30 June, 2015

Editing Angst II


relatable-anime-moments-tumblr


It's great to feel the way the girl above apparently does, but while or after having read a wonderful novel.

And, speaking of novels . . .

If I continue to edit my second work, it is apt to turn into an entirely new story, so I really must cease with the edits at this point.

Here's the problem with that, though:

I keep thinking. And, we all know where that leads, right?

I keep thinking that maybe it isn't enough romance, or that I missed a lot of the show vs tell issue that everyone hates, or that I spent too much time on a scene and the reader will get bored, or that I didn't do enough to convey thought or emotion in another instance.

The only thing I'm ever truly confident about in my writing is the Strunk & White aspect, but even so, I still find goofy boo-boo's here and there.

I'm always afraid. Afraid of not only the unknown but the known as well.

My first novel turned into something completely different, and while I was and still am pleased with that end result, in the very back of my mind, I grieve for the loss of that original concept/idea/thought that got lost in translation.

I swore that I wouldn't go there this time, and I still intend to keep that promise, but first I need to let go of the what-if's that continue to plague me.

Not being able to afford the services of an editor and going the Indie publishing route means I am at the mercy of myself in this career. I'd like to think I know what is best for me, but sometimes that just isn't the case.

Editors, I'm told, derive the most pleasure in rewriting and/or deleting entire scenes.

I don't tend to do this.

I will reword bits & pieces and sometimes lop an entire paragraph or three, but I've never removed an entire episode from my work, which makes me just as nervous as the above-mentioned editing issues I'm grappling with at the moment.

This is all a part of the writing process, though.

We all suffer through the same angst, issues, and dilemma when it comes to reworking our blood, sweat, and tears.

I am just as excited to tackle editing and proofreading as I am with getting that first draft underway.

But then these issues crop up and suddenly it isn't all fun & games anymore.


I actually did go back and rewrite the entire first chapter, and while it is less wordy than before, I am still concerned that it isn't fast-paced enough.

I notice in a majority of the novels I've read that the two leads run smack into one another right out of the gate and take off running.

I didn't do that this time around for a reason, and yet I still worry that my reason isn't going to fly with my readers.

This second novel is slow-paced before it picks up steam due to its nature and the plot, so I hope that anyone who reads it will bear with me and come to enjoy the entire tale.

And, I left the ending a little on the ambiguous side: again, for a reason, but like everything else, I worry that the reader might get miffed and never read another thing I ever publish.

*SIGH*

Anyway, if you haven't done so already, please be sure to click on the EXCERPTS tab and read the first three chapters of my latest WIP. I look forward to hearing your responses.

Onward, ho!

Alternate Career Choice: RWW Blog Hop





Every Tuesday, the members of Romance Writer's Weekly (RWW) get together for a blog hop. We are a terrific support group for fellow Romance Authors and love to share our experiences, give and receive help with our writing dilemmas, and promote one another's work.

Let me just say I CANNOT BELIEVE that today is the last day of June, 2015.




And then, I'd like to self-promote for a sec.


***I'm in the final stages of edit/proof of my second novel that I've decided to title LOVE OVER TIME, with a cover purchased and ready to be revealed. The only thing standing between me and upload mode are these edits, which are turning into nightmare rewrite sessions. It is time I just stopped editing altogether, before the story turns into something completely different.***

And now, on with the hop.

I hope you arrived here after having visited with our prolific Jami Denise - who loves to incorporate the sexy bad-boy in her novels. I also hope that you took the time to check out her extensive library of published works. You can find out more about her latest, Damned Sinner (The Jayne Series Book 3) by clicking Kindle Edition.

This week, the talented Xio Axelrod poses the following: If you weren't a writer, what other creative career would you most want to try?

Creative, eh?


In the honest sense, I just wish that I had gone with my gut and left home immediately after having graduated high school.

I had aspirations of becoming a flight attendant as a way of fulfilling the travel bug that grew inside of me and still remains to this day.

