M. K. Theodoratus, Fantasy Writer, blogs about the books she reads--mostly fantasy and mystery authors whose books catch her eye and keep her interest. Nothing so formal as a book review, just chats about what she liked. Theodoratus also mutters about her own writing progress or ... lack of it.


Sunday, February 28, 2010

Secret to Writing Bestsellers Revealed: Parnell's Formula and More

How to Write Bestsellers:  The AW Water Cooler yielded a golden nugget of wisdom for writing success today.  "If there's ever a passage that smacks of 'good writing', you must ruthlessly delete it."

This insight comes from Rob Parnell's blog "Easy Way to Write" [ http://easywaytowrite.blogspot.com/2...r-formula.html ]  **  I laughed so hard, I'd follow him in an instant -- if I could have discovered how.  [I don't like subscribing since I really don't check my emails that often.  --  Have I ever said here that I hate computers?]

To be serious, he gives a great modification of the snowflake prompts.

Addenda:  Contests are sprouting like weeds.  Guess Spring's coming, and bloggers wants more traffic.

1)  Chuck at Guide to Literary Agents is offering all you people with a potential best seller a chance to strut your your YA or adult paranornal urban fantasy romance stuff to an agent.  See: 
then, look for the Lucky Agent Contest.

2)  Then, the Dark Wyrm has a link to a contest to win an electronic reader:    http://tiny.cc/wsUPv  

The Read:  Finished Tamora Pierce's Beka Cooper: Terrior last night and went to bed early.  The big revelation:  Pierce had snuck three plot lines into the story:  the disappearing miners of magical fire opals,  the kidnappings/killings of poor children for the one item of value their families' possessed, and the replacing of the "ruler" of the thieves of the Cesspool.  All three center around Beka's learning to be a "Dog" aka cop.  Pierce accomplishes this all masterfully using a modified "police procedural" structure.  The villains' plots collapse when greed pushes them beyond their capabilities.

I won't mention the usual YA line of an adolescent discovering their strengths and weaknesses.  Hate to inflict another sequel on you, but it's coming.

Progress:  It's the 30th or 31st or something.  The last day of Emma dinking -- with the manuscript.  Starting tomorrow, I slap my hand if I even think of changing something -- unless a person in publishing power (agent or editor) tells me to change something.  I can still modify my stupid query.  

The query has to be stupid because the six agents I sent it to, haven't jumped and asked for fulls ... or even partials.  Don't give me any excuses about the agency review time lines not expiring.  Two agents already sent form ejections of my 'best selling baby'.  -- Note I'm not saying agents are stupid for not grabbing it.  The fault is mine.  I didn't grabbed their attention by hitting their interests.

[Truth in Whining:  Previous queries have elicited a few partials which were eventually rejected.]

Now for Maren.  Was feeling a little smug about my "first" chapter -- until I did the critique class with Victoria Hanley (sponsored by the Northern Colorado Writers).  Hanley told me my first chapter was "underwritten".  I needed to expand it, basically into two chapters.  At least, she didn't say my weird opening was trash.  [She's too polite a person.]

Sigh.  I didn't leap into March with my defining chapter drafted and ready to complicate Maren's situation -- recovering from a coma after causing a massive explosion when she entered my never-never California gold country world.

Trivia:  Have to pay the unwanted bills today.  They're clamoring downstairs in the box, waiting to be sorted and paid.  Then, there's the checkbook that needs to be balanced so I know how much money I have available to spend.  --  I think I prefer to sink back into Maren's world.

** I tried to tinyurl this, but it didn't work.  Sorry.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Contest ... Contest ... Contest

Fantasy writers/readers/bloggers: Dark Wyrm Reads is offering a contest offering the anthology "Strange Brew" as a prize.  The book features such writers as Charlaine Harris, Patricia Briggs, and Jim Butcher.  (You should be familiar with the writers if you've read my blog.) 

