Thursday, January 26, 2012

#ROW80 Back in the Saddle

So after an ambitious To Conquer list earlier today, I thought a quick recap of what I accomplished might be helpful. You see, this blog is for other authors, but I also use it to chronicle my journey. If I'm ever uninspired, all I have to do is read a few early posts and see how far I've come. I just have very far still to go.

STONE is outlined, with dates and times, and the storylines are strong. I began writing on it again tonight and the main character shared something I didn't know. Well, I knew she was estranged from her biological father, and that he's going to give her a significant amount of money for her birthday that her and her mother are collectively unhappy about. What I didn't know was WHY the father felt guilty enough to overkill his adult daughter's birthday.

And then I put my main character, Melanie Stone in a hospital and she wigged the f* out in the waiting room. Memories of spiral fracture and bruises.

I had no idea. And I feel a little looney tunes saying that I feel sickened that my fictional father figure in my story could hurt his little girl like that. To me, these people are real. Well, as real as memories of people I know in real life could be (no, these characters are not based on real life people, though).

I can see now this story is going to be hard, but it has to be told. On top of the subject matter (which was always going to be somewhat heavy given that she has a manipulative, controlling creep she has to kick out of her life), the schedule is rough. I want to finish the rough draft of about 50,000 words in 28 days. I know!

But, one of the mistakes I made with my last book was NOT believing in myself to make a deadline. Yes, I missed my deadline for the first draft, but that was more because I knew I HAD ample padding in the timeline before publishing. I beat my publishing date by almost 2 weeks. And that first draft deadline? I jammed out 18,000 words in four days to kill it.

To be clear, I am not sacrificing quality for quantity. I AM ramping up my production to match my  personal skill set, including professional procrastinator. You see, I have enormous front end time. Some authors just GO and see where the story takes them. I can't. I can't write more than a couple thousand words before I have to pause and plan everything out. I have 5 pages of outline and notes for STONE, down to bits of dialogue. I have a very strong non-fiction background. I am your "Have outline, will write" girl. Even if the outline is just 2-3 ideas, I ALWAYS pre-write.

Now, do I know everything? Not quite. The above example is a great illustration. You see, as I was outlining, I put in "Stone's birthday, Dad gives her $500" and then I bring it up in a scene later on when Stone and her mother have lunch. I KNEW it was important, that Dad felt guilty about something. I didn't think it was sexual abuse, originally I thought it was being a child-support dead beat. But that didn't quite fit either, so I didn't write it down (err. type, I type my notes). It wasn't until I put Melanie at the hospital in the fourth scene of the book that I instantly knew she wan't okay. She was agitated. It's almost like if I could feel a ghost presence, that's how it felt.

Next thing I knew, it was "what are those particular types of fractures that mean child abuse?" Looked it up, saw a picture, and ugh. Killed me as a mom.

So, what did get done today? Well, I signed 20 more notes. I have 24 scanned and cropped. I need to scan in 20 more and crop them. Then I can make the 44 ebooks and send them out. That will bring me to 92 ebooks total signed and delivered. Only 57 more to go (assuming no one else signs up for my newsletter in January). In the future, I'm going to still sign ebooks, but only on certain days I think.

I wrote 1400 words on STONE. The total now sits at nearly 5K.

And that's where things are and I am going to bed. :)

A robotics engineer asks his business partner to marry him, but a previous one-night stand is having his baby. CANCELLED is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords WIPs: STONE (March 2012), PAST DUE (June 2012), SERVED the sequel to CANCELLED (September 2012).

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