Posts Tagged ‘WIP’

potpourri

I’m back! Miss me? Admit it, you know you did. Ok, be that way. ((very mature raspberry))

Life

So here I am today, blogging from the EZ Lube on my sparkly new iPad. Ain’t technology grand? I wasn’t actually going to give into the sparkle of the iPad but I came into some extra cash and had just finished an amazing book on my iPhone that I wanted to read bigger, so…

Reading

What book inspired my spendy spree, pray tell? Columbine by Dave Cullen. I picked it up on the recommendation of Janet Reid and could not put it down. Absolutely riveting. Anyway once I finished it, I went right back to the beginning and started over. The book, much like the event itself, is too much to absorb in one pass. I don’t know that I’ll ever truly comprehend it.

Writing

I entered my very first ever contest – yay! Over on GotYA they were offering a 30 page critique by an agent – just post up to 200 words of your ms that best illustrates your “voice”. Easy peasy. So I put up 207 words from Roxy. After I posted I found a glaring typo and a lot of the other entries are incredibly strong, so my chances are slim. But hey it’s a first step.

“Hold the phone!” you cry. “Roxy? WTH?” Yeah. I started another one. It’s disgusting, I know. Roxy is my attempt at YA, kind of Nancy Drew with a hint of Veronica Mars – without all of the attendant rape and incest. Or maybe Nancy Drew with a hint of Buffy – without all of the attendant monsters and supernatural. Not exactly original, but I’m having fun with it.

So what about Tucker? Yeah. What about Tucker, anyway. I’ve made no progress since last reported here. Ugh. But, there is a contest I have my eye on and I think the first scene will do very nicely for it. All I have to do is trim it from 11 1/2 pages to 10. Easy peasy…? Not exactly… see I’ve decided to swap the inciting events around. AGAIN.

Maybe there is some kind of counseling or pharmaceutical aid I can partake of?

Anyhoo. That’s me for now.

Ciao.

ps – Want to see what I posted for the contest? Of course you do.

Roxy turned just in time to reach out and catch the keys sailing through the hot morning air at her head. She grinned and scrambled into the Jeep behind the wheel. Eddie hopped in beside her as Brenda rushed to the door.

“Gun it, kid.”

Obediently Roxy turned the key in the ignition and the Jeep roared to life. She found first gear – with only minimal grinding – and eased out onto the street.

Eddie stretched like a cat. “You’re getting better at that, kiddo.” A tinny rendition of “Rehab” exploded from his phone, which he ignored.

Roxy, eyes diligently on the road, asked, “You aren’t going to pick that up?”

“Nah. I’ve heard enough lectures from your mom to last three marriages. Besides, what’s the point of having a driver’s permit if you’re never permitted to drive?”

“I’m pretty sure that’s her point.”

Brenda was an ER nurse who’d seen one too many examples of the hazards of teenage drivers. As far as she was concerned, Roxy was S.O.L. until she turned eighteen.

She’d nearly stroked out when Eddie’d picked up Roxy to go surfing and brought her home with a freshly minted learner’s.

Father and daughter found themselves grounded for two weeks.

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wip: making progress

Mostly. Ugh. According to my “Sent Items” folder I emailed the last scene I worked on to JB on 3/8/10. 12 days ago. But who’s counting? And I haven’t gotten anything written since. (ack!) But, that scene was the end of the first act which currently weighs in at 9 scenes, 11,258 words. And that ain’t too shabby. The first act really needs to be closer to 15k… but I’m hoping to correct that in revision. The Powers That Be keep telling that I can’t write the beginning until I’ve written the end and since this is basically a whole new story, I’m hiding behind that wisdom until I absolutely have to come out.

So act two. I’m stalling. There, I said it. Do I get a cookie now? I’ve mapped out the basics that will get me to the Midpoint, all I need to do is start writing, but… you know. What if I can’t get past the midpoint? Very frightening. Deep breaths. Ok, time to get back into it.

Wish me luck.

spot check

So, you may have noticed a couple of changes. Or not. New theme and title. Sometimes, you just need a change of scenery.

Speaking of scenery changes, I’ve made a couple of major decisions regarding Tucker:

  1. I’m swapping coasts. This is huge. Originally Tucker’s adopted homeport was Los Angeles with the bulk of the book taking place in the family seat of Boston. But I’ve never been to Boston and it made the writing… kind of tough suck. So I’m swapping the family seat to Los Angeles, Beverly Hills to be more exact. And oh lord, the ideas… they came rolling in. And I can already feel the tone of the book lightening. Such a relief.
  2. I’ve decided (well, my writing partner JB cast the deciding vote, really) that Tucker and Josh will not share a sordid past that they must overcome to reconnect. Instead they will be strangers in a strange land. It was the way I originally conceived it, but in the interest of “uncomplicating” things I gave them a past which immediately overcomplicated everything. So, back to the beginning.

