Saturday, February 28, 2009

First Draft Sprint - Across The Finish Line!

Whoo hoo! I made it! Yesterday afternoon I finished the first draft I started on Feb 2. Page count: 313. Word Count: 64,123.

Which means that it's at least 6,000 words too short, but that's fine. I knew it'd be short.

The first draft, for me, is like a sketch of the finished mural. There are broad strokes and perhaps some color. The foreground (the main romance) is fairly clear but needs a lot of detail and shading; the background (secondary characters and subplots) need a lot more work.

As my reward, I'm taking today off and going to see Stone of Destiny. (And with regards to the Weight Loss Challenge, I am first going to go on a long walk - at least two hours - and there will be no treats at the show.)

Next comes printing up the manuscript and reading to see what I've got, no doubt making copious notes and changes as I go. I cannot NOT do that when I read a manuscript, which is why I need a hard copy.

So now I know it's possible for me to write a first draft in four weeks. However, the amount of revising and rewriting I have to do is going to determine if the First Draft Sprint method really works for me, or not.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Weight Loss Challenge - another set-back

This isn't exactly a newsflash, but cake is teh evil when you're trying to lose weight. Worse than cake, though, which one may consume as a one-time, special-occasion dessert, are pre-packaged cookies. They taunt me in their jaunty blue package, begging to be eaten. So easy to get out and munch and so good with tea.

The husband has been informed that, from this point on until I reach my goal weight, please, no more cookies. I don't care if they're free and you get a gazillion air miles just for taking them out of the store. I simply have not the will to resist.

And I still want my Thursday cola and sweet treat. It's my weekly reward. This week, I was sorely tempted to forego my Wednesday exercise, until I told myself that if I skipped, I couldn't have my cola and Cadbury mini-eggs during Survivor.

All this is, of course, preamble to the announcement that - alas! - I was 140.4 on the scale this morning. Yep, creeping back up there. I do note, however, that if I'd seen on the scale a year ago? I would have been ecstatic, so it just goes to show how many things are relative.

I also note that, in addition to the cake, cookies and Thursday treats, I didn't do as tough an exercise routine this week. My foot was sore (not sure why) and I didn't want to injure it more, so I spent some time on the rowing machine. That wasn't nearly as hard as the treadmill. I suppose I could adjust the tension, but didn't want to do that when I haven't used it for so long (for the sake of my back).

So I blame the combination of too many treats plus an easier work-out routine for the slight gain. I'm still hoping for to reach my goal of 135 at the end of March, but I must say, at this point, I won't be surprised if I don't. But I'll still have lost over 15 pounds and have the waist measurement below the danger zone.

This week's snow shovelling/treadmill/rowing machine/exercise ball workout tally:
Feb. 20 - snow shovelling, 1 hr. on TM, 50 eball lifts
Feb. 21 - 1 hour on TM*, 50 eball lifts (birthday cake)
Feb. 22 - snow shovelling, plus ice breaking (which makes ya sweat!), 1 hr. on TM, 50 eball lifts
Feb. 23 - 1 hr. on TM, 50 eball lifts (another piece of cake - literally)
Feb. 24 - 1/2 hr. on rowing machine, 12 min. on TM, 50 eball lifts
Feb. 25 - 1/2 hr. on rowing machine, 20 min. on TM, 50 eball lifts*
Feb. 26 - 1 hr. on TM, 60 eball lifts (with much groaning)

*These days I wound up doing the exercising at night, after 7 p.m. Not the best, I don't think, because I was hungry when I finished, so had cereal afterward. I do think it's better if you can cut out the food closer to bedtime. The other food difference this week was a lack of low-cal grapefruit juice, my beverage of choice after a work-out. I had "regular" juice, which has twice the calories.

This week, there will be more cake, but I'm planning to leave the leftovers at our host's place. And I may miss one day of exercise completely. But the shock of the slight gain has, I think, given me the impetus to keep away from the cookies.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

In the learn something new every day category...

One of the bonuses of being a historical writer is finding out obscure, but interesting, facts. Yesterday, courtesy of Old Bailey Online, I discovered that the usual accessory of choice of smugglers was a whip. Cool. I also found some potential story ideas there, too.

In other news, Indigo Books, which controls 65% of the Canadian retail book market, is launching an ebook service. Did you know you can get a Sony reader with air miles?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Mardi Gras

Here's something else I've noticed when I'm doing the First Draft Sprint - some things tend to get lost in the shuffle. Or maybe because of the economy and President Obama's speech, there weren't as many news stories to remind me. For whatever reason, though, Mardi Gras was barely a blip on my radar this year.

