So it’s been a week . . .

I fully intended to have the entire Act One of Anna up today. Then I got my flu and pneumonia shots and have been flat on my back for three days thanks to what I’m fairly sure is an immune response. I’m getting better every day so I’m not worried, but ye gods I do not want that pain again. I never thought anything could keep me from writing if I wanted to, but when it hurts to move your arms, typing is not fun.

Having said that, obviously I am typing again. Continue reading

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One Thing Not To Do If You’re Writing A Book and You’re Me

So I had this idea of the love interest in the Anna book, a guy who would look trust-fund rich in a suit and then turn out to be very different (because Anna would be looking for somebody who would annoy her ex which would also pay off later), and I’d added eyelashes and cheekbones because I was looking for universal markers. I forgot jawline which according to an article in Vanity Fair is essential for testosterone laden characters:

“That chiseled, rugged jawline, as well as prominent cheekbones and heavy brow ridges, are all built by testosterone,” said Dr. Helen Fisher, Biological Anthropologist and Chief Scientific Advisor for Match.com. “Testosterone is also linked with the behavioral traits of dominance, interest in sex and aggression. As a result, those with these angular features can signal confidence and manliness (in good characters) and aggression and predatory behavior (in bad characters)—depending on the context.”

The problem was, I had no real idea of what this guy looked like. I’d pretty much built him from things that would bother Anna’s ex and intimidate Anna so that when she went over to him, it would be a really brave thing to do. That was a bad idea.

So here’s what never to do if you write like me: Don’t describe characters until you have their placeholders. Continue reading

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Every Book Makes Its Own Rules

I have just realized that I’m writing this book in chapters in chronological order. I NEVER do that. It’s the weirdest thing, but that’s the way it’s coming to me in chunks of 5000 to 6000 words. It’s just bizarre. I’m fairly sure I’ll break free by the time Act One is done, and of course there will be copious rewriting, but I’ve never written a book like this before. It would worry me, but I figure I can blame Bob. He’s very linear. We’ve been talking about writing for weeks. It’s his influence and his fault. Continue reading

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Plotting, a Whine

By now, it’s obvious to anybody who reads this blog that I am not a natural plotter. Some people think in plots. Those people would be Bob and Krissie. Normally these would be aim-for-them-when-I-drive people, but they are important to my life, so I just have to put up them. Meanwhile, I make tables and conflict boxes and mind-maps and act diagrams and scream a lot. Really, I just want to write people having snarky conversations; a reason for those conversations seems a lot to ask.

Take Lily and Anna, for example. I don’t think Lily is ever going to have a plot. At most, I’m guessing it might be a novella. It’s just a bunch of people I like sitting around eating food I like and flirting. There is nothing wrong with this as long as I don’t show it to anybody (well, except for you guys, you’ll read anything). So I really don’t think Lily is ever going to be a book. But Anna . . . Continue reading

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You Gotta Have Friends, Part Two

My other penpal is, of course, Bob Mayer, with whom I wrote for five years. If there’s one thing Bob and I can do, it’s communicate, often in short pithy phrases. Bob was career military, so he’s great at giving me parameters on that, plus we wrote together for so long that we speak the same fiction language. And, like Toni, he points out the places that tripped him up and gives me possibilities the story evoked in him. So below are some of the exchanges we had; as with Toni, there’s a lot more in my e-mail folder.

(He was particularly helpful with the strangling stuff.)

To begin with, I described my idea of Nate’s back story and got this: Continue reading

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Thinking About Anna

So I have 10,000 words done on Anna’s book and Carter is in it, and for some reason it has mob back story, which I had not planned, and I have no idea what happens in Act Two or Three (or really most of One); Act Four ends happily but we already knew that. I mean, the Girls definitely have a direction they’re going in, and I have this whole double identity thing to play with in the romance, and I’m starting to really love the heroine, and the hero isn’t bad, either, but I am once again confronting a wimpy antagonist who probably isn’t the real antagonist.

I just don’t understand how all this mob stuff got in here. Continue reading

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I Am Hopeless (Edited with a Note)

So yesterday Bob and I were talking about if we wanted to keep going with the HWSWA chats, and he suggested we show up next week (a week from tomorrow) with the conflict box for a new book he’s working on and one of the old books I’ve been working on (Lily, You Again, Lavender, whatever). I said, “Or I could start a new book,” and he said, “Finish something,” which was the right answer because the last thing I needed was a new book.

Then around midnight last night, I was reading a Book Bub blurb, and started to think what I could do with that very common premise and suddenly these people were talking in my head and I loved it and I wrote 4500 words. Continue reading

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