Saturday, October 1, 2011

So much for posting once a week or two. How about posting once every 3-4 months?  That sounds more do-able. <sigh>  Ah well.  This is something I would never beat myself up about, and I only find myself here today because there's been so much talking about blogging on my local RWA loop. So here I am, in the short space of time before my mom and I go out for breakfast.

The busy just never stops.  Just a couple of weekends ago, CaRWA hosted a lovely workshop with agent Deidre Knight from The Knight Agency and editor Emily Ohanjanians from HQN. Being part of the CaRWA board, we took our guests on a tour of Banff National Park.  Mountains, sun, wonderful company and great food make the trip a success.  Many personal connections were made, and I would personally love to work with either of these lovely ladies (maybe both if I'm lucky!)... as soon as I finish something I can send to them!

Right now I'm working on my novella for Bandit Creek called Skin Deep.  What happens when 30 some-odd authors get together and brainstorms?  A 33 book collaboration coming out over 16 months, all based in the town of Bandit Creek, Montana!  The first one, LOST, a Bandit Creek Mystery Tale by Vivi Anna came out on September 15.  The second one, Siren's Song (a Time travel tale) by DL Snow, released TODAY!!  They are fantabulous reads, and I'm not just saying that because I'm part of the series.  Every author has the chance to do something different: different voice, different genre (paranormal, historical, contemporary, etc), but we all have the tie into the wonderful town where anything can happen.  My book comes out on January 1, 2012... I just have to get it finished by Nov 1! (eep!)

I have been using what I have learned through monthly CaRWA meetings and the different workshops to start this fresh product.  A few tips that I use religiously:

  • It's not"just" anything.  It is or it isn't.  I used to use this word in practically every paragraph.  Now I murder it if I even see it trying to peek into my story.
  • Use active prompts to denote who's speaking instead of using He said, she said, he grunted, she panted, blah blah blah. An example? 
                       "Why are you still here?" His voice sounded tortured even to himself.
                       She poked him in the side, then started stroking his abs. "I can't seem to stay away.
                       Everything in me wants to crawl inside you."  Her heated gaze caught his.  "I'm just tired of
                       fighting it anymore."

  • Take your characters deeper. Do they seem to be at their lowest point?  What sticks and rocks can you throw at them down there.  This doesn't mean you have to keep adding different and numerous problems that your characters have to overcome. They can be the same problems, just twisted and deeper.  Say they think they solve something, but really it just reveals more underlying issues.  I like throwing these stones and laughing manically to my characters, "HA! See if you can get out of that!"  Just play the "What-if" game and see if you can come up with some crazy situations.
Anyways, I'll keep it shorter today and leave you with this.  Plus by breakfast companion is here. :)