Then there was the inability to become a fashion model (height requirements) that left my penchant and desire to wear a lot of neat clothing & jewelry hanging in a lurch.

I'd have given anything to be able to work that way and travel the world, make good money, and live in some luxury high-rise in NYC.

I actually recall the sad day when browsing through Lucky and Vogue suddenly lost their appeal as it dawned on me that I no longer applied. I'd outgrown that part of my life and had to let it go . . . with a few tears and a glass of wine.


So, from a fantasy standpoint, and sticking with the creativity theme, I would have to say FASHION PHOTOGRAPHER.

This would have fulfilled all of the above requirements including travel.

I had even taken two semesters of photography and a semester of broadcast journalism back in the day, but it never occurred to me to run in either direction career-wise.

I still adore cameras, though, and I still take lots of pictures, just not of me, or of people wearing hip clothing.


Thank you, as always, for hopping in and reading my response to this week's question.

Now it's time to hop on over and visit with Betty Bolte to find out how she answers Xio's question about an alternate career choice that sticks to our creativity gene. 

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Romance Writer's Weekly (RWW) has a website with its own blog, and a newsletter. There is also a Facebook page, and the Twitter hashtag is #LoveChatWrite.

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Current WIP: Complete
Title: Love Over Time
Word Count: 98,003
Release Date: Early July (?)


23 June, 2015

Updates




Such a busy past week that I forgot to sign up for the Tuesday Blog Hop via Romance Writer's Weekly. I've included a link to the first hop-stop at the bottom of this post for your reading pleasure.

I've decided on a title for my second novel (Love Over Time) and have purchased a cover as well. Both should be featured here soon. After five rounds of edits, proofreading, and changes to this, my second manuscript, I feel relatively confident about uploading the file (soon).

If interested, I've included the first three chapters in my Excerpts category above. I hope you find the time to check it out and maybe offer some constructive feedback.

I also found the time to go through my Writing Articles folder and thinned out the content. Aside from a few helpful posts about show versus tell, description, and killer plot twists, that folder is now at a much more manageable level.

I could recall my reasons for saving those posts in the first place, but then after a second read, it became more obvious about their worth (or lack thereof) and were either saved or deleted.

My mind is changed about some aspects of writing while it hasn't changed at all for others: namely show versus tell and being more descriptive - which are both by and large the same thing.

I'm still in the process of having to re-learn this aspect while also coming to a few conclusions of my own, and this is always a good thing. It means I'm growing as a writer while also maintaining the sense of style that is common to me and no one else.

I still don't believe that showing is the only way to tell a story, but I do understand, now, why show in certain instances is much better than tell. He was sad isn't nearly as evocative as Try as he might to hide what he felt, the pain now gripping his broken heart showed in his glistening indigo eyes.

And, you'll excuse me for not being even more precise in my analogy since I've grown out of that habit after years of being told not to write that way and now to be told it is the ONLY way to write.

Which is where I come into conflict with the entire show versus tell manifesto. Sometimes: yes, All the time: not necessarily, Depends on the situation: definitely, and Is it the only way to write: definitely not.

Also still tending to vacillate between 3rd Person and Deep POV.

While going through the completed manuscript several times now, it is becoming a bit easier to find these issues, but not entirely. Which might make for another 'difficult' read. Not that anyone who read my first publication came right out and said that, but it was while working on the above-mentioned issues that the problem was pointed out because of those issues.

*Sigh* Onward ho!


With the season finale of Ripper Street having concluded last week, and with the next season of The Musketeers not starting up again until JANUARY, this summer may prove to be a long, dry one entertainment-wise.

At least I have plenty of novels to read!

Right now, I am enjoying Ava Miles' Country Heaven (which you can find out more about if you click on the READING tab above).

Part of the reason for that enjoyment stems from its being practically flawless grammar, spelling, and story-wise. There is a noticeable difference in punctuation usage, however, but not something that is often or bad enough to keep throwing me off and taking me out of the story about two opposites slowly making their way toward a romance.

