Thursday, October 27, 2011

Whoo Hoo! BIG News!

Avon is reprinting two of my medievals!

Yes, that's right - reprinting, as in, available in print again. They are TEMPT ME WITH KISSES and ALL MY DESIRE. I don't have a firm release date, but hopefully in December. It's my understanding that the covers will be the same.

These are the second and third books in a trilogy. The first book, THE MAIDEN AND HER KNIGHT, is currently available in ebook form or used. As far as I'm aware, there are no plans to print it again. However, as with any of my series, I assumed that the readers of the later books wouldn't necessarily have read the ones preceding it, so you shouldn't feel lost if you haven't.

TEMPT ME WITH KISSES and ALL MY DESIRE are not currently available in digital form. There are plans to do that, but there are some details yet to be worked out.

I've noted how the stories are connected on my website.

As soon as I know more, you can bet I'll let you know!

(Just FYI, my newsletter subscribers heard about this first.)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Goal revising - again

I've decided it would make more sense for me to use my computer word count for my daily goal for My Own NaNo.

For one thing, that's how publishers determine length these days.

For another, it was starting to feel like I was cheating if I was counting one paragraph at the top of a page as a full page. And I've changed fonts, so I was actually getting more done than I thought, which is a good thing. However, I think it would be better to have a more accurate sense of what I'm accomplishing on a daily basis. So word count it is!

That's the thing about doing My Own NaNo. I can change things as I go, if need be.

Something to note: This is a very lean draft, as my first drafts tend to be. I'm not worrying about description. I'm not concerned with much historical detail. I'm thinking primarily of the emotional arc of my characters. How their relationship is changing. How they're changing. How other people are impacting that relationship, and how they're changing, too. At this point, other plot elements are less important, so I'll leave them for later drafts.

And hooray! My story and characters are beginning to take on a life of their own. That means I no longer feel like I'm inching my way through a dark tunnel. There are shafts of light and parts where I can scamper. Yippee!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

A word about words....

Today, a quick blog post about writing historicals and language. One of the things I try really hard to do is avoid obvious anachronisms, especially in dialogue. I vividly remember being ripped right out of a historical novel by an author's choice of the word "ego" in a story set in the Regency. That word was tecnically correct, as in, it was in use at that time, yet it struck me as too modern. I also thought that "pride" would have meant much the same in the context and would have been a lot less distracting.

Avoiding anachronisms isn't always possible when writing historicals, but I do try to avoid words that might yank the reader out of the world of the story. To give you an example from the book I'm writing now: I needed a word that meant "spoil" as in "You spoil that boy." I chose "indulge." Both are too modern for a medieval (well, so is most language my readers and I would understand!), but "indulge" sounds less anachronistic to me than "spoil," so indulge it is.

And now, back to it!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Doing Better Than I Thought....

When I started My Own NaNo, I set myself the goal of 12 pages a day. Realizing that was too ambitious after such a long break from writing, I switched to 8 pages.

The fact that I'm using page count instead of word count indicates I'm old school. When I started, novel length was determined by page count and average number of words per page. The standard formula was number of pages times 250 words, no matter if the page had extra space at the bottom or top or not (beginnings and ends of chapters, for instance). These days it's done by computer word count.

Now, I've been getting pages done, although I haven't always made my goal, and I certainly haven't filled every single page. I've also changed the font I used and the size.

Today I decided to do a comparison between the amount I've written based on the old formula vs. computer word count.

By traditional count: 77 pages x 250 words = 19,250 words
Computer word count: 25,966

Either way you look at it, I've written what could constitute a novella in one week - if I weren't aware that probably a third of it is going to wind up on the cutting room floor.

Nevertheless, I confess I'm pretty thrilled. If I'm aiming for an 85,000 word first draft, I'm nearly a third of the way there, and in one week. That means I could have this draft nearly competed in another two weeks.

Even I am having a hard time believing that.

On the other hand, and as tough as first draft is, there will be plenty more hard work revising and rewriting before I'd have something ready to submit.

But to quote Mr. Kennedy from Gone With The Wind, "I'm mighty encouraged."

Saturday, October 15, 2011

My Own NaNo - re-evaluating the goal

So I'm three days into My Own NaNo and have come to some conclusions:

1. My daily goal was too ambitious. I haven't been writing for several weeks, and that means the ol' writing muscles are out of shape. Twelve pages a day is just too many when I'm trying to get going again, so I'm changing my goal to a more manageable 8 pages.

This is why people say you should write every day - so the writing muscles don't get stiff. That said, I don't regret taking that time off. I needed it, so if I have to pay a price now, so be it.

2. Just when I thought I'd be free of major distractions, my son ran into some issues. Some writers are able to close out such distractions and concentrate on the writing. They even find it helps to focus on the work in tough times.

I am not of that ilk. I find it very difficult to concentrate on a job that requires so much creativity when I'm worried. And no, I cannot stop worrying if something is out of my control. I can certainly do things like revising, update my website or other administrative tasks, but writing a first draft? That's another story. So the first two days of My Own NaNo were kinda sunk before I started. Still, I did get more done than if I hadn't set myself a goal.

So what have I accomplished? I got 8 pages done on Day 1 and 7 pages on Day 2. So far today, the count is 7 pages. I may do more, I may not. Tomorrow I'm getting together with friends, so I may not get anything written.

Am I going to beat myself over missing a daily goal, or a few of them? Oh, heck no. By my own choice, I don't have an official deadline, so this goal is just for me, and it was never to get a first draft finished in a month. My main goal is simply to get back to the computer on a consistent basis.

Still, I'm hopeful I'll be more successful meeting my 8-page-a-day goal, especially since my son's issue was successfully straightened out yesterday.


Thursday, October 13, 2011

My Own NaNo

I've come to a conclusion. I need some kind of external motivator to get a first draft of my current project finished before the Christmas festivities. Many people now know about National Novel Writing Month. It's even mentioned in the November issue of "O" magazine.

However, I've decided I can't wait for November to get going. So I'm going to start today, with what I'm dubbing "My Own NaNo" aka MONaNo. My goal will be 12 pages a day. However, I already have some obligations so I know I won't make that every day. Some days will be Five Page days. One or two will be Zero Page days. If we go to visit my son, there may very well be a Zero Page Week. But I'm okay with that. The point is to get up to speed and get the first draft written.

I'll be tweeting my daily page count (I'm WriterMargMoore on Twitter), and posting the results weekly on this blog.

In other news, my daughter has gotten engaged to a great guy and my front garden at the cottage has gone bananas in the unexpectedly warm weather.