Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Chapter Interruptus

There I was, typing away happily, writing Chapter Six.  Which is a pretty important chapter because although my Hero and Heroine have managed to get all hot and steamy on a few occasions, Chapter Six is where it all happens.

You know?  It.  The "it".  Yes *whispers* sex.

And like I said before, I was on a roll.  Things were heating up very nicely and then WHAM, BAM, KAPOW.  It happened.

No, not that it.  A different it.  A bad it.

Chapter Interruptus.

No matter how hard I try, Life just refuses to be put on hold and quite frequently insists on pushing its way in on my writing time.  So I had to stop writing.  Mid bowm chicka bowm bowm and that kinda left me feeling a little disorientated.

But that's not the worst part.  The worst part is now I've tried three times to pick up from where I left off and ..........I can't.  Talk about performance anxiety.

My Hero and Heroine have been left in a position that I reckon would become physcially uncomfortable in about 5 mins and just plain awkward uncomfortable - on account of no one actually doing anything - in about 1.5 mins.  Think about it folks: things between you and your pelvic affiliate have progressed way past the slow waltz section of the mattress dance and *cue screeching brakes sound effect* someone yells "Freeze!"  How long do you think you could hold it?

Hmmm, that's what I thought too.

But I have been thinking about possible solutions:
1. Rewrite the whole scene.  Not really an option because I don't want my poor little brain to shift out of 'writing' mode into 'rewriting' mode.
2. Watching me some sexy movies.  Distinct possibility.  Please note: I said sexy not adult.
3. Listen to some sexy music.  Tried this a few times.  Mr Ne-Yo - ohmigoodnesslordyme.  Yes well it sort of worked except that I ended up thinking of a new story which I have sworn not to follow up until I have finished this one.  Actually make that two stories.  Bad Ne-Yo.  Bad.  Bad.  Bad.
4. Psych myself into it.  Also known as sucking it up and just doing it.  Think this is going to be my only real option.  If it sounds a little disjointed or not so sexy when I read it back, then I will do my best to smooth it all out and spice it up.

Dare I ask, what do you do when you get stuck writing mid Wild Thang?  While I wait for your sage advice, Sandy and I will listen to Ne-Yo.  Just a little bit.  Promise.

Ohmigoodnesslordyme indeed!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

I'm A Plotter.....Aren't I?

I like to think of myself as semi-organised. 

I'm prepared for all eventualities at picnics.  I have back up plans for back up plans on holidays.  My kitchen is stocked with many and varied condiments, ingredients and enough cake tine/baking dishes to make Wilton's green with envy - all just in case I'm taken by the urge to cook 'something'.

I have always taken the same approach to writing.  I write out a brief synopsis of the story with all the major plot points and character names and then I expand on that to include all the little odd quirks that have come to me when I've been thinking about the story.  Then I sit down to write.

But this time, it was different.  I got the idea for the story but just a rough idea and instead of going through my normal process, I just started writing.  In part I'm blaming Jessica Hart (whose blog I just love) because she's published squillions of books but is so down to earth and I love how she refers to her first draft as the Shitty First Draft (SFD) and the second as the Shitty Second Draft (SSD).  The rest of the blame lies squarely on the head of Jackie Ashenden because after selling her first, second, third and fourth book in like 20 seconds, she has been encouraging me (yes, she does write her blog just for me) to be true to my own voice and writing for myself and not worrying about craft to the point where it stifles my voice.

So you see, it's not my fault at all!

With all that extremely good advice and permission to throw off the constraints of writing the perfect first draft, I may have gotten a little ahead of myself, and I just dove in.  I usually find that I can write the first three chapters without any problem, but then I start to get bogged down and by the time I reach chapter six, I'm happy to be lured off to a new project ...... *oooh look a new Hero*  I'm such a floozy.

But not with this ms.  I'm up to chapter six and it's just rolling along.  As I'm writing, what happens next just pops into my head and I end up doing my best stunned mullet impersonation and muttering: "why not?"  Miraculously, I haven't been bogged yet.  I mean I'm not kidding myself, it truly is a SFD (god bless you, Jessica). 

It remains to be seen if this process is going to work for me but I'm going with it.

My only problem is now when one of my blogger gurus ask me if I'm a plotter or a pantser, I have no idea what to reply.  A plottser?  A pantter?

Maybe I'll just reply:  I'm a SFDer and let it go at that.

Friday, July 6, 2012

So You Think You Can Write

I first started entering category romance competitions in 2009 (gah it seems so long ago but when you write it down it's like nothing!) with the I Heart Presents Competition.

Which then morphed into the New Voices Comp in 2010 and 2011.

To save you from scrolling through my archives: I didn't do so well.

Harlequin has another competition called So You Think You Can Write.  I believe it started in 2010.  I'm a little hazy on the rules for the last two years competition (mainly because I can't locate them anywhere on the net?) and this year's competition rules have yet to be posted so I can't comment on them either.  But here's what I do know:
  • For this year's comp, you need to have a completed manuscript
  • It starts in September this year (as opposed to Nov in the last two years) which is when New Voices started in 2011 and 2010
  • To enter you need to submit a first chapter and a 100 word pitch.
  • There will be an online vote (similar to New Voices) and 25 writers will be selected 
  • There will be an additional 3 wildcard entries selected by Harlequin
  • Those 28 writers will then need to submit their completed manuscripts
  • 3 Finalists will be chosen by Harlequin and another online vote will be held and a winner announced
Here's what else I know:
  • SERIOUSLY doubt I will be entering.
Why?  Because I doubt I will have a manuscript edited to the point where I would be happy to enter it into a competition of this scale.  Last year New Voices had 1084 entries of first chapters and I know lots of those who entered had only written that first chapter - waiting to see if they got anywhere before committing the time and energy to writing more of what could possibly be, a lost cause.  I took my sweet time in writing and then polishing to the point of wearing out a polishing rag and using a whole tin of Writer's Polish before I submitted to NV.  Not that it did me any good anyway.  But I'm not sure I have enough time to do the same for SYTYCW.

I will, however, be (hopefully) taking part in as many of the online conference events as I can.  These are immensely valuable and what's not to love about a conference you can attend in your pjs?

So in honor of the upcoming event and because I haven't treated y'all to a shoe experience in a LOOOO-OOOOONG while, here is what I will be sporting to the conference:

I'm too tall to do cute so I have to opt for stylish and Ugg boots just don't make the cut.  The rest of me might look like hell but my shoes will be heavenly.