Editing is a Labor… of Love

Editing_2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I tweeted the picture above last week, and a ton of people liked it, and I even had a few questions about it, so I thought I would give a description here of what the flags mean.

I’m hot and heavy in the middle of editing this novel, and I’ve developed a new system using colored flags.

I write with a combination of a “pantser” and a plotter method. I know where I’m going, but my characters tell me how to get there. There are often changes along the way that I have to track backwards. As I write the first draft, I keep a notebook listing the changes that need to happen, or how I think things should change as I go forward. I don’t always make the changes right away, but as I do, I mark through them. (physically marking them off gives me a sense of accomplishment)

Once of the things that i have noticed is that if I edit on screen, particularly toward the end of the editing process, there is no way to check whether the changes were made correctly. This draft is 320 pages 1.5 -spaced, right now coming in at 111k words. It is the longest I have done by far. There is no way that I could re-read the whole thing constantly. It would take forever.

I print it out at 1.5 line spacing. (2 is just too much for me and way too long) I handwrite all of the changes that I make, and I flag the page. Yellow is a minor change (maybe a comma was dropped, or a word is missing, not more than one or two on the page. I ran out of yellow so I also used green for that.

Red is a major change/rewrite. A red flag means that I either added additional text (handwritten behind the typed page) or I deleted massive text, or reworked sentences to the point that the page needs serious work. At this stage, red happens when I have to backtrack and make the changes consistent (as noticed above) or I feel like the scene needs more development. One improvement to my writing in the past three years that I have noticed is that my scenes are longer and fuller.

Blue means it’s something that needs more thought. For example, did a character’s dad die of a heart attack or cancer? I was toying with both and wasn’t sure which I wanted. So I flagged it with blue to come back to it. It was in the past, so just briefly referenced, but it became an issue as to whether it was a quick sudden death or drawn-out illness. I had to make sure and change it everywhere. I also use blue when my editor makes suggestions and I either haven’t decided whether to make her change, or her change would take to long to address at that moment.

I reuse all the flags as I pull them off. After I make all the changes, I reprint it and go back and re-read everything that I changed and compare it to the draft that I marked up. Often a red flag goes to yellow for the first cut because I rarely get edits right the first time. (For example, I may change a word and then when I reprint it, notice that I used the exact same phrase or word a little higher on the page, which means I have to change something.)

This is the first book that I have been so diligent about edits, and I have a greater confidence that i won’t miss something crucial this time. I still may—and my husband is my final proof-reader when he has the time–but with the flags at least I know what I have ahead. When I look at the front part of the printout and see very few red flags, and just a smattering of yellow, then I feel like that’s progress. That’s progress. There is actually something soothing about handwriting additions. It helps keep me in the zone.

When I do spellcheck/grammar check, I do it with track changes in Word and then I print out the file with the track changes. That part of it is still a little bit cumbersome, but I still try to have something that I can check it against.

Editing is exhausting, but it’s fulfilling because I can see it come alive and how all of the pieces fit together. I add pieces all along the way to flesh out characters better and issues.
With my next book I will try fewer iterations, which means I need to spend more time adding sensory and character detail into the first draft. That’s usually something I focus on in the second draft.

Since I took this picture, I decided to put all the yellow flags at the top of the page on the right, all the blue in the middle, and all the red at the bottom. It’s easier to see where I am that way. Now if I only had time to finish the edits. My deadline is calling.

Do you have a particular quirk about how you edit your novel once you have a first draft? I have had several writers tell me that they send their first or second draft to their editor and move on, and that idea gives me the shakes.

Writer Wednesday – Meet Sandra Dailey

Today I’d like you to take a minute to meet Sandra Dailey as she interviews two of her characters, who happen to be twins.  Sandra, take it away.


Hi Lily! Thanks for inviting me to your blog and letting me bring a couple of characters along, and I do mean characters in every way.

I’d like to introduce you and your visitors to Connor and Caleb McCrae, my heroes. Besides being twin brothers, they both work for their family’s law practice and have interesting stories to tell about their personal lives. As a matter-of-fact, I have a few questions to ask them.

href=”http://lilybishop.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/CommonEnemy_w8699_300.jpg”>CommonEnemy_w8699_300CloseEnemy_w10168_300

Sandy: Are the two of you identical twins?