We were fortunate enough to attend the last Mardi Gras before Katrina. It was a wild time -- it's like a huge frat party outside. Or so it seemed to this non-twenty-something. I felt about 110 years old.

Did I get many beads? Yes, but not in the way most people assume you must. I just held up my hands to those folks on the balconies and begged. See, we were having a competition for who could get the most beads, and I wanted to win. I didn't, but I still got a lot. Then the hubby insisted we bring them all home "to show the kids." I had to get a new totebag to hold them all, which...okay. I love to buy totebags and handbags, a hold-over from when I worked in that department during my retail career.

And because there are times you just gotta go with the cliche...I wore a feather boa. Isn't that what all romance writers are supposed to wear? That, and compose our books while nibbling bon-bons. I could really get behind the bon-bon cliche if somebody would provide non-caloric, no-fat bon-bons. Otherwise, I'd have to spend even more time on the treadmill. No thanks.

I still have about a gazillion strings of beads in the basement, although I've used them for Christmas decorations, home decor and freebie give-aways.

Hey, maybe I can use a bunch for weights to get the arms in shape!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Austen-inspired Hilarity

I tell you, there are lots of clever, funny people in this world!

Check out a Facebook version of Pride and Prejudice.

Which Jane Austen heroine are you? Lucky me - I'm Elizabeth Bennet!

Do you remember paper dolls? I used to play with them. For hours. Now I can spend more time with Regency paper dolls on the internet. And there's also one for guys.

What's that you say? I'm wasting time? You know what they say about all work and no play....

Monday, February 23, 2009

First Draft Sprint Slows To A Jog

Well, I figured it would happen. This week, I just couldn't keep up the previous pace of the First Draft Sprint. I had too many other things going on.

Here's the page count:
Monday - 9 pages
Tuesday - 12 pages
Wednesday - 4 pages
Thursday - 16 pages
Friday - 4 pages
Saturday - 12 pages
Sunday - 11 pages

for a total count of 68 pages, compared to 85 last week and 101 the first week.

So it's pretty clear to me that while I might be able to have one week where I can write a lot every day, it's not going to happen for an entire month, even though I probably have less to do this month than any month coming up.

One other thing has become abundantly clear: If I can't write in the morning, it's not going to be a productive day (that explains the days with only four pages produced).

However, if I hadn't set myself this challenge, on those two days, it would have been very, very easy not to write at all on those days.

I was thinking I was going to have another relatively commitment-free week, but it looks like that may not be the case after all. Still, if I can write another 65 - 70 pages, that may very well take me to the end of the first draft, or very close to it.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Friday, February 20, 2009

Weight Loss Challenge - One life to live

So this week, the scale reads 139.0, up a bit from last week, perhaps due to the (whole wheat) spaghetti and (home-made) meatballs and cola and chocolate bar I had last night. What can I say? Survivor means treats.

The Amazing Race also means treats. The Academy Awards used to mean treats, but I doubt I'll watch much this year, except at the end. I don't care who wins. As far as I'm concerned, Slumdog Millionaire is the best movie I've seen in ages. When it comes to acting, I hope the woman from Doubt wins Best Supporting Actress. A small role, but boy, did she make it work! For me, her one scene turned the movie on its head.

So that's two night's a week I tell myself it's okay to have a cola and chocolate. Which means my weight loss might not be going as quickly as it could, but as a co-worker of mine used to say, "One life to live." As long as I'm exercising, I think a treat or two a week is okay.

That said, there's another birthday today, with the cake with the fudgy frosting that my kids love. Fortunately, it's actually too sweet for me (Kids and Hubby: "What? There's no such thing as too sweet!"). Yes, it is. And I'm planning to get something other than carbs for a side when we're at the restaurant.

So it's a bit of a push-pull, but one life to live...

This week's step/treadmill/exercise ball tally:

Feb. 13 - 14,575 steps
Feb. 14 - 45 min. on the treadmill (plus going to a meeting, so more walking than just around the house)
Feb. 15 - 1 hr. on TM, 45 lifts with eball (25 just with the legs, 20 with legs up, pass to hands, then arms over the head and legs down, then pass back to legs, then legs and arms down - this is harder than it sounds)
Feb. 16 - 1 hr. on TM, 45 lifts
Feb. 17 - 1 hr. on TM, 50 lifts (whoo hoo!)
Feb. 18 - 13,006 (I walked home from the subway instead of taking the bus. To be honest, I thought this would be a lot farther than it was!)
Feb. 19 - 1 hr. on TM, 50 lifts

Next week's challenge - I'm thinking I might get out the rowing machine again, just for a change of pace, if my body can take it. There's a good reason I had to give it up - nothing drastic, just kinda painful. We'll see...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

"We sell happy."