I cannot wait to start tearing this puppy down and rebuilding it. And then (gasp) sending it out. And then ((shivers)) selling it. Keep your fingers crossed.

In other news my 5 year old rolled into my room around 7 am declaring it was time to be awake. I told her to go turn the TV on and leave me alone. And she did. Oh glorious day! I am *thisclose* to Saturday morning sleep in, I can almost taste it. It won’t be long now until she hooks both herself and her 3 year old brother up with cereal and cartoons… now if I could just get my husband on board with this program I could re-embrace the lazy life I lost 5 years ago.

I finally convinced JB to pull out a YA story she’d been sitting on for forever. We hammered out the plot basics on the way home from the Reno RWA National Conference in – holy crap! That was 2005! I told you it’d been forever. Anyhoo, she dug it out and dusted it off and the thing is begging to be written. The “notes” are pretty much a blow by blow outline and all she needs to do is fill in the prose. Easier said than done, I get that. But I’m not letting her put it away this time.

I’ve got 4, yes four, WIP folders sitting in my dock, staring at me accusingly. Why are they angry? Because I’m about to add another one. Yeah. I told you I was more of a starter than a finisher right? The new idea is amazing, though. Of course they all are at this stage. Then they get docked and ignored. Sigh. It’s rough to be a WIP in my life.

Squirrel!

WIP: pausing to catch our breath…

So life threw me for a loop this last week – finding out about Blake, the Girl starting Kindergarden, doing a read through for one of my STC classmates – leading to getting absolutely no writing done. With any luck I’ll get back to the WIP today (fingers crossed).

WIP: and we’re walking…

Friday morning. I got a good amount of work done last night. I didn’t actually *finish* the bones draft – yeah, yeah. However I took the Blake Snyder Beat Sheet which is 15 main beats and filled in all the blanks.

Blake’s contention is that in a 110 page script there are 15 beats/events that have to happen in a certain order and in certain places in order for the story to flow smoothly and for the movie-goer to get the payoff at the end. I love this type of stuff. I’m a paper pusher by trade and I generate spreadsheets and bullet-pointed lists like no one’s business, so this model is practically tailor made for me.

Once you get the 15 major beats in place, you fill in the other 25 or so scenes (Blake’s working on a 40 scene structure). Now my WIP is destined for a 15k word count, so I didn’t use all 40 spaces for scenes – no room. But I have a complete roadmap as of last night; filled in the last of the details.

It’s pretty exhilarating.

Now all I have to do is make the time to write this thing. Harder than it sounds, but I’m pretty motivated right now. I’ll let ya’ll know how it goes.

WIP: progress continues…

It’s Thursday, the last of my dedicated “me” nights. See on Tuesdays and Thursdays my mother-in-law watches my nubbins and the hubbin hauls them there and back – so I get an hour before work and one to two hours after work to wallow in glorious solitude.

It’s been a good run.

But as they say, “all good things come to an end.” On Monday the Girl starts Kindergarden, five days a week, and I will become the sole source of transportation. The Boy is also starting daycare two days a week so the hubbin will finally get his shot at Tuesdays and Thursdays of solitude. It’ll be good for him.

I’m going to miss it desperately.

So tonight is the night. I will come home, crack open a cider and get to work. The current WIP is pretty much blocked out in an expanded Blake Snyder Beat Sheet -I’ve taken the 15 main beats and broken it further into specific scenes. Feeling really strong about it right now.

I may just make it to that “end of the week” goal after all.

WIP: A New Day

It’s a new(ish) day (10:30 am), a new month (August 1), a new year (my birthday).

When my hubbin asked me what I wanted for my birthday this year I promptly responded, “A weekend of solitude.”

(Infodump Insert: every year I take a weekend or two [more if I can swing it] where I hie off to a hotel armed with a box of wine, bag of pretzels, and a stack of romance novels and sit on my ass doing NOTHING for two days. I highly recommend it.)

So here I am, in my hotel. But this year I have plans to actually do SOMETHING. I am going to finish the bones draft of my current WIP if it kills me. So why am I writing a blog post? Well, I could say as a warm up exercise (not untrue) but mostly to get publicly reacquainted with my WIP since I’ve ruthlessly ignored the poor thing for several weeks. So hang around and watch me gather my thoughts; if nothing else it should be good for a laugh.