Connor: We used to be as identical as two spoons from the same drawer. Now, you could say I’m the one that got caught in the garbage disposal. He touches the deep scars on one side of his face.

Caleb: That’s why he took off for so long, living like a gipsy in an old van. He couldn’t stand the sight of my pretty face. Caleb shoulder butts his brother with a sympathetic smile.

Sandy: I read about the incident in COMMON ENEMY. That man, Bobby Ray Butler, was one scary guy!

Connor: I would have done anything to protect my woman, Jordan, and her little girl from that psychopath. It was a hell of a way to meet the loves of my life, but I’ll never regret it.

Caleb: I suppose you’re going to take all the credit. As I recall, I came close to buying the farm when I went down to Mayville to help out.

Connor: There were a few casualties, but I’d rather not talk about it right now. Your friends will just have to read the book. Caleb grips his shoulder in a show of support.

Sandy: Caleb, I heard you had a hard time starting a relationship with your partner, Leah.

Caleb: I’ll say! It took me months to find her after our first meeting and when I did she was in jail with a bun in the oven. The guy who had framed her, Bogdan Petrov, even had someone working there. He was definitely another nut case.

Connor: Of course I showed up to help, which I’d say makes us even.

Caleb: Whatever. Anyway, we went through hell with him too and a baby on board didn’t make it easy. You can read about it in my new book, CLOSE ENEMY.

Conner: You’ll find out his biggest challenge was changing diapers. The man is pathetic.

Caleb: Get bent, Connor.

Sandy: I believe the two of you take pot shots at each other as much as my twin and I do.

Connor: It’s the best thing about being womb-mates. We may throw a few verbal punches now and then, but we always have each other’s back.

Caleb: And, heaven help the man who tries to bring harm to one of us. Butler and Petrov can both testify to that.

Common Enemy blurb ~

Jordan Holbrook is the single mother of a five-year-old daughter. She’s just inherited her grandmother’s house in South Florida where she’s hiding from an abusive ex-husband who’s been released from prison early. A new man in her life isn’t part of her plans.

Connor McCrae is a handyman who lives out of his van. He walked away from a privileged life and loving family after being badly scarred in a vicious attack. He doesn’t believe a woman’s love is in the cards for him.

They are brought together by a rundown house, a mutual attraction, and a common enemy: Bobby Ray Butler, who is cutting a path of murder and mayhem through south Florida in his quest for vengeance against his ex-wife.

Can Connor protect Jordan and her daughter from the enraged Bobby Ray? Can Jordan learn to trust men again? If anyone has a say in this—it’s Connor.

Buy links ~

The Wild Rose Press: http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=195&products_id=5695

Amazon Print:

http://www.amazon.com/Common-Enemy-Sandra-Dailey-ebook/dp/B00ILYKD8G/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1402881991&sr=8-1-fkmr0&keywords=common+enemy+by+sandra+dailey

Amazon Kindle (encore):

http://www.amazon.com/Common-Enemy-Sandra-Dailey-ebook/dp/B0145P8J4Y/ref=sr_1_1_twi_kin_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1440555249&sr=8-1&keywords=Common+Enemy

Close Enemy blurb ~

Caleb McCrae is a powerful man with a broken soul. In six years, Leah was the only person to help him forget the painful memories, but only for one night. Now she seems to have disappeared. A mysterious letter arrives, and she’s in trouble…in more ways than one.

Leah Fletcher’s life is complicated. To care for her drug and alcohol addicted mother she works at a sleazy men’s club…until she finds out she’s pregnant and is framed for a crime that lands her in jail. When a stranger visits, she learns her troubles have just begun.

Bogdan Petrov has waited eleven years to get back the money Leah’s father stole from him. Despite her denials, he knows she’s hiding it. He’s arranged to infiltrate every part of her life until he gets what he wants, but soon realizes that an unknown person is doing the same to him.

Buy link ~

The Wild Rose Press:

http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=191&products_id=6515

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0166SHQGU?keywords=Close%20Enemy&qid=1445482436&ref_=sr_1_6&sr=8-6

Barnes and Noble:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/close-enemy-sandra-dailey/1122767397?ean=2940150868960

Kobo:

https://store.kobobooks.com/en-ca/ebook/close-enemy

Author bio ~

Sandra Dailey

Sandra Dailey

Sandra Dailey lives with her husband and mother in a small town in North Florida, far from the maddening crowds. Her children and grandchildren all live close and keep her ridiculously busy and active. Her passions are reading, writing, and crafts. Her addictions are coffee, chocolate, and football. Her aversions are cooking, housework and negative people. She loves to hear from fellow readers and writers, so get in touch.

