Sunday, July 29, 2007

Re-thinking Contests

Although I've given up on contests for my time travel Civil War romance, Erin's Rebel, I'm thinking of entering my new Civil War romance, Katie Rose, into a few contests.

I'm still writing the first draft, but since getting a request for the full of Erin's Rebel, I'd withdrawn that story from my critique group chapter submissions and substituted the opening chapters of Katie Rose.

Since those opening chapters are now all polished up, I thought a contest or two for first chapter or first 25 or 30 pages would work well. I even have a synopsis already written for this story if one is required.

Maybe this book, a straight historical, will do better than the time travel. Although I won a few contests with it, I found that as time went on, I was almost winning, almost a finalist. But I can't put 'almost' on my website or use that as publicity, so once the full manuscript was requested by a publisher, I stopped entering it in contests.

With this new story, I may fare better because it is a straight historical. The problem with the time travel was, if I entered it in the historical category, I always got one judge who had an issue with the modern day opening and the time travel element. If I entered it as a paranormal, I'd get at least one judge who hated the Civil War period for a romance setting.

So, as a straight historical, I might not run into these issues. Of course, I can always get a judge who just hates my story. But, I think I'll give it a try for at least one contest and see how it does.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Writing As Therapy

My husband and I recently had a medical scare concerning the health of our 22 year-old son. While waiting to hear back from the doctor, the last thing I felt like doing was working on my book.

I decided to type the last few pages I'd written the day before into my file. That got me back into the story and I sat down and wrote three new pages, my daily quota.

Afterward, I felt much better and optimistic, like a weight had lifted off me.

Turns out, the medical scare wasn't as bad as we'd thought. Although he does have a health problem, it isn't all that bad.

Relieved, I again didn't feel like writing. So, what did I do?

I wrote anyway and felt wonderful afterward. Seems writing is the best therapy in the world.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Getting Back Into Katie Rose

I finally wrote 2 new pages for my Civil War romance Katie Rose.

I didn't stop because I was stuck in the middle, it was because I just had too many others constraints on my time to work on it, although I have been revising earlier chapters for my critique group.

But these were the first brand new pages I'd written for this book in about a month's time. The main reason it took so long was because I was away from the story for awhile and had forgotten where I'd left off. I needed to go back over the earlier chapters to get my enthusiasm for the characters back.

I started by revising chapter 6, the last chapter my critique partners had gone over. Then I revised chapters 7 & 8 to get them ready for critiquing. I won't subject my critique partners to first draft material.

I then went through the remaining chapters, two per day, revising as I went. Yesterday, I finally made it to the last chapter I'd been writing. After revising those last pages, I wrote two brand new ones.

Now, I'm ready to forge ahead. It feels really good.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Expanding My Writing Horizons

While I'm still actively working on my newest Civil War romance, Katie Rose, I've decided to try revising a short story I wrote about four years ago and stuck in a drawer.

This was a vampire tale set during the Civil War that I originally wrote for Dreams of Decadence magazine. The magazine accepts all types of vampire fiction. The only thing they ask for is originality. What could be more original than a vampire in a Civil War camp?

So, I wrote the story, polished it up, sent it to them and got it back unread. Seemed the magazine was overstocked and they weren't reading any more material. Since I'd geared the story for that particular magazine, I wasn't sure what to do with it. I decided to try a few more magazines, but none of them were interested in vampire fiction. So, into the drawer it went.

I actually forgot about it, until I recently took an online workshop with Dawn Thompson, one of my favorite romance authors. The workshop was on writing paranormal romance. I took the course because I was polishing up my time travel romance and wanted to see if Dawn thought it was on track. I had just recently read her latest, which was a time travel and it was great.

The beginning of the workshop focused on paranormal creatures, though. And there weren't any of those in my time travel. I love to participate in homework assignments, but what could I send for that portion of the workshop?

I immediately remembered my vampire story and fished it out. It needed a lot of revision. After all, it had been four years since I'd written it. I revised a couple of scenes and sent them in as homework. Dawn loved my characters and encouraged me to submit the story somewhere.

I wasn't sure where to send it, though. Maybe when I finished Katie Rose, I could expand it into a novel.

In the meantime, I put it back in the drawer.

But I've been investigating the Wild Rose Press. They accept short stories and have a line called Black Rose for vampire romances. So, now I'm revising the short story and maybe I'll submit it to them. Who knows, it's worth a shot.

Better than having my story languish in my drawer.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Easing My Way Back In

I finally got caught up with my outside work and had time to work on my own book. I started by revising the last chapter my critique group went over, then self-revised the next two chapters and got them ready for my critique group to read.

I'm going to try to spend at least an hour each day on my book to get me back into the story, so I can start to move forward on it again.

I've been away from the story so long, I forget what happens in the succeeding first draft chapters. My plan for this month is to reaquaint myself with my story and characters and write as many new pages as I can.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Getting Back Into the Swing

The big holiday is over, I'm nearly caught up with my manuscript typing obligations--just some proofreading to do--and I plan to dive back into my writing.

It won't be easy getting back into the swing of things. Habit has a lot to do with my writing and blogging schedule. I first have to evaluate what I did accomplish with my writing last month and what I still have left to do.

I want to start by revising the latest chapter my critique group went over. We're taking this month off from critiquing, so this will give me more time to work on my own manuscript.

Progress report upcoming.