Friday, April 20, 2012

Friday Fun Facts!

Fun Fact #1: I finished the first draft of my novella Sex on the Beach. Yay! It's 30K words, and the last chapter is pretty much a trainwreck, but at least's it's DONE. And I'm hoping that Fun Fact #2 will help me with revising it:

Fun Fact #2: I'm headed to the NJRWA's Special Event this weekend, a day-long conference with Hollywood script and story consultant Michael Hauge. Among the topics he'll be discussing:

The primary goal of all stories
The power of desire, need, longing and destiny
The essential conflict all characters must face
How to turn plot structure from a complicated concept into a simple, powerful tool you can easily apply to every story
The single key to creating character arc and theme
How to create unique, believable and fulfilling love stories
How to adapt a novel into film
The single biggest mistake writers make in pitching their work
The eight steps to a powerful pitch

Can't wait! I'll share the recap next week :)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Writers' Wednesday: A Note On Edits

I've been working on what Lyrical Press calls "pre-edits" the last week or so. These are a collection of things the editors there want authors to go through before getting to the content or the copy edits. They have a pretty comprehensive checklist of things for us to look through, and while some I don't (thanks goodness) do, many of them did apply to me. The biggies:

Repeated filler words - my big ones turned out to be just, very, pretty, already, okay, and again. If you do a "Find" function in your word processing program, it will pull up each time the specified word is used. You might be amazed at how many times you do use those kinds of words - and everyone has their favorites. For the most part, they can be deleted or replaced. Keeping only a few will add to their particular impact, when they do show up.

Repeated actions - interestingly enough, I found this one when I didn't limit the Find function to "again" - which meant that "against" also showed up. And guess how many times I had my characters "leaning against" something?? It's one of those things that's tough to see objectively as the author of a work. So needless to say, I found other actions for my characters to do.

Overuse of italics (for internal thought) and em dashes - I do use both of these A LOT. And while I cut out quite a few instances of them, I kept some too. I'll be interested to see what my editor says regarding these. I mean, my characters think to themselves! They're introspective!

The nice thing about going through this process on a contracted work is that when I switch gears and work on my other projects, I'm more tuned into NOT committing these offenses as often. I hope.

One Other Note On Edits:
It's fascinating to me that one of my narrators for my audio books coming out this summer had to be replaced because she came down with a bad cold and it put the production of the book behind schedule. You never think about that kind of illness affecting book production!

One of my narrators (a healthy one) also emailed to clarify the pronunciation of a name in one of my books - which tickles me as well, because as authors we naturally know how those names are pronounced. But out loud? By someone else? I love hearing my books read aloud, by the way - such a cool experience.

Can't wait 'til they release this summer!!!

P.S. - Congrats to Mae Clair, the winner of my Facebook Fan Page April Showers contest!!! Thanks to all who participated :)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Monday Mentionables: Fun in Salt Lake City

OK, today's post has nothing to do with writing, but it's a fun recap of our spring break travels last week. We traveled to Salt Lake City, Utah (home of Brigham Young & the Church of the Latter Day Saints) - so my husband could take place in a one-day race car driving school. We also did a little sight-seeing and met up with my sister for a girls' spa day, so everyone had a good time! Some pictures from the trip:
The view from above Salt Lake City - it really is a beautiful place!
Inside the museum at Miller Motorsports Park, which hosted the school - about $50 million worth of Ford racecars inside!!
Todd driving a BOSS 302 Mustang that is almost identical to the one he owns (same color, but not the same rollcage or 4-point seatbelt harness inside lol)

View of the racetrack - set in the middle of the snow-covered mountains. So beautiful!
Preparing for the day in his racing suit...
The fountain and gardens inside Temple Square, where the Church is located. It was gorgeous - we also had perfect weather for the 4 days we were there!

At the Great Salt Lake - it's massive and yes, smells an awful lot like the ocean :)