Archive for the ‘Stories’ Category

March 24, 2010

Meg & Matt, Progress

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Normally, I sleep until at least 9 a.m. I have to, after working until midnight most nights and not getting to sleep until after 3 a.m.

This morning, however, I wanted to take advantage of “Free Pastry Day” at Starbucks. (It’s not often you can get something for nothing, after all.) So I set the alarm for 8 a.m., but beat it up by 15 minutes because the Boyfriend called on his way to work.

I was hangin’ at the local Starbucks by 8:30, low-fat banana chocolate-chip coffee cake in one hand, a Dark Cherry Mocha iced coffee in the other and the laptop balanced on  my knees.

Writing was slow at first. It got much easier to type once the drink and cake were gone — and that didn’t take long. Next thing I knew, I was on a roll.

I sat there for more than FIVE hours — breaking at one point for a pit-stop and a large iced green tea. But I didn’t want to leave. I was on a roll … such a roll that in five hours, I wrote 4,511 words …

… AND completed my rough draft!

Yes, I know I’ll end up changing things. I’ll have to go back in and layer in more emotions, etc. I have a tendency to rush my endings — I don’t want my characters to suffer very much.

But it still feels fantastic to have a completed MS sitting beside me as I type this.

As it stands now, “Beauty and the Ballplayer” weighs in at 209 pages and a little more than 56,500 words. That leaves plenty of room for editing.

Of course, if I start chopping, it’ll be short. But that’s another problem. I’ll cross that bridge if (when) I come to it. I’ve already started to wonder if there’s too much backstory in my first few pages …

Ah, the things I wouldn’t have even thought about a year ago! Growth is a good thing, right? 😀

Thanks to inspiration that struck on the drive down to the Boyfriend’s, I ended up writing 2,595 words today.

According to the Excel spreadsheet I’ve been keeping, that’s almost the most words I’ve written in a single day. (Only one day is higher, with 2702.)

Now I’m that much closer to finished with this manuscript. Maybe I’ll even be able to finish before the month is out.

I still have at least a couple of scenes to write before I get to the dreaded Black Moment … and then I’ll have to make them miserable for a while. (I’m really not good at that part. I hate making my characters suffer … probably why I struggle with conflict so much, but that’s another story. I’ll get to that post soon, I promise.)

March 17, 2010

Meg & Matt, Stories

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Getting in the habit of writing is really helping.

I got another 1,000 words written today, bringing my total on Meg & Matt’s story to 44,090 — many of them written since Jan. 17.

That leaves a minimum of 11,000 words — max 16,000 — to finish this story. It’s definitely a category romance.

It means I’m in the home stretch with this one. Wonder if I’ll have the first draft finished by this time next month. If I can write even 500 words a day, it’d take about 20 days to get to 55K.

Perhaps I should make that a goal. Of course, if I final in the Golden Heart, I’ll lose a few days to chaos — at least that’s what I hear. I’d love a chance to experience it for myself!

I’ve had a busy Friday. I not only wrote about 800 words on Meg & Matt’s story, but also finally readied the talk I’m doing on dialogue at next Saturday’s NARWA meeting.

I know, I know. I’ve been procrastinating. A more conscientious person would have started preparing long ago. Actually, I did start gathering info on what makes great dialogue a couple of weeks ago. I just spent tonight finding examples from my writing to illustrate each point.

Here’s a sneak peek of the things I’ve determined make for great dialogue:

  • It moves the story along, intensifies characterization or both
  • It must be true to the character
  • It doesn’t necessarily sound like we talk in real life
  • It can include all the witty comments we don’t think of until it’s too late

Am I forgetting or missing anything? What do you guys think?