Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Looking for paperless world

I have so many characters in book two - just counted, 14 characters. Not all POV, thank you very much, but 14 people to juggle and get from place to place and explain their motivations. A computer outline is not enough. I have just started labeling 3 x 5 cards and pinning them to wall, joined together by string to mark interconnections. I need the visual so that everyone will turn up on schedule for their "
On Stage."
Overture and Beginners, children.
Beth. Maude. Get your bonnets.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Candy Bar with Holly

Holly recommends doing brief synopsis of what she calls the "candy bar" scenes. The easy to write sometimes pivotal scenes that tell you a lot about the characters. Expand the story. Since I know nothing about the story I started doddling about with the characters. What would Lady Beth like to do? What would Maude do for fun?
And the men who will come into their life. How do they arrive?
It occurred to me that Beth did a lot of growing up in Ridiculous . . and several fans of Ridiculous told me they did not want her to back slide. So, even thought this is Maude's book Beth is growing as well. Beth has demanded, and been granted, the rare privilege of learning to drive. She is given a neat little laudelette and, of course, has an accident. No, not the same sort of serious accident that brought Shoffer and Mr. North together but enough to tell us a lot about the characters. 
The next candybar scene presented itself for later in the book. Beth, Maude, Maude's two admirer's. Beth's two admirers and assorted other young people in the park talking about books they like.
Seems mild except everyone likes Gothic dreadful novels.
That scene will help me define the danger and then, I am struck with at least three possible grey moments for later in the book.
Oh, great. this system of jumping around for Candy Bar scenes is really helping a book I know nothing about to become clearer.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Reality of writing

Came face to face with reality. Phone call from publisher. They are planning combined promo, including magazine add and internet banners for existing books in October and it would be "nice" to be able to say that the sequel to either of my current books was coming out later the same month.

Let me see. June, July, August. Allow Sept for editing, galley and other dreck., That is less than three months. So, let's say, 70 days. Average book I write um. . . 130,000. That is 360 pages. So I need to write five pages every day until end August. . .  and this doesn't count.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Baby steps in plotting.

I am now offically a fan of Holly Lisle - writer of such useful books as "Mugging the Muse". (if only she'd write a book on punctuation - sigh - for those of us who slept through those classes)
When setting up to write from cold - where is the book, said the publisher - I never intended to write a series, said me - I had to face the fact I had absolultely no fricking idea what to write about. GRanted I had a couple of spare unmarried characters of suitable age wandering about my last regency and they could probably do with a good romance but, still, I'd had the adventures of Mr. North in my head for a couple of years before putting it down. . . this situation is different.

Hense my seeking advice from books.
Holly as a tome out there - years old - 

Professional Plot Outline Mini-Course: Introduction to Plotting

She made several useful suggestions. First she asked for a one paragraph description of the most important/interesting character. I have decided to make Maude the POV character so I wrote this about her.

Maude is the youngest of the Boarder girls and the most inhibited. She was only 15 when her father died and it has made her very aware of how uncertain life can be. She requires reassurance that her current comforts will continue. She is careful of her money and the only foolishness she has indulged recently is cutting her hair very short. Now she is an heiress she is aware that she does not know what to do to retain her money and it is a constant concern. She keeps to her budget and will nag Shoffer into creating a bank account that she can access – for safety sake. She has discovered an interest in botany and gardening that cannot be explored in a rented house in Bath. IF she ever marries, and she feels this is doubtful, she will accept a safe marriage with a reliable, trustworthy, person with a history of long lived relatives so that she will not be left alone.

next-- the use of candy bars in plotting.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

actual work

This is the first time I'm writing a book that didn't exist in my head first. Usually when I'm writing I'm putting down on electronic media a story that has been a day-dream probably for years. I've worked the concept, played with the characters in my head until the beginning, grey moments and end are clear to me. This time, the publisher said, this story seems to have legs. Sequel please and while you're at it, remember to include thread that can be a third book.

Now this is more of a challenge than usual because Ridiculous is a humorous book written to address a specific irritation I had with existing Regency novels. I have been annoyed for years that when the heroine dresses as a man she is immediately, two or three paragraphs, revealed to the quick witted and keen eyed over sexed hero, as the woman she is.
Bull.. . . . . We are better than that!

So, I had a strong opinion and it made writing the book easy.
Now I am going in cold. I have no strong opinion. I like the characters but must chose something for them to care about and it is going to be tough.

I will keep you updated on my angst.

getting ready to begin work

Here's a question. how do you procrastinate? I'm famous for my creative time wasting. A professor once asked me how I was doing on my dissertation and I said I'd finished my preliminary procrastination. He was impressed almost long enough for me to leave the room. But now I have reached new levels of delay - it
s called "Research". For my next book I have to know about the ranking system in the Church of England. Naval battles between Napoleons time in Helen (???) verses Alba and the legal process in both the Admiralty and the Ecclesiastical Courts. I think that's good for, oh, a couple of non writing weeks.

Ridiculous sucess

Having given in to the nagging - encouragement - of my publisher I am starting the sequel to my book "RIdicullous." Okay, we will count today as start day since the nagging/request came in last week and I have spent a few days complaining and plotting. So, June 20. Let's see how long it takes to intentionally write a book. I have not been given a deadline. only ASAP. sigh.I have chosen POV character as Maude. And now have to make certain that she has a humorous voice without making her the same as the lead character of the last book. Let the games begin.