Monthly Archives: March 2014

That one time when I wrote a book!

Posted 31 March, 2014 by DLWhite in WIPs, Writers Write 1 Comment

Photo courtesy  Oboi, SCX

Photo courtesy Oboi, SCX

Last night, around 10PM, I wrote the last line of Brunch at Ruby’s. Then I scrolled up through another scene or two and added some words, a paragraph here, more description there. And just when my eyes were about to cross, I sat up and realized…. that I was DONE. The “project” that I started in 2011 (I think?) that I fought with, wrestled with, had nightmares about, cried over, quit, came back to, completely trashed and started over, was complete. Brunch at Ruby’s is… for all intents and purposes, WRITTEN.

I could not be more proud of myself.

Of course the book is nowhere near publishable. Every quote you’ve ever seen about every first draft is true. The first draft of anything is sh*t. Oh, I believe it. Specifically the last five or so chapters don’t really shine at all. They are words I wanted to get on the page to keep the train on the tracks. The next step is more correction, a little more polish, a bit more shine. But for right now, I want to be proud of the work I’ve put in.

Brunch at Ruby’s stands at just over 149,000 words. Uhm. That is a lot of words, yes. BAR has three main characters, three fully developed stories that intertwine, so that makes the book longer. I will be revising, adding, cutting, twisting, reworking, rewording and any other adjective that means moving things around to make the manuscript better. I have several more steps to being ‘ready’ for anyone to see, but getting to this point was the hard part. At least, for me!

Now I am going to let it sit. Get some distance, lose my attachment to certain words and scenes, characters and phrases that are just ‘so important and integral to the story’. In a few weeks I’ll pull it up again and dig in and start the refinement process. I also need to come up with a synopsis…. erm…. and a blurb…. *eep*. And other fun stuff that books need.

Fun. Times.

Last night I cracked open a bottle of Pink Moscato, gifted to me by the manager of our Peru facility. It was delicious. It tasted like victory.


I wonder what I’ll crack open when it’s ready to send to an agent. Suggestions????

Writing Lessons From Writing Fan Fiction #3: Staying on Task

Writing Lessons From Writing Fan Fiction #3: Staying on Task

Welcome back friends! I’ve been posting this week about the lessons I’ve learned about writing from writing Fan Fiction. Not only has it been great practice but it has taught me some things about writing. In review: Lesson 1: You’re writing. Believe it. You MUST believe in and treat your work like it is real writing, because it is upon this work that you will improve. One cannot get better at writing without writing– you can read all the writing books you want to read, but unless you put it into practice and take it seriously, improvement will be hard to come by. Lesson 2: Along with the good (reviews) comes the bad (reviews). Learn how to deal with them both! Don’t engage in criticism that doesn’t help you improve your work, and don’t make readers who love your work feel stupid for loving it. Remove the ‘this old thing’ response and say thank you! Today we’ll talk about Lesson 3: How to Stay On Task Quite often in Fan Fiction, stories are posted as serials, meaning a writer might post a chapter or two, and build on the story as time goes on. Weekly or monthly, bi weekly, or as the chapters/sections come forth, the updates get posted. This builds a following and, if you do it right, keeps your readers on the tip of their toes waiting to find out what happens next. There is nothing so disheartening as getting involved in a story and finding it unfinished, and that the author hasn’t updated their story in weeks. Or months. There are a few stories that I longingly stroke and nuzzle, hoping the writer will come back and satisfy my need to see the story line end. Sometimes a writer just ‘loses’ the story. Sometimes the writer never had the story in the first place. I see lots of ‘idea starts’ that never end up in completed stories, either because the writer has spread him/herself thin over so many pieces […]

RePost: Writing Lessons from Fanfiction #2: How to Take the Good With the Bad

RePost: Writing Lessons from Fanfiction #2: How to Take the Good With the Bad

Yesterday I introduced this week’s topic, “What I’ve Learned About Writing from Writing Fan Fiction”, with the first lesson that anyone with a talent for writing will have to eventually convince themselves:  Fan Fiction writing is real writing.  While we don’t produce material that can be bought and sold, it is writing all the same. Anyone who’s writing fan fiction should consider their pieces to be their novellas, their novels, their short stories and be as proud of them as if they were being bound and printed. Today’s Lesson can be a hard pill to swallow. Lesson #2: How to Take Your Lumps, and I’m not talking about the Lady kind. They say we are our own worst critic, and that adage applies to every writer I know. The pages of this blog are full of whining and moaning about my writing not being as good/deep/prolific/magical/life changing as I’d like it to be. Once I’ve edited a piece to the nth degree, there is nothing so nerve-wracking as putting it up for public consumption and hoping that people don’t hate it. What If They Hate It? I always try to measure negative reviews against positive but the lone dissenting opinion can weigh heavily, especially if you don’t really get a reason as to why they don’t like your latest work. If readers hate your work and are so bold as to tell you so, what do you do? I’ve read post after post about what to do about negative reviews. The answer is NOT to fly off the handle and get into a comment war. My personal rule is that a negative review has to have merit. This sucks and so do you doesn’t tell me much.  If they don’t expound upon why they think it (or I) sucks, I delete it. Criticism should be constructive, otherwise it’s simply childish meanness that I have no use for. Help me get better or shut it. Or go into further detail about the suckage… exactly […]

#WIP Wednesday- Weekend Warrior!

#WIP Wednesday- Weekend Warrior!

Way back… like last summer, I decided that for my 40th birthday, I wanted to have finished my book. Now, not a polished, edited, pretty draft, but what I call Draft Zero, which is pretty much just words on a page. Just empty my brain onto the paper and ‘give me something to hate’ as my boss says.  I’m planning on having to work up to the first draft, that’s how messy draft zero will probably be. During November, I did #NANOWRIMO- or National Novel Writing Month. I realized that I had become stuck because I was focusing on the wrong Point of View, the story wasn’t in a tense that flowed for me in my mind and I had written myself into a corner. So I started over. I finished NaNo with 56,000 words of a brand new start. It’s been off to the races ever since. My Draft Zero deadline is March 31. I turn 40 just a few days before that, so I’m hoping that I can write write write till my fingers fall off this month. Last weekend, I packed up some comfy clothes, my mini laptop, my keyboard and mouse and my Writer Fuel (Skittles) and hunkered down in a hotel to make myself write without distraction. So how did it go? It was amazing! I got in over 10,000 words, about four chapters or so and made it out of Part II into Part III. There are four parts to the book, so… carry the one… and I am a little over halfway done with the book. It’s exciting to be this far and I honestly love my characters and am excited about the story line trajectory. I just don’t concentrate well here at home. I also don’t have a desk, so I do all my writing sitting on my rear end on the bed. Much more writing gets done when I am in a chair at a desk. Or a counter, as it […]