December 31, 2010

5 Steps to a Perfect Submission

NOTE: This article has now been published in 7 different chapters across the US and Canada for Romance Writers of America, is now being considered for Mystery Writer's of America SoCal chapter newsletter and is on submission for Writer's Digest's October 2011 issue.

As fiction writers, we strive to perfect our submission process to catch our dream agent’s attention and this can only be accomplished by using the basic pattern of submission rules that each agent has constructed to suit them individually. Following these five simple steps, even a novice writer will be ahead of the game when taking their masterpiece out into the world.
Finish the book.  DO NOT submit to an agent unless you are able to use the word “completed” (with word count) in your query. This doesn’t mean first draft material either. Not only do you take that final plunge in writing “The End” at the bottom of that last page, but you have to take your book a step further. Edit and revise several times, which may include several man hours, weeks or years depending on your life and your idea of revisions. But the most important part of this step is that you do it. Your manuscript (MS) is an extension of you and will be the deciding factor in catching an agent. Make it into a masterpiece and then hand it over to someone else.
And I don’t mean your mom. Getting your work critiqued can be daunting. Your work is going out into the world, you’re nervous, you’re not sure if your trusted friend will like your characters or the world you’ve built for them, but here’s the hard truth: you want to be an author. You’re going to have to get over those nervous jitters and accept that not everyone has the same taste. Besides, moms lie. Use your loyal writing community. Don’t have one? Start by reading other writer’s blogs. Befriend them and they will welcome you with open arms. They might even teach you something. The online writing community is always willing to help and know what agent’s are looking for. They will BETA-read for you. They will give you feedback and you will consider every word because you want the best chance of getting noticed by an agent. Of course, you have to use your own judgment in their suggestions as well. This is your work and you know it best.
Because your MS is an extension of yourself, you want it to look professional. So format. This will tell your chosen agent just how serious you are. There are many different opinions on what your header should contain, to bold or italicize the title page and what font to use and a nice tool to answer all these questions is Formatting and Submitting Your Manuscript by Chuck Sambuchino.

Synopsis. Nicknamed the “dreaded synopsis”, the synopsis is your second step in the submission process and unfortunately required. Some writers believe writing an entire novel is easier that consolidating it down to a few pages and I’d have to agree. Contrary to popular belief, the synopsis is NOT a play-by-play of your MS. Instead, think of it as the summary on the back of your book when it’s published, only two to five pages rather than a couple paragraphs. Summaries don’t tell the entire story and neither should your synopsis. You will have the main points and the ending, of course, but the synopsis should be emotional rather than physical. Who are the main characters? What’s at stake? What are their goals, motivations and conflicts? Tell the agent why your readers will keep turning the page, but in a brief summary.

Write the Query Letter.  Easier said than done. Trust me, I know. Just like the synopsis, the query letter is required. This is how you’re going to catch an agent’s attention and make them want to represent you and your work. Further consolidating your MS into two or three paragraphs seems impossible, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Start with a hook line. You’ve already done this in your actual MS. Your hook line is the first sentence that keeps your reader wanting more and you have to do the same in your query letter. Make the agent keep reading your sales pitch. Make her eager to request more material. Because that’s all we as fiction writers really want: a chance to share the real masterpiece.
Two to three paragraphs is plenty to express the goals, motivation and conflict of your protagonist(s) and antagonist(s). Keep it simple. Give the agent the basics, just as you’ve done in your synopsis, but keep them wanting more with conflict. Agents receive thousands of submissions each month and more than you’d think take up more than one page. Two hundred and fifty words is usually the maximum agents are willing to consider for each submission.
Once you’ve got your query cleaned up, send it off to your trusted critique partner or submit it to The Public Query Slushpile (, hosted by Rick Daley. The site is an excellent resource to get free critiques and feedback.

Comprise your list of agents. Your list of agents needs to compliment your work. Genre, for example, is the most important factor in selecting your agents. You don’t want to submit your thriller to an agent who only represents romance. An easy way to sift through the thousands of agents is to obtain a copy of Writer’s Market or subscribe online for about $5.99 a month, check out Agent Query (, or head over to Preditors and Editors ( With these valuable resources, you can weed out agents through an advanced search of genre, website availability and much more. Once you have a basic list, it’s time to research.

Researching your agents. Besides the query letter, researching your agents is the most important step in the submission process and the most time consuming. You will need to read up on every single agent on your list in order to tell the agent why your MS is going to fit them personally in your query. When I say “fit”, I mean you need to know which agent you will be submitting to (some agencies house more than one agent and yes, you need to know the agents name. None of this “Dear Agent” crap), what their submission guidelines are, how to submit to them (snail mail or email), and finally, and what book sales of theirs might compare to your MS. It’s hard trying to compare someone else’s work to yours since yours is so unique, but it can, and must be done. This little tidbit of information gives the agent confidence that you’ve done your homework and tells them just how serious you are about being published.

These five steps will put you ahead of the other two thousand submissions a single agent receives every month and may even lead to that call or email you’ve been waiting for. I wish you the best of luck!

December 29, 2010

To the Writer Community...I Need Help

Dear friends of the Internet,

I'm researching agents. Yay! Not. This is the point where my query letter is finished and now I need to personalize it to every agent in my list. I'm doing this by researching the agent's sales, comparing my work to others.

Here's where I need help.

I have two perfect comparisons that I've included in my query letter for one agent. I'm not sure if there will be other books out there that can compare so well. Can I keep those two throughout my submission process for EVERY agent, assuming they know the books I'm speaking of or do I need to go even further and find different comparisons for EACH agent?

December 27, 2010

The State of Mind

I have a secret: all of my short story plots come from dreams. Very rarely I dream, but when I do, I tend to memorize every moment, every action and, when I wake, I write them down. In my dreams, I'm never myself, I'm always looking down. My "characters" can have my name, they can act like me, but they never look like me and I'm never in that first person chair.

I write like this, too. Never in first person (I just don't have the patience to use "I" in every sentence and even now I'm a little bothered). I was taught and grew up to write third person. The "characters" in my dreams don't have names or personalities until I take the notes I've written from my dreams and start a new creation, but I already know the plot :)

Do you utilize your dreams in your work? Have they ever given you that blockbuster plot?

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday break. The New Year is coming soon!

December 23, 2010

Microsoft Word Grammar Checker and the Blunders Within

Microsoft Word Grammar Checker (MSGC), and any other grammar-checking programs, should not be relied on to fix all grammar mistakes, teach appropriate grammar or institute better writing. Neither is it a valued replacement for a human being in any type of setting.

