Posts Tagged ‘advice’
How is it that something I never thought much about before last week is now popping up everywhere?
I just checked out The Seekers blog, and their latest post is about “writing ‘guy.'”
Last week, after checking out another post, I found myself asking if guys really speak in shorter sentences. (It was something I’d never considered — guess that’s the curse of having a loquacious boyfriend.)
Apparently, most men aren’t so talkative … and they’re not as tortured by feelings as our heroines are. Who knew that while she’s torturing herself with a play-by-play of what went wrong on their latest date, he’s thinking about car repairs?
At least that’s Dave Barry’s take, as posted at Seekerville. I think I need to get his book … or some other one that’ll help my men sound more like men.
Hmm. Something else to worry about before I send off the manuscript to the Golden Heart contest. Aargh!
Well, at least I had a productive morning before our NARWA board meeting yesterday. And we had a great meeting. Now it’s time to get to work on the next issue of our chapter’s newsletter.
Oh, jeez … more stuff to do. Why’d I have to go and think about that?
I had the day off but did not spend it with the Boyfriend, which was a bummer for me, but great for the novel.
I headed to Starbucks, ordered some low-fat coffee cake and an unsweetened iced tea and set up camp near an outlet. A couple of hours later, I’d rewritten a couple of scenes, using suggestions from the critique I got last week. (She was definitely right. She didn’t tell me a whole lot that I hadn’t already started to suspect on my own.)
Already, I can feel an improvement. Brad is shaping up to be a lot less boring. And still I’m at about 58,000 words, which leaves me with plenty of room to rewrite the remainder.
Got my critique back this afternoon, and I was right: The manuscript definitely needs some help.
I’m not going to lie: It was a bit unnerving to see all that “red ink” on my pages. But it was also edifying, because she said a lot of the same things I’ve been thinking.
Just the other day, I started to wonder if I spent too much of the first page and a half setting the scene … and sure enough, Shea suggested I cut the first page or so and start with more action.
She also pointed out that I need to keep the thread about the book Erin gets for her birthday going — and I’d noticed it’s not as strong a presence as I’d like.
As for Brad, she didn’t exactly call him boring … but she did point out that he’s, well, “bland” … and that’s just a nicer word for dull as dirt.
So it looks like I have my work cut out for me. Good thing I’m up for the challenge. I got an e-mail confirmation today from RWA that they’ve received my entry.
Your manuscript, Operation Snag Brad, has been entered in the Contemporary Series Romance Category of the 2010 Golden Heart Contest sponsored by Romance Writers of America, Inc. Please send six copies of the partial manuscript, six synopses, and one full manuscript to (address)
Guess I won’t be getting back to Kari and Damien anytime soon. Fixing up Brad and Erin is going to take up all my free time between now and Dec. 2. 😀
But when I’m done, it should be a much stronger — and hopefully sell-able — story.
I just might be a little bit of both tonight. In the past two days, I’ve only done the bare minimum: Read through a couple of chapters, trying to edit and polish them yet again.
I also spent some time clearing out my gmail inbox. I’m the editor for the Northern Arizona RWA newsletter, and I belong to the newsletter editor’s loop at Yahoo groups. That means I get a ton of e-mailed articles from other newsletters — all on various aspects of writing.
As I was reading through some of them, trying to decide if I wanted to share them in our newsletter, I found myself trying to apply their advice to my own story.
Avoid using adverbs most of the time. Most of your dialogue tags should be “character said.” Make sure your title is original. Know your characters inside and out. Watch for shifting points of view.
It’s all good — make that great — advice. But when I try to think about all those things (and more!) while I’m going through my manuscript for the hundredth time, I get overwhelmed. I wonder if it’s good enough … if I’m good enough.
Don’t get me wrong: I know this manuscript needs help. It’s the first one I finished, and I’ve learned a lot since writing it. I’ve been fixing it up, but a part of me wonders if it’ll ever be good enough … or if I should just abandon it and move on to one of my many other candidates.
My mind is set, though. It will be my Golden Heart entry this year. Next year is soon enough for my current WIP, which is much, much better from the get-go.
At least that’s my opinion … and right now, mine is the one that counts.