Contact info ~

Website/Blog: http://www.sandradailey.blogspot.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/sandradailey.author

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/sdaileyauthor

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/author/sandradailey

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6551048.Sandra_Dailey

Remember: COMMON ENEMY and CLOSE ENEMY are a pair, but can be independent, like their heroes. Conner, Caleb and I would be happy to answer any questions or just chat. Feel free to leave comments and share this post.


It takes a good hero to make a good romance, and it sounds like you’ve got a couple of good ones there. Good luck with Conner and Caleb.

Anybody else intrigued with twin heroes in two books?

Flash Fiction – Lost in the Maze, Part 1

Bickleigh , Bickleigh Maize Maze - geograph.org.uk - 1223716.jpg

Bickleigh Maize Maze from geograph.org.uk

Bickleigh , Bickleigh Maize Maze – geograph.org.uk – 1223716” by Lewis Clarkegeograph.org.uk. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

I mentioned a while back that I was gong to try my hand at flash fiction, short little stories less than 5,000 words.  Here is part one of Lost in the Maze.

 

Lost in the Maze, Part 1

Copyright Lily Bishop, 2014. No part of this story may be reproduced without permission.

 

Caitlyn rushed around her apartment while she talked to her sister, trying to get everything straight and in its place before her date with Cody. If her sister Maddy didn’t stop irritating her, she would put down the phone right now.

“Caitlyn and Cody sitting in a tree. K – I – S – S – I – N – G. First comes love. Then comes marriage. Here comes Caitlyn with a baby carriage.”

“Maddy, stop it!” Caitlyn fussed at her sister. “You don’t know anything.”

“I know you want to marry him,” Maddy said, giggling. “Why are you in such a rush, anyway?”

“What do you know? You’re still in high school.” Caitlyn tried to put her off, but unfortunately, Maddy did know. Caitlyn was tired of waiting, and she was ready to get married.

“And you’re a wise woman of the world at twenty-one. You’re just upset that he’s a senior and graduating, and you’re not. Why are you in such a hurry to get married? Not me—I want to travel first. I want to see London, and Paris, and Athens, Greece. I don’t want some boy tying me down.”

“When you meet the one, you’ll change your mind. Anyway, don’t jinx me. I just know tonight’s the night.”

“How do you know he’s the one, anyway?”

“I just do. We’re perfect for each other. We like the same things. We eat the same foods—”

“Sounds boring to me. Where’s the challenge in that?”

“Everything doesn’t have to be a challenge.” Caitlyn looked up at the sound of boots on the porch. “He’s here. Gotta go.”

She opened the front door and stood there for a heartbeat, smiling up at her Cody. Taller by about six inches, he leaned into her, just as he always did, and she draped her arms around his neck. His aftershave was familiar, his cheek smooth. His dark curls were just a bit damp. He wore his usual button down long-sleeved shirt, the first button undone, and his sleeves were rolled up on the forearms. The only difference is that tonight he wore jeans instead of khaki pants.

“I missed you,” he said. She leaned into him and puckered for a kiss. He kissed her like it had been a month. She had, of course, just seen him the night before, but none of that mattered.

“I missed you, too.” She backed up and pulled him into the main room. Her apartment took up half of the bottom floor of an old Victorian house on Main Street. She had a living room, a bedroom, and a tiny kitchen, if you could call a modified hallway with a stove and refrigerator a kitchen.

“I’ll wait out here while you change.”

She looked down at the flared-skirt dress with the nipped-in waist that she had picked out for this romantic evening. “You don’t like my dress?”

“I said casual, remember? You do not want to wear that for what I have planned.”

“I paired it with boots,” she said, frowning. This was as casual as she got for a date, especially one that she felt sure would be a proposal. “Where are we going, anyway?”

“Oh, no you don’t. It’s a surprise. Now go change.”

 

to be continued…


 

I know it’s short — probably three parts to this one. What do you think?  Caitlyn’s got her life all planned out.

Don’t miss a single scene. Subscribe to my blog to get the rest.

