Book Done Yet: So Much Bigger Than I Thought

I always panic at the beginning of a book because I look at it and think, There’s just no there here. (I also panic in the middle and at the end, but for different reasons.) It’s just a story about a Girl who isn’t even My Girl yet, and stuff happens but it’s just . . . stuff. There’s no depth, no layering, it’s all surface.

Well, yeah, that’s because it’s the beginning. Continue reading

Book Done Yet? The Conflict Box Is A Magical Thing

So after staring into space (along with the fifty other things that had to be done this week) and then losing my computer (I had to run after the dogs and I forgot where I dropped it, so I kept searching the living room which wasn’t a help since it was in the guest room), and getting stung on the bottom of my foot by a wasp (don’t ask), I ended up with an ice pack back in bed, thinking about the antagonist.

At that point, I came to two realizations: Continue reading

Book Done Yet? Thinking About Tone

One of the things a discovery draft discovers is tone (“the general character or attitude of a place, piece of writing”), which is very close to but not the same as mood (“a distinctive emotional quality or character”). So think of them as attitude and emotion, it you will. The tone of Fast Women is fairly dark, the tone of Bet Me is much lighter and snappier, but I think Bet Me is the more emotional book, and I think Faking It is deeper emotionally than either of them, even though the tone is lighter than both of them. The thing is, I can’t plan tone and mood, they just show up and I have to hope they’re in a good relationship with each other even if they’re very different. Continue reading