Yep, That Critique Response Is Coming Right Up. But First . . .

So I’m behind. The plan is to get the critique response up on Sunday. There were a lot of comments–you guys do good work–and I’m still sifting through everything.

In the meantime, I’ve been working on a lot of different aspects of the book because as one thing shifts, it shifts the thing next to it, and it becomes like a giant box of gears, turning in all directions. And one of the directions it went in was toward the collages. In the beginning, still under the influence of Lucifer, I used Tom Ellis, the star of that show, as my placeholder for Nick. That wasn’t right–no shade to Mr. Ellis who is very good on the show–because that wasn’t my story and it definitely wasn’t my kind of hero. That collage looked like this:
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Nita, the Pop Song

I’m in the middle of rewriting Nita, breaking the scene down into beats and looking at the motifs and repetition, and I’m delighted to see that the scene has fallen into one of my favorite scene structures, the AABA structure, which is the basis of most pop songs. Then it occured to me that I’d never mentioned this before on Argh because it’s not a theory or a rule and because I’m complete idiot about music, so I’m reluctant to pontificate there. But the AABA structure can be so useful (for some scenes, not all, not a rule) that it’s a just good thing to know. Continue reading

Susan Elizabeth Phillips Is a Goddess

Have I ever mentioned how important it is to have good writing friends?

I was working on the latest draft of Nita this morning (you all haven’t seen this one), thinking “This will never work,” and SEP e-mailed me about something, and I told her that I was worried because my heroine was drunk in the first scene, and she wrote back “Drunk heroines are fantastic! They get in all kinds of trouble that way. And you know how much I love heroines in trouble. . . . I swear to God I’m going to get on a plane and pull that frickin’ next book out of your head! Be afraid.”

So I sent her the first scene to show her I was writing and got this back:
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Questionables: Got Any?

QuestionableRemember Questionables? That thing we used to do where you’d ask questions and I’d answer them? That was fun, but boy howdy, there were a lot of them.

So I’m on my last two Questionable posts which will post next week. That’s the end of that unless you have more writing questions, which you would put in the comments if you had any.

In the meantime, here is your guide to previous Argh Questionables: Continue reading

Monday Notes


There was a wasp in my bedroom a couple of weeks ago, and I thought about getting a shoe and killing it, and then I thought, “No, be one with Nature.” Then it stung me on the bottom of my foot, incredible pain (I beat the damn thing to death with my slipper), and then I limped for two days. Fuck Nature, this is MY BEDROOM. Then last week I looked up and there was a spider the size of Milton (almost) on my bedroom wall. So I cut the top off an empty water bottle, trapped it inside–sweet Christ that thing was huge–and then took it out on the porch and threw the whole thing over the rail (the spider lived, I’m not a monster). I know spiders are Our Friends, but not in my freaking bedroom. Also, they bite. Then last night, a giant bee started harassing my reading lamp, so I water-bottled it and flung it outside to buzz again, too. And that’s before we get to the no-see-ums and other general insect population munching on my flesh. (Benadryl Itch Stopping Cream: it’s like 42, the answer to everything.)

This has been your Nature in New Jersey post for the month. Continue reading