Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Black Diamond Jinn Book Tour--Week Two

Last week for the BDJ book tour. Many thanks to Promotional Book Tours for the great time I'm having on this awesome tour!

July 30-Review  Generations of Savings
July 31-Review Sweet n' Sassi
August 1-Guest Post Taking Time for Mommy
August 2-Review Niki's book Corner
August 3-Review My Crafty Life

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Black Diamond Jinn Book Tour! Week One

Tour bus is here! Week One is underway for the Black Diamond Jinn book tour.

Please stop by and see what others have to say about Rafe and Amaia!

Monday July 23-Review Mommy Reads Too Much
Tuesday July 24-Excerpt Andi's Book Reviews
Wednesday July 25-Review and Interview Identity Discovery Wordy Wednesday
Thursday July 26-Review More From Mom
Friday July 27-Excerpt Ereading on the Cheap

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

3T Writing Tidbit

I've been published since 2009 but I've been writing for a lot longer. Over the years I've accumulated various items of wisdom from all over. Third Tuesday Writing Tidbit will showcase these items one at a time in no particular order.

Starting the novel.

Beginnings aren't a strong point of mine. So I'll just give you one of Dwight V. Swain's recommendations, one of five from Techniques of the Selling Writer. --Start with a threat to the heroine's self-concept.

Example (from Franz Kafka's Metamorphosis): "One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin."

That gets you going, doesn't it?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Editing after NaNo

I've been experimenting with different ways to write a book the past couple years. Way back when I started a story by taking two interesting characters (like Nixie and Julian), sending them charging into each other (like the Large Hadron Collider) and seeing what happened. It makes for some great interaction but is tough on plots. So I got Scrivener and used Jim Butcher/Jack Bickham's scene/sequel building blocks and a story arc to construct plotted stories. Along the way I took a class on a really awesome way to conceptualize a whole story on a single sheet of paper: The Blob technique by Vickie Taylor. From Holly Lisle I learned never to send a novel out without printing it out first.

And there lies the rub.

Fast forward to last summer. NaNo Camp (thank you Mrs!) let me knock out most of the basis for the novel Alphas Don't Wear Bows. I put it aside to rest and worked on two other stories including Beauty Bites (Biting Love Book 6). Then I took Alpha up again and finished the first draft. After that I did a read-through for timeline and continuity. So I've visited this novel at least three times and felt pretty good about the story.

Then I printed it out. And started to edit. (Insert screaming author here.)

I don't know why, but I see things in paper form I don't see in electronic, no matter how many different fonts or page sizes I use on the computer. But here are two classes of problems I have with NaNo-written books that I don't see with my more organic products.

1) Continuity sucks. When I'm in regular creation mode, I read through yesterday's writing before starting today's. That gets me in the flow, reminds me of who the characters are and what they were doing (and I get some light word-flow editing in too). But to push NaNo wordage through, I was hitting the ground running, trusting to memory to get the characters and plot right. Worse, I might come up with a neat side plot one day...and totally forget about it the next. I came across a whole lot of half-finished ideas that would have been nice to follow up on, had I the time.

2) Wordy wordy wordy. Like, whole thickets of brambly words. When I'm pounding out word count for word count's sake, if I repeat something three different ways to get it right, that's a good thing. Coming at it with the idea of clean story-telling though, well, it's like building a wall with three or four of the almost-right kind of bricks--the only way to fix it is knock out that portion of the wall and rebuild. Very irritating.

So while I'm grateful for the freedom NaNo imposes on me to ignore the strict mental editor and just write, there are drawbacks. I love NaNo and will continue to do it! I just think I'm going to insert that daily reread/preread from now on.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

July 1T Giveaway!

Welcome to the First Tuesday giveaway! Each first Tuesday of the month I'm offering a contest where I choose one winner (who hasn't won in the past twelve months) by random number from all comments on that post. The winner will receive his or her choice of one Biting Love ebook (including Biting Oz) *or* a $5 gift certificate from Amazon or Samhain!

If you're a 18+ and an adult, and if you consent to having your name listed on the rotating 12-month winner list, just comment on this post to enter! Void where prohibited. Please note, the Biting Love books contain explicit sex and violence. If you win please consider that when making your prize selection. Winner chosen at the end of the month and posted as part of next month's contest.

And June's winner is -- pansypetal! Congratulations pansypetal! Please email me at mary@maryhughesbooks.com to claim your prize!