Today was my second day of transcribing Guilty from handwritten to typed pages. The outlook is grim so far for word count total. I'm currently at 98 typed pages, or 24,500 words, with only 10 handwritten pages left in the first composition notebook to transcribe. At this rate, I have roughly a 50K story instead of the 80K bare minimum that I need to submit to the three lines I am aiming for. Sigh. Not good.
I do plan to go back and really build on the brothers' relationship with more friendly scenes at the beginning to show their original closeness. And I could possibly add in another scene or two during the deterioration stage to show how badly things have gotten and how tense the situation is at their house while they compete for Kerri. This should help a bit, maybe add on 5-7K. I could also show one of Kerri's nightmares in depth to add suspense, show her stress, and add another 2-3K there if done right. And I could show another date or two during the competition stage to show the inconsistencies instead of doing a summary about them as I currently have it, which might add another 5-7K. I'll still be short 10K though.
I can't BELIEVE I'm falling short on word count!!! This has got to be a real first for me...and it's horrifying! MUCH easier to cut than to add! Yeek and urp (or should that be "gulp"?).
WOOOOOOOOOT!!!!!!!!!! It's done!
Tentatively titled Guilty, my first triad, a vampire erotic romance, is now completed and ready for revisions. No idea how long the darn thing is since it was handwritten, but if my previous non-erotic romance's final typed length is anything to go by, Guilty should also be in the 80-90K range. Now I've got two composition notebooks plus 8 loose notebook pages to transcribe. You should see my handwriting. Not only does it get eligible the longer I write during each session (I get a little carried away with the story, lol), but I also tend to frequently go back and add stuff between the lines and down the margins in teeny-weeny tiny itty bitty (you get the point) letters. Cursive too. Ugh. Oh well, it gets it onto the page. Now I just have to make it all legible and TYPED! While I type it up, I'll be doing the revisions. Since I tend to be a little ridiculous with my editing and my last method seemed to work well (according to the crit group feedback), I will be doing the same with this one...one round of serious, nitty gritty revisions while I type it up, then it goes into a box for several weeks while I gain some space and perspective. Then I'll go back in hard core editor mode and give it one last thorough clean up. Then it's off to the publishers. Not sure who this one will go to, as I'd really like to give print a try for a change. My options are also narrowed considering how hot and heavy these three characters insisted in getting every chance they could, plus the fact that it's a triad with a HEA and vampires. I'll keep ya posted on how the submission process goes with it...when we cross that bridge, lol.
I'll also post again about it once I know how long the darn thing is! I'll definitely have suspense pushing me through this round of transcribing/revisions!!! What if it's too short (go ahead and snicker for those who know how LOOOOOOOONNNNNNG I tend to write, lol), or too long (yeah, that'd be a shocker, wouldn't it? snicker snicker)? What if after this round of revisions, I send it to my mother and hubby (who has graciously agreed to read it since there is double the usual male POV in it and he liked one scene I read aloud to him) and they both hate it? Sigh. Guess I'll be honest and keep you posted on their reactions too. Yay.
P.S. I blew my previous daily total record out of the water today with 50 pages over the last posted 39.5! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOT!
All right, I was a naughty author yesterday and didn't write. But I promise I made up for it by writing 39.5 pages today! Good stuff too. Then again, how can you go wrong with twin Christian Bales? Sigh.
I didn't get to finish the first date scene with the "new" twin and the heroine as hoped for. Oh well. At least I'll be able to start off at a run in mid-scene tomorrow. I just hope the writing doesn't end up too different and reveal where I had to stop and start! Then again, that's what editing is for, right?
Been a long time since I posted, as I took a break from writing for a while. Apparently facing one's personal demons through writing isn't really cathartic, it just kills the muse, lol (and I'm referring to the last story I wrote under my real name, so no, you won't be seeing that story promoted in this blog or on my Savannah Madanelle website, sorry).
Anyways, I've got a ton of different story ideas that have been floating around in my brain, but only one jumped up and down and screamed for attention so much that it brought me out of hibernation and back into writing. And BOY did it ever! Here's the daily totals for the hand written work...
Day 1: 24.5 pages
Day 2: 14.5
Day 3: 30
Day 4: 16
Today's total: 39 pages!
And yes, my writing hand is killing me, and yes, I've gone through four brand new pens now, and no, I haven't typed up any of it, and probably won't until it's finished. Though when I told my mother it featured twin brothers, both dead ringers for the actor Christian Bale, she, um, strongly suggested I type up what I had and send it to her for an informal critique. But her crits are HARD! No grammer or spelling, just "this is boring, get to the good stuff" and "why are you going into detail here? throw all this out!" and "you skipped over this too much; go back and give it more detail". She's good, but MAN she's tough! And since this is my first WIP in forever, I'm just not quite ready to show my new baby to anyone. But soon, Mom, I promise!