Microsoft has been the leading software engineering company for the past decade, placing their Office products in nearly every home that owns a computer in the United States. Word is one of those Office products, helping students, writers and users of all ages to present their projects in a professional manner and is accompanied by Grammar Checker. Industry experts estimate Microsoft’s current share of the word processing software market at somewhere between 80 and 90 percent (McGee and Ericsson 455) and conclude its brand name alone gives the Microsoft Grammar Checker a kind of influence that is difficult (perhaps impossible) to calculate (McGee and Ericsson 462). When utilized, the program can be helpful, but cannot always be trusted by novice writers. For example, the following sentence, “Microsoft the company should big improve Word grammar check” (Bishop 1) is correct according to MSGC 2010.
The dependability of MSGC is flawed. Users will have a different opinion of the program, each according to their own specific needs, but will see clearly that technology will never be able to respond, think and write as well as a human being. MSGC will not correct all mistakes in a given document. As advised by advanced writers and scholars of Composition, users need to know the basic rules of grammar, and the program itself, before trusting their work to any type of grammar-checking software. Otherwise, the program will lead a user to their own failure.

If you'd like to learn more of the research I've conducted for this paper, just let me know! I will send the entire 9 pages to you with specific examples of why the Grammar Checker can lead you astray in your own writing. I found it helpful, considering I use the program EVERY day and I learned what I need to look for when it comes to grammar. Someday a copyeditor may be proud of me...dream...

December 19, 2010


Ah! I'm falling behind...on everything! This break between semesters is kicking my butt. I have a whole list of things I'd like to accomplish before the only books I'm reading are the ones I'm forced to for a grade, but sadly, this is not the case! I have yet to finish revisions on ALL BECAUSE OF YOU and I'm only a chapter and an epilogue away! Grr.

However, I have completed my New Year's Resolution for 2010 in reading 52, never-before-read, books. :)

I have a post in mind for Friday that will, hopefully, help those of you in the writing world put Microsoft Word Grammar Checker in perspective. My research came as a surprise, considering I use the program EVERY DAY.

Until then...I will miss you - my followers. Sorry I've been away! I'm hoping to get back in the swing of things soon :)

December 12, 2010

Almost There!

REVISIONS are almost complete for ALL BECAUSE OF YOU! I'm so close. Right now, I've just started working on the last chapter. After that, there's the Epilogue and then I'm done. Done! There haven't been any major plot revisions - thank goodness! - but, as I said before, my first chapter was originally back story. Those scenes within that chapter are now spread out throughout the book and the "biggest case of Marcus' career" is now emphasized. The revisions are mostly small, but have made the MS so much better!

Being that I'm almost done - BETA readers PLEASE! Let me know!

December 10, 2010

Impromtu Rewards

So, while on my break at work today, I decided to check Lauren Kate's blog to check for the latest updates. On the side of her blog there is a widget that posts her Twitter updates and, low and behold, I found out that Lauren Kate was in Vegas! I'd actually been wishing she would visit Vegas sometime soon and I got my wish. And she was at the Borders less than a mile away from work. Husband and I work for the same company, so we have one car. We drive to work together and go home together. Lauren wasn't going to appear at Borders until 7PM! What did I do? I dragged him along of course :)
Lauren Kate reading a scene from Torment
Lauren and I after she just signed my book!
Lauren before the reading
I found Lauren Kate absolutely delightful! She was very well composed, answered questions without hesitation, and made some great jokes. I'm so glad I took this opportunity!

In Their Own Words: Adelaide's Monster

There’s a reason Adelaide calls me a monster.
I lurk behind her eyes, unable to escape the prison of her mind as I wait to be free from the cage she’s subjected herself to. I do what nobody else can: I make everything better, but only for my own price.
Yes, I love the feel of it on my skin, the taste of it in my mouth and I certainly enjoy the sounds Adelaide’s victims make in their last moments. Mmm, I can remember them all with such clarity.
I’m smarter, faster and more motivated than any one of these men standing in my way and soon, I will be free of medication, and Adelaide will embrace me with open arms.
So tell me, what are you afraid of?

December 8, 2010

In Their Own Words: Adelaide Banvard

My name is Adelaide and I’m a killer. The voice inside my head will say there’s nothing wrong with that, but I never wanted my life to be this way. She sounds like me, the voice that whispers to me when I’m awake, at least as far as I can tell. I haven’t heard my own voice in nineteen years and neither has anyone else. It’s a trust issue. Kidnapped at the age of seven, I was the price for my father’s decisions and it ruined my life.  Forcing myself to remain mute gives me the feeling of control and I always need to be in control.

I can’t help but wonder what would have happened if I’d been aloud to grow up as a normal child, away from the fights I was forced to participate in until I was sixteen. That was when I escaped. Christian was the one who saved me, tying my fate to his that day. In a way, I love him. He can control my monster, but for a price. He’s made me into his own assassin.
I want out and I’m willing to do anything to get what I want, but I never expected my chance to appear so soon or in the form of my enemy. 
Just remembering the sound of his voice calms the beast inside and I can’t get enough, but Christian would see me dead before letting me go, especially to an ATF agent who wants us all behind bars.
I’m lost, but have never thought so clearly before in my life.

December 5, 2010

We Interrupt This Series...

During my Beta-ing services, I've come across a very interesting topic. Interesting to me, anyway.

Present vs. Past tense writing

Now, I'd have to say all of the books I read, including YA, are written in past tense (i.e. I looked over to her.), but, as one of my Betas pointed out, YA is usually written in present tense (i.e. I look over to her.)

For me, in any type of writing, present tense just sounds off and I've never read or written any novels in present tense. question to my Beta correct in stating that most YA is written in present tense? Are you comfortable writing in present tense or does it sound off to you as well?

Please chime in! I really would like to know for future critiques.

December 3, 2010

In Their Own Words - Marcus

Ah, hi. I’m Marcus. But I guess you already knew that. Don’t really know why I’m here. There’s not a lot to say.
I grew up here in Los Angeles, recruited to the Marines when I was twenty. That didn’t work out so well as you can imagine. Dishonorable discharge. Been with ATF ever since. I’m married, but that isn’t working out too well either. Work’s just too important right now. I’m on the biggest case of my career. I’m in there. I have Wren’s trust. I can’t just give that up. But, what I thought would be a slam-dunk, is turning into my own personal nightmare.
            I can’t sleep. I can’t eat. I can’t even fight without thinking of Adelaide. It’s driving me mad. She’s one of the best things that has ever happened to me, but she’s crazy! Literally insane and I love her all the more for it. Adelaide is unlike any other woman I’ve met, but the only way I can have her is behind bars.