Free Flick Friday – Sons of Dragons by Andrea R. Cooper

I had someoCooper-SonsofDragonsne cancel who was supposed to appear today, so I’m moving Andrea up from next week to continue my video posts.  Welcome, Andrea!

Andrea R. Cooper grew-up creating characters and never stopped. She lives in Texas, and when not writing stories, she likes to dance when no one is watching. 

Here’s a little teaser about Andrea’s book, Sons of Dragons:

Mirhana has given up on love, but then it comes to her in the form a prince. Will she acquiesce?

 

I hope you enjoyed this trailer. Now rush out and give Sons of Dragons a chance…

You can connect with Andrea here…
Author Website:www.AndreaRCooper.com

 


 

If you haven’t seen the book trailer for No Strings Attached, you can find it here…  If you’re a romance writer interested in visiting my blog or you have a book trailer to share for Free Flick Friday, let me know here. Thank you for stopping by!

Tomorrow I have a special treat for you — we’ll be celebrating the book anniversary of No Strings Attached by showing off the cover for the sequel.  I also have a special prize. Details to come tomorrow!

Free Flick Friday – Free Falling by Raven St. Pierre

Continuing my Friday showcase of video book trailers, today we have Raven St. Pierre. She’s a newly published Interracial Romance author, best known for her Free Falling series, a New Adult saga featuring an African-American female lead and Japanese-American hero.  Raven has a host of stories published and awaiting release that she intends to share with readers who thrive on high-drama, messy love triangles, and emotionally jarring plotlines.  When Raven isn’t weaving her next tangled web of love, lust, and lies, her husband and three children keep her plenty busy….when she isn’t gaming, that is.

Now, here’s Raven’s video:

 

Cover_Free Falling_Book 3_ExposedFree Falling is the third book in the series

They’re back. They’re grown. It’s on… Five years have passed since the tragedy that changed Samantha Kelley’s life forever,
causing her to make the difficult decision to walk away from the man she once thought to be her soul mate. Looking back, there were a few regrets, but she still believes in her heart that fleeing to New York was the right move….or does she? For the most part, she’s settled and content, but there’s a question still brewing in the back of her mind – Will her current relationship ever measure up to the passion that she experienced with AJ?

When Sam walked away, AJ found himself spiraling uncontrollably through every emotion possible – grief, anger, and depression, to name a few. It took almost two years for him to fully get over the idea of her leaving him behind without so much as an address where she could be reached. But he didn’t get through the darkest time of his life without a little help from someone who seemed to just appear out of nowhere – a woman who now has dibs on his heart. It was simple for the pair to pretend like old feelings had faded into the abyss while they were hundreds of miles apart, but what will happen when Sam and AJ meet up again for the first time in years? Will resentment forever keep ‘what could’ve been’ just at arm’s length? Will it be love at first sight like they experienced in the past? Or will they fight against the insatiable pull that they have always had toward one another, choosing to keep their current relationships intact instead?

I hope you enjoyed this little journey into the world of Raven’s characters. The release date for Free Falling is June 1st.  Until then, you can find Raven at http://youaresowrite.wordpress.com/

 


 

If you haven’t seen the book trailer for No Strings Attached, you can find it here…  If you’re a romance writer interested in visiting my blog or you have a book trailer to share for Free Flick Friday, let me know here. Thank you for stopping by!

Free Flick Friday – Passion’s Sacred Dance by Juli D. Revezzo

Continuing my Friday showcase of video book trailers, today we have Juli D. Revezzo visiting. Juli is a Florida girl, with a love of fantasy, science fiction, and Arthurian legend, so much so she gained a B.A. in English and American Literature. She is author of The Antique Magic series, the recently released her debut paranormal romance novel, Passion’s Sacred Dance, and is a member of the Independent Author Network and the Magic Appreciation Tour.

Without further adieu, here is her video:

 

 

PassionsSacredDance_w6021_300

And now, a little bit about Passion’s Sacred Dance:

Unless Stacy Macken can stave off her creditors, she may lose her historic art gallery–a loss she can’t afford for, she suspects, more reason than one. Then Aaron Fielding appears, claiming to be a Tuatha dé Danaan warrior dedicated to protecting humanity from demonic monsters and that her land is their sacred battlefield. Confirming everything she feared. Stacy and Aaron must work together to ensure mankind survives, but their mutual attraction only complicates things.

