Romance writing

NaNoWriMo running total update

It’s been a slow May with my NaNoWriMo count only being 33,590/50,000. When I don’t have a set in stone deadline the desire to keep going just isn’t there. 

I am close though, and my goal is to have it finished for June 1 to enter the Harlequin Blaze contest. I have to enter my first chapter and a synopsis. Guess what I’ll be doing this weekend?  🙂 

My characters have fought, made up, did some soul searching, fought again and now I am at the point where something is going to happen to their relationship that they might not recover from. Oh, the things we do to our characters!

agents, writing

I Pressed the Send Button

I finally did it! I sent my synopsis and first three chapters to the agent who requested my work. Whew!!! What a process that turned out to be. The synopsis I had to prepare was only two pages long. As I prepared to write it, I couldn’t believe I had to get 250 pages onto two pages – but I did. I got right down to the bare bones, filled it with emotional conflict, back story, and the black moment. I prepared the email, proofread everything and let my cursor hover over the send button.

Did I forget anything? Did I catch every mistake? Was I professional enough? Did I do it right??? – is what it comes down to in the end.

So, I let my cursor hover a little longer as I re-read the email again… my heart raced, my breath caught, I started humming a silly tune, then I took a deep breath and pressed the send button. I have to admit, my body shook with nervousness, but I was giddy.

Yeah me! A goal accomplished… I don’t know what the outcome will be, but I’m proud of following through and getting my work out there.

plot, writing

Plot

Wikipedia defines Plot as “a literary term for the events a story comprises, particularly as they relate to one another in a pattern, a sequence, through cause and effect, or by coincidence.”

When I try to wrap my mind around that definition I get frustrated. To me plot is a story line full of events that unfold as the characters learn and change and grow. When I look at it that way I can sit down and plan where my story is going, what I want to happen to my characters and visualize the beginning, middle and end of my manuscript.

During my current rewrite I realized my middle was stuck as my beginning had changed so much and my ending still reflected my old beginning leaving me high and dry in the middle. So, I’ve been coming up with different scenarios of what could work for my characters, and let me tell you, it’s quite a process. I find myself going backwards to make sure something I said earlier is true now and vice versa. Consistency is important as well credibility. Readers are very smart and they’ll know if something doesn’t match up.

I advise the use of a chart or detailed synopsis of every chapter and where you want to take the story before you start to write. I didn’t do that with this manuscript. I jumped right in and wrote what was in me. It was a wonderful experience doing it that way but then your left with inconsistencies and unbelievable characters, events and settings.

I fully believe that writing is a never-ending learning process.

Romance writing

Synopsis for a Pitch

I’ve started to write a synopsis of my novel that I plan to pitch at the SiWC. You need to get down to the heart of your story in order to answer the question “what is your story about?”

Last year at the conference I asked myself that and went into immediate panic mode. For a novel that I had been working on for years and knew the characters like I know my family, I couldn’t believe I didn’t know the answer to this obvious question. Yes, there’s emotional turmoil, a love triangle, betrayal, a broken friendship, etc, but that’s not what my story is about – that’s what happens to the characters in the story.

So, now I am writing a quick synopsis of the all the key points, making sure it flows as the first half of the book is undergoing revisions.

I’ll let you know how it turns out, what I discover about my novel, and how many pages I emerge with. 🙂