You can visit her site for the details:

If you're kind, you might mention, I gave you the link.  Actually Shaw does nice book reviews and is worth following.

Back to YA

The Read:  I was going to finish Tamora Pierce's Beka Cooper: Terrior, a Tortall Legend, a YA fantasy with a double murder mystery, last night.   I watched the figure skating finals at the Olympics in spite of the commercials.  Yes, the skaters made me dizzy just watching them.  Skating wouldn't make me dizzy because I'd be flat on my arse on the ice.  --  Not a pleasant thought.  Hopefully, I'm not so far out of my league with my writing.

Pierce comes up with some interesting fantasy elements as Beka does her on-the-job training to become a cop (essentially), but is called a "puppy" as her "dogs" train her.  Beka has limited magical powers -- hearing the last thoughts of the dead via pigeons and dust devils -- and a lot of perseverance.  She even displays some character realistic weaknesses.  Shyness, anyone?

Oh, Beka's alienated from her surviving family but has a magical cat who talks and works magic.  (Mine just wiggles and does the usual cat things.)

The society is medieval without being a cliche and has a well developed under culture (criminal element drawn out of poverty).  The dogs know one murder culprit but can't find the bodies, and for the other one, they have the bodies (and survivors) without the culprit.  I still have some 100 pages of the book (out of 500+) to go and am looking forward to seeing how Pierce ties it all up.

I'm fairly sure I've read Tamora Pierce before but can't remember the books.  She joins Rick Riordan (Percy Jackson series) and Victoria Hanley (Violet Wings) among my favorites.  I'd mention J. K. Rowling, but I'm waiting to see if she'll ever write something besides Harry Potter.  (Yeah, Potter's world is great, but ... )

Progress:  Emma.  Am going to swat my hand if I even think of changing something in the manuscript unless an agent or publisher tells me.  My changes from italics to underlines are long done, but I keep dinking ... probably to no purpose.  I manage to keep my hands off Britt and company.  Why not Emma?  --  Hope it's because it's the newest.

Maren.  Have the the first chapter going -- even a segment (only three pages) polished enough to submit for a critique class (by Victoria Hanley) on Saturday.  I expect to get blasted for the construction.  A back story scene (I guess you could call it a prologue but it's only three paragraphs and a bit of dialog.)  A secondary character's comments on the headlines of the blast that Maren caused when she entered our world.  Then, I get around to starting the story about what should be done with Maren.

Trivia:  Got my bit of porn for this morning.  Two morning doves were mating in the Catalpa outside my kitchen window.  Can spring be far behind?   Or, do I have to wait for the squirrels to go squirrelly?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Marking Time?

or, why can't I seem to put "finis' on Emma?
The Read:  Finished Jane Haddam's Living Witness and felt disappointed -- even with Demarkian and Bennis getting married in the epilogue.  (Being a fan makes you think/do strange things sometimes.  Like stare at your overstuffed bookshelves and wondering if the first Demarkian novel where Gregor meets Bennis, in the midst of solving a murder, is somewhere behind the Anita Blake books.)

Why disappointed?  Well, for one thing,  I didn't guess the culprit soon enough ... or the motive.  Part of this was because I don't think Haddam gave enough clues -- or maybe, buried the clues in the polemics, and I missed them when I scanned.  We got the message that a sizable part of the population was against the secular humanists taking "God" out of the schools in the prologue.  --  I put "god" in quotes, because even the various Protestant sects can't decide on one interpretation of "god".  And, I don't even want to get into the goddess or hermaphrodite arguments.  --  I didn't think Haddam needed to spend such a huge amount of space repeating the same arguments over and over again.  What's wrong with a 300 page book?

Overall, I found the book a reminder to keep it sweet (or sour) and simple.  Less sometimes really is more.