December 1, 2010

In Their Own Words - Christian

   I’ve worked my way to the top and there’s no one who can take that away from me. I single-handedly made my company the leading manufacturer of weapons, but, as with any profession, being at the top isn’t easy. I’ve had to make my deals, some illegally, but nothing has stopped me from getting what I want. 

Especially when it comes to Adelaide.

I’ve dedicated my soul to her from the time I was sixteen. I went through hell to keep her for myself, saving her from that bastard Vicente. He made her into a slave, but I was the one who taught her how to survive and provided for her with everything I could. But she refuses to trust me, refuses to trust anyone. I would never let anyone hurt her. She’s my entire world and I will kill anyone who tries to keep us apart.

I’ve already dealt with one traitor in my ranks and now I’m forced to do so again. Adelaide is losing her touch with Marcus around, giving into the fantasy that she can live without me, but she has no idea what it’s like out there in the world. That damn ATF agent is planning to take her away from me, to let her loose, but I won’t let him.

November 28, 2010

Stolen Exercise

Thanks to The Piedmont Writer and E. Elle, I am hosting an "IN THEIR OWN WORDS" series for my second novel, ALL BECAUSE OF YOU. This will give you a chance to hopefully better understand the characters I've created, but mainly has helped me dive deeper into them. Starting Wednesday, you'll be able to meet Christian Wren (my antagonist), Friday will be Marcus Grant (protagonist) and next week, I'll be introducing you to both sides of Adelaide Banvard (protagonist).

If there are any writer's out there having trouble understanding, writing for or just expressing their characters, this is a great exercise and one I will continue to work on with each novel I create.

November 25, 2010


Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends! To those of you who don't celebrate Thanksgiving, I'm still grateful that you are a part of my journey and hope you have a wonderful day!

I'm getting a lot of work done on the current revisions and hope to send out another round of queries beginning in December. On a side note - I read a post (sorry, I can't remember where) that explained most agents and agencies shut down queries for the holidays. Is December not a good time for querying?

November 22, 2010

Rules to Write By

Good Monday morning, friends! It' Monday and I'm not at work! Yay :) Sorry for those who are. You'll get your day off soon. Anywho, I wanted to stop by in the middle of my revisions/research paper to let everyone know I've started a new website.

This website was an assignment for my grammar class. Yes, I'm taking a grammar class and it is as boring as you can imagine, but this assignment turned out to be a good thing.

Rules to Write By is a resource for writers of any level to find some answers to grammar questions. Right now, it's really small. Only 5 topics (that was my assignment), but hopefully over the next couple years I can make it into something grand and an actual resource for those of us who struggle with or never learned grammar.

I'm really interested in making this a team effort so we can get as much information out there as possible for writers. Contact me if you're interested in adding your own topic or to give some general feedback about content on the site.

November 19, 2010


There is not enough time in the day. My revisions are suffering! Chapter 8. That's where I am. Last week I was in Chapter 7. Of course, I didn't expect to have to rewrite so many scenes. A LOT of my content was from other character's POV that aren't my main characters. I'm rewriting them and it's taking a long time! I just have to remember it's for the best.

This weekend Hubby and I are jetting off to Utah for the holiday. I'm praying I can get a chunk of rewrites done and read, and snowboard, and relax, and...oh you get the idea...

What are you doing for the holidays?

November 13, 2010

Format Me

There are many resources for writers out there. Whether it be a book, discussions with authors, or support from your awesome following, all craft advice is welcome to novice writers such as myself, but can be confusing.

Formatting is one of those confusing subjects.

Seems like every website, book and author page has a different standard. I simply have to remember that it's different for everyone. So I've included a couple shots of what agents are looking for in formatting and would like to hear what your style is.
Taken from Harlequin's website.

Taken from Formatting and Submitting Your Manuscript - awesome book
Another great resource for writers is Carolyn Jewel's Writing Advice page on her website. Click here to see how an author formats her MS.

Are these similar to yours or do you have a different way of doing things?

November 12, 2010


This is round 3 of revisions on ALL BECAUSE OF YOU and I've never been so frustrated. The shark above is an accurate description for me, but I thought it was funny when revisions were referred to as "Revision Hell". I'm quickly learning that this is true! I've always been able to shoot through revisions without problems, and that's probably why I'm not published yet. I started this round about 2 weeks ago and I'm only in the middle of Chapter 7! I can honestly say the MS is getting better, but so far I've removed over 70 PAGES of filler. 70 pages. That's a lot of words. This is a suspense. I'm not sure what the general word count is, but I started with 87,000. Hopefully a lot of work can be done this weekend.

What do you consider Hell?

November 8, 2010

Query Crit Contest!

Lynette Label over at Chatterbox Chitchat is giving away a professional query critique! Click here for details on how to enter! 4 lucky winners will get this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity as long as you enter before November 12!

November 6, 2010


Jessica over at Alliterative Allomorph is having a giveaway over at her blog for celebrating 400 followers! Woot! I can only dream of finding that many new friends :)

Her giveaway:
1st place: $40 Amazon Giftcard 
2nd place: $20 Amazon Giftcard
3rd place: $10 Amazon Giftcard
Runner up: Surprise! Something Greek!

And if she reaches 500 followers...
1st place: $80 Amazon Giftcard
2nd place: $40 Amazon Giftcard
3rd place: $20 Amazon Giftcard
Runner up: Surprise! Something Greek!

You need to go enter!

November 4, 2010

Keeping It Cool

Revisions are grueling and I know many of you can relate. I feel as if I'm rewriting the entire thing, but I can definitely tell you that my MS is getting better and better!

Since this MS, I've written two others and all writers know, the more you write, the better your craft. I've learned a lot since finishing ALL BECAUSE YOU and am happy to incorporate that new knowledge into the revised MS. A short list of items include using backstory through dialogue and cutting down POV's (I had a problem with this, having over six points of view in this MS - now down to just protagonists and antagonist). I've also spiffied (not a word) up my first page and the first chapter to hopefully catch the reader's attention. No major plot revisions so far. Thank heavens. But I have a feeling they're coming!

What is your best advice/knowledge you would like to pass on to novice writers?

October 31, 2010

Do You Care?

There have been several instances where I've read a novel and either the MC isn't real enough for me or I can't relate to them at all. Sometimes there's no sympathy and that's when I usually stop reading.

Recently, my husband started reading my second novel (and this is part of the reason why I decided to revise a little more). He noted that he was stuck on Chapter 5 because it was hard to sympathize with a MC that was so cold and calculating. There wasn't any real personality to her. I'd also received this little tidbit from a trusted reader and that's when I started thinking seriously about this topic. So I went hunting for ways and advice to bring life and sympathy to those near and dear to me.

