Revisions: Adding More Words

So one of the comments I got during the beta was to add more. I was writing a Science Fiction novel and I did not want it to get too wordy – I’ve ready plenty of stories like that. However, I agreed with my betas and CP that a little more explanation was needed in some areas. Thus to add a little length, I did the following:

 

  1. I went through all the areas noted by my CP. I had a great CP and any area highlighted with the words MORE I heeded.
  2. I wrote short stories for each of my pivotal characters. I then read through the story to ensure that my character descriptions aligned with how they were written in my story. This helped tremendously in dialogue and further describing certain scenes.
  3. I picked through spots to analyze: the beginning (in this case my prologue), the absolute middle, and the end. I checked these areas to ensure the sections engaged the readers.

What do you do to beef up your novels?

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Unmet Goals

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What was I thinking

Maybe in a world where I didn’t get sick over the Memorial Day writing weekend, I didn’t have grad school, both kids had dance recitals, a graduation, and an awards program – my goals would have been accomplished. Surely I could have revised 10 picture books and a NA Scifi novel in a month. I can only dream. But sleep is precious to me so I had to rearrange my goals.

The picture books have been revised and reviewed. I will read them out loud to some kiddies one more time and by June 3rd start querying. I am very nervous. I have only queried as the result of a pitch contest so this seems very intense to me. I feel like after I hit send I should uncork some bubbly:)

As for the NA Scifi, my hope is that revisions will be done by the end of June. Which will be awesome! That gives me all June to think of nothing but Cailynn and the other characters from the novel – and they deserve my full attention.

I hope your revisions went well this month. As always share any revision stories or tips in the comments below. I also find your words helpful.

Campnano Day 19: Passion (or what Fantasia taught me)

Emotions

To be honest, I really have not watched American Idol in a long time.

Last night, I was doing homework and flipping channels and decided to stop. I am sort of familiar with the girls in the top five so I figured I would see who was voted off. I am so happy I tuned in. Last night Fantasia sang a song that showed me with passion and artistry is all about. Is you have not seen it, please watch this performance of Fantasia “Lose to Win” on American Idol Thursday night:

Wow. I hit rewind several times just to take in the words to the song and note how she conveyed the emotion behind each and every one. In that moment it hit me – this is what we do as writers – convey passion.

Whenever I read something, I am looking to be moved. I want to laugh, I want to cry – I want to feel SOMETHING. I believe that was the greatest lesson I learned from writing when I first started as a journalist – that my words had power. People would stop me while I was on assignment or when I was in stores to tell me that my pieces encouraged them, enraged them, or gave them hope. There was power in my words. There was power in what I had written.

The best thing that we can do for our stories and for our characters is to let our passion bleed through. Let the readers feel what we feel. Move them. Your stories will be better for it.

Grafitti

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I totally want a do over for my weekend. It was filled with things that drained my energy and gave me the blues.

1. I possibly sprained my finger and had to buddy band it.
2. I did not understand anything related to my stats homework.
3. Bored kids wrote foul language on several driveways on my street with hard to remove liquid chalk (and you know my house was one of the houses).

Between all the scrubbing and popping Tylenol for pain, writing this weekend – especially Sunday was a no go for me. I tried my hardest to think of the little girl on adventures with her blanket and a talking fish but I could not focus.

What I could think about was an evil witch who catches to trouble making teens and wooshes them to another dimension where they have to fight colorful squiggly line creature that are incapable of dying. See how I just created a story plot from my life!

So that is my writing lesson for today – sometimes life will hand you crazy things. A good writer knows how to shape these things into something amazing. Don’t fear the graffiti; recognize the art.

How was your weekend?

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Are you ready for camp?

2013-Participant-Campfire-Circle-BadgeA little girl, a unicorn, and a pink blanket comprise my latest project.

This month, I along with many others will embark on Campnanowrimo. Unlike Nanowrimo, which is held in November, you can work on whatever – group of short stories, novellas, scripts. Also, this year you set your own word count.

For the aforementioned children’s book, I am aiming for 30K this month. I feel that should yield some decent Picture Books.

I’m pretty excited. This was an idea that I’ve had since January and put in the idea file. Of course, its something I’ve never done before but I think it’s going to be loads of fun.

I have a soft spot for Campnanowrimo because it’s where I finished my first novel. After participating in Nano for 4 years I never completed anything. Yet, I participated in Campnanowrimo the summer of 2012 and struck gold!

For more info on camp, visit: http://www.campnanowrimo.org

What are you working on for Campnanowrimo? How did you prepare?

 

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Things I have learned from #AskAgent

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My favorite thing to do is to troll through the #askagent hash tag. Even if I don’t have a question to ask, I love to see what others are asking and the responses. It is very helpful to any writer and I learn something new on a weekly basis.

Below are some things I feel may be beneficial to others:

1. Patience is key

Agent Juliet Mushens discussed how the time from query to response can sometimes be a lengthy one. I also have many friends who have sent out queries and expect rapid fire response. Folks sometimes it can take up to 3 months. Be patient! Check out Den Patrick’s interview with Juiliet Mushens here: http://www.denpatrick.com/2013/03/juliet-mushens-do-and-donts.html?m=1

2. Mind your word count

11 year olds don’t want to read epic tales! Every #askagent I’ve seen usually has a word count question. I’m even guilty of asking once before! Check out Jennifer Laughran’s post on word count: http://literaticat.blogspot.co.uk/2011/05/wordcount-dracula.html

3. Dialogue is key

Read your story out loud. Unrealistic dialogue kills a story and a lot of time this can be caught if you just read your story out loud or have someone read to you.

4. Stop worrying about platform

I have seen SEVERAL agents say this on #askagent. Write your book. It doesn’t matter if you have 1000 twitter followers, the best blog ever, and 1500 Facebook friends – if your book is crap, you are not getting an agent. Worry about establishing your platform after you tighten up that novel. (Now of course this advice is different for non-fiction)

What have you learned from #askagent? Share in the comments below:)

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A Kick In The Pants

I didn’t start out 2013 motivated.

I was beginning to grown tired of my novel. I was dedicating so much time and energy to it and it got to a point where I began to doubt my work. I doubted that the words on the page were good enough.

Twitter was abuzz with people getting agents and winning contests and I was revising – again.

Then 2 things happened to snap me out of my funk:

1. I found two great CP’s

2. I finally won a contest.

Finding my CP’s. I have a great CP that I found on Shewrites.com and a great CP that I found via a contest I entered on Twitter. Having these writers get excited and provide a much needed jab in the right direction is so beneficial.

Winning a contest. I was on Twitter Friday and read about a flash fiction contest with a midnight deadline. I played around with entering because I was in a writing funk. But when I went home I couldn’t get the picture of the door out of my mind and BOOM it happened. That weekend, I couldn’t stop writing and regardless of whether I won, I had gotten my fire back. And entering actually paid off and I won: http://typelingsaz.blogspot.com/

I don’t know where you are in your writing. Maybe you are still in the honeymoon phase or maybe you and your work in progress are having a fight. Search within yourself and go find your needed kick in the pants. Here’s to hoping for continued productivity!