I was recently on a panel with several romance authors, and the delightful and business-savvy Kimber Chin made a statement that I'm not going to forget. "We sell happy."

Ain't that the truth? And ain't it great?

This is what romance readers and romance writers understand and appreciate. What we also understand and appreciate, but that dismissive critics of the genre don't, is that happy does not equal easy as in "causing or involving little difficulty or discomfort," for the writer or the reader or, I'd add, the characters.

Anybody familiar with romance knows that we want our characters to suffer and strive before they get that happy ending. We want our readers to be in a fever-pitch of anxiety over their fate. And heaven knows writing anything is stress-inducing, let alone a novel. Of course, we want it to read as if we just sat down, started typing and voila! A book! We do want our characters to achieve a blissful, successful outcome after their struggles, both internal and external. We want our readers to sigh with satisfaction after they close the book -- but it takes a lot of work and effort to get there.

That's what the workshop I'm conducting at the conference of the New England Chapter of Romance Writers of America this March is really all about. It's called "What Lies Beneath: Adding Layers to your Characters and Conflict" but it could also be called "Adding Complications." "Making It Tough." "How to put your characters through the wringer."

In other words, making it the opposite of easy for your characters, for you the writer and for the reader, too.

So yes, we happily sell happy. But that doesn't mean it's easy.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Paranormal? Who, me?

Busy day today, so thought I'd steer you over to Story Seedlings because who knew the Old Bailey records would give me an idea for a paranormal?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

See the Treadmill o' Terror!

Hey, Cheryl St. John has a picture of my exact Treadmill o' Terror on her blog! Below the very attractive picture of Hugh Jackman.

Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Zeta...

I've finished going through THE VISCOUNT'S KISS, addressing some editorial concerns. I gather I made my heroine a little, ahem, harsh, at some points. What can I say? Authors sometimes have life stuff going on that affects their work and I suspect some of mine crept in there. Gone now.

I also suppose my hero, Buggy, is going to be described as "beta," meaning not alpha.

I'm always surprised by that label, because in my mind, all my heroes are alpha as I understand it (confident, protective) when they need to be.

The rest of the time, no, not so much, because I don't really like the uber-alpha hero. I find them too arrogant. Give me a strong, confident hero, yes, but let him think, at some point, that maybe the heroine's right to want nothing to do with him. Maybe he isn't all that and a bag of chips. Because if he doesn't have that moment of vulnerability, I tend to think winning the heroine's love is just that. It's a contest and he wins. She's a prize, the proof that his arrogant self-confidence isn't misplaced.

Nope, show me the worry.

Show me some humility.

Show me a man who's strong, handsome, powerful -- and who is desperately afraid he's going to lose the one thing he's come to cherish above all because of his own mistakes.

Call it what you will, that's the kind of hero I want to see. That's the kind of hero I try to create.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Shortening Synopses

I was writing a response to a post about shortening synopses, and I thought, "Hey, this could be a blog post." And since I'm still doing my First Draft Sprint* and finishing proofreading so time is tight, here's my slightly edited response.

When it comes to cutting, I try to concentrate as much as I can on the emotional plot -- how and why the relationship changes. Everything else is less important.

Description - don't need it unless it's really significant (like, oh, your hero's lost an eye). I'll use something like "London, 1815" as my only setting description.

Secondary characters ditto. I only mention them briefly in passing and as they affect the main character's relationship.

Backstory - it's important to explain your characters' reactions and motivations, so you need it, but only as it's required to explain those reactions and motivations. Some people like to do that right up front, with a little character sketch. If you find it makes for a short synopsis if you do, go ahead. If you prefer to weave it into the synopsis as the story unfolds, as you would in the book, that's okay, too. Neither one is better - they're just different, and if you find makes for a shorter synopsis, go for that.

That said, I always try not to cut my voice out of a synopsis. If I think a line is particularly fun or interesting or whatever, I'll keep it in. If I think a one-word paragraph has a lot of punch, it stays. If I think a line of dialogue really sums up the state of the relationship at that point, I don't cut it.