Paula Eykelhof of MIRA Books, in an article written by Brenda Novak, says,
“Readers will care about what happens next only if they can care about your characters, connect with them in some way and feel interested in their personalities and their fates.” 
And in her article, 10 Ways To Improve Your Romance Novel, Brenda Novak expands a little further:
Be sure your protagonist always has something important and personal at stake. When choosing your point of view, tell the story from the viewpoint of the character (or characters) with the most to lose.

So I ask: What makes the reader care about your characters as much as you do?

October 27, 2010

In Which I WAS Finished first draft of MY DEMONIC LOVE is done. Yep, my first Paranormal Romance is complete (for the time being). I need some distance. I will come back to it in a few weeks to start revisions, but that is not what this post is about.

My second novel, ALL BECAUSE OF YOU, is going out to another handful of agents and although I didn't have any takers for beta-reading, I decided to be proactive and read through it one more time before sending my brand spanking new query out into the world.

This is what happened...
I am revising. Again. I realized the entire first chapter was back story. I've saved each segment of that chapter into separate files and will redistribute them throughout the book. They're memories and should be placed accordingly. What was I thinking? Duh! So, as you can see, I'll be busy for the next few weeks. The picture above is just the second page. I'm in for the ride of my life and looking forward to how much better my MS is going to get!

How are your revisions going? Are they simple or a mess like mine?

October 25, 2010


I don't know about you, but I can't write without music. Like Stephenie Meyer, I make playlists throughout my projects, then listen to those songs for inspiration, specific wording to use in the MS and general enjoyment. Most of the music I listen to is Hard Rock or Heavy Metal, which reflects into my work, making it edgier. Sometimes it's a good thing. Sometimes it's a bad thing. Every once in a while, depending on the type of mood I want my writing to reflect, I'll throw in some Pop and Classic Rock. As a writer, I gain inspiration from a lot of places, but I have to say music is my #1.

Do you make playlists? How does music affect your work?

October 22, 2010


I'm OBSESSED with The Public Query Slushpile. Since I started writing, I've been looking for someone who knows how a query letter is supposed to work, what information needs to go in it, how to format and everything in between. I can't believe it took me so long to find this site and I want to thank Rick Daley for creating this opportunity for me!

If you want a serious critique of your query letter, even some plotting, visit The Public Query Slushpile directly or through my "For Writers" page (listed under Author and Industry Blogs). I have to tell you though...if you post, I will most likely comment on your query. I find myself commenting on every entry, but it's for your own good!

This is an awesome chance to get your query letter ready for submission and all the comments I've received there have only bettered my chances of landing an agent.

Are there blogs, websites, trusted advisers out there that you simple can't help stalking?

October 21, 2010


Not the TV show. Although that is possibly the best series I've ever watched. I'm talking about being lost personally. I feel so overloaded with things of the world, that my writing is so far behind! I am going to school for my writing career (English Literature). Writing is my life. It will always be my life, but why do I feel so overloaded that I can't even think of turning back to it? There doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day. Once I'm home from my full-time job, there's only so many hours left in the night before I have to go to bed to start all over again. I want to work on my W.i.P., but life just isn't going to let me!

Do you ever feel this way? How do you get past it?

October 17, 2010


Wow, the past couple of weeks have been so busy around here. School is getting ridiculous, leaving me barely any time to write. My w.i.p. has suffered the past few weeks, but today I was actually able to get about 3,300 words in. I'm up to 80,000 with just a few thousand to go! Yay :) I seriously never thought this MS would make it, but now that I'm down to the last two chapters things are finally starting to fall into place. I've written the query (which will be posted on the Public Query Slushpile soon) and hope to get some advice from my loyal followers. I've kind of missed you guys and apologize for not being a better follower. I will be back to commenting soon!

In other writing news, I also started another short story. This was completely unexpected, but this morning, I just couldn't not write down my dream. And with a lot of my dreams, they turn into stories. I'm still not sure where it's going and this is my first Fantasy storyline I've followed onto paper (or laptop), but we'll see how it goes.

I'm supposed to be studying for a midterm, but I want to know what writing you've been getting to lately! Tell me what you're working on :)

October 12, 2010

I Need You - 3 Of You, That Is

I need beta-readers for my second novel, ALL BECAUSE OF YOU. I've only had a couple of people close to me read over this MS and it's time to get some real critism. Please don't offer if you don't have the time to get it back to me soon. I'm looking for a quick turn around (say in 14 days) from someone who is somewhat educated/educated in mystery/suspense and knows how the MS should flow. Three different readers would be great.

If you're interested, please email me! I can send the MS in PDF format and will give permissions to make notes in the margains or we can work something out in Word if you can't use PDF.

Click here for my revised query in case you want a little more information and tone of the MS.

October 9, 2010


As many of you know, my second novel, ALL BECAUSE OF YOU, is out for submission to a handful of agents. I wanted to share my query letter with all of you and get some feedback if possible. I've posted the original to The Public Query Slushpile and hope you'll take part! Here is the first revision. Apparently, I'm having trouble with genre. Where the heck does this book fit in?

In other news, this weekend unraveled a lot within my current W.i.P, My Demonic Love. I fixed a few details in random chapters, trying to make the plot run more smoothly and ended up adding a whole other chapter. This is the only way I can explain EVERYTHING and now realize that I won't have any trouble getting to 90,000 words (I was a little apprehensive).

I've found that I work more efficiently when I'm switching between two projects at once. This gives me the opportunity to take mental breaks from one MS while working on the other and I think my writing is getting better in the process :)

How many projects do you work on at one time?

October 6, 2010

What in the World?

Do you make your own covers? I do. I have fun with it and even though I'm not published, I get a kick out of seeing my name on my work. He he. Don't judge. These are from my next series. Which is Sleuth. I really liked the dresses. Enjoy.

October 3, 2010

Harlequin - Category Romance

When my current W.i.P. first draft is finished, it will about that time when I need to get my third novel, All or Nothing, ready to submit. It's Romantic Suspense (67,000 words) and I think I just may change up my act for this book. Currently, my second novel is out for submission. I have a list of about 50 agents and it takes a very long time to get through it, researching, submitting, etc., etc. So, my thought with All or Nothing was to submit to Harlequin's line Silhouette Suspense and to RWA's Golden Heart.

