Sunday, July 25, 2010

The 12 Drafts of the Novel

Happy Christmas in July! To celebrate the season--and the fact I am almost through with this round of edits--I present this pitiful parody.



(To the tune of "The Twelve Days of Christmas")



On the first draft of my novel my muse did say to me:

Let's just write the darn thing!


On the second draft of my novel my IE* said to me:

Set it aside

And let's just write the darn thing!



On the third draft of my novel my IE said to me:

Let's add a subplot

Set it aside

And let's just write the darn thing!



On the fourth draft of my novel my IE said to me

Kill off the filler

Let's add a subplot

Set it aside

And let's just write the darn thing!



On the fifth draft of my novel my IE said to me

Rewrite the whole thing!

Kill off the filler

Let's add a subplot

Set it aside

And let's just write the darn thing!



On the sixth draft of my novel my IE said to me

You're under word count

Rewrite the whole thing!

Kill off the filler

Let's add a subplot

Set it aside

And let's just write the darn thing



On the seventh draft of my novel my IE said to me

Look at all the adverbs!

You're under word count

Rewrite the whole thing!

Kill off the filler

Let's add a subplot

Set it aside

And let's just write the darn thing!



On the eighth draft of my novel my IE said to me

More character development

Look at all the adverbs!

You're under word count

Rewrite the whole thing!

Kill off the filler

Let's add a subplot

Set it aside

And let's just write the darn thing!



On the ninth draft of my novel my IE said to me

Run off a spell check

More character development

Look at all the adverbs!

You're under word count

Rewrite the whole thing!

Kill off the filler

Let's add a subplot

Set it aside

And let's just write the darn thing!



On the tenth draft of my novel my IE said to me

You call that formatting?

Run off a spell check

More character development

Look at all the adverbs

You're under word count

Rewrite the whole thing!

Kill off the filler

Let's add a subplot

Set it aside

And let's just write the darn thing!



On the eleventh draft of my novel my IE said to me:

Cut the Oxford commas

You call that formatting?

Run off a spell check

More character development

Look at all the adverbs

You're under word count

Rewrite the whole thing!

Kill off the filler

Let's add a subplot

Set it aside

And let's just write the darn thing!

On the twelfth draft of my novel I said to my IE:

Shut up! I'm tired.

Cut the Oxford commas

You call that formatting?

Run off a spell check

More character development

Look at all the adverbs

You're under word count

Rewrite the whole thing!

Kill off the filler

Let's add a subplot

Set it aside

And let's just write the darn thing!

__

*IE=Inner Editor

Yes, I am too lazy to write the 12th draft. Deal with it! :-P

Friday, July 23, 2010

Fantasy Fudge: The Recipe

Ingredients:


1 Hero (Farmboys are opt.), slightly beaten__1 and 1/2 Quests

1 Dark Lord, divided into 7__25 weird names (i.e. Hrothode, Anwenium)

4 1/2-people__A dash of Dwarves

1 Magical Artifact__A sprinkling of Elves

1 Common Tongue or Common Language



Instructions:

Pre-plot storyline to nth degree.



In Word document, combine slighly beaten hero and 1 part Dark Lord. Add two 1/2-people, and two more if the draft is sticky. Set aside. In separate scene, mention the Magical Artifact with a Common Tongue. Weave into main plot and gently fold in the quests. Name all future story characters weird names. Blend carefully. Add a few dwarves and elves for good measure. Pour all this and the forgotten six parts of the Dark Lord into the final chapter. Serve up to your betas and hope they don't eat you!

Awkward Questions #1 and #2

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

When Query Letters Attack! (Take Two)

Dear Agent whose name I forget:
Will you represent it?
I'm meaning my book,
On which you should look.
Sincerely, The Next Dashiell Hammett

A
A
B
B
A

Ah, the art of Limerick-ing. The strict AABBA-ness of it all... If you change your mind, my book is on the line. Honey, it's still free, how 'bout representing me? If you want it, let me know, I'll send it 'round. I've got no place to go other than down...