* First Draft Sprint Report

Last week's page count: 85. So far then, in two weeks, I've written 185 pages. I think there's one scene that might get moved (subplot-centric), but I've left it where it is. I'm fairly certain the first draft is going to be several pages too short, but I'm not worrying about that a bit. I knew going in the first draft was going to be lean.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

May you all share wonderful relationships, whether it be with a spouse, partner, significant other, family or friends.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Weight Loss Challenge - New Milestone!

Ohmygosh, ohmygosh, ohmygosh! Yesterday, after exercising and consuming an apple, I stepped on the scale and


Whooo hoooo!

This morning, after a dinner of home-made mac and cheese, a cola and O'Henry (for the premiere of Survivor), 138.8 -- but oh, baby, I'll take it!

One thing has been made abundantly clear to me: when it comes to potatoes and bread, I might as well eat cake. They are just like it anyway in terms of my weight.

If you're wondering what my daily eating habits are like during the WLC, here's a typical day:

Breakfast: hot cereal, either oatmeal or cream of wheat, with either blueberries or brown sugar (if I'm feeling like a wee treat), and milk (either 1% or low-fat soya), and tea (1% milk, no sugar).

Snack around 11 - tea (I'll have had another tea by this point - I have three "regular" tea in the a.m., then switch to decaf for the afternoon/evening) and some sort of carbalicious product I've made and frozen into individual portions so I'm not tempted to eat, say, two slices of pumpkin bread instead of one. Currently in my freezer: blueberry muffins and pumpkin bread with pecans.

Lunch, around 2, after my work-out -- tossed salad, sometimes with grated cheese on top, sometimes with cut up sliced meat, plus dressing (raspberry vinagrette is my current choice) and grapefruit juice, or an apple and juice. (Sidebar: I had the only two kids in all the world who did not like apple juice and guess what was served at every mom-and-tot group going? You got it.)

Sometimes I'll have another snack around 4, depending when and what dinner's going to be. If it's an "every man for himself" night, so I'll just be having soup, I'll have a snack of two-three Arrowroot cookies with my tea. Or melba toast. Something with a crunch.

Dinner - varies, but one thing I'm trying to do is avoid potatoes, even sweet potatoes. I'll go for white rice, though. Desserts are usually just for special occasions.

I'm trying to cut out evening snacks, although not with complete success (see last night's treats). I generally have a cup of hot milk while I read before bed.

So, no fancy diets. Just trying to keep away from the things I'm fairly certain put the weight around the ol' waistline, which I think is also benefiting from the exercise ball efforts -- and believe you me, it is an effort. I do that after the treadmill and generally wind up lying on the floor for a minute or two afterward, just catching my breath.

This week's step/treadmill/exercise ball tally:
Feb. 6 - 1 hr. on TM, 30 eball lifts
Feb. 7 - 15,532 steps
Feb. 8 - 45 min. on TM, 30 eball lifts (but on my feet making pumpkin bread, applesauce and blueberry muffins)
Feb. 9 - 1 hr. on TM, 40 eball lifts
Feb. 10 - 1 hour on TM, 40 eball lifts
Feb. 11 - 1 hour on TM, 40 eball lifts
Feb. 12 - 1 hour on TM, 40 eball lifts (plus the happy dance after seeing that number on the scale!)

This week's goal: 50 eball lifts.

Oh, and I finally got my reward clothes from making my previous goal. Man oh man, there were some major sales in January! I got a new pair of black jeans and a red jacket (orig. $70) - both came to just under $50. But the major score was a lined blazer at Talbot's that was originally $298 that I got for about $70.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

So far, so good...

I've been able to keep up with the First Draft Sprint (17 pages written yesterday) while also doing proofreading of another manuscript (fifty pages proofed yesterday), as well as keeping up with the treadmill/exercise ball combo.

My husband and I did have canned soup for dinner, but something's gotta give, right?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Proofreading and Story Seedlings

I just received some proofreading and I'm trying to keep up the pace on my First Draft Sprint, so no major blog post today. I did, however, write a new post over at Story Seedlings yesterday.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

What a steal!

As I was walking the treadmill on the weekend, The Quiet Man came on TCM. I love that movie, in no small part because I love films with great secondary characters, and in this one, we hit the jackpot with the Fitzgerald brothers, Victor McLaglen, Ward Bond and Mildred Natwick to name just a few. I've seen this probably twenty times and while there are some bits that aren't politically correct -- the line of dialogue "Here's a stick to beat the lovely lady with." being an example -- it's still a fun "fish out of water" romance.