And while I was on hiatus, everyone started reviewing my books! I got 5 and 4.5 star reviews that made me bawl like a baby! Too tired to look up all the links for reposting here tonight, but I'll get them added here in the next couple of days. In the meantime if you're dying of curiosity, you can see highlight quotes from each review plus their rating level (5 stars, 4.5 stars, etc.) on the main Midnight Dream Girls website page (go to my website at http://www.savannahmadanelle.com, then click on the MDG link on the right side of the page). The review quotes are set up as an automated scrolling window in the middle of the page.
Now I'm off to bed, tired, exhilarated, and quite frankly, thrilled to death to be a writer today!
Coming to Cobblestone Press on Friday, Dec. 1st...the first in the new vampire suspense/thriller romance series, Midnight Dream Girls Series #1: The Scent of Evil!
Blurb: Brianna Cochoran’s a full time college student supporting herself as a bartender with a little problem that won’t go away...she’s a vampire. When blackmail turns to tragedy, Brianna finds herself responsible for a business and an entire staff of employees. With so many livelihoods depending on her, Brianna can't afford to lose her focus for a second. So why can't she forget the sweetly tempting Steven Daniels? Can she protect Steven and everyone at the Midnight Saloon from a sadistic vampire bent on breaking her? Or will she be forced to make a sacrifice to save them all?
Check out this book's trailer at http://www.zippyvideos.com/7384412706348696/mdg1booktrailernewer/ or on my MySpace page.
Come chat with me this Friday, Dec. 1st at Cobblestone Press for the chance to win a free copy of this book!
Also, join the MDG Society and you'll...
Membership is free. Don't miss out...sign up today!
Well, finished up the first round of corrections for MDG #1: The Scent of Evil this weekend and returned them to the editor. MAN she's a good editor, btw. Got tons of suggestions on improvements for setting, characterization, deep POV, pacing, and more.
And I've got my fingers crossed about the cover artist...if the one I'm hoping for is available, we're gonna have cover art to rival the big pubs for this series! Won't say any artist names yet, but all will be revealed in time, lol.
And I've started on a new project. The dreams and spells one was just too close to home; I don't think I'm emotionally ready to write that one just yet. Writing should not fill the author with dread. When that happens, an author should either find a new story to write or find a new career. Since I happen to like this career, I figured I'd better work on option B.
And what IS option B, you might ask? Ah, but I cannot tell just yet, lol. I will say that it's intended for the new HQN Nocturne paranormal line. I created a basic plot a couple of days ago, then replotted it tonight to include much more conflict and action on a broader scale. Now I'm using Roxanne St. Clair's color coded plot board method to ensure the plot is evenly balanced. Since this story is going to be a category story of only 70-75K, I'm not really doing any subplots. Just a triumvirate of one main romance, the hero's family conflict, and the heroine's community conflict. I used color coded Post It notes (pink for the romance, purple for her conflict, and orange for his), laid the scenes/mini scenes out in three rows to divide the story into three parts divided by two turning points, and WAH LAH. Come to find out, the darn story was already perfectly evenly paced! LOL But now I can visually see that it is. And the visual layout stimulates my creative side. Every time I look at the colorful plot board (a mini one propped against the side of my CPU on my desk since that's all the room I've got for it), I'm raring to go on this story! Too bad it's 2:10 in the morning on a weekday and my kindergardner has school in a few short hours. Darn education, grr. But tomorrow, ahhh...
BTW, if you're interested in reading about this method and other plotting methods, be sure to go to the Romance Divas forum at www.romancedivas.com. Look under AOTM Workshops for Roxanne St. Clair's five lessons on plotting. Her theory is that you should use different plotting methods for different types of books (genius, that woman is!), and she offers 5 different methods good for both plotters and pansters. Very detailed advice too.
It's 2:18 am and I've got to be up at 7 am again to get my oldest ready for school. So I'm wrapping it up for the day/night. Had a LOT of fun writing my "meet at the bar scene" tonight (1,500 words too much fun, actually, according to my "word ration diet" method).
13,500 / 75,000
Tomorrow I'll start chapter 4 with the hero's first phone call, the closing in of the stalker villain, and the h/h's first date. Mmm, something fun, scary, and dramatic to look forward to!