Here are some guidelines, according to Harlequin:
Silhouette Romantic Suspense
Sparked by Danger; Fueled by Passion.
Length: 55,000–60,000 words

Silhouette Romantic Suspense books offer an escape read where true-to-life heroines find themselves in the throes of extraordinary circumstances...and in the arms of powerful heroes.

The hero should be a force to contend with. He may be harsh and direct, but never cruel. Though formidable and heroic, he is capable of being saved, and it is up to the heroine to get him there. Our heroines should be complex, strong and smart. As independent as the heroine may be, she is often in jeopardy and needs the hero's help to overcome obstacles.

The conflicts should be dramatic and compelling. Romantic Suspense books revolve around classic plotlines that are tried and true in category romance: revenge, women in jeopardy, espionage, law enforcement and military, reunion romances, secret babies and others. Romantic Suspense stories will be consistently high on sensuality, as well as romantic and sexual tension.
What do you think? Do you have opinions on category romance? What are the pros and cons? Do I have any takers to critique my query and synopsis? And lastly, are there any of you out there that have submitted to the Golden Heart? Tell me about it!

October 1, 2010


And the winner of Janet Evanovich's Lean Mean Thirteen (September's giveaway), chosen by is.......drum roll.......Jen Daiker! Send me an email with your address :)

Congratulations! Thanks to everyone for participating!

September 29, 2010

Last Chance

Today is your last chance before I chose a winner of Janet Evanovich's Lean Mean Thirteen.
Comment on this post to enter!

September 26, 2010

Bring Me To Life

Between studying for an awful quiz for today, writing my little heart out this weekend and working on a paper for class, my brain is fried. But I thought I'd share a few musings with all of you.

Characters are the life blood of novel writing. Sure there is suspense, romance, humor, but what makes that all come together? Your characters. So consider this for me: What makes your characters come to life for you?

Is it their name? That photo you found on the internet? A scent? An encounter with a stranger or someone you know in reality?

Sometimes it's all of those for me, but mostly a photo. I will find my favorite actor/actress/celebrity at that point in time and almost build a story around them. It all just seems to fit together. I even use their real first or last name or part of a name they've used on the big screen in order to keep things simple. But then there are characters of my own making through research and culture.

I'm still in Queryland for my second novel, All Because of You. I did receive a request for more material, but learned this weekend that my first chapters just didn't cut it. No problemo. I submitted to another 5 agents on Saturday and look forward to hearing back from them in the next few weeks.

The current WiP is coming along nicely. Still having a few hiccups in the research department, so I'm writing around those scenes for now (Chapters 7 and 8). Maybe some day I can find exactly what I'm looking for, but it doesn't seem to be on the internet. I fulfilled my goal for the month of September and hope my October goal will include the completion of my first draft for My Demonic Love. Let's hope.

I started with the second in my Afterlife Series, My Mortal Eclipse, this weekend and wrote about 4,000+ words. It seems when I'm having trouble with the current WiP, I just need to work on something else. It helps!

What do you writers out there do when you have writer's block or you feel like you just can't write any more?

September 23, 2010

Life and Crap

Due to time constraints, tomorrow's post is here today. :)

Life is getting in the way of writing and by all the comments of my previous post, it sounds like that happens to a lot of other writers. I'm so close to my goal for the month (75% completion for the current W.i.P) that I can taste it. Right now it tastes like avocado (that's what I'm eating for snack time) and chocolate (my other favorite food).

I have a 750 word paper due Monday for my Modern Grammar class (yes, I said grammar). It's really more of a feeler paper for our bigger paper due in December. We're supposed to discuss what we'd like our big paper to focus on, how we're going to get there with research and our personal experience with this topic. Mine is grammar rules used in word processing software. I've discussed all the points I'm supposed to cover and....I'm only at 530 words. Crappy!

I've been trying to keep up on all your great blogs. Sorry if I don't comment on all of them. I'm trying! You guys have been so welcoming into this community and I can't thank you enough. Thank you for following me on this journey and I hope I can make it worth your while!

September 19, 2010

Show Me Yours

Yep, I want to know all about you! And how you write, of course :) Tell me how you find time to write and what you're writing. What is your personal writing process? Do other hobbies tear you away from the computer (laptop, pencil, paper, etc)? Do you have a job that gives you the ability to write your heart away?

One last question: What are you doing to network or market? We all know the publishing industry has changed over the years and it seems us writers need to be more like business managers now days. So what are you doing that gets the word out about yourself and your work?

Just a reminder September's Giveaway Contest is coming to a close in 11 days. To win a copy of Janet Evanovich's Lean Mean Thirteen, all you have to do is comment on this post.

Thank you for stopping by to my new followers. Introduce yourselves! I want to know all about you!

September 17, 2010

It's Friday

Hello, friends. I have some good news. Well, a couple pieces of good news.

#1. It's Friday! Oh, how I've longed for this day for so long. It seems this week was the longest of my life for some reason.

Good news #2. I received a partial request on my second novel, All Because of You!

This round of submissions only included about 7 agents. I have a list of about 50, but I'm too busy (*clears throat* ...lazy) to finish the rest of the research I need to do for each agent. I'd received two rejections prior, but yesterday, I opened my inbox and viola. A request :)

Now, since this is a Friday post, it's time to tell you how the week went. I'm up to about 70% finished with the first draft of My Demonic Love. This is my first try at a paranormal romance and it seems I've been having to do A LOT of research for it. If you've read my post below, I had a hard time researching the daily life of a cardiac surgeon, but with the help of one my of loyal followers, Anne, I was able to get through it! Thanks, Anne! Now, I'm onto researching vaults. Specifically a vault that will store an ancient book or document. I haven't come across a lot of information on the subject. I remember Dan Brown, in his novel Angels and Demons, chose the Vatican as his location for his MC to study ancient documents and that's the type of vault (archive, safe, etc) I want. However, when I try to Google for information, all I get is what's supposedly inside the Vatican archives. I don't want that!

Anyway, enough with the rant :)

I haven't really been working much on my short story, Relief, this month. It's supposed to be ready to submit to a contest at the end of the month, but seeing as how it's the first chapter from my first novel (and I'm kind of sick of my first novel), I haven't really been motivated to work on it. Suggestions?

What is your good news this week? How did your writing go? Any fun plans for the weekend?

September 13, 2010


Out in the blogging world other writers I connect with seem to have a blogging schedule. This gives them a chance to focus on more important things, like writing (as I should be doing). So it comes down to this: My blogging schedule is now going to be Monday's (to let you know how the weekend was) and Friday's (to let you know how the week was).

So on to how the weekend went...