 

Buy links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Passions-Sacred-Dance-Harshad-Wars-ebook/dp/B00E4WOBWI

All Romance Ebooks: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-passion039ssacreddance-1351775-143.html

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/passions-sacred-dance-juli-d-revezzo/1117518183?ean=2940148871422

Bookstrand: http://www.bookstrand.com/passions-sacred-dance

Itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/passions-sacred-dance/id733605817?mt=11

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/passion-s-sacred-dance

And my web links:

Homepage: http://julidrevezzo.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/julidrevezzo

Twitter: @julidrevezzo

 


 

If you haven’t seen the book trailer for No Strings Attached, you can find it here…  If you’re a romance writer interested in visiting my blog or you have a book trailer to share for Free Flick Friday, let me know here. Thank you for stopping by!

100,000 Miles and Counting

2014-01-23 16.40.53

Pardon the blurry picture. I was sitting at a red light and tried my best to get a good shot with my phone. My car just turned over 100,000.  I’m pretty excited. My little navy 2008 Honda Civic is plugging along.

It doesn’t have any of the bells and whistles like automatic anything, or Sirius radio, but it’s a good little car that I drive 40 miles  a day. My little baby gets 30 miles a gallon, which is important if you drive as much as I do.

We’re hoping I can drive it for three more years and then we’ll give it to my son who is (gasp) 12.

Of course, if it starts giving us a lot of mechanical trouble we’ll trade it, but for now, I’m happy not to have a car payment. Ride on!!!

(I gave a little tribute to my car in No Strings Attached. Laura drives a Civic, but hers is red.)

So what about you? Do you hold onto your cars until they start giving you mechanical trouble or do you trade every three years?

Author Spotlight: Katherine Logan, Author of The Last MacKlenna

Today I’d like you to meet Katherine Logan and her character, Meredith Montgomery. Meredith is the President of Montgomery Winery in Napa, California. I love Katherine’s books, and this is a great opportunity to get to know Meredith better. So pour you a glass of scotch, or a fine chardonnay, and have a seat.

(This post originally appeared on the Girl Who Reads Blog – Katherine offered to share it here as well)

Welcome Meredith. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself and the part you play in the contemporary romance The Last MacKlenna, which is available at Amazon,

image001When Katherine told me she wanted to include me in her story, I said no thank you. Although I do live in a glass house, I’m a very private person. From a very young age, my father told me that everything I did reflected on the family winery. I had to excel in the classroom, score the most goals, and run the fastest. I had to be the best. And when I dressed up for functions at the winery, I was expected to look glamorous and hold my own in conversations with vintners, politicians, and movie stars.

I bet that was a lot of pressure. How did you handle it at such a young age?

As a teenager, I rebelled and showed up at a cocktail party in ripped jeans and a t-shirt. I wasn’t rude to anyone, but I didn’t go out of my way to be pleasant either. My father didn’t say anything, and he didn’t punish me. He didn’t have to because the winery employees I had known all my life showed their disappointment in a myriad of ways. They left the room when I walked in. They didn’t invite me to join them for lunch. They ignored my birthday. Needless to say, I toed the line from that point on.

What about your mother. Were you close to her?

She died when I was born. I was an only child and didn’t have any aunts or grandparents. The closest to a mother figure in my life was dad’s secretary. We were close enough that I could ask her questions that young girls ask their mothers.

Tell us about your education. I assume it’s wine related?

I have a Masters of Business Administration and Bachelors of Science degree from UCLA. Although my background is finance, I found my niche in marketing. I spent ten years directing the winery’s marketing efforts. When my father died, I moved into the president’s office.image002

That must have been a hard transition to make.

It hasn’t been easy. There has been a male Montgomery at the helm since the winery was founded in 1853. It’s not that the employees object to having me as their boss, it’s my own feelings of inadequacy. Now that we’re about to launch my legacy wine, I’m scared to death. What if it’s not well-received? I review the financials daily. I know what lackluster sales could mean for the company. We’ve invested four years and hundreds of thousands of dollars in research and development. If the wine is not a success, we’ll have to sell off part of the company.

Wow. I can see why you’re scared. How do you handle your stress?

I’m forty-two, a widow, and I’ve never had children. My life is the business. I live it and breathe it. And I run. I’m currently training for a Boston Marathon qualifying race. If I can stay healthy, I should meet the 3:45 qualifying time for my age group. For me, the term “staying healthy” has two meanings. Staying healthy to run and staying healthy to live. You see, I’m a breast cancer survivor.