YAAAY! Got two contract offers from Cobblestone Press for Midnight Dream Girls Series #1: The Scent of Evil and MDG #3: The Scent of Rain!!!! Will keep you posted on when each title in the series becomes available at CP.
AND I've started a new WIP. It's called Dreamspell for now and features a witch, an astral projector, and a villainous energy vampire. MUCH fun writing a Scottish hero this time, but I'm thinking I need to be playing the movie Braveheart in the background so I can get the accent right. I think I'm slipping into an Irish one at times! LOL At any rate, this one's intended for Samhain Publishing (heard they're good and I need to branch out in epubs a bit) for an epub, and Silhouette's new Nocturne paranormal category length line for the print pub. So my max word limit is 75K. So far, I'm up to 10,250 words.
10,250 / 75,000
So I've got a ways to go still, but it's been wonderful to be writing again after so long a dry spell. For this WIP, I'm trying to be extremely organized. Got my 12 major plot points outlined and max word limit "rations" assigned to each plot point based on their importance in the story. It's like being on a word diet, lol. But I'm determined to figure out an effective way to control my word count as I write so I don't have to go back and cut out stuff. Hopefully this method will be the one that works!
In an effort to save all you fellow newer authors out there from much trial and tribulation, I'm gonna pass along a strong bit of advice here.
See, I thought I had the whole "oh my lord, I just submitted a story to a publisher, now I can't breathe until I hear back from them" issue beat. Went through that with my first one and followed everyone's advice to immediately start writing another story to take my mind off the subbed story. And this process worked.
So like a silly, overly confident author, I decided that I could safely sub THREE of my stories all within the space of a single week since I'd finished up their revisions around the same time.
Psychologically, this has proven to be a bad, bad idea. With one story under consideration, I could go on and start writing a new story. But with one novella and two full length novels (one of which being my longest EVER novel, The Scent of Rain) all being considered at the same time, I'm going nuts! I'm worse than I was the first time around in the submission process, checking my email every time it dings a notice for a new message, checking it even when it's not. LOL Nuts? Oh yes. Unprofessional lack of control? Definitely, for which I heartily apologize. It's not the publisher's fault by any means, either. It's mine for not spacing out my submissions and waiting for a response on one before subbing another.
Now all you fellow authors out there who are unpubbed or relatively new to being pubbed...HEED THE WARNING FROM MY EXPERIENCE!!! I have four fully plotted ideas for all manner of stories ranging from the fourth MDG vamp story to a ghost story, a non-series vamp story, and a non-vamp paranormal. But can I find an ounce of creative motivation in my body to write on any of these stories? Nope nope nope!
I read an excellent article that made me feel marginally better. It was about authors needing to embrace the fact that everything is cyclical. Like nature and its seasons, we authors also go through the fallow winter months in our writing and should use this time to recharge.
So what, you may ask, am I doing with this unplanned and definitely unasked for "fallow time"?
Well, my latest project is to combine MDG #1 and #2 into a two part story and giving it a hard and thorough revision for eventual submission to Harlequin's new Nocturne line of category paranormals. I think it's got a pretty good shot, but I'm working to make it darker, edgier, my heroes more alpha and less beta (though this part doesn't seem to need much, surprisingly, lol), and the plot more action packed if I can manage it. The word length is already there at just over the max 75K allowed. Will the editors like it? LOL Who knows! But I'm going to revise it to make it the best I can make it, hopefully get a few crits on it, then send it off.
After THAT, I have NO idea what I'll do! Maybe my muse will come back from her winter vacation in the Bahamas and we can get on with our works of passion. I'll keep my toes crossed (need my fingers free to type, of course, lol). Maybe I can bribe her back with copious amounts of chocolate and wine? heeheehee
Well, I haven't been writing lately. MDG #3: The Scent of Rain was so long that it seemed to have sucked the creativity out of me. But then MDG #4, Pamela's story, has been dancing around at the edges of my mind lately. And today, with my dear hubby playing sounding board, almost the entire plot bloomed to life!
It might be a while yet before I can start writing on it, but at least the plot, character GMC's, and mental images of scenes are there to work with. The outline for the plot is pretty well done, and features a lot of new vampire technology. Want some hints about the main characters? LOL The heroine is Pamela Jones, the Midnight Dream Girls dance director and part time vamp hunter. The too sexy hero doesn't have a name yet, but he's a vamp version of a UFC champion fighter named Matt Hughes (so he might end up being a Scottish accented fighter named Matt!). And the villain (yep, there's one in this story) doesn't have a name yet, but he's a very naughty, very spoiled century old vampire with all the right connections and all the wrong vampire habits.
And that's ALL you're gonna get until the story's done! LOL