Bones Draft. WTH is that? Well, Jenny Crusie refers to her first drafts as “don’t look down”– as in “get your ass across the rickety rope bridge it doesn’t have to be pretty you just need to get to the other side and if you look down you’ll fall to your death and likely won’t get back up and finish”. Or at least that’s my interpretation of what she’s explained in countless workshops and blog posts. Being that Ms. Cruise is an incredibly talented and successful author and I wouldn’t mind growing up to be her, as a good little fangirl I adopted the tag “DLD” for my first drafts. (The next one is the “truck draft” as in “if I get hit by a truck the MS is in good enough shape that it can go to print posthumously”. What isn’t to love about this woman?? I’ve never actually made it to my own “truck draft” which is the point for this whole weekend… but again I digress. SQUIRREL!) Unfortunately, “DLD” just felt like I was wearing someone else’s clothes.

Remember when I took the Blake Snyder Save the Cat! screenwriting workshop? And I decided to be a screenwriter? (SQUIRREL!) I discovered the screenplay layout is actually the perfect first draft layout (for me). See, it’s all about dialogue and brief directions and even briefer description. A screenplay assumes (quite rightly) that there will be a whole army of production guys and gals to realize the environment, so the writer doesn’t have to bother with anything more than the barest world establishment (in most cases). See I get stuck on the whole word craft and never make it to just blocking out the damn thing before going back in to dress it up…

So I’ve been working this particular WIP as a pseudo-screenplay for the bones draft. When that’s complete, I’ll go back for the “flesh draft”, get it? “Flesh and bones”. 😀 C’mon… it’s funny! Especially since this WIP is a vampire story…

See? This may seem like a lot of ramble, but this whole time I’ve been getting used to the keyboard of my new net book, slurping life giving coffee, and most importantly staring at my collage/mood board while listening to the playlist I made for this WIP. It’s actually helping quite a bit.

Want a peek at what’s in my head? Cool! The WIP is a paranormal romance, vampire flavor.

Logline:

A vampire hunter is charged with protecting a vampire from her own kind… and herself.

The Cast:

The Hero

The Hero

The Heroine

The Heroine

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m breaking some serious romance rules here because this story is ultimately the Hero’s. Sure, it’ll be written third person with POV from both Hero and Heroine… but the story begins and ends with the Hero’s arc. Hopefully this won’t bite me in the ass.

The Villain

The Villain

The Villain's Henchman

The Villain's Henchman

The Chaotic Nuetral Patriarch

The Chaotic Nuetral Patriarch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m sure these faces are recognizable to you. I tend to “cast” my characters with real people; actors are (obviously) the easiest. It helps me to focus more on who they are when I have a ready picture in my head… or on my bulletin board. A lot of writers pick images for their collages/mood boards the evoke feelings or mood rather than literal translation. I prefer the literal.

The Setting:

misc7

pretty...

LosAngeles4

LA

 

 

 

 

 

Alternate Near Future Los Angeles (I pulled these images off the web and I don’t have any credits for the photographers [Sorry!]. I desperately want a HUGE print of the red palm trees… I cannot express my love for it enough…)

Obviously, I’m not breaking any new ground here; vampires, near future LA, the stereotyped cast. But old ground can be reworked into fresh landscape. At its core this story is starcrossed lovers – Romeo & Juliet. But without the double suicide.

The Playlist:

Hey Pretty (Haunted – Poe)

Only Time (Pretty Hate Machine – Nine Inch Nails)

Cover Me (Born in the USA – Bruce Springsteen)

So Alive (Love and Rockets – Love and Rockets)

Soak Up The Sun (C’Mon C’Mon – Sheryl Crow)

Love Song for a Vampire (The Annie Lennox Collection – Annie Lennox)

(I Just) Died in Your Arms (Broadcast – Cutting Crew)

Relax Max (Swingin’ Miss D – Dinah Washington)

Need You Tonight (INXS: The Greatest Hits – INXS)

Promise (Horrorscope – Eve 6)

The Bad Touch (Hooray For Boobies – The Bloodhound Gang)

Devil Inside (INXS: The Greatest Hits – INXS)

Baby Did A Bad Bad Thing (Forever Blue – Chris Isaak)

In Demand (Texas: The Greatest Hits – Texas)

Sin (Pretty Hate Machine – Nine Inch Nails)

Hey Pretty (Bonus Track) (Haunted – Poe)

The playlist is liquid – it keeps changing. Mostly by adding. In fact, it occurs to me I need to hunt down my version of “Kiss” by Tom Jones and slip it in… Anyhoo. My personal musical range isn’t as broad as I would like it to be. I have a thing for listening to the same stuff over and over. I would go insane without Chris Isaak, Annie Lennox, Nine Inch Nails, and Eve 6. But then again, whoever said I was sane to begin with…

There you have it. The basics of my WIP. I’m about halfway through the bones draft. I’m hoping to complete that today and start the flesh draft tomorrow. Wish me luck. I’m going to need it.