Saturday, March 12, 2011

Sex and Editing -- Not Your Normal Duo

So my life went from relatively uncomplicated to about Dante's Inferno level of bedlam.  I've just started the second round of editing for my novel, which is due by the end of the month.  I'm the kind of person that when I know time is ticking, I feel it.  So I'm nail biting the fuck out of my fingers because I'm trying to get things done and the rest of my life is pulling me in different directions.

Editing, for all those that haven't experienced, is the painful combination of exciting (at least the first time) and tedious.  The first round was, though stressful, very educational and fun.  Yes, I tore my story to shreds and added/removed things, but it was a process I've never done before.  So I loved it all.  Not to say that I'm not enjoying this.  But it's about as exciting as watching dog shit...just not as disgusting.  I'm staring at a computer for hours, going through and making grammatical corrections.  You wouldn't think that's exhausting, but it is.  So for all you newbie authors out there, brace your self for the tedious side of writing.  Every job has it.  Ours just sucks majorly.

So what does sex have to do with anything?

Well, in the midst of all my editing/writing chaos, I'm also playing cupid.  And it's damn near as stressful.  Trying to make arrangements for your best friend to get with someone (I won't say who~) is tiring, when you have to make everyone happy.

It probably doesn't help that my sex/love life has severely dropped to a big ol' fat 0 once I got back from Cali.  So long love life.  I'm devoted to writing.  The only male company I get is two gay guys in a story and the man in my dreams.

Can we all say, pathetic?  Anyone else running through a dry spell?  Lets all have a collective sigh.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

To Outline or Not to Outline?

So one of the biggest things I discuss with my friends (at least my fellow authors) is the beginning process.  Everyone does it differently.  And between gossiping about boys and clothes, we each break down how we start our novel.  Seeing as how I've just begun my second novel in the Theo Bourne Series, I've decided that now would be a good time to discuss outlining processes.  See, it isn't all about sex.

So the question is: to outline or not to outline?  Good ol' Bill, I bet he never knew his one little quote would be butchered so horrifically.

In the end, it all depends on how you're comfortable.  I know authors who don't outline.  They get an idea and after working it through their heads, they start writing.  Whatever comes, comes.  If you're comfortable with that (I know I'm not) than you can definitely just ignore this post.

If you're someone that likes outlining, than maybe I can shed a bit of advice.  There are hundreds of ways to outline, but I've found the two major ones are minor outlines and detailed.  I've done them both and I prefer the detailed.  I feel more in control.

I'll just give a brief breakdown of each forum:

Minor Outlines

This is when you just need a general direction to go with your story.  Minor outlines for me consist of key points that will happen through out the story, major arcs.  General I don't do a chapter breakdown with minor outlines.  I have a list of characters, places, and a series of events.  Usually ten.  Minor outlines gives you a lot of elbow room to shift things around, without feeling too tied down to the plot.  This is great for someone who doesn't like to sit down and work out the entire plot in one go.  If you're a writer who wings it through the chapters, then I'd suggest this form of outlining.

Detailed Outlines

Detailed outlines are far more extensive.  For me, this is an entire breakdown of the story.  It sometimes ties you down to the plot (than again, maybe that's just me!) but it also gives you a clear view from beginning to end.  You always have room to change the plot, never forget that.  With a detailed, I break the entire story down from chapter to chapter.  Each chapter has a list of major events that are going to happen.  I also include days/time/seasons (whatever is relevant, important to note) and a list of places and characters.  I find that with a detailed outline I have a clear view of where I'm going and I can't stray from the plot.  It also helps me prevent events from getting confused/obscured/forgotten.  For me, I have a tendency to forget what I write unless I look back.  So with a detailed outline, I have the ability to go back and take a peek of what happened the previous chapter without actually having to reread the entire chapter.

I actually do both a minor and detailed outline.  I use the minor to help place the larger events through out the story, breaking them down into each chapter.  In the end, it's what you're comfortable with.  There are plenty of other ways to outline.  This is just how I roll! :)

A good resource for writing tips is Janet Evanovich's How I Write.  I'd also check out Writer's Digest Magazine, which is loaded with oodles of tips for you lovely chickadees!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

California is a long way...

So I've just gotten back from a weekend romp on the west coast.  Originally it was suppose to be a vacation where I could recharge my batteries and indulge in a little sex fantasy.  Somehow it went from that to something very stressful and lacking in the fantasy department.  I think my characters have a better sex life than I do.

How pathetic is that?

So my very first note of advice for all you readers out there (here by dubbed chickadees): California is a long way to go to get sex.

I guess to say in my defense, I was also trying to figure out if a relationship could work.  That's a giant NO.  Who would have thought an author and a theater tech wouldn't work? Then again, if you don't have imagination in the bedroom, it's never going to work.  At least for this particular author.  Boring doesn't even begin to describe it.

I won't touch on the dreary weather that Cali produced for me.  The sunshine that I was told about, that I always hear about, some how escaped me.  So this woman came back to humble Ohio with nothing more then some great plot bunnies for her next novel.

When all else fails in life, turn to plotting.  It definitely helps.  I covered some serious outlining and worked out the major key points for my next novel.  And I guess thanks to the lack of sex, I was able to fantasies about new things to use for my characters.  So when life gives you lemons, turn them into a juicy love scene!