Thursday, February 16, 2012

Writing Update: Writing, Rewrites, or Revision....

Just thought I’d do a little writing update here at the ol’ blog….

First of all, I’m pleased to announce that my second contemporary romance is coming to the end of its major rewrite. Proof that I work better with a deadline. At the end of January, I decided that I wanted to start writing my next western romance trilogy on March 1st. As I only have another 15,000 words to complete my rewrite, I’d say I’m right on schedule.
The muse and I so far have been working surprisingly well in 2012. Part of our dual New Year’s resolution…to work better together. Partly because of eye problems, I didn’t get near as much writing or reading done in 2011. In December, though, my eyeglass prescription was updated finally so now I have no excuse not to do either. Being able to see the words on the page definitely helps with the falling back in love with my two favorite things. I don’t know about you, Cozies – but I’m just not me unless I’m reading and writing daily. So far, so good!

This rewriting business has been tough. My five-part contemporary series needed a major facelift. I completed the first rewrite this past summer and I started on this one just before NaNo. I’ve come to think of rewriting as somewhat of a rut between writing and revision. Writing is a race – it’s a fast-paced fresh start with new and exciting material and territory I haven’t charted before. Revision is the kind of walking you do when sightseeing. Stoping and going and sometimes backtracking. Rewriting is a bit of a power-walk. Not quite as exciting as the full-out run-a-thon of fresh writing, but not as slow-paced as the walking/revision process. In fact, I don’t think revision has much of a pace at all and comes with a much bigger case of the winter doldrums than rewriting.

Also since these rewrites are part of a bigger series that takes place in my hometown here on the Gulf Coast, they have a colorful cast of recurring characters. When beginning the first rewrite, I was told that the first draft of secondary characters seemed too perfect. They didn’t have any problems of their own. They were just there to support the main characters. While that’s okay, even recommended, giving them problems of their own without outshining the main characters’ dilemmas can be a real tool when propelling your plot forward because it creates more outer conflict…and in the case of this particular cast of characters, some knee-slapping situations. I love the characters of this series! Maybe because I’ve learned a few great tips from some of my favorites authors. Two of my favorite paranormal series have one important thing in common: recurring characters who never stop growing. It’s one thing to give characters a HEA at the end of their book. But to keep those characters evolving over the course of the entire series along with everyone else makes them more believable and helps me, as a reader, connect to them more closely. We’ve all heard that “happy ever after” is just the beginning. It’s nice to see authors who take that to heart because, by acquiring more growth, they never grow stale. This is something I’ve taken into consideration during the writing of this series. In time, I hope it resonates for readers as much as it does for me.

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