It was GREAT. I got A LOT of writing done this weekend for some reason, most of it being yesterday. Not only did I write an astounding 17 pages on My Demonic Love, the current WiP, I started writing a chapter of my Sleuth (to be actively worked on in 2011). For some reason, I woke up with an idea in my head that wouldn't leave and I had to sit down and write 10 pages of the novel. I also did a lot of research for My Demonic Love, trying to get inside the head of my hero and daily life as a cardiac surgeon. Here are some articles I found helpful if you ever need to work with this subject:
I also asked my aunt, who lives with my Nana, how my Nana's valve replacement went, what the surgeon explained, how long the surgery took, etc. to get a more personal touch into the mix. I think I'm done writing the mechanics of it and am focusing more on the daily life of a surgeon since novels are character driven. Hopefully it turns out well.

What did you do this weekend? Did you surprise yourself as I did?
I also want to welcome new followers! Thanks for being a part of this journey with me. Hope you enjoy :)

September 9, 2010


My hero of My Demonic Love is having an identity crisis, or rather, I have a problem with his career choice. He's a heart surgeon, loves his job, but I am having a bit of trouble doing research for this particular character. I feel I need to learn as much as I can about the human heart in order to portray my character's life as close to reality as possible, but where do I start? How much do I need to learn in order to make it believable? I've tried watching heart surgery videos, but I understand NOTHING of what is going on or what the surgeon is talking about.

Do you have any advice?
Are there more writer's out there who think they've bitten off more than they can chew?

September 5, 2010

Progress Report

This week I've been focused on my second novel, All Because of You, and getting it ready to submit to agents. I have my list of about fifty agents to submit this work to and I'm researching each and every one to see which will be the appropriate homes for my book. Lots of fun :/

I've still been working on my current work in progress every now and then, treading through the murky waters of the middle of the novel and think I have a solution. The middle of novels are just filler really. The most important parts of a book being the middle and the end. Well, I always write the beginning and the end first, leaving me to deal with the filler, something I hate. The newlywed feeling of a new work in progress is gone at that time and you really have to motivate yourself to keep going. But keep going you must, or it will never be finished. It's going well though.

I've completely outlined my first try at a Sleuth, called Never Too Early, and just might start working on that book next. Right now, its fourth on my list, but I'm really excited about it and may start early.

So far only one person has commented on my contest for the month! You guys need to get it in gear if you want a chance to get Lean Mean Thirteen for free!

Hope you guys are having a good holiday weekend!

August 31, 2010

September's Giveaway

For the month of September, celebrating my next try at submitting to agents, I will be be giving away a book from my collection to a lucky winner. September will be Lean Mean Thirteen by Janet Evanovich. If you want a shot at this free book, all you have to do is comment on this post or on my Facebook page regarding the picture below. A winner will be chosen by Sept 30. Good luck!

August 28, 2010

Goals...What Goals?

August's goals:
1. Reach 50% completion with current work in progress, My Demonic Love.
2. Finish synopsis of All or Nothing.
3. Work on short story for Chapbook competition, Relief.

Accomplishments in August:
1. 50% completion with My Demonic Love.
2. Finished synopsis of All or Nothing.
3. Worked on Relief

Yep, August goals have come and gone. Yay! For September, the goals include:
1. Finish Relief for competition deadline of September 30th.
2. Reach 75% completion for current work in progress, My Demonic Love.
3. Final read through and start of querying for All Because of You.

August 26, 2010

Eat. Pray. Love. by Elizabeth Gilbert

This beautifully written, heartfelt memoir touched a nerve among both readers and reviewers. Elizabeth Gilbert tells how she made the difficult choice to leave behind all the trappings of modern American success (marriage, house in the country, career) and find, instead, what she truly wanted from life. Setting out for a year to study three different aspects of her nature amid three different cultures, Gilbert explored the art of pleasure in Italy and the art of devotion in India, and then a balance between the two on the Indonesian island of Bali. By turns rapturous and rueful, this wise and funny author (whom Booklist calls "Anne Lamott’s hip, yoga- practicing, footloose younger sister") is poised to garner yet more adoring fans

August 24, 2010


Good morning, friends. Not a lot has been happening in the world of writing since we last spoke. I have been asking myself a question for the past two weeks concerning my current work in progress, My Demonic Love, and this morning the answer was suddenly on the tip of my tongue. Location, location, location. That is what has Chapter 6 at a standstill. I literally could not think of a place that my hero and heroine would be safe to find the answers to their problems. They are being followed, their enemies know every detail of their lives and out for blood, so where in all of New York City (my main location) could these two feel safe? Well, she is a demon, and he is a doctor with no religious background. The answer was simple and obvious when you think about it. A church! Only my church is going to have a few extras to fit into what my characters need. I was stuck thinking the only place they could get the information they needed was a library and libraries are boring to write about. So out with the old and in with the new. Maybe Chapter 6 will actually get done this week or next. And yes, you can laugh all you want at my obliviousness.

August 21, 2010

Checking In

The past couple days have been very productive. The completion of my August goals are in sight and looking better with every passing day. I finished another chapter of My Demonic Love last night, making a total of 8.5 complete. This morning, I was up bright and early working on the synopsis of All or Nothing, which, of course, I put off till the last of the month. I have about two paragraphs of that written, with another 6 or 7 to go. If I put my mind to it, I can finish the thing before August 31st, which was my original goal. I also worked a little bit on my new short story, Relief, my contest entry into the Pudding Chapbook contest and first chapter of All Falls Down. In the original chapter, I have the hero, Daniel Banvard, released from prison, but not a lot from his POV. That is changing. I am making the ENTIRE chapter/chapbook from his POV. There are a lot of emotions playing around in that kind of situation and I intend to explore all of them in this revision.I'll be posting the short story on my "Other Works" page when I'm through and hope to get some feedback on what my readers think. It's not due till Sept 30th, so don't hold your breath.

Yesterday, I heard from my beta-reader about All Because of You and he gave me some great advice when it comes to my characters. I was surprised he didn't have more to say, but am a little relieved at the same time. I'm hoping September will be the month to start submitting to agents for this MS. I have a read through I need to do apparently, but then it's out to query.

August 19, 2010

I Forgot to Add...

I forgot to add one other WiP to include in my list of others. It's called My Road and it is my personal journey to publication. The end is not in sight, nor do I know if it ever will be, but I was inspired to write about my life as a writer and the emotions/actions associated with it. Right now, I am still at the beginning, remembering what it was like when I first decided that I wanted to be an author, that I wanted to write for the rest of my life. Writing brings me peace of mind, lets me work my emotions out on paper and this WiP is just another way of doing that, only it's about me. Some out there who read this blog can say they know me well, or personally, but most of you can't. I have given up a lifetime of friendships to get to this point in my life and have neglected a lot of others. Some I'm not happy about, but most are for the best. In any case, I'm hoping this WiP will show others who I am a little clearer than this blog and what writing means to me.

