Friday, March 23, 2012

Radio Silence

Where have I been? Its been over ten days since I last posted, its unusual for me to go so long without having something to say. Truthfully, I have written half a post (with pictures) on some of my favorite kick-ass TV fight scenes, so hopefully I might be able to get that up at some point in the near future.
Otherwise I've been busy, busy, busy. I have been offered a new contract with a new publishing company which I'm very excited about, but I'm keeping the details of who, what, were and how quiet until everything is signed and locked in place. They asked for some revisions so that kept me busy for a little while.
And then, in the same week, I got another email from another, bigger publishing company about my Shadow Hunters novel. They did not offer me a contract, however, the lovely editor wrote me a two page email of suggested revisions. If I chose to take them on and re-submit directly to her, then a contract may be forthcoming if I can bring the book up to where they'd like to see it.
So I've spent the past three weeks tearing apart and putting back together my Shadow Hunter novel. I had to entirely re-write some chapters. But I could see where the suggested revisions would make the plot and characters stronger. I've done a lot of work on the book in the last fee weeks. However, in the past days, I had to take a break from it because I'd gotten to the point where I felt like I'd started destroying the book, not improving it. Instead I started writing a brand new sci-fi space opera romance for the new mystery publisher I'm yet to reveal.
As you can see, I've got more than enough work to keep me busy, so apologies in advance if blog posts here remain few and far between.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Revisions, Revisions.

I've been powering through revisions on my Shadow Hunter novel the past few days, tearing it apart, inserting new chapters, changing what's already there and generally hacking my way through the story. I'm really happy with how its going so far and think I'll definitely have a stronger book for it by the time I'm finished.
Except when I sat down this morning, it was like I'd run out of steam. The words are refusing to come and my brain is being sluggish... which is why I'm here, writing a blog post. And instead of considering what I need to do next in the structure of the story, I'm thinking about baking a loaf of bread (nothing like fresh, warm bread from the oven with butter melting on it... yum!)
The other problem is I have somewhere to go at lunch time, so I know my flow is going to get interrupted at that point anyway. Maybe my mind will be more cooperative later this afternoon. In the meantime, bread-baking, here I come.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Writing A Book Is Kinda Like A Relationsip

I came up with a new idea recently. Ask any writer and they will tell you how exciting this is. The blossoming of a new idea is like seeing a guy for the first time and falling into instant infatuation. You don't know him from a bar of soap, but he could be the one. A new book idea is exactly the same. Your heart races, you get fluttering in your stomach, the world around you glows with possibility because this book could be like nothing else you've ever written.
So you sit down and start writing. And its just like a new relationship. Everything is fun and exciting and makes you happy. Things will be like this forever, how could they ever go wrong when you feel this way? The words flow, the characters are deep yet witty, the plot is genius. You burn through the first few chapters no problem.
Then one day you sit in front of the computer and it doesn't seem quite as easy as it did the day before. Just like when your relationship starts getting serious, the shine has worn off. You get annoyed with your characters because you suddenly realize your Alpha hero is actually a Beta and your heroine is swinging toward TSTL (too stupid to live). But that's okay! You can fix it because you have love, and that's all that really matters.
So you keep slogging on. You reach the middle and things start sagging. Worse, you realize its starting to get really hard, but you've still got a long way to go. Its an uphill battle and you start double-analyzing everything your characters say and do, looking for ways they're going to stab you in the back with their inability to lead the plot in any sensible or entertaining direction.
At last you get to the climax. You rise above the problems that have come before and can see clearly for the first time in a while. Maybe things aren't as bad as they looked on the ground. You remember that feeling you had when you first came up with the book idea and think maybe if you really commit and put your whole heart into it, things can be that way again, you can make it into what it was meant to be.
So you finish the book, like getting married, because those hopes and dreams still exist. And once the book is finished, things will be different, right? They'll be better? Because surely with a finished manuscript, the world will be a better place. And for a while it is. You bask in the gratification of having a completed book.
Except then you realize that you're now stuck with it forever and it needs to be edited. Torn apart and put back together, stuck under a microscope and a spotlight directed on its flaws. Like couples therapy, you don't want to do it, its going to hurt and make you face sides of yourself and your book you'd rather not see. But deep down you know its for the best, that when you come out on the other side, you'll both be in a better place. So, you take it one day at a time and hope you have more good days than bad. Some days, you and your book won't want to see each other, you won't even remember why you liked it in the first place. But most days, you'll tolerate it. And a lot of days you'll see the light side, the fun side. Occasionally something will remind you of that initial puppy-love you had for it. And in those moments, you'll remember why you go through this crazy process over and over, every time you get a new idea and start another book.