It's been a while since I took to the blogosphere to chat about anything besides the work side of my life (www.captivate.com/byte-sized), but I have found myself with quite a bit to say over the past few weeks.
Let's do a recap.
At the beginning of April, I discovered the joys of a writers' retreat. Twelve members of my Toadstool writer's group rented a house in mountain country for a long weekend of eating and writing and more eating -- though truth be told, the delicious prose coming out of the event was much more satisfying than any bangers and mash and sticky mango rice I may have consumed (but just barely re: the mango rice).
Working off an idea that electrified my muse into near blathering hysterics, I furiously penned a 20,000-word novella in weeks, typing the final first-draft words over a schmeared bagel and cream cheese the day before we all left for home (the final copy has been sent off in hopes of publishing, so fingers crossed).
My story is about an island where men the likes of romance novel covers are created, imprinted and sold to women looking for life-long love. Meg, a strong girl tired of the dating scene, picks out her Mr. Perfect, only to secretly fall in love with the geeky doctor who owns the tropical lab but spends his nights online gaming. When the trio are stranded on the island, Meg must decide who she really wants. It's a very tingly, dense romance with the most beautiful men, a sarcastic heroine and the sexiest kind Clark-Kent geek I could imagine. If you're interested in reading it, shoot me an email (email@example.com) and I'll see what I can do.
The retreat also served another writing purpose: On the final morning, I woke up and was once again struck by lightning: The missing plot point I've been struggling with in GLOW solved itself. Well, I'll give my multiple muses (especially the one who looks like Eric Northman from 'True Blood') due credit: Someone found the missing film reel and played it in my mind before my feet even touched the floor -- and I knew instantly my months of stoppage was at a dramatic end.
Sundae and Brendan now know where they are going -- well, that's not really accurate. I always knew how my story about the universe-crossed lovers would end, I just couldn't see how they got there. But, now I know. And whooo boy it's epic.
Moving on, I've also realized something extremely important re: writing: Even editors need editors.
No matter how much experience one has as an editor (meaning my 8+ years and eagle-sharp eye), you simply *cannot* edit your own work. Ever. It's a certified impossibility, and anyone who disagrees with me needs a real editor like whoa.
I asked a dear friend of mine who has nearly 45 years experience teaching English grammar to please 'BE MEAN' to my book, 'Arcane' -- Miss Phyl took the whole thing and, in 12 days or so, gave me back a copy that made me squeal. Every single page had at least one mark of editing to help clarify, fix, edit, correct, etc. Not that 'Arcane' was messy or not well written by any stretch -- I am, after all, a professional and, as I've proffered a few times on this very site, pretty darn good -- but it just goes to show you how blind you can be to your own mistakes.
My favorite part of the whole editing process is the distance it's given me from my own work. I'm going back over passages I thought were perfect only to find they were A.) not necessary to the overall plot, B.) long-winded and verbose, or C.) too quick and needing more explanation. It's truly fascinating how things can change with another set of eyes.
I am happy to announce that the scrub of my 80,000-word paranormal romance/adventure is complete, as is the novella 'Mr. Perfect.' I expect to be querying agents within the next few weeks for 'Arcane,' then I'm going to finish 'GLOW' before the end of the summer.
It's going to be a busy few months.