Progress:  I think I'm going to get to the end over Emma's everlasting revisions.  I'm somewhere in the  middle of  "20s" chapters out of 33, I think.  Actually, it's going really fast (except when I think about Maren).  I even have a new query to send out ... with an emphasis on emotions rather than plot.  We'll see what happens when I send out another batch of queries.

So far, no one seems to responding to any of my submissions, and I can't do status queries until March.

Maren.  I've got a weird opening started.  I like it, and that worries me.  Whatever, I signed up for a critique class (sponsored by the Northern Colorado Writers) taught by Victoria Hanley, a young adult fantasy writer.  First I thought I'd learn more about doing useful critiques -- since I noticed my comments seem to get stuck in a pattern.

Now, I'm glad I did because I have some new writing to play with.  There are three people signed up so far so I'm looking forward to some really good discussion.

Trivia:  We are going out for lunch to amuse the old man -- Thai curry.  

Yesterday, I went to the Northern Colorado Writers coffee where we discussed time management and social media at length.  

Tonight, I'm going to my lackadaisical critique group.  I don't mean this as a put down, but it consists of women who have a lot of stuff going on in their lives, like the deaths of a parent and husband.  It's more they think submitting four pages is a big deal.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Dallying with Delay

The Read:  Am deep into Living Witness ... enjoying having my prejudices tickled.  It's always reaffirming to have writers agree with you on topics -- in this case about evolution and people's attitudes towards religion.  Only wish Jane Haddam had trimmed the prose by, maybe, a third?  The padding reminded my of Stephanie Laurens paeans to passion and Laurell K. Hamilton's latter-day descriptions of Anita Blake's sex life. -- Like enough already.

Don't get me wrong.  As an Anita Blake fan, I'm waiting for Skin Trade, the Las Vegas tiger book #17, to come out in mass paperback.  Today, a new hardback-- Flirt #18 -- appeared on the New York Times best sellers list plus there's a pre-pub of another hardback at Barnes & Noble (Bullet #19).  So, I should be getting #17 in paperback soon.  Maybe by summer.

The Guardian Weekly had a little note about Catherine Cookson, a British writer who specialized in poor spunky women from northern England succeeding in life (all to often with an advantageous marriage), being dropped from the Top Ten most popular library authors in Britain.  Who replaced her?  American thrillers filled with sex and gore. [Maybe not at the same time.]

I noted it because Catherine Cookson was once one of my favorite writers along with Nora Lofts and Georgette Heyer.  Cookson's been haunting me.  Her minor works are part of the inches I want to prune from my bookshelves.

Progress:  In case you didn't notice, I'm working on a new query for Emma.

Trivia:  It's still snowing, and I'm hankering for home-made chocolate chip cookies. 

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Giving Up Early

The Read (or Watch?):  Tried to watch more episodes of Witchblade last night.  My son warned me it sort of fizzled in the middle, but I found I couldn't make myself listen to the bombastic opening again -- and the DVD won't let me fast-forward.  Besides, they jumped into an alternative reality where they seem to be repeating the previous episodes with different endings.  Didn't stay around to be sure.  --  Jane Haddam's Living Witness was calling.  Read a chapter of that and went to bed early (ie: before 11:30 PM).

The structure of Living Witness follows the same pattern as Cheating at Solitaire- prologue, part 1, part 2, part 3, epilogue, .  I can't remember how long she's been doing this, and I'd endanger my life if I tried to find her previous books on my bookshelves to find out.  (Have I mentioned I gotta weed the shelves as well as the boxes under the bed?)  

The conflict this time is between the Darwinists and evangelical religionists.  --  One of my favorite rants concerns the differences between the acceptance of faith and fact.  (In case you're wondering:  I think they're two different levels of experience.)  Of course, at least a couple people will get murdered, but I haven't gotten there yet.  For some reason, Gregor Demarkian has been called into the case before the murders begin.

Are you thinking that Haddam writes mysteries not fantasy.  I'd disagree.  Her Cavanaugh Street is as good as fantasy gets with a permanent cast of interesting characters.  With the preparations for Gregor's marriage to Bennis looming on the horizon, I'm prepared to enjoy all sorts of series regular in-jokes along the way.