I didn't know until the introduction on the weekend that it was based on a short story that appeared in Saturday Evening Post magazine by Maurice Walsh.

Or that John Ford bought the film rights for $10.

Yes, you saw that right.

Ten bucks.

Man, oh, man, Maurice! You wuz robbed!

At least you got your name in the credits, so here's hoping it helped sell some of your books.

Monday, February 09, 2009

What's the DEL?

First Draft Sprint Report - I made my goal of 100 pages in a week. Whoo hoo!

Now, let me say again, in case anybody thinks this means I'm over a quarter of the way finished my book, this is the first draft only. There will be more complete drafts (three at the very least), because what I write at this point is, I have realized, just DEL:

Dialogue -- much dialogue. It's like every scene is an impromptu theater piece. Which is fine. I'll probably keep quite a bit of it.

Emotion -- big emotions. Anger, passion, frustration, curiosity, shame, regret. There is certainly internal monologue, because I also tend to tell, not show, the emotional process of my characters at this point. Some of this will get cut, because it's not exactly subtle.

Location - almost like signposts, or what you might find in a screenplay. Drawing Room, night. Carriage, interior, day. Some description of rooms, furnishings and clothing, but very little. Some description of activity, but mostly moving around the location. Again, nothing particularly small or subtle.

I'm sure this draft will be short. Basically, I'm building my house, but it will still need some renovation and much decoration when it's done.

Many authors go back and renovate and redecorate each room (scene) as they go; that's why when they say they've written 100 pages, they mean they're over one quarter through the complete process. I don't work that way, though, and that's why if somebody asks me how much I write a day, my answer would be pretty meaningless. For instance, I can spend hours on three pages that were written weeks before.

But I must say, I'm really liking this First Draft Sprint approach. No obsessing about what I've just written, just looking ahead to what comes next. Getting the words down, letting my characters say whatever comes into their (my) head. It's fun, it's fast, it's...pure, in a way writing with an editor, agent or even your readers is not. It's just me and my people, doing our thing, without the taint or weight of wondering what anybody else will think.

That said, I'll be very interested to find out how much revision I wind up doing.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Weight Loss Challenge - Sigh...

Alas! I seem to have hit another plateau, although it's a better plateau. 140.4 this morning.

I haven't watched The Biggest Loser before, but I have this season, and it's clear that it's a lot easier to lose weight where you're isolated and fed only healthy stuff. At home, without that, it's way more difficult. Alas, there are no visits to such a place in my future, so I think I'm just going to have to accept that it's going to take some time.

However, I also note that I didn't have any major snow shoveling this week, and I wasn't doing so much on the treadmill last weekend because I upped the angle and it was tougher going. I've gone back to my hour a day with that, and also using an exercise ball to try to get some ab toning going on. I did manage to go without cola for a few days and I've gone back to no brown sugar on the oatmeal or cream of wheat. Unfortunately, I made fudge. And there are chocolate chips in the house. It's really easy to justify a few of those every now and then. Must stop! As I said with the First Draft Sprint, self-discipline -- must have it!

Here's the latest treadmill/step/eball leg lift (of two types, but totaled) tally:

Jan. 30 - 45 min. on TM, 20 eball lifts
Jan. 31 - 1/2 hr. on TM, clearing of snow (much lifting and throwing), 25 lifts
Feb. 1 - 15,060 steps
Feb. 2 - 1 hr. on TM, 25 lifts
Feb. 3 - 1 hr. on TM, some light shoveling but also birthday party
Feb. 4 - 1 hr. on TM, 30 lifts
Feb. 5 - 1 hr. on TM, 30 lifts

This week, and although I'm going out for a celebratory dinner tonight, I'm going to try to be more strict with the food.

Oh, and I actually laughed out loud when I was doing the latest Story Seedlings blog. That probably burned a calorie, right?

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Cool cover and progress report

One of the neat things about writing for Harlequin is the foreign sales, of which there can be many. Another thrill is the foreign covers and oh, baby, the Swedish edition of BRIDE OF LOCHBARR is no exception. Who is that guy and can I have him on other covers, please???

First Draft Sprint Report:
I've now written 54 pages of the first draft, in three and a half days. Pretty good. A lot of it is dialogue, but there's some other stuff happening, too. Intimate stuff. Hee.

