Monday, November 14, 2011

Birth of a Novel Blog Chain Week 3

Current word count:
25,556 as of Monday 4:30pm

Surprise of the week:
Kevin is a class A jerk. Can't say much more because it would be a spoiler, but let's just say he's an idiot too. For those of you who have not read the first chapter, Kevin is Ry's best childhood friend. He got married straight out of HS to his pregnant girlfriend in chapter one.

I thought that was it for his part, but he shows back up in Chapter 5 and acts as catalyst for the next chunk of the book. *mumble mumble* jerk *mumble mumble*. Who needs enemies with friends like that? And yes, I use that cliche in the chapter. Hey, that's what revisions are for, right?

Road Blocks for the week:
Yesterday I wanted to quit everything writing related. Why? I received a critique I had been waiting on. It was correct on all points, but it still made me want to cry. Why? Because I'm the one that messed everything up. I edited my novel (Sendek) to death. Yep. And some of you tried to warn me, but I didn't listen. (Michael)

Over the past year I've worked so hard to tweak the first chapter in a way to hook the reader. I changed everything that I started out with. And after getting the critique I realized something. I was editing for the wrong audience. I forgot who I wrote the book for and tried to change it to fit in with the "rules" to hook agents. But I lost my voice. I lost the flow and cohesion of the story. Nothing made sense to someone just picking up the book.

All that work just to ruin a perfectly good story. I realized something else. I'm still holding back. I can dig deeper, but I'm scared too. There's that secret heart of me that doesn't dare peak out at the world, even disguised as a character from a book.
How do I let her out?

I almost stopped writing Faerie Wings, but I know that isn't the answer. Instead, I did what any self respecting writer would do in a case like this. I went to the store and bought $5 worth of good chocolate and stuffed it all down my face on the five minute ride home. Well, I really only ate one square of each candy bar, but I felt like eating it all.

Procrastinator for the week:
I worked on a book cover before I got sick. If I had known I was going to get sick, I would have tried harder to write instead.

Snippet for the week:

The doorbell woke me at 2:52 AM. Heather must have forgotten her key again.

I tossed the covers aside and padded my way to the front door. The doorbell rang again and again.

“Stop already, I’m coming.” I removed the chain, turned the deadbolt and opened the door.

Strong arms grabbed me. They spun me around and pinned my arms to my side. Someone shoved a cloth bag over my head.

“Scream and we kill you.” A male voice rumbled by my ear.

My arms ached, but the guy didn't relax his hold. He dragged me out the door. I stumbled down the steps and then he pushed me into a car. My head hit the window on the far side of the car as soon as I got in. The guy jerked me up by one arm and shoved me over so he could get in beside me. He reached across and locked the door. My knees rested against the seat in front of me.

My heart pounded. I took shallow breaths as the air in the bag warmed. My hands were free. I reached for the bag.

“No you don’t.” He grabbed my hands and crushed me against the car door as he pulled my arms behind me. He wrapped a strong cord around my hands until my fingers went numb.

“I can’t breathe and you’ve cut off my circulation.” My voice sounded calmer than I felt. 

“You’ll pass out before you suffocate. I’ll worry about your air then.” Both men laughed.


  1. Chocolate for you, Hot Tamales for me. Makes us feel better though, doesn't it?

  2. I know how you feel. I dread getting my novel back from the editor, which should happen at the end of this week. I'm almost tempted to not look until after November.

    Good luck this week, and I love that cover. You are talented.

    Chocolate cures everything!

  3. I find not over editing so tricky. I totally understand the feeling. AND not being able to write for a while after realising something in a different novel. That's what happened on my last novel, some mess up in a draft made me doubt myself into writing paralysis.

    I love the wings on that cover! Anddd, is it just me or is that a picture of a broch???

    <3 <3 <3

  4. Yes, that's the exact remedy. Lots of GOOD chocolate.

    It's really annoying and frustrating to realize you've editing something into the ground. Been there, done that, even the chocolate bit.

    But I think it's a really good experience to have under your belt because now you know what to look for. It can be maddening to feel like you need to have this huge checklist of stuff to accomplish in the first chapter in order to hook the agent/publisher/reader.

    I don't know how to make that "all eyes on me" feeling go away except to just say "forget this" and just write whatever I want. I remind myself that just because I am writing something doesn't mean ANYONE ever has to see it. I will write it just for me. It's still something I struggle with though. Usually I forget about what I am *supposed* to do and just write, and the results are often more interesting and natural than if I was thinking too hard about it.

    Good luck! *hugs*

  5. Whoa! (there is nothing else i can say about that snippet, but i do know you can get through all of these).

    Keep writing!

  6. Hi, great snippet. Sounds like you are on a roll. You are doing great. You have even worked on a book cover. I am a new follower. I stopped by to see what the "birth of a novel" blogfest is all about. Hang in there, it is now more than half way over.

  7. Don't give up on Sendek. That story is riveting (from the parts that I have read). It's good of you to get some distance. Aside from the disappointing critique, how have your submissions gone? I am not going to allow you to be discouraged about writing. You have wayyy too much talent. I've read 24 novels this year including one by George R.R. Martin and you easily stand head and shoulders with the best of them. And I've read some real stinkers that somehow made it to publishing...I have no idea how...and that just isn't right for them to be published and for you not to be.

  8. I agree with Michael. I've read some real crap. No idea how they published, and from the things I've read about your stories, you are way better! The thing you have to remember is it might not be what that publisher is looking for, but you will eventually find the one for you and your book. (Or your agent will find) Don't give up after only a few disappointments. Did you know that J.K.Rowling was rejected by 17 different publishers before she found Scholastic Paperbacks willing to publish her books? So don't give up!

    Your snippet is great! Every time I read about this story it makes me want to really read the whole thing. It feels like a puzzle and I'm trying to piece together who's doing what and why! I really hope you post some of the chapters or tell us where we can read them on this blog if they are already out there in webland! Keep up the great writing, and I cannot wait until next week to read another snippet!


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