Progress?:  Emma is scarfing up my time ... except for this morning when I've been fiddling my life away online.  Seems I decided to change my italics for underlining.  Of course, nothing is ever that simple.  Am finding all sorts of "was" constructions, "as"es, and adverbs.  Not many, but enough to slow me down.

Worse.  I'm finding superfluous phrases like "on the table" or "for them" when its obvious from the previous text.  Result?  Feeling hopeless ... if I was that kind of person.

Trivia:  We're getting dustings of snow, but not enough cold to kill the bugs.  At least it's melting on the street.

Promotion:  The Northern Colorado Writers blog The Writing Bug is doing some sort of blog fest.  The members write on a number of different subjects you might enjoy.  Check:  http://tinyurl.com/yc74gmn 

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Trying to Switch Carts in Mid-stream

The Read:  Actually, I'm not reading much.  I'm devoting my after-the-news reading time to watching DVDs of Witchblade.  For those that don't get involved with fantasy much, the series is a dramatization of a comic book series of the same name made for TV -- featuring a NYC cop who becomes the foil for a supernatural weapon wielded through history only by women such as Joan of Arc.  

In this case, in stead of the evil English, Sara Pizzini (sp) fights a corrupt cell in the NYC police department.

Traces of simplistic comic-book characterization linger, but over all, Witchblade gives the watcher some coherent, fast paced story lines.  I'm about halfway through, and Sara, the main character, and others are growing.  I think I'm learning something about pacing action.  --  Now, if I can get a handle on characterization ...

My basic complaint is that the photography is dark so you miss a lot of the background detail.  The sound is also set very low -- or I have to increase the sound so much to understand the mumbles of dialog that we scramble to get the volume down when we watch normal TV programing.

I have been skimming through Simon R. Green's Winner Takes All -- another Hawk and Fisher political campaign mystery.  Many of the elements he uses for Haven are better recycled in the Nightside series.  The Nightside books are more humorous and the characters are more sharply defined.  One of my biggest disappointments in reading the two short novels is the lack of depth in the characterization of Hawk and Fisher as well as their relationship.  The relationship between Taylor and Suzie [in the Nightside series] is hotter than that of the earlier pair.  -- I don't think I'll read any more of the series.

Progress:  Emma.  Did I say I was done with Emma?  I sure hope I didn't because that would be a lie.  Got back from tonight's critique group with a better understanding on how to depict one of the characters.  Not Emma, but one of her antagonists.  I also decided to go back and change the italics to underlining.  In the process, I've managed to delete a couple pages so far.  --  It may be months before I can put Emma in a box.

Maren.  I think I've started actually drafting.  I'm still journaling characters, but I've got enough to set up my first scenes.  I'm going to try to have my cake (with the backstory) and eat it too.  -- In other words, I'm opening in the dungeons just before Maren is launched into our world.  Why?  Because she brings a potential romantic interest or antagonist (perhaps both?) along with her.

At the moment, I'm trying to figure out the motivations of the my sheriff and county commissioner who differ on what to do with Maren after she is found at a multi-car crash site. 

Trivia:  I got my hair trimmed, and the white shows more.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Maybe I Shouldn't Read Older Works ....

Happy Valentine's Day
(Another of those American manufactured excuses to give presents.)
The Read:  When I took in my trades, I found the complete Hawk and Fisher books by Simon R. Green, including two books of three each.  Eight books for the price of three.  Sure a good enough bargain to thrill my cheap little soul.  Only after reading the first, Hawk and Fisher, I'm beginning to wonder if it's such a good deal.  --   I bought them.  Right.  Does that mean I have to read them?

Another dilemma presents itself.  The books were writen in the 1990s, with the first one having a copyright of 1990.  Twenty years ago.

