Tag Archives: Novel

Dreaming of an Answer

Standard

I’ve been having a lot of writing epiphanies this week. Using the skill more will do that to you. Today I realized a scene was missing from my first novel that I need to insert into the second draft. I know why I didn’t think of it sooner. I was avoiding it. I think I knew it had to happen I just didn’t know the logistics, still don’t. So I need a brainstorm session. I will purposely go to bed thinking about this and visualizing it like a TV show in my head. Maybe my subconscious mind will dream me up the answer. A girl can hope anyway.

Are you ready for it? Riddle me this…how do you steal a body from the morgue before they do the autopsy? There are limitations. You’re stealing it during the day when it might be busy but you can’t go out in the sun and neither can the body. The part I know is that it would involve a big distraction and you would likely hide in the building until dark. What kind of distraction would clear out the morgue? I feel the need to watch episodes of Dr. G on the Discovery Health Network. God bless reality TV when you need information.

If you’re new to this blog, welcome! If you checked me out from my link on the Nesting Place, I really appreciate your visit! Please comment, I would love the feedback.

Advertisements

Dream Anticipation…

Standard

Have you ever caught your self sitting at work day dreaming about character sketches and plot lines? I have totally reorganized in my head who gets what profession and what effect that has on the plot. To quote my 5-year-old son, I’ve done it like 50 hundred times!

I think my mind is nearly done percolating and may soon issue forth a new first draft. How do you know it’s time? I know because it begins to consume my mind. I think of it in random moments but especially when I can’t sleep. I don’t count sheep. I tell myself the story, visualizing it in great detail. Then I dream about it all night. When enough of this happens it spills forth into a novel.

I’m excited that I have dreams about a second novel and a whole series. In my mind it’s what makes me a novelist. Had there only been one I would have said I lived a dream and wrote one good story. I’m giddy with the possibilities, fuelled by the joy of conversation with like-minded folks at Thursday writer’s group, the Noble Pen.

If you’re new to this blog, welcome! If you checked me out from my link on the Nesting Place, I really appreciate your visit! Please comment, I would love the feedback.

Dreaming Up Goals

Standard

You might think that having the realization that I need to chase my dreams, would be enough to keep me on that path. It was certainly enough to push me into action. Life, however, is full of distractions. My kids needed my attention, the bills needed to be paid, and house work needed to be done. What I needed was something to bring my focus back after I took care of the responsibilities of life. I needed goals.

When I wrote the first draft of my novel I had 2 goals. Finish writing a novel before I’m 30. Then when I realized I had 3 months off to recover from my accident, I wanted to finish it before I went back to work. It’s not like I could run away from my laptop, since I couldn’t walk. That was all I needed to get it done. Two year letter my novel is sitting on a shelf. I need to set new goals and I don’t want another accident to make me get things done.

Yesterday, I shared that I plan to begin submitting my 2nd draft to the writers group I joined, for critique. I have 2 new goals to carry me through to the next phase of this dream. The first goal is to have the 2nd draft finished before I turn 32 at the end of March. That gives me a bit of a buffer but would require me to submit 6000 words twice a month. The second new goal is to have the final draft and query letter ready for submissions by June 1st. That way I can spend my summer submitting for publication while I’m writing a new first draft, because there will be more. They’ve been percolating in my brain for the last 2 years. It also keeps me from shelving the 2nd draft for 2 more years.

For clarification, writing isn’t my only dream. I’ve said it before but I feel that it bears repeating. Unintentionally, my dream of being a writer has hijacked my blog. In the spirit of keeping it real, I have other dreams with goals and deadlines attached. Just for variety, I’ll share those with you Saturday. Tomorrow, come back and we’ll talk about more weekend reading recommendations!

If you’re new to this blog, welcome! If you checked me out from my link on the Nesting Place, I really appreciate your visit! Please comment, I would love the feedback.

Making a Dream Happen – Editing My First Novel

Standard

I posted A Novel Idea back in February, about how I finally found the courage to push through and write that 1st Novel. I also said in that post that I was going to get in gear on editing it for the next draft. Confession time; I still haven’t edited it.

In my defense, we moved twice in a 4 month period and I worked 65 hour weeks through the summer. I know, I know…here I am suggesting others should follow their dreams and I didn’t follow through. Well I found some motivation folks! I joined a writer’s group. The Noble Pen meets in my home town on a weekly basis and they have an open invitation to the group. Starting in November I am pushing myself to submit 6,000 words of my 2nd draft, every other week (or as close to it as I can) until I finish that draft. My hope is that having a deadline (voluntarily) handed out by a group of people who are expecting to review my work, will be just the drive I need.

This blog challenge, so far has taught me that I do have the discipline to sit down and write something every day, and it’s only 9 days in. If I can do that, I can deliver work to a group of people for feedback. I’ve only ever shown my novel to one person. She says great things about it and as she is a writer as well. I trust her to tell me the truth without any sugar-coating. Putting my work in front of a group of strangers for the first time, that’s a new level of stress for me. One I am looking forward to, because I know it will put me another step closer to my dream of being published!

If you’re new to this blog, welcome! If you checked me out from my link on the Nesting Place, I really appreciate your visit! Please comment, I would love the feedback.

The Pleasure of a Good Book

Standard

Let’s take a little break from my DIY home adventures today. After all, I promised you variety and I’m a woman of my word. Despite my crazy schedule, I always try to take time out for my mental health in the form of a good book. Over the years I’ve had many people, other mom’s especially, ask me how I manage to do as much reading as I do. When I want to, I am capable of reading a book a day (yes this has happened). Normally, I chose not to read more than two in one week. It’s simple really. I manage to read this way because I make it a priority. I can’t stress enough, that I consider this an investment in my mental health. Every mommy, or breathing person for that matter, needs time to mentally check out and regroup. Whatever works for you and is legal, do it. I prefer to do it by escaping into the problems of another through a good work of fiction.