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A Fortune in Writing

A few issues ago, Writer's Digest had a color-coded alert system called "Anxiety Levels for Writers." In that spirit I bring you:


Fortune Cookies for Writers



"Know what you write, don't write what you know."

"It is nver 2 late 2 leern 2 spel."

"In order to edit, you must first write."

"There is no such thing as just one draft." (There's no such thing as one rabbit.)

"Don't let adjectives overshadow your talents." (Don't let your limitations overshadow your abilities.)

"Today you will meet a tall, dark Someone. His name is Webster."

"Don't confuse there with they're or their." (Don't confuse recklessness with confidence.)

"Every (good) writer asks many questions." (Every wise man started out asking many questions.)

"Don't just act, think!" (Don't just think, act!)

"Long shelf-life is in store for you." (Long life is in store for you.)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Things I Should Do

Sometimes when things get overwhelming for me it's because there's too much in my head and not enough down on paper. On paper (or computer screen) I don't have to worry about forgetting things.

Where was I going with all this? Ah, yes... What I, As a Writer, Should Be Doing. My virtual list.

  • Write
  • Revise
  • Read fiction of different genres and lengths to keep abreast of trends, keep my mind sharp, learn from others' craft, etc.
  • Support my field: Read 'zines and mags of fiction. Donate where I can. Encourage the author when a story moves me, entertains me, rocks me
  • Keep abreast of the market: Read agents' blogs, follow them on twitter, read articles in writing magazines, internet, etc.
  • Track my submissions (Duotrope has a nifty feature for this)
  • Research

That's not everything, but these are definitely things I need to do.

__
What would you add?

Friday, July 16, 2010

When Query Letters Attack! (Take One)

Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms./It Agentious 1:

My novel "Da Bomb" is complete at 700,000 characters and is eagerly, anxiously, desirously awaiting your approval and pats on the head, cookies, sprinkles and cherries, etc.

"Bomb" is It's a Wonderful Life meets Lethal Weapon meets Napolean Dynomite meets The Muppets Take Manhattan meets Home Alone. When a man named George Bailey witnesses his wife's murder, he decides to move to France with his beloved Tater Tot (TM.) There he must make it in show business or be forced to live alone—at home—for the rest of his life... with BURGLARS!!

Bio: I am teh bestest author EVA!

Love,
The Bestest Author EVA!

P.S. Enclosed is a $100 bill and coupons to Olive Garden.
P.M.S. The enclosed $100 and Olive Garden coupons are for when we get together to discuss my book!
P.P.P.S. I like Olive Garden. I hope you do!!!!1
P.P.P.P.S. I also like crisp $100 bills and hope you do as well!!!1!!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Music to My Ears

In my CD player right now: (Steve) Falling Down

When I'm editing, I need silence. When I'm creating, however, I like to play a good CD or listen to my playlist on YouTube.

For my novella Engineered Intuition, I listened to many different things. Here are some songs that inspired me:

- (Thom Yorke) Hearing Damage
Quirky, intense rhythm, muted singing, this song was characterstic of my faves to listen to while writing action scenes:

"I kicked again and again, yet he kept coming, like I hadn't struck him at all."


- (Sherlock Holmes soundtrack) Discombobulate
This one gets my heart pumping. It starts off softly and then BOOM! Good for suspense scenes.

"For the first and, unfortunately, not the last time, I thought I was going to
die."


- (Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog) Soundtrack
I love the whole CD. Great music. Easy-listening yet hilarious, this soundtrack got me through many, many scenes.

"Welcome to 'ell. The devil is 'ome. Whom might I say is calling?"

- (The Verve) Bittersweet Symphony
I love the strings! Very melancholy yet beautiful. Good for bittersweet or downer scenes ;)


"One day I'm going to grow tired of your questions--which are always the wrong
ones, I might add. One day, Miss Chase… one day you'll drive me to the edge."


__

... And that's just a small sampling of what I listen to while writing.

Confession: My biggest sources of musical inspiration were the first two Twlight soundtracks.