At least I finally found the time to post a few reviews at both Amazon and Goodreads for the novels that I've already read. Strange, but as a fellow author, I worry about doing this while also knowing how invaluable the service is to us writers. Unless the work is riddled with grammar, punctuation, and usage issues, I'll post a positive review for the story line, its ability to grab me, and the feeling I derived while reading them.


And now on to this week's Blog Hop.

A.S. Fenichel (Andrea) asks: Which person living, dead, a relative, or a stranger has had the biggest influence on your life/writing career? Tell us what he/she was like or how they shaped you.

Fiona Riplee is first up this week, so hop on over and read her response.

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Progress: 100%
Title: Love Over Time
Word Count: 100,379
Cover: Purchased
Release Date: Tentative



16 June, 2015

RWW Blog Hop: Super Power Gift





Welcome back to another Tuesday blog hop courtesy of Romance Writers Weekly.

Every Tuesday, members of RWW get together for a blog hop. We are a terrific support group for fellow Romance Authors and love to share our experiences, give and receive help with our writing dilemmas, and promote one another's work.

I hope you made your way here after visiting with Susan Scott Shelley , and as always, I thank you for hopping in to read my response.

This week, Susan asks: You've been gifted with a super power. Which would you choose? Why?

This is going to be fun.

And, selfishly, I'd like to possess quite a few super-natural abilities!

Fountain of Youth Owner



Time Traveler Extraordinaire



Fastest Woman on Earth


But, after more thoughtful consideration, I've decided that to be gifted with just one super power would mean that I choose to be a bona fide and honest-to-goodness WITCH,


Elizabeth Montgomery in Bewitched


. . . complete with all of the supernatural powers a witch would possess.

Alchemy, spells, unicorns, fairies, and eye of newt still thrill me decades after having truly believed that I could, in fact, grow up to be Samantha Stevens.

Popping in and out of places at the snap of a finger (didn't care for the nose twitch and still can't do it), and stopping bad, nosy, and obnoxious people with a flick of the wrist before they have a chance to go through with any evil, vindictive, or hateful act brewing inside their small minds.

Being a witch would also afford me the luxury of possessing the super-power talents listed above, too!

First, I'd assure that money was never an issue with me again, and then I'd set out to try and help people by using magic spells, potions, and whatever amount of juju I can conjure up at the spur of the moment.

How grand would it be to hand a sad person a book, and then as they're reading, I magically transform their surroundings so that the reader is truly engrossed in the story? Okay, if they enjoy murder or mayhem, I'd assure that they are far enough from flying bullets, swinging axes, and any ferocious monsters that are set loose.

And (lol) how terrific would it be to make my own characters, settings, and conflicts come to life so that I'm better able to understand what is going on and better convey those things to my readers?

When I'm lonely, I can transform into a hot, young thing and go out on the prowl.

When I'm curious, I can snap my fingers and be transported to wherever and whatever has my interest at that moment in order to get a better, more realistic understanding of the situation without having to rely on the news or hearsay.

Whip up delicious meals to feed the hungry, and conjure up boat-loads of clothing, supplies, and anything anyone might be in need of and that would help lessen just a bit of their daily strife.

When it's too hot, I can make myself or snap myself somewhere cool, and when it's too cold, I can do the same for warmth.

Flying, for heaven's sake. I want to be able to fly!

Which is probably why I adore writing as much as I do.

There is a fantasy series in the works, and I've incorporated a few of these possibilities because I think it's fun, interesting, and a great way for folks to escape from reality for a few hours.

And, witches are capable of escape at any time they feel like escaping.

Thanks so much for reading my response to this week's question. And now it's time to hop on over and visit with Carrie Elks to find out what super power she wishes she had.

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Romance Writer's Weekly (RWW) has a website with its own blog, and a newsletter. There is also a Facebook page, and the Twitter handle is @LoveChatWrite.

