Upcoming events

Hope to meet you at an upcoming event!

Jun. 24: American Library Association Annual Conference and Exhibition (Chicago)

Oct. 25: Author book panel at The Book Stall (Winnetka, IL)

 

I’m back!

It’s been a long time…(queue Aaliyah/Timbaland lyric…)

So much has happened in the past year!

My debut novel, now titled “Boy, 9, Missing” will be out in less than four months from Sourcebooks Landmark, only the most awesome publisher ever.

They’ve also signed on for another standalone thriller, tentatively titled “Emily,” with a 2017 release. I just turned in the draft to my editor, so OH-MAH-GOODNESS.

While I’m waiting, I’m in the “Planning to Plot” stages of a new story – and it’s feeling series-y, ya’ll. I tend to lean toward standalone novels, so this should be interesting.

I also attended my first book conference — BookCon 2016 — where I signed 200 copies of B9M in the Sourcebooks Booth.

Arriving at BookCon 2016!

Arriving at BookCon 2016!

The amazing Sourcebooks booth.

The amazing Sourcebooks booth.

Boy, 9, Missing signing!

Boy, 9, Missing signing!

Books, books, books!

Books, books, books!

Thank you for stopping by!!

Characters

I care.

It’s 9:24 p.m., and I’m on my couch watching a television show. Doesn’t even matter which one. I know they’re actors. I know they’re reading lines. But I care.

I care about the “I’d totally be best friends with her” MC, and I understand her decisions, good and bad. I care about her obnoxious boss with the not-so-hidden soft side. I care about vulnerable dreamy guy number one, and awkward but hot romantic option number two. I care about the stern yet sensitive best friend. I even care about the annoyingly one-note coworker.

The show’s concept and plot are awesome, but it’s the characters that have me coming back. I’m racing through the online commercial breaks and feeling sadder and sadder as the episode comes to a close. I’m watching and re-watching scenes because of the way that one character said “Isn’t it?” at just the right time, in just the right way. I’m caring. I’m investing myself in a world that I can’t have anymore, at least not until next week.

Stages of writing a new manuscript

I was writing the last post, and I realized that it may be helpful for me to define my stages of writing a new manuscript. In my “Idea to Manuscript” blog series, I’ll be talking about these stages a lot.

Stage 1: Planning to Plot
I’ve described this before as the “fun part.” The “just let soul glo” part. The who cares if people don’t have turtle-hands, I DO WHAT I WANT part. It’s the stage where you take an idea and lightly mold it into a compelling story idea, without restraint.

StageĀ 2: Plotting
Still fun, slightly more restrictive. In the formal plotting stage, I take my scribbles and notes from stage 1 and start to create a rough outline. It starts out quite top-level, but eventually, I’ll get down to outlining individual scenes. I usually handwrite these outlines, and I rewrite them many, many times. I sometimesĀ think of lines that I’d like to include in the story, so I drop them in a Word document and tuck them away. Ā I don’t startĀ writing before the outline is complete. Remember, this is just how I write. A lot of people hate outlines, and that’s cool, too.

Stage 3: Rough drafting
Let those fingers fly! Ew, that sentence creeped me out right after I finished typing it. But basically, I take the outline and write the scenes. I usually create individual Word documents for each chapter, but that’s more compulsive than it is actual helpful for my writing process.

Stage 4: Initial edit
Once I have all of the chapters/scenes completed, I merge it into one document. There’s that satisfying feeling of seeing that big shiny word count. Then I have to clean it up and fix any glaring problems with flow. It’s clunky, but it looks like the beginnings of a FULL DRAFT (ehhmahgaaawwdd).

Stage 5: Main edit
This is the first heavy edit on the rough draft. This process can take about as long as the initial drafting. The goal here is to turn the rough-rough draft into a solid, presentable draft.

Stage 6 – Stage who the hell knows: Revisions
I’ll write full posts about this later.

Thanks!