Waiting for "The Call"

“Honey, it’s always crap. Every book I write is crap. It’s my job to fix the crap afterwards,” according to Nora Roberts. Well, I've got it half right. Still working on the "fixing it" part. "Trust your characters to be complex enough and to have enough emotional baggage. Force them to make hard choices." Advice from Michelle Styles that might help!

Now for the real work (and some fun reading!) June 28, 2009

Filed under: Writing and Life — Autumn Macarthur @ 12:07 pm
Tags: , ,


 I’ve luxuriated all week in a delicious sense of achievement at finishing the first draft of Luk and Emma.

I’ve also read. Bliss! (Well, when I could read. I’ve had sinusitis this week and by Thursday evening I couldn’t even focus my eyes on the page or the screen. Slept for 16 hours straight after taking some knockout strong painkillers. After that I didn’t know or care if it was the sinusitis or the drugs that were making me see double!)

I do need to be careful what I read when I’m in the middle of  writing. I seem to have this sponge-like tendency to unconsciously suck up whatever I am reading and  then it appears in my writing. I know that excuse has been used in some high level plagiarism cases, and I don’t buy it when it’s a word for word lift of a scene! But I have noticed it’s something I do to a certain extent, a character type, a turn of phrase, sneaking into my writing that I know I read somewhere else. I don’t want to just be a washed out copy of the writers I admire, so I decided not to read anything in the same line as I was writing while  was first drafting.

I’ve missed my reading so much! First thing I did when I finished that first draft last Saturday was reach for my To Be Read stacks! Two Kate Hardy Modern Heats, and a LBD (The Farmer Needs a Wife) have been devoured so far. I have Julie Cohen’s Girl from Mars  waiting to liven up my commute this week. Also I’ve bought e-books of the latest Kate Hardy, Natalie Anderson, and Heidi Rice Modern Heats. Though I can’t read those on the train ’til I get another smart phone. I loved my old phone, which did everything, including working surprisingly well as an e-book reader, and I was stupid enough not to notice it being stolen sometime on the Underground section of my commute last week. That must have been one helluva skillful pickpocket! Moral of the story is- keep your bag zipped up when in London.

Actually, this has been a busy week. I visited a hotel on Tuesday, met a woman on Wednesday morning, and was talking to a man at work on Wednesday afternoon. Some connections clicked in my brain, I put them all together, and I now have a full synopsis written for my next story, even GMC charts for the characters, all ready to start writing. Woot! I can’t wait! That will probably be my entry for the new I Heart Presents contest that’s being announced July 6.

Anyway, It’s not time to start a new story yet. Now it’s time to read something else. Luk and Emma in first draft.

I’ve spent some time this week thinking about plot and character and motivation and all that stuff. I’ve done most of the homework for Kara Lennox’s Plot Doctor workshop, and it’s helped me dig a lot deeper and find some of the weak spots that really need fixing. I have a five page single spaced synopsis, that seems to vaguely make sense and hasn’t sent my crit group screaming. Now I need to find out if I have something that can be made into a readable story. I’m anticipating 95% dreck, 5% something I can work with.

Sure hope I am not disappointed!


One Response to “Now for the real work (and some fun reading!)”

  1. Susan Rix Says:

    Just discovered your blog – loving it! Will bookmark for future visits and I’ve also added to my links – hope you don’t mind!

    ~ Sue ~ xx

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