August 18, 2010

Making Progress

My Demonic Love is coming along nicely for now. It's always easier to write the beginning and the end. I have trouble writing the middle of my novels. That is were most of my time is spent, trying to get to the end and not in a boring manner. But it's going well, I think. I have been working on other things as well and should update you on those too. I'm not really giving as much attention to the other works in progress as I am with My Demonic Love, but they deserve recognition anyway!

My Demonic Love @
39k (Paranormal Romance)
My Mortal Eclipse @
1k (Paranormal Romance)
My Angelic Death @ 1k (Paranormal Romance)
Relief - A Short Story @ 5k (Chapbook)
Never Too Early
@ 1k (Sleuth)

I'm keeping pretty busy and loving every minute of it!

August 15, 2010

Catching Up

Well, hello there. It's been a while. This week has been eventful. My best friend was in town from Wednesday night to this afternoon. I just dropped her off at the airport. We were able to see Eat Pray Love, the movie and were both very inspired to better our lives for ourselves. Even it involves just learning a language and dreaming of traveling to our favorite countries. I was able to get out and rock climb this week for the first time since husband and I moved to Nevada. I also got a very needed hour long massage on Thursday. I had a great week. My vacation was much needed and even fruitful.

I'm up to about 200 pages on the current MS now. Each morning while my friend worked on her doctoral project, I worked on my book. I spent at least two hours each morning writing and was able to get a lot done. My goals for the past week were to finish Chapter 6 and Chapter 13 and work on my short story for the Pudding Chapbook contest. I finished Chapter 13 and I worked on my chapbook, but Chapter 6 is still at a standstill. I'm not too bummed because I wrote seven pages of Chapter 14 instead. The month is passing quickly and I have a little under two weeks to reach my goal of reaching 50% completion. I'm not really worried. Yet.

Today, and the rest of the upcoming week, I will be catching up on some neglected reading. My nightstand is stacked with books and only growing bigger every day.

August 8, 2010

Under Control

No, not really. I don't feel that way at all. It's been a very busy week in the writing department. I wasn't even sure I wanted to take time away from the current work in progress to blog. But blog I must.

Here's what's new:

This week I was able to finish two chapters in My Demonic Love. Pushing my total count of chapters finished to 5. I started another two chapters today. I have about 5-7 pages of each written right now. These two make up my goal for the week. Must finish them by Saturday.

Something else kind of cool: I've been thinking about stepping out of the Romance genre once I have My Demonic Love, My Mortal Eclipse and My Angelic Death written. I was actually able to outline at least half of the new idea yesterday. It wasn't planned. I was toying with the idea, but my subconscious made me do it. I woke up this morning and forced myself to get the ideas out on paper. The new book if tentatively titled Never Too Early. It is more a Sleuth, but may have some romantic elements. I'm not sure yet. My focus is still on the current paranormal project, but I did have to write out the prologue for Never Too Early before I could move on.

I was able to register for classes this week. So I am going to start my bachelor's program in a couple weeks. This will most likely take some time away from writing and blogging, but I will do my best to keep up with everyone.

Some bad news: I lost three pages of My Demonic Love. I don't know where they went. I opened up a finished chapter, and suddenly I remember that's not where my chapter left off! So I searched my backup drive and the chapter was on there, but a previous version and not the one I was looking for. Thank goodness it was only three pages. It was nothing compared to The Great File Loss of 2009 where I lost 150 pages of All Falls Down.I cried then. Really. So today was nothing. I was able to rewrite the three pages I lost. So no harm, no foul.

Hope you all have a good upcoming week. I have a friend coming in to town this week, so you won't hear from me probably until next Sunday. Happy writing!

August 6, 2010

Pudding House Chapbook Competition

I'm entering yet another contest this month. The Pudding House Chapbook Competition. The piece for competition ranges from 24-28 pages in length, due September 30. From my understanding, the word "chapbook" is a pocket sized book. The publisher is requiring cover art in case of publication. I'm honestly thinking about using a chapter from one of my books, but I need ideas for cover art. Any suggestions? My first idea for submission would be the Chapter 1 of All Falls Down which is Daniel's (my hero) release from prison and the starting of his new life. That chapter is actually only 14 pages long, but expanding it won't be a problem.

Send me pictures or artwork that you think would work for the coverart!

August 4, 2010

Slowing Down

I've finished yet another chapter for My Demonic Love. That makes 4.5 chapters written now. It doesn't seem like much, but when the chapters are 30+ pages each...yeah. So I'm up to about 135 pages. I'm still trying to figure out a lot of my plot unfortunately. I have a big picture idea, but somehow I keep losing sight of it. When I'm writing, I just go.

In other news today. UNLV is off my list of schools to attend. I'm going to check out Nevada State College once more. It's closer to home, it's a smaller school and they aren't idiots. We'll see how it goes. I need to something starts in a couple weeks.

August 1, 2010

A New Day, A New Month

It's a new day, a new month even. Time for some updates.

First, a mini book review. Right now I'm reading Eat. Pray. Love. by Elizabeth Gilbert. I've only read up until about page 79 so far, her time in Italy, but am loving this book. It makes me inspired to follow my dreams, to do things because I want to do them and let nothing hold me back. I believe we all should take a chapter out of her book, literally, and try to live more like ourselves. Stop worrying about work, stressing from day-to-day. Just live. I'm looking forward to finishing this book, a true story mind you, and living my life on my dime, not someone elses. I recommend this book to all women, maybe some men, and would be happy to let you borrow my copy.

Now, for writing updates. I haven't been posting much because I've been writing! Yay. About time huh? My Demonic Love is coming along well. I'm still sticking with my goal of 1,000 words a day, but some days, like yesterday, I wrote 1700. Right now, I'm in the mind of my antagonist, who will be getting a new name because the character I'm basing her off of is also named the same. I made it that way at first so I could relate the two, but now that the story is coming along and she's developing her own personality, I have to change her name. My antagonist is a power hungry, evil, masochist who will stop at nothing to rule. What kind of name can explain in a single word that type of person? Any ideas?

So far I have about 3.5 chapters written, each totaling around 30 pages, but my entire novel is outlined so I knew exactly what I want. Of course, it never stays that way. I'm always changing this or that as I go, forgetting what I originally wanted in favor of the way the story wants to run.