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Latest WIP: The Curse (tentative)
Word Count: 100,322 - needs more trimming
Status: 3rd Edit Complete/1st Chapter re-write in progress
Cover: still looking
Release Date: late June is becoming iffy now . . .



09 June, 2015

RWW Blog Hop: Social Issues in Novels




Every Tuesday, the members of Romance Writer's Weekly (RWW) get together for a blog hop. We are a terrific support group for fellow Romance Authors and love to share our experiences, give and receive help with our writing dilemmas, and promote one another's work.

Hello, and thank you for hopping over after visiting with Gay Kiser (writing as Tessa Gray).

This week, Ronnie Allen poses the question for us. But, today is also her birthday! Which she says is Perfect to celebrate here.

(Happy Birthday, Ronnie!) She's likely celebrating a birthday AND the release of her latest Sign Behind the Crime Series novel, Gemini.



And the topic: What is the theme in your novels, recurring or in one, that sends a message about an issue in society to help people? Was it developed by you intentionally, or did it evolve through the characters and plot?

While attending College the second time around, I took a class that focused on social issues in literature. It was one of those auditorium-style classes with 100+ students and the professor stomping his way left/right on the stage as he lectured.

At one point in the semester, we touched on children's classics that were ALL deemed to be socially inept, biased, or down-right prejudice in theme. Most were banned, actually, from any and all school libraries on account of their socially intolerant wording/theme.

Classics, mind you.

It was at this point in our 'lesson' that the idea of classics being irrelevant and not worth the read due to their lack of modern social connection with today's readers came into focus, and with most all of the students nodding in agreement with that statement.

I raised my hand, was called upon to speak, stood up, and asked: does this mean you also condone the practice of banning and burning books, then?

If 70 or 100 years from now people would consider doing the same thing with the books we're working on and reading today, then the whole idea of adding social issues to any body of work is pointless.

Drug abuse, physical abuse, alcoholism, rape, alternate sexuality, suppressed people, the down-trodden poor, and racism are not modern-day issues, and yet the way in which we deal with them would suggest otherwise. We may be an older-wiser generation of folk, but I never want to believe we are superior and therefore have all the answers.

I also don't tend to think the way that a majority of the world thinks, and have had my fair share of run-ins with those who disagree with my every opinion about every topic imaginable.

How many have 'un' friend-ed me on social media as a result of my opinion - or offering a counterpoint to theirs?



So-called modern-day social issues are what I avoid injecting into my writing for the simple fact that they are not my specialty. I'm no expert and don't intend to come off as one. But, I would hate for anyone who reads my work to believe that I don't care.

IF the novel's character comes right out of the gate championing a cause, that's one thing. If he/she is made to go through the ugly process chapter after chapter of getting hooked on drugs, whoring to sustain that hook, and then crashing before coming clean, then no, I am not likely to want to read or write about it.

And here's why . . .

After reading Blue-Eyed Devil (Lisa Kleypas), and yes, I liked it! But, when it was over, I needed a stiff drink. A few stiff drinks. But, I don't drink hard liquor, so I was out of luck and had to suffer sober in the debilitating aftermath of having to relive my own nightmares of boyfriend/spousal abuse and dealing (unsuccessfully) with narcissistic co-workers.

Having the life sucked right out of me as a result of having had to deal with a social issue in a novel is not my idea of reading pleasure, and I'd rather not inflict that type of a theme on my readers.

With my first publication, the social issues were why my characters behaved as they did and not the sole premise of the story. It didn't revolve around those issues but rather worked its way toward some form of mental conflict epiphany instead.

Currently, I'm working on a fantasy series set in another realm, and I'm at odds with the inability to incorporate modern-issue conflict without sounding like a flag-waving, card-carrying member of some hated society in line with the cause.

The trick with this series will be to deal with the environment, progress, technology, and even something as mundane as travel without beating my tree-hugger status over anyone's head.

It is draining me mentally to write it in a way that isn't pulpit-like and my-way-or-the-highway sounding. I'd rather it not be a running theme issue at all and just a part of the fantasy, if that will work out right.

