk adverb but hey sometimes I need to get a point across and really fits... Ok, point made. Point learned.

OK, in a few days I will tackle the next step in building the notebook--searching my favorite books for new verbs, nouns, and phrases. (I hate such pleasurable research.)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Happy Agent Day Thanks Jim

Kody Keplinger is celebrating today as Agent Appreciation Day with a post about how she appreciates her agent. In honor of today, I thought I would include other posts I find and a shout out to the agent in my corner: Jim McCarthy. Here are the top 3 reasons I think he's a huge can of awesome.

3. The man has the speed of a cheetah. Jim's incredibly fast and responds to my emails and concerns quickly and efficiently. I sometimes wonder if I wasn't the only one surgically attached to the computer. *sigh* I'm not alone. He isn't on twitter (not that I know of) but he does blog though with D&G. Thank you Jim for reading my manuscript so quickly and offering to represent me.

2. Jim has a fabulous critical eye. During revisions Jim caught quite a few holes that slipped past my critique partners. He helped me polish my manuscript to make it even shiner. Thanks Jim! (He even found the humorous stuff funny.)

1. He remains calm when I hit the panic button. I'm in the middle of submissions and Jim's the calm cucumber as I ramble on about the stresses of submissions. I can almost imagine him typing the email with a smile. Thanks Jim for enduring my emails. =) From your other clients I know you do such a fine job and I wanted to say thank you today for your hard work. It is appreciated.

You can find a long list of shout outs on Lisa and Laura's blog for their agent Catherine Drayton.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Building Ideas Box

I am an idea factory. (That shouldn't be confused with title factory cause I suck at those.) When I should be working on my current WIP ideas are brewing like steaming coffee in my gray matter. Before I would stow them away for a rainy day when I would remember to scrawl them down on a piece of paper. But then the piece of paper would get lost in the office of doom and then I can't find it anymore. (Currently happening right now for an old idea. *sigh*)

I thought I'd divulge how my conveyor belt of ideas are currently built, stored, and then packaged for potential pick up by my writing shopping cart. (Cue the 1950s shopper music.)

1. Idea Pops Into Head - This most often happens while I am driving, changing a diaper, or taking a walk. My best ideas have come while driving. Thank goodness only one idea came during a diaper change.

2. Let the Idea Roll Around - Ideas are a dime a dozen so it really helps to let it go crazy after it pops in. I don't really start thinking about the black moment or the plot. Most ideas start with an event or a crazy character. Most of the time my ideas start with either.

3. Store the Darn Thing - Before I used paper for my ideas. I even had a notebook. But now I'm snazzy and use Google Docs. Why Google Docs? Well, they provide a central location for me to access my ideas from anywhere. Hey, I'm in Borders and I get a cool plot point for one of my ideas--then I add the note to my Google Doc for that idea.

4. Organizing Ideas - Once my idea is jotted down into a new Google document, I expand out from my initial paragraph. I use LOCK plot builder from James Scott Bell's book Plot & Structure. Basically LOCK includes the Lead, Objective, Conflict, and Knockout. As I build my idea I fill in these portions. From the LOCK, I am able to add in plot points, the black moment, and other goodies to torture the protagonists.

5. Add in Sugar, Spice, and Conflict - By this point, the idea is packaged and ready to turn into a story if I wanted. But most of the time I'm not ready so I add in bits of scenes if they pop into my head. Most of the time if I get a scene it has an expiration date in my head. If I let it sit too long I'll forget so I simply type into the idea document I've created.

Yes, I'm not ashamed to say I came up with another idea after I wrote this post.