I didn’t know. I’m sorry to hear you had to go through that. How long ago was it? 

It’s been five years. I had a mastectomy. The disease didn’t spread to the lymph nodes so I didn’t have chemo or radiation. I got lucky. I do regular breast self-exams and have annual mammograms. Everything’s been good so far.

You mentioned that you’re a widow. You’re a beautiful woman. I’m sure you get asked out all the time. Are you dating anyone now?

My husband died two years ago. I’ve had a few dinner dates, but I don’t have time for men. And to be honest, the men I’ve met are intimidated by a wealthy, successful woman. And the wealthy, successful men want women much younger than I am.

If you met someone who wasn’t intimidated by your wealth and success would you consider a relationship?

No. Yes. Maybe. Let me just say the man would have to be extraordinary, and I’m not sure there are many men out there who would meet my criteria for a boyfriend.

Oh, you have a list. Tell us about your perfect man?

He has to love wine and horses and annual trips to Scotland. He has to be passionate about what he does, whatever that is. His balance sheet has to match mine so there’s no fear that he’s dating me for my money. His plane doesn’t have to be bigger but it would be nice if he had one. He has to be physically fit and extra points are given if he’s a runner. Looks are important, but they’re not everything. Generosity, a good heart, a wonderful sense of humor, and a circle of caring friends are “must-haves.”

It looks like you’ve got it covered. Do you think there are any men who can meet your qualifications?

Honestly, no, and I think that’s why my list is so specific. I don’t really want a man in my life right now. I have too much going on and I don’t need the distraction of a relationship. Maybe after I launch my new wine I’ll be more open to the possibility, but not right now.

Are you saying if the perfect man came along you wouldn’t pay any attention to him?

Not at all. If the perfect man came along, I’d probably fall right into his arms.

Do you think Katherine has written a man into your life?

She told me that if she did, he would be the perfect man for me.

A little sneak peek…Shhh! Don’t tell Meredith

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Website  *  Blog  *  Facebook  *  Twitter  *  LinkedIn  *  Pinterest  *  Shelfari  *  Goodreads *  Google+

Katherine Lowry Logan Logan23

Author of:

The Ruby Brooch ~ Amazon

The Last MacKlenna ~ Amazon

Website Blog Facebook Twitter Goodreads Pinterest LinkedIn Kirkus Review

That was a great insight to Meredith’s character. I really enjoyed this behind-the-scenes peek, and I highly recommend it. A link to my review on Amazon is here: Review of the Last MacKlenna

If you want to see how I felt about the Ruby Brooch, which I also enjoyed, my review is here: Review of the Ruby Brooch

While these books are stand alone and can be read in either order, events in The Ruby Brooch occur before events in The Last MacKlenna. If you don’t mind a touch of the paranormal, read The Ruby Brooch first. Then you’ll snatch up The Last MacKlenna, I promise.

Happy reading!!!

Looking for more of my recommendations? You can find them all listed on my Amazon store page here.

Alternate Reality of Fiction

A Feminist Professor’s Closing Chapters

If you are interested, the link above is to a moving description of a woman fighting ovarian cancer. I felt blessed this morning reading her story. I want to pay tribute to her by talking about a quote she has lower in the article.

“I am always happier when I have a book in progress,” she says. “Living with a book in process is like living an alternative reality. You are out of time, it is a kind of transport, a kind of addiction.” (Quote from Susan Gubar, Professor and Feminist at Indiana University)

As a writer, the quote above hit me between the eyes. This is so true!!  I have my reality (my husband of 13 years, two children in those pre-teen years, and a full-time job) and I have my fictional world, which at the moment is careening between Vegas, Miami, Atlanta, and the Bahamas. And when the words are coming, it is an addiction. When the words aren’t coming, I get immersed in my life and find excuses not to look at the Word file taking up space on my netbook.

I’m working right now on the story arc, morphing a series of random events into a compelling story.  Because in fiction, it has to all tie together, it has to make sense, and it has to be compelling.  No one cares if a couple starts dating, decide to date exclusively, fall in love, get married, and live happily ever after with 2.2 kids, a dog and a cat.  There’s no drama.  There’s no story. But throw in some betrayal, missing corporate funds, and a sister who is somehow connected and now missing, and you’ve got something.  I hope.