Tag Archives: changes

Progress Update: Naked Alliances, First Round


I am so far behind with television recorded on my DVR that I have to fast forward through Christmas commercials. Seriously, tried to watch an episode of NCIS with my husband last night and I am like, “Who are all these new people?”

That shows how writing dedicated I am. It has been my focus since the beginning of May. I started this wip in November, put it aside to work on another project, and picked this back up in May. Working every day, sometimes sixteen to eighteen hours non-stop, I had the fish bone skeleton fleshed out on June 8th.

detour_signThat’s what I am calling the first draft. I finally let the rocket scientist, my alpha reader and crime novel aficionado, read it. I was sorely disappointed when he scored me a two out of five. First I did the proofreading edits required, and then I set about fixing a few things and breathing some more life into this animal.

He didn’t like the opening. So I rewrote it. I shared it with my writers’ group and they loved it. Doing so did raise a question in my mind though. Having two predominate plots, with both of them introduced in the first chapter leads the reader to believe they may be more connected than they are. There is character connection, but they aren’t connected by many plot elements. A few, but I’m not sure if they are enough to satisfy the reader in the end.

He’s not bothered by the POV switching for Richard and Brandi, the private investigator and his sidekick, but third changeperson limited narration is not what he is most familiar with. He’s likes third person omniscient best. I’m not changing that because it isn’t really possible without a complete rewrite, and there are so many times that Richard and Brandi are not together it is necessary. When they are together, I try to stick with one POV or the other to avoid head-hopping…but it does sort of result in third person omniscient. I’m not really seeing that as problematic on the revisions.

I felt I already had too many characters, but the RS felt I needed more. Richard is supposed to be somewhat of a loner, and likes to work alone. The RS said not having many friends, neighbors or associates made him less personable, hard to sidle up with. So I did what I could to work a few more into the story. I really like the result.

magicianThe RS also said that Richard needed more of a personal life. I didn’t want volumes of backstory on Richard…and his situation is really keeping him too busy for much of a social life, but I did what I could to round him out a bit better. Maybe that needs more work. I don’t want to severely change his persona though. And I don’t want a lot of ancillary side tracking not related to plot. But I think I have managed to pull a rabbit out of the hat on this one.

I am also in the process of adding another action chapter into a spot that lulled. It is the first time that Richard and Brandi are working actively together and I think I can do this in a way that will make both of their unique personalities shine.

With what I have pumped into this second draft, the additional chapters and revisions, adding characters and giving my MC a bit more of a life, I have drastically altered several scenes.

The RS loved the last few chapters and the ending elements, so I’m not tampering with that.

I will have 30 chapters, and have already reached 64,616 words without the chapter I am in the process of stop signadding. After this, I have a few more chapters to tweak and fine tune and it will be ready for another pass by the rocket scientist. He’s good at proofreading and I want it up to par when I send it to beta readers. Hopefully, I’ll be ready to do that next week.

I am looking to having two read and see what else I need to adjust, and then I’ll try with two more.

I know it is about progress, not perfection, but I would like for this to be the best it can be.

Then, I can start on Book Two…it is already scratching and clawing its way through my brain and itching to come out.

Writing Styles: One or Many?


For most of the last century, America’s cultural landscape—its fashion, art, music, design, entertainment—changed dramatically every 20 years or so. But these days, even as technological and scientific leaps have continued to revolutionize life, popular style has been stuck on repeat, consuming the past instead of creating the new. Like clothing fashion, books seem to have developed their own anticipated styles. I guess you could drop that 2012 guy’s pants below his shorts and put a hoodie and some sunglasses on him. (If you would call that current acceptable style.)

You often hear comments made about a writer’s style. Reviewers remark on disliking or liking an author’s style. I can read a book and say whether I liked the writing style, or not.

Writing style refers to the manner in which an author chooses to write to his or her audience. A style reveals both the writer’s personality and voice, but it also shows how she or he perceives the audience. The choice of a conceptual writing style molds the overall character of the work. This occurs through changes in syntactical structure, parsing prose, adding diction, and organizing figures of thought into usable frameworks.

A WRITER’S STYLE IS WHAT SETS HIS OR HER WRITING APART and makes it unique. Style is the way writing is dressed up (or down) to fit the specific context, purpose, or audience. Word choice, sentence fluency, and the writer’s voice — all contribute to the style of a piece of writing. How a writer chooses words and structures sentences to achieve a certain effect is also an element of style.

Style is not a matter of right and wrong but of what is appropriate for a particular setting and audience.

To read these descriptions of writing style, especially concerning personality and voice, one would think that style is almost innate. That it cannot change. But note what they say about choice.

For several weeks I was awash in stream of consciousness producing sentences of internal monologue, detailed description, and using associations to move from idea to idea.

Recently, I felt that my writing was getting serious and emotional. I needed a break from it.

I picked up my crime novel that I had placed on the back burner and read through it. That prompted a flurry of new ideas and I put down over 2000 words in one day.

The writing style is completely different from my historical story. Totally.

The sentences are shorter, there is humor, and things (especially clues) are plainly stated and described.  It is rational and scientific; there is no literary dallying with side-issues, no subtly worked-out character analyses, no “atmospheric” preoccupations.  There is no method to hold up the action and introduce issues irrelevant to the main purpose, which is to state a problem, analyze it, and bring it to a successful conclusion. I am having fun with it.

Having only written one book in recent years, I went back over some old manuscripts. The writing styles were clearly different.

My published book is a historical novel. There was much setting the time period, and description, character development and some internal dialog.

With all of the talk about building an author platform, I have seriously considered starting a new blog that focuses on crime novel writing or a specific image to that effect. Experts say that you need at least ten published books and preferably a series if you want to make your mark as a genre writer. What do you think?

I can’t say that I am a historical writer, fantasy writer, romance writer, crime fiction writer or any such thing as a defined writer of fiction. I am exploring.

Do you have a style? Could you deviate from it and feel comfortable or have you found your comfort zone? Is it innate talent for you, or do you feel it is a learned skill? Do you feel a genre specific platform is necessary?

Brighter Cover Image

With my brighter book blurb, I felt I needed to go with a brighter book cover image, so I talked with my cover image guy at create-imaginations (Paul in the UK-check out his new page) today and this is what we came up with.

After seeing my proof copy and finding it to be quite dark, I felt a need to brighten both the title and the statue image.

New cover, brighter
New cover, brighter
old cover-darker
old cover-darker

The old cover looked really dark in actual print (almost black rather than blue), it did make the title more difficult to see, and the whole image had a more despondent feel to it.

So what do you think?