I thoroughly enjoy the Nightside series.  Have even reread it.  Like the Hawk and Fisher for what they are -- a nice linear mystery with a locked room puzzle and two different killers with two different motives.  But there was the other stuff.  The excessive adverbs (enough to grate), head hopping, and a lot of back story disguised as dialog.  I don't think this is a Brit thing.  Just earlier in a career at a time when such things were more permissible. The shallowness of the characterizations also bothered me.  Green does much better with sparse descriptions in his Taylor series.

Having said that, I'm wondering why I can't get comfortable with my last critique due for discussion on Wednesday.  I've got their critiques of Emma which found some embarrassing nits.

Progress:  In one day?  Actually, there was some.  Emma.  Sprayed the nits.  Or, is that, corrected my mistakes.

Maren.   The pile of paper on the card table is growing.  Most of it has useful info on it.  My suspicions of yesterday are firming.  I think the first third of the book I planned to write is going to be 40-50,000 words.  In other words, a novel by itself.  -- One of the reasons I like YA.  The books can be shorter.

Oh, have I said that Maren's name is Maren Valentene.

Trivia:  Made the old man happy.  I cooked a recipe from a cookbook he lugged up from the basement.

[Have I mentioned that my house is anchored by the books in the basement?]

Anyway, I tried a new recipe for an onion stew.  I don't think I'll cook it again.

[Sorry, can't resist.  As far as I know, the old man's kisses begin with "Kay".]

Saturday, February 13, 2010

A Simpler Way of Writing?

Do I need to post a spoiler alert?

The Read:  Took to my to-read pile after devouring Brigg's Bone Crossed, and Charlaine Harris' Sweet and Deadly was on top.  A nice quick read which I finished yesterday before I watched Witchblade DVDs until after midnight.  (Nice action, and some character development)

Sweet is a linear mystery in which there isn't so much as a villain as a scared antagonist who doesn't want his disease to be known.  -- Which brings up the silly ways the human mind works.  Personally, I can't see why anyone would kill four people to hide the fact of leprosy.  There comes a time when you can't hide it.  Or, is it possible that "southern" brains work differently than others?

The book, a re-printing of a 1981 book (perhaps Harris' first published), was like reading a time capsule taking you to a mindset where commercial fiction was simpler in its construction.  At least from what I've been reading, the times did change with more complex plots.  Sweet's only subplot was the romance with the MC's boss, again almost a no-no now days.  Most of what I've been reading seem to have more than one problem to solve or develop more complex characters.  

Makes me wonder where I sit with my linear story lines.

Progress:  Emma.  Two rejections down.  Still, a couple out.  I'm switching Maren to one critique partner.  My local critiquers will still get Emma until the end.  They keep coming up with ways to improve it -- slightly.  What they are saying is more like editing.  Example:  putting more tags in the dialog sessions with five people so it's easier to follow.

Maren.  I think I'll start writing in earnest on Monday instead of the beginning of March.  The itch is getting to intense.  Oh, I'm starting in the mage-world before she lands in ours.

Demons/Britt/Gargoyles.  It's out there in limbo, but it's too soon to send a status query.

Trivia:  Enjoyed the illusion I was reducing my to-read pile when I trotted 3+feet of books to my favorite trading places.  My self-satisfaction lasted until I returned with another foot of books to read -- Simon R. Green's Hawk and somebody series.  The complete set (but I won't bore you with the complete series).  --  At least the coffee was good, and the water filter on the sink no longer leaks.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Too Cheap for Hardbacks

The Read: Sunday, the number 1 son (actually, the only) said he saw Patricia Briggs Bone Crossed in mass paperback.  Now, I've been salivated over the hardbound for what seems forever.  With my inclination to dive into worlds I know and enjoy, you can imagine my dilemma.  My cheapness and and lack of shelf space ruled.

