Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wee-Bit Wednesday: Desert Walker Edition

One of my regular posts, uh, back when I posted regularly, was what I called Wee-Bit Wednesdays. This was my take on the Teaser Tuesdays that everyone in the blogosphere did at the time. Same premise, different day. [side note: now some people do WIP Wednesdays, like my phenomenally talented friend, Ruthie Knox - check her out too!]

Now that I once again have WIPs (two to be exact) I want to bring this back as an opportunity to show you guys what I'm working on and bring you along on my journey as I attempt my second and third books in the Prophecy of Souls trilogy.

(Also, I'm hoping to draw you into my web deep enough that you'll put on the velour sweat suits, drink the kool-aid and eventually purchase my books when they're published. But, you know, semantics.)

So, to kick off this awesome weekly (or bi-weekly, or bi-monthly...okay, really the only guarantee is that it will always be on a Wednesday...which Wednesdays will be a fun surprise, much like finding the center of a tootsie pop) here is a Wee-Bit from the final book of the trilogy, Soul Seduction.


Gabriel took several long pulls of his cold beer, not even taking the time to enjoy the taste, just needing it to quench his thirst and give him the false sense of hydration. Looking out at the dusty highway and stretch of desert beyond, he wondered how his family was doing back in Chicago. How long had it been since he’d called? Six months? Nine? He reached down with one hand and absently scratched Czar’s head as he tried to remember. Well, however long it had been, it’d been a while ago. He should probably call. They didn’t have his number or his address. Their only regular proof of life was the unmarked package he had to ship them once a month. His mom was probably having fits and ranting about stress wrinkles, which was impossible, considering she’d stopped aging twenty-six years ago before he’d even been born.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Rejections are No BFD

Typically speaking, I don’t have a thick skin. Look at me the wrong way and I’ll instantly run through a gamut of offenses I might be guilty of to cause just such a glance. In all reality, the person might just have a piece of dust in their eye and the twitchy-narrowing-eye-thingy wasn’t a display of loathing, but simply an attempt to eradicate the microscopic dust bunny.

While writing my first book, I often worried about the inevitability of rejection. Not only are writers rejected 9 out of 10 times [note: not a real statistic; I’m just guessing], but also more often than not, they’re form rejections, so we don’t even know the reason behind it. This is the same as that “Wrong Look” I just mentioned. It tells us there’s a problem in the agent’s eyes (pun intended), but it doesn’t tell us what the problem is.

There are lots of posts and articles and probably carvings on bathroom stalls with advice on how to deal with rejection as a writer. After all, every writer–whether you’re Stephen King or the literary equivalent of William Hung–gets rejected.

And that, my friends, is the single most important lesson I want you to remember.

It happens to EVERYONE!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Top 10 Things I Learned from Writing a Book: #9 Trim the fat & get to the good stuff

So I’ve finished my first novel, Desires of the Soul, and it’s caused me to reflect on the things I’ve learned. Naturally, I want to share them with all of you. Maybe you’ve learned the same things; maybe you were lucky enough to already possess this wisdom. Either way, for the next couple of months, I’ll be posting a new lesson-learned every week (or so). I hope you’ll check back and weigh in with thoughts or lessons of your own. So without further ado, here is...

#9. Trim the fat & get to the good stuff

This is something I still have a hard time with.  For those who have read my previous post I wish I was an under-achiever, you know that I’m not the writer who fleshes out the book and then fills it in with details later.  I’m also not the writer who can be described as “succinct” in her writing.

Nope, I’m long-winded, an embellisher, a detailed digresser.  The practice of “short and sweet”
completely escapes me.

But if we wax poetic about what our main character had for breakfast and how it was prepared, we’re slowing our pace down and getting away from what’s truly important in the scene.  So unless those pancakes trigger a vital memory or are the cause of his food poisoning, skip it.  Take it out.  You don’t need it.

I’ll give you an example from my first chapter of how I trimmed the fat and changed an entire paragraph into one simple sentence…