Mind you, I was really, really tempted not to write that second scene yesterday. I was tired (went to a great party the night before), one of the cats was asleep in the computer chair and I started to crochet a tote bag, made a mistake and had to rip it out and start again, which took more time than I'd anticipated.

But I was strong and started writing again at 6:30. Self-discipline! Must have it!

The Pleasure of Quiet

I've found another way in which I seem to be different from about 95% of the people on this planet.

I like quiet.

I don't listen to the radio when I'm home alone. I don't have the TV on unless I'm actually watching a show (although I may read or crochet during the commercials). I don't have the radio on in the car, either, unless somebody else turns it on.

I don't have an ipod or an MP3 player. When I go for my long walks, I have no music playing in my ears.

I may take the cell phone, but it stays in my pocket.

When I'm working, I don't have any music playing, or the TV on.

I don't understand how people can work with a lot of noise, although if that's the way it is in the workplace, I'm sure you learn how to tune it out. I like classical music, but I never got into the habit of having it on all the time.

In North America at least, I think we who like silence are definitely in the minority.

But there's nothing wrong with that.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Handout Hell

I'm giving a workshop at the New England chapter of Romance Writers of America at the end of March and have been putting together the handouts.

Now, I like giving workshops. Next to actually writing, it's the most fun part of my job. And I'd much rather spend time on handouts than look out at the audience and see a bunch of bowed heads as folks write. I'd rather see faces, preferably interested ones.

However, it seems like every time I think I've finished handouts, I think of something else to include. Or I've forgotten something. Or I could put something a bit better, or shorter. Or I find a typo. At last, however, I'm done. They're off to the workshop chairperson.

Now I just have to work on the presentation.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Hey, I'm a prize!

Well, not really. But THE WARLORD'S BRIDE is one! Check it out!

And it's a bestseller at, too!

First Draft Sprint Report:

Nineteen pages written yesterday, all of Chapter One, part of Chapter Two. Keeping to the same pattern as JaNoWriWee -- more written in the morning than the afternoon.

I also did a new post over at Story Seedlings about a "very bad boy" who got seven years' transportation for stealing a handkerchief.

Eight pages written this morning, finishing Chapter Two. Also shoveled snow and had to give Dowager Cat meds all by myself. As I'm holding the struggling kitteh, she peed on the kitchen floor. Such is this writer's glamorous life.

Is it a book or something else?

There was a column in the New York Times magazine this week by Virgina Heffernan talking about the difference between a "regular" book and an ebook.

Specifically, she was talking about their differences, and how her small son said a book on the computer is "more like a movie or a video." A book is that thing with covers and paper pages, that you hold in your hand and turn. An ebook, especially if its interactive or has links to other information, is not the same thing. Or to use my own example, a blog is like a journal, but it's not exactly the same. (For one thing, it's public, not private.)

What else could you call ebooks, which have the same words as the paper edition?

I like etexts. According to Mirriam-Webster, text means "the original words and form of a written or printed work (2): an edited or emended copy of an original work b: a work containing such text."

Sounds like an ebook to me.

However, etext does have another, more specific meaning (as a Google search revealed). Apparently it also refers to text in ASCII character encoding.

I like etext and would actually prefer it. Too late, though. I think the term "ebook" is here to stay, no matter how many bells, whistles, links and interactive frills are added.

Monday, February 02, 2009

First Draft Sprint

After last month's successful JaNoWriWee (January Novel Writing Week), I'm upping the stakes and trying the same system for a first draft. I was going to go for a month, but then decided that I might not be able to finish a draft in a month, so better to aim for a finished draft than write for a set number of days.

Which means that, starting tomorrow, I'm planning to write two scenes a day until a first draft is finished. However, unlike the JaNoWriWee, I don't have a whole month/six weeks/whatever with no commitments during the day. So there will be days I may only get one scene done, or even just a paragraph. That's fine. The main thing is, I will not go back and revise. I will not go back and reread, save for a few paragraphs or page. I will not stop to do a lot of research. I will just write the scenes, with the understanding that it's only a first draft. After all, considering that it's me, there will be at least four more.

I won't report my progress every day, but will try to keep a record here. And I'll be doing posts about other subjects on a regular basis, thanks to the miracle of pre-scheduling. I'll also be checking the Old Bailey Online and writing posts over at Story Seedlings as well, whenever I find a case that's interesting, with story idea potential.

I figure now's the time to do this, when it's still cold outside and I have a relatively light schedule, as I have plans for painting some walls and other things to plan/organize/do come the spring.

Wish me luck!