Monday, I bought the book with the intention of maybe reading it by Tuesday.  Finished it Wednesday night because I really am concentrating to trying to do a rough outline for Maren (not title in sight).  Can't say I "loved" the book, but I sure read slow while I savored it. 

On the cover, Charlaine Harris says:  "An increasingly excellent series... I love these books."  The "increasingly excellent" comment got to me.  The books so far are mining a rich lode of werewolf, walker, vampire, fae lore with non-duplicating plots.  What I liked about Bone Crossed is the plot within a plot with two villains chasing Mercy -- one she'll fight with another day (the local vampire master) and one she didn't kill, but caused to be killed by a wooden fae staff who follows her around wielded by a oakman (a type of fae) victim.  Hey, there's only so much a 30 pound coyote can do.

Guess others would latch onto the progress of her romance with the local alpha werewolf (which also added an additional complication since not all the werewolves welcomed a coyote into the pack).  I'm more intrigued by the 2" diameter oak tree that suddenly appeared by Mercy's trailer -- especially since the next episode in the series features a fae book (grimoirie?).

So back to salivating.

 Progress:  Bone Crossed made it more difficult to outline Maren.  I was thinking I only had problems figuring out where to start it.  (I've some 4,000 words of mostly backstory ... or beginning which seem to be retarding my writing speed (lack thereof, actually).  Now I have to complicate my plot.
Already did that once with the shifter who followed her into our world being captured by the bad guy and have a section where she rescues him against her better judgment.  But I still have to comb my research for a unique combination of traits and powers for the ultimate villain who controls the people who were going to be my first villains.  That doesn't make much sense, but I'm still working out the details.

Emma.  One rejection down.  Super fast in two days.  Ain't email wonderful?

Trivia:  The New York Times had an article about readers complaining about the new pricing agreement between Amazon and Macmillan.  Kindle users are complaining about paying more than $9.99 (a loss leader price) for a book.  They've taken to leaving lousy reviews of the book in protest.  While I don't like the rigidness of the Kindle/Amazon paradigm, I think the readers are being more ossified than Amazon.

Actually, the readers are just showing their own ignorance.  They were quoted as calling the writers greedy for setting the price of their books so high.  Granted I haven't published a novel, but I didn't realize I got to price my book if I ever do.

Monday, February 8, 2010

How Complex is Thy Character?

The Read:  Funerals are terribly time-consuming [and emotionally draining] even when expected and a mercy.  I can't image what a widow and family must go through.  It's bad enough when you're only peripherally involved.  One last event and my life can go back to normal.  I really do prefer being a hermit.  --  All this by explanation that I haven't been getting much reading done since I've been squeezing my writing time in between events.

I finished Savannah Russe's In the Blood, the fourth of the Darkwing Chronicles.  [About vampires, yes, I know, but I read it anyway]. As far as I can remember I haven't read any other books in the series.  At the same time, the book was easily self-contained and stood on its own.  I don't know if I'll go looking for any other in the series but I did enjoy this book's main character's quandaries while searching for a bunch of kidnapped girls.  In this case:  vampires 1, terrorists 0.  A nice little thriller that was easy to read while watching the news (which is what I did to finish it). --  Fortunately, the news has been fairly boring.

Since I'm still journaling Maren, I'm looking at a lot of articles I've clipped [torn] out of Writer's Digest and The Writer.  The gist of these seems to be "stick a characteristic on your characters", and a lot of published writers seem to do just that.  Actually, Daphne seems to have more problems than just trying to rescue the kidnapped girls and be a moral vampire.  (an oxymoron if there ever was one) ... 

She also has problems with her mother interfering in her life.  How does a 400+ vampire have "mother" problems?  It's easy when your mother is an 800+ vampire, which leads to interesting questions of vampires breeding as well as being turned.  The explanation of vampire procreation wasn't given in this book, and I doubt if I'll go looking for it, but I'm thinking there might be the makings of a twist somewhere in there.