I haven't had any trouble with my characters as of late, not since last week when I didn't want to write a particular scene. I did write that scene and with a clear head even. I just had to take a step back and analyze the emotions I was feeling then try to get those exact emotions down on paper. I'm confident I was able to do so and as a bonus, without tears.

Other works in progress are stirring around in my head. Even though I moved My Angelic Death to the end of the series, I have a feeling I will actually be writing that one sooner than planned. Since I'm currently in that character's mindset with My Demonic Love, it's easy to get new ideas and plan out her book while I'm working on someone elses. It's driving me nuts.

Since it is a new month, I believe some goal setting is in order. I STILL haven't written the synopsis for All or Nothing. I'm not sure why I'm putting it off or what I have against writing it, but My Demonic Love is in the forefront of my mind and apparently causing other writing problems. So that is one goal for me to get with this month. Another would be to have My Demonic Life 50% written by the end of the month, praying, if I'm going to school this semester, that I can spend that kind of time with it. I've written two novels this year already. Three would be great, but it's not a priority for me.

What are your summer goals?

July 24, 2010

You're Going To Think I'm Dumb

I've been reading author blogs for a while now, even before I started to write my own novels. Laurell K. Hamilton is one of those writers who gets inside her characters head, as the rest of us should be doing. Sometimes it's hard for her to write tragic scenes in her Anita Blake series and she even gets depressed when her characters have lost a friend or someone close. She's happy when her imaginary friends are happy and stressed when they are stressed. There are many other authors out there like this and up until today, I could say that I thought they were being silly.

Not today. Today's writing session includes the scene where my Hero and Heroine are going to be separated. I know exactly how it will happen, I know who is going to say what and where everybody will be positioned when the decision is made.

I don't want to write it.

Just thinking about it makes me sad, even though I know when they will be reunited and where. I still don't want to write it. At the moment, I'm too far into my character's heads. So now I'm in a bad mood and on the verge of tears. I'm taking little break to clear my head and get my mind back in control.

So to all you writers out there that have to go through this with every character you create, with every novel you write, with every imaginary friend you have to kill off: I no longer think you're being silly.

July 23, 2010

Slice and Dice

Well, some changes are coming in my current WiPs. First off, I'm rethinking titles. Here are the new ideas:
My Demon of Life (Book 1) = My Demonic Love
My Mortal Eclipse (Book 2) stays the same
My Beautiful Disaster (Book 3) stays the same
My Adored Torment (Book 4) stays the same
My Angel of Death (was Book 2, now Book 5) = My Angelic Death
What do you think? I'm currently writing My Demonic Love and have come across some interesting developments. As I told you a few days ago, my Heroine didn't want to kill the Archangel. Well, that realization has now grown into a completely new chapter being added in the beginning and a rework of my Hero and Heroine's separation. Don't worry, they get back together. In Romances they always do.
As you can see I've moved My Angel of Death, now My Angelic Death to the end of the series. The reasoning? I'll give you an insider look. My antagonist in My Demonic Love is the Heroine in My Angelic Death. She is sentenced to angelic prison and her story starts there. I needed to give her some time to get used to the idea, to suffer, grow humble, and open herself to change, maybe even love. I believe the series will run more smoothly with her story at the end. As far as I know, her story is the last of the series. I don't have anymore planned after that, but you never know what will happen in the future.
Welcome to new followers! I'm glad you can be a part of these experiences for me as a writer and look forward to getting to know you better!

July 21, 2010

Are You Kidding Me? Oh Yeah, And An Update.

Wow. Reading this blog from BookEnds Literary Agency, LLC, really makes me feel better. How can people be so unprofessional? Check it out. Love the blog.

Query Red Flags

Oh, yes. And I guess I should do an update. My current writing goals for this week include:

1. Write the synopsis for All or Nothing.
2. Finish the piece for The Short Short Story Writing Competition.
3. Write 1,000 words a day for My Demon of Life.

And how am I doing this week may you ask? Well...I THOUGHT about writing the synopsis today. I TRIED TO THINK of a way my short story was going to end, and I HAVE BEEN writing at least 1,000 words a day for the new book. What is that? One out of three? The week isn't over, people!

July 18, 2010


Well, the first chapter of my paranormal romance is as finished as its ever going to get. To be honest, I've just been working on that one chapter rather than moving forward. My research for my second chapter isn't quite complete, so it will be at least another week before I feel comfortable getting down and dirty into my Hero's life. No, not DIRTY dirty. He's a heart surgeon, and I feel the need to learn more about the human heart before getting it all down on paper. This way I won't have to go back and fix things, or risk sounding stupid when other people read it and I haven't done my research. Many revelations have come forth today while writing though. If you've read my status update on Facebook today, you saw that I backed myself into a corner at which I had no way to get out of until about 5 minutes ago. All my current research is on angels and demons. So guess what this book is about? ANGELS AND DEMONS. So I was at a crossroads while my Heroine was kicking some serious Archangel butt. The Archangel was beginning to grow on me! I didn't want him to die and neither did my Heroine. I was stuck, but I'm stuck no more. Details still need to be worked out. I now have a lot more research I need to do and this book is moving at an impossibly slow rate. I was beginning to look at my plot as the others in my writing group had yesterday and what do you know, it worked.

Fallen by Lauren Kate

There’s something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori.

Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price’s attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah, Georgia. He’s the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move.

Even though Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce–and goes out of his way to make that very clear–she can’t let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, she has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret . . . even if it kills her

July 17, 2010

Plotopaluza at RWA!

Today was plotopaluza at my second chapter meeting with RWA and even though I wasn't able to get my work critiqued or discussed, it was still VERY inspirational. Below are my notes.

A = Ordinary World

B = Call to adventure, some issue presented

C = Bad things happening

D = Cross the threshold, answer to call to adventure

E = Gathering friends and allies

F = Point of no return, must go on

G = Things fall apart

H = Crisis, black moment is emotional, a sacrifice

I = Resolution, hero and heroine together, they’ve accommodated changes to their lives.

J = Happy ever after

GMC – Goal, motivation and conflict (book, Debra Dixon)

Protagonist has internal goal (emotionally) and an external goal.

Motivation, internal (what does it represent to you) and external.

Conflict, villain or antagonist also has a goal and motivation. Mutually exclusive between antagonist and protagonist.

Internal and external have to connect, proves an emotional lesson (something keeping them from love, internal = trust). Tells how hero and heroine learn their lessons to emotional growth.

Questions to ask when plotting for hero/heroine:

What does the Hero/Heroine want?

What will happen if he gets it?

External goal?

Internal goal?

What is the internal and external conflict of Hero/Heroine?