Thursday, April 26, 2012

Knowing All the Answers

I had a funny conversation yesterday, but to understand it I need to explain what happened three days ago. So, I already mentioned requests from RT and getting those babies sent off. I mailed the last of them on Monday (YAY me!). Shortly after, I told my betas that I washed my hands of the manuscript for the time being. That I didn't want to talk about it, think about it... nothing. Honestly, I love that story, but it exhausts me. So I was looking forward to a nice little break while it was in someone else's hands.

After that, I went to work on another (adult) project. I'm tooling away at it for two days when WHAM! out of nowhere, one of my betas calls me and says, "So... what about STDs?"

At first I thought I'd misunderstood. Then I realized what she was asking. After first chewing her out for making me break my "I don't want to even think about that manuscript for a while" vow, I proceeded to answer her.

You see, there is a fair degree of promiscuity in the manuscript, so it is a fair question. (And not nearly as random as it sounds.) But, it isn't one that was addressed within the pages. For a minute, I wondered if I screwed up and should go back and revise (and resend with apologies). Then I reminded myself of one of my cardinal rules of writing. If it doesn't advance the story, don't include it. Explaining to the reader why they don't worry about STDs does nothing for the plot. Nothing. So it didn't belong on the page.

However, the conversation was a good reminder that, as the author, I need to know about all the stuff that didn't make the page. In this particular case, I did know and explained it to her. Sometimes though, you get hit with a question you didn't think about when writing and you look a little like this...

So, I try to make a habit of (especially when dealing with anything that could be considered controversial) asking myself the hard questions in advance. As for the others that pop up? Keep good notes. Because if you get asked once, you'll get asked again, and there's nothing worse than being an author who doesn't know their own story.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

When to Let Go

I'm back home from RT and all the madness and revelry that accompanies that particular con. If you've never gone and like being in the midst of a big party, you really should try it some time. But, it's not all play and no work. In addition to the fun, I posted a couple weeks ago about all the panels and official things I was doing. I also pitched a couple projects to a couple people.

Good news: They liked them and want to see the manuscripts. YAY!
Bad news: I have to send out the manuscripts. (Uh....)

You see, I've never been good about letting go of my work. Like most authors, I worry that there's something I missed, something that could be better. To feed that madness, I started going through the first of the projects on Monday. I caught a couple typos, changed wording in a couple places, but nothing big, nothing that screamed "Oh my God! You can't send this!" Finally, last night, my crit partner informed me that since I didn't have anything specific I was looking to change, I should just send it. Stop poking and just hit send. So, I sucked it up, skipped ahead and re-read the last chapter to see if I could fit in the anatomy bits (turns out, not without it being awkward). Then I closed the file. (I re-opened it a few seconds later when I realized I needed to write a synopsis, but that's beside the point.)

What I'm getting at is the fact that I got to a point where I was holding onto it out of fear. Totally irrational, silly fear. There's no reason to hold on anymore. It's either good enough or it's not. Clearly, based on the read-through, I'm not seeing any big things to fix. So today, I'll tackle that synopsis and send it off into the world.

Then I'll dive into the other manuscript. This one I have a couple very specific tweaks I want to make, but then I'm pushing it out the door. Its synopsis is done, so it's just waiting on me to make those few spots shinier. Barring any non-writerly madness, it'll be out the door this weekend. The point of all this is there comes a time when you aren't shining the manuscript anymore--you're wearing away at the finish. That place is the line between sanity and madness with regard to submitting. Learning to tap dance on it is far better than sitting it out on either side.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

I'm Not Here...

I'm at the Romantic Times Booklovers' Convention in Chicago right now, but I didn't want to leave the blog blank in my absence. So, I figured I'd leave a couple videos that helped inspire the piece I'm toying with right now. Have a fabulous week!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Find Me at RT

Twenty-four months ago, I attended my first Romantic Times Booklovers' Convention as an aspiring author. Now I have Pretty Souls as well as three short stories, three novellas, and one upcoming full-length novel under my other (adult-author) name tucked under my belt. Tuesday... I leave for my third RT Convention.

My how times have changed. The first year, no one knew who I was, but if you wanted to find me I was be-bopping everywhere. This year... I have a schedule and a pretty hectic one. These are not all the events I'll be attending, these are simply the places I've committed to being as and author.

Tuesday (I will probably get in around 1:30. It might be a bit later as I have a doctor's appointment that morning--crappy scheduling choices FTW!)

  • 7PM-- Dinner with the Australian contingent (offsite) Thanks for the invite, ladies! You rock!

Wednesday (I don't think I can officially "check-in" until today, so sometime in the morning, I'll be grabbing registration stuff)

  • 2:15-3:15-- Writing Under Multiple Names (writer panel) in DaVinci A&B
  • 4:45-5:45-- Build-A-Hero Workshop (reader panel) in International D (Note: At least one cover model is supposed to be there to help out!)

Thursday (aka busy-ass day number 1--I'm also pitching in here somewhere)

  • Club RT (there is some confusion over what time, it may be 11:15 or it might be 1:30 or even 2:00--I'll update as soon as I see the official program)
  • 2:45-3:45--Steampunk Gaslamp Gathering (reader event) in O'Hare A, B, & C (Do NOT miss this one. There will be snacks and costumes and a fashion show. People who attended last year loved it. And... at least one cover model will be there as well.)
  • 4:00-6:00--Signing at the E-book expo (GunShyBadlands, and Pretty Souls will be available to buy through All Romance E-books. In addition, I'll have print copies of Pretty Souls to sell and sign.)

Friday (aka busy-ass day number 2)

  • 10:00-11:00--Plotters, Pantsers, Plotsers (writer panel) in LaGuardia
  • 11:15-11:45--Club RT appearance
  • Afternoon--Photo shoot with VLC Photography! (offsite)
  • 5:00-7:00--Carina Press author party (offsite)

Saturday (At this point... I'll sleep when I'm dead. Actually I may sleep in the morning :P)

  • 6:15-7:15-- Fan-Tastic Day Party (reader event) in Rosemont
  • 8:00-9:00-- Carina Press Cocktail Party (They are giving away an iPad 2--maybe 3?--at this event!)

In addition to all of that, places where I'll be to support friends and have fun (for at least part of the time) include:

  • Wednesday-- Ellora's Cave Step Up & Stomp Party (9-12) and the YA Midnight Slumber Party (11:45-1)
  • Thursday-- Clan McFae Faery Ball (8:30-12)
  • Friday-- Heather Graham's Night of the Stars Party (9-12)
  • Saturday-- Giant Book Fair (10:45-2), SOS Military Mixer (3:30-4:45), Candy & Spoons (5-6), Harlequin Dance Party (9-12)
Hope to see you there!