Oh yeah,  there were "man problems" but that got solved by her breaking off the relationship and sending him into hiding so he wouldn't be corrupted by the vampire lifestyle.  [Mama was insisting boyfriend/fiance be turned.] 

So, I'm faced with the problem of how many problems should I give Maren.  Haven't really thought of it before ... though by default, my characters have all more than one problem.  Now I think I have to do it consciously since I always enjoy plots with more than one note.

Progress:  Maren.  Thinking of having the book start in this world ... sort of.  Actually, in my never never California.  I do have to change the town's name I think.  I've already used Hardscrabble twice.

Emma.  Did get the query and synopsis rewritten ... again or is that again and again?  Whatever, I've sent it out to four agents to see if my query can hook a couple of partial requests.  

Trivia:  See above.  The only good thing I can think of about funerals is that you get to chat with people you haven't seen in ages.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

To "e" or "not-to-e"

Publishing:  A major storm hit the blogs over the turf wars between Amazon and Macmillan.  Then, in the middle of the fight, the new multi-tasking I-phone appears.  Somewhere in the hot air, someone must have mentioned my opinion, but I'm going to puff anyway.  The question is: to book or to machine and who gets to make the most money.  

Both print and e technologies have their place, but I was most disturbed by Amazon dropping the Macmillan listings on their service.  Granted it's a stretch, but I still consider that a form a censorship.  Granted you can burn books.  But they can survive, tuck away in a corner, without electricity to keep them going.  I worry about the infrastructure collapsing around us. Rolling black and brown outs happen all to often even at today's usage, and batteries have to be charged somewhere, sometime.

Another thing bothers me:  proprietary technology.  As I understand it, you can only legally buy books to read on your Kindle from Amazon -- and thanks to their software, you can't share.  I don't know the restrictions on the I-phone.  Haven't gone into the details because the technology is too early in its development to get excited.  Sort of like buying a Timex computer or maybe a Commodore 64.

What am I waiting for?  Devices similar to CD players.  I buy the machine, and I can buy the "disk" or download from whomever publishes the thing.  (I'm not holding my breath.)

Progress:  Definitely going sideways, but I still think I'm going forwards.  Emma.  My critique group took a couple chapters, which I thought were done, apart.  Why?  Not enough emotions from Emma in a scary situation.  Oh, I had her trembling in her boots -- once.  Not enough they said.  The other was too much internal dialog.  Since I was looking to chop words out of the long chapters.  I chopped Emma's internal comments about what was going on around her.  Another critiquer is finding also finding ways to improve the manuscript.

So, still revising Emma.  Will probably continue even after I start submitting the idea to agents.

Maren?  My journaling is taking a definite distopian twist.  Worse, Marcus Kloken, Emma's little brother, seems to be the sheriff of Hardscrabble when Maren appears.  May have to give him another name.  Why?  Emma happened a hundred years ago.  Either Maren is also historical (70s or 80s, or maybe 60s) or it's contemporary.

Still, having problems on where to start -- When she's still in her birth world or when she's appears in a modification of ours.  Questions.  Questions.  At least my villain is solidifying, and it's not who I thought.   Oh, the decisions!

Trivia:  I'm still reading, but decided to wait until I finished the book to comment.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Correction ...

Have you heard the comment "Always check your facts." before?

Well, I didn't.  I just repeated what my old man said as he munched away on smoked salmon.  Sockeye is a true salmon.  What we were eating was Steelehead.  Whatever it still tasted good.  I'll eat it whenever the relatives share.

ProgressStill catching up on my critiques, if I ever get my errands run.

Also got a class tonight at the Northern Colorado Writers -- on becoming a more organized writer.  Something probably everyone can use.

PS.  I think only people in the North West would think the difference important.  Whatever, another little tidbit.  When the old man was a kid, the people in the upper Skagit ate canned salmon.  The thought of eating fresh salmon after smelling the rotting carcasses after spawning turned them off.  The eagles and bears enjoyed though.