Monday, September 29, 2008

Learning Curve #2

Back in the mists of time- way, way back - I foolishly thought that it was enough to want to write a book. Surely I could just sit down and plop it out fully plump and rounded and throbbingly readable non?

The fact that I didn't know what it was really about - other than a love story set in a highland hotel - didn't really bother me as much as it probably should. I was an artist, in love with this new found ability to paint word pictures on the page.

About as comprehensible as Tarzan Boy (see above).

The thing is as a reader we want a point. We want to fathom the mystery and be led on an enticing journey and if the author is kinda Baltimora-style-clueless-storyteller-headed about what that is - well, let's just say the manuscript ain't gonna fly (other than through the air!)

These days I've worked things out a touch better. I've read about beat sheets. I know about character arcs, emotion, keeping pace and heroine and hero on the page, digging deeper.

Back then I just wanted to bichok and write a story. Surely I could write what I wanted if it was mine!! Luckily I got some early pro crit that slapped my hands and sent me back to the treehouse to rework my Tarzan calls and vine swinging technique.

Learning Curve #2 - Have a point, a storyline and get to know what's at the heart of your characters! I know, most people do this already, I'm just strange that way. I like to take the slow road.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Learning Curve #1

I've been navel gazing a bit lately as life's been tough and it's a means of contemplating the meaning of life...and writing etc. I don't imagine I'm a particularly great help to any aspiring writers out there - but I have one thing to offer, I've been on a long apprenticeship with a big learning curve.

So I thought to myself - why not write some blog posts about what I've learned since I started writing. It's been over six years now since I first sat down with the vague idea of trying to writing a romance book. So far I've had two published with Moonlit Romance (and another one coming soon). I've also had lots of Editor feedback that said 'great, keep going, just not quite right yet'. I still have dreams and aims and goals unreached. But why not reflect and ponder on how things have changed in the way I write? So here goes...

Learning Curve #1
When I started out I kept thinking about voice. Voice is all - you need to stand out to an editor right? I can do that, I thought. So I showed off, showcased (or so I believed at the time) banging all my jokes and showy stuff out splat, splat on the page. I enjoyed this - I guess I like to show off *gg* Maybe I just like to laugh at my own jokes!

Here comes the learning curve part - two fabulous authors made me wake up and smell the coffee on this one, both wonderful LBD authors (the lovely Julie Cohen and the enticingly fragrant Phillipa Ashley). Julie once said to me - slow down and enjoy the ride! Fantastic advice. There I was going at it like a turbo jet with such force and gusto that the reader just couldn't keep up quite frankly. Julie liked my jokes but I think I made her head spin (oops!) Pip, on the other hand said, just tell the story (forget the alliteration and fancy stuff and acting like a crazed copywriter in heat - gg).

It's taken me a long time to finally get the gems of this advice. And I guess it's only in the last year or so that I've finally calmed down and taken this to heart.

Voice is great (but voice lurks deep there anyway). Nobody wants to dance with the guy with the pint-glasses, loud Homer Simpson tie and fluro suit even if he is one of the sexiest funniest guy in the room! Er yes Pip, I have just read Just Say Yes and it's showing - gg!

Back to my point...We want to dance with the guy in the faded jeans and t who has the amazing assets, killer lines and quirky wit but doesn't shout about it...the one who makes us melt with a smile and yearn to discover more. That way we're hooked.

So - I guess I've finally put my pint-glasses and neon catsuit away, thank the Lord.

First lesson learned. CALM DOWN THE VOICE and JUST TELL THE STORY.
Thank you Pip and Julie - hi fives!
It just took me a while to do it.

Friday, September 19, 2008


Yes. The winter book is finally done.
And now I have a croaky sore throat voice akin to an alien life form from Dr Who. From one challenge to another.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

More words...

I'm over word count - but it's okay. 112% and one more chapter to complete. Tomorrow is another day. So while I'm at it, here's a reminder of the hero. I think I first fell for Richard E Grant when I heard him on a chat show talking in Swahili...hmmm. Maybe I'm just odd.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Word Worm Race

84% - I'm hard at it! Writing that is...let's hope it goes up again tomorrow!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Jason Lee In German

Jason Lee works even better in German. Wow.

Me and Dave...

Sorry I've been absent. I'm having some tricky times at home and I'm busy writing this Winter book. Anyhoo

On a lighter note - I was reading Julie Cohen's blog about her crazy obsession with certain kids' TV characters.

Thought I'd come out of the closet on mine - Dave aka Jason Lee from Alvin and the Chipmunks. You know, I genuinely love it when daughter insists we watch it. He's my fave hero inspiration of all time - cookie, nice, flawed around the edges but so darn yummy at heart you just want to call up Amazon and order him by courier delivery! Maybe I am super-strange fancying this guy - but it feels so good I can't help it. P.S. Don't google image him - you will get some seriously UNHERO worthy pics that will give you the shudders. But Alvin and the Chipmunks is well worth the WATCH! You may just fall for the hero yourself!