I'm sure that by saying I like to read for the escape factor and don't want to get bogged down in a lot of depressing social conflict is a little naive/selfish, but there you have it.

When done right and refreshingly, socially-themed novels can be clever/cute and not at all wearisome. As for my trying it, I will have to give it more thought.

Romance and social issues don't much compute in my mind, so therein lies the problem. IS The Great Gatsby a romance novel or pure social commentary? I lean toward the latter, but I'll wager that most others won't agree.

Again, if she is big business and he is Occupy Wall Street, that's a neat concept for a romance novel, but it isn't likely that I would revolve the theme around their occupations or beliefs in order to tell the story.

I need to think about it some more. [wink]

My novels' themes grow outward organically.

I write romance with the idea of conflict resolution being the plot and not about the social issue.

I would rather not impose my own beliefs as a point of reference in my writing.

Self-actualization without going into elaborate or lengthy detail about a social issue.

Unraveling the cause-effect, the trial-error, or the accept-resolve of the matter while moving them toward the goal of falling in love.

Not happily-ever-after (as I'm discovering with The Curse), but an arrival point that hopefully makes sense even if it doesn't get ironed out and there is no light at the end of the tunnel for them.

Whipped cream, but no cherry on top.

Sometimes.

Dealing with so-called modern-day social issues in novel form is a good thing if it provides a means to an end, but in my own writing and at this point in my effort, I don't feel it is necessary or wise to tackle any social issues, much less make them a theme the story then revolves around.

As always, I thank you for stopping by and reading my response. Now it's time to hop over and visit Veronica Forand and read her response to social issues as theme in any of her writing.


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Romance Writer's Weekly (RWW) has a website with its own blog, and a newsletter. There is also a Facebook page, and the Twitter handle is @LoveChatWrite.


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Latest WIP: The Curse (tentative)
Word Count: 95,831
Status: Complete, but in 3rd Edit Mode
Cover: still looking
Release Date: late June (?)

02 June, 2015

RWW Flash Fiction: Long-Lost Love and Carpenter Tools





Hello, there! Thank you for hopping over from Brenda Margriet's blog.

This week on the hop, Fiona Riplee wants us to write a flash fiction of 250 words or less about a long-lost love, and we're supposed to include the words hammer, chisel, and coping saw.


DESPAIR FOR A LOST LOVE by FABRYKING61

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Back in the day, when you were the IT dude on campus, you stole my heart without ever, even knowing it.

You, the all-star tight end, and ah, what a fine tight end it was, too.

You, the home run king, touching them bases with ease, grace, and skill, just as you'd done with the girls, hammering home the fact that it was with everyone but me.

You, b-ball Jones, running everywhere but toward me, and giving me yet another reason to continue to Jones for you.

You, track & field star in them sexy, white silk shorts that made your long, chisled legs seem even longer, and that oh, so tight tank top in red; our schools colors, and the color of my heart that kept bleeding for a moment of your time.

Sports metaphor surrounded you then and now, in my fading mind, but for me it was carpentry.

I'd used a chisel to etch your name and your likeness in my soul, where you remain immortal and forever eighteen.

A hammer, for all of the self-inflicted pain I suffered in your presence, reminding me of the agony I chose to languish in, in that one-sided love affair of ours.

And a coping saw, not only to chisel out those delicate corners of my mind, but also as a coping mechanism to continue on with my life . . . without you . . . to this very day.

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I thank you for hopping over and taking the time to read my response. Now it's time to visit with Leslie Hachtel and read their flash fiction about long-lost love using the words hammer, chisel, and coping saw.



Romance Writer's Weekly (RWW) has a website with its own blog, and a newsletter. There is also a Facebook page, and the Twitter handle is @LoveChatWrite.




Latest WIP: The Curse (tentative)
Word Count: 94,744
Status: Complete, but in Edit Mode
Cover: still looking
Release Date: late June (?)