Recently I took time out on a Sunday evening to finish a book I had started earlier in the week, Dracula in Love by Karen Essex. I was drawn in by the title and I liked the idea of retelling the classic from the point of view of Mina Harker. I’m also a sucker for romance involving vampires.

Dracula in Love

The story is told from the point of view of Mina Harker and from the beginning she explains that she is telling her story to deal with the inaccuracies of the original work of fiction. The clever author has some fun with this by turning Bram Stoker into an unnamed character described as a writer that she encounters on the fringe of key moments in the story.

Many of the character’s have notable differences from the classic. Mina, describes herself as growing up talking to fairies and animals, frightening her parents and after being orphaned, growing up in an academy for girl’s that is little more than a prep school for marriage. She suppresses her abilities and when the story begins she is a teacher at the school where she grew up, engaged to marry Jonathan Harker. Her abilities begin to come through in frightening episode’s of sleep walking.

Quincy Morris, the brash American from Texas, is now Morris Quince, a New York playboy, spending his time abroad rebelling from his parents by pursuing a career as a painter. He’s also carrying on a passionate affair with Lucy Westerna, who is engaged to Arther Holmwood. Dr. Seward and Dr. Van Helsing are colleagues in a mental hospital. There are minor characters who were never in the original, but the remaining characters are essentially the same as the classic.

There are some interesting additions to the story line, but for at least the first half of the book, the major plot points from the classic are all touched on. Including Jonathan’s trip to Eastern Europe to conduct business with the Count, Mina’s trip to the coast to visit with her friend Lucy, the mysterious ship wreck with a dead crew, Jonathan being discovered in a hospital with brain fever, his marriage to Mina and the death of Lucy.

What stood out to me was the twist on the original plotlines. Lucy’s plotline changed from victim of a vampire, death and rebirth as a vampire, to victim of the Victorian mental institution. It was an interesting and sad look at how easily a normal woman’s appitates and behavior could be turned against her by men who labeled her as insane and forced her into “treatments” which are little more than torture. In fact the “water treatment” described in detail reminded me of a variation on water boarding that is used as a form of torture and a hot button issue in politics.

The romance plotline between the Count and Mina, which was the draw to the book, left me feeling disappointed. It took so long to get to it and was so brief. To me it lacked the passion that you might expect soul mates to have for each other. The explanation of the bond they share and how he became immortal was an unexpected twist on what you might have otherwise expected. I found it to be a refreshing take.

Overall I enjoyed the book, even though I personally found the ending unsatisfying. I won’t spoil it by telling you why, but I will say it felt like the ending was written just to tie the story back to the original and it did an excellent job of that. Do I think this book is worth reading? Absolutely. I enjoyed the raw vision of Victorian society from an unflattering angle. The writing did an excellent job of painting a visual and sensory experience. If you’re expecting a paranormal romance, this is not it. Although there are paranormal elements. If you like historical romance that boasts a little something out of the ordinary, this book is for you.

A Novel Idea

Standard

I mentioned it before but it bares repeating, I am a woman with several irons in the proverbial fire. Yesterday I let you in on our big family goal. Today I want to talk about a goal that’s a little more personal. THE number one day dream…my novel.

I have wanted to be a writer since I was old enough to tell a story. I was even published in a magazine when I was in grade school. My teachers sent me to conferences for young writers. My stories tended to run on the dark side, even as a kid. This left a certain teacher to “suggest” I needed to see a counselor. That was enough to squash my fragile confidence.

I told myself I could be other things. For a while I wanted to be an oceanographer, but I really just liked Sharks. I’m drawn to mysterious predators. Then I thought I could be a history teacher or better yet an english teacher. That didn’t feel right either. I went to vocational school to be a massage therapist. I was good at it and aced my classes, but even my teacher said that I’m smart enough to make it but I’d be board in a year. Guess what I don’t do now?

In my heart I’m a writer. Fast forward to my late 20’s. This idea for a paranormal romance novel just stuck in my head. It became an obsession. It hasn’t been easy. There have been many false starts, and my first draft has been lost to a crashed computer, not once, but twice. At least after the first time I start printing as I went.

Then I hit my stride thanks to another book. “First Draft In 30 Days” By Karen Wiesner saved my novel. I believe in resources and this is a great one. It gave me a template on how to work efficiently to get it out of my head and onto a page. I didn’t do everything she suggested, the way she suggested. I used it as a model and did what felt right. Really with any good how-to source I feel that’s an excellent strategy. After all, no two projects or people are a like.

It took me 2 months but in the end I finally had an outline. The single most genius piece of knowledge I gleaned from that book is why you should love an outline. It’s this simple. The blank page. Because of my outline, I never had to face it. I had a road map to tell me what should happen next and my imagination just had to paint the picture. Brilliant!

Then the accident happened. I spent 3 months on my back, at home. No going to work for me. I was bored out of my mind! Thank goodness I had an outline waiting for me. A couple of days before I went back to work I finished it. The first draft of the first novel I had ever written and I did it before I turned 30!

Confession time…One year, a baby and closing on 31, where is my first draft? Sitting on my hard drive and in a binder. That’s right, I gave birth twice in a year to a book then a baby and only the baby has shown growth. Sad, I know.

I do have something I didn’t have when I started my first draft. My confidence came back. I can’t put a price on that. And you know what’s really cool? I have ideas for future novels! So I’m giving my self a kick in the pants to take this the distance. I’ll keep you up to date as I edit and rewrite my second draft. Fingers crossed I’ll be published before I’m 32.