Writing Again

I’ve fallen off the writing cart, been frightened of what I might find when I climbed back on, but climbed back on I did. I’m happy to announce that I am writing again and feeling oh so good about what I’m producing. The novel that has sat dormant is now once again being worked on. As you can see, I’m not editing myself as a I write. I just want to get the story down and get it finished so I can turn back around and revise it to make it stronger.

It is amazing that once again my characters have come to life are speaking to me, to each other and the conversations flow. Other characters have popped in and are demanding attention, no matter, how brief.

I feel good about what I’m writing. It feels so good to write again.

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Straining to Write

I’m straining to write 1,000 words a day now. I feel as if I’ve lost my edge and my focus for my novel. I’m at 59,0o0 words. It took me four days to write 1,000 words. I feel my writing is flat and that I’m just going through the motions (if that since it took me four days to get to 1,000 words). f

I wrote an outline, but now that I’ve used most of my outline and still not to 70,000 words, I feel like I cannot draw this novel out to 70,000 words. So where do I end it? It feels unendable. Or maybe I should say unwritable now. I mean how many times can the hero ask the herone to marry him only to be turned down in a romance?

Wore Myself Out

I wore myself out tonight at the gym, a gym I had just joined. I rode the stationary bike for 30 minutes. My legs felt like rubber. I did have a luxurious shower afterward, which made all the effort worth it.

Now here’s my dilemma (oh good Lord I hope that’s the right spelling of that word). I usually write 1,000 words a day. Tonight I just don’t feel like it. I’m pooped and need to go to bed. Maybe I can write 2,000 words tomorrow to make up for it. I forgive myself now let’s go to bed.

A Small Book

Sunday, March 13, 2016, I wrote another 1,000 words which brought me to a grand total of 50,212 words, which is a small book. I’m now officially out of novellaland and into book world. I made it yeah!!

Writing 1,000 words a day, even on days that I don’t feel like it, has helped me get this far. From December 30th when I started writing to now I’m very proud of the work I have done. I started officially making myself write 1,000 words a day back in February 21 to be exact. Look at how much closer to the 70,000 mark I could have been had I only started forcing myself to sit down and write 1,000 words each and every day when I started. My 70,000 word novel would have been done as of today. As it is, I have another 20 or so days to go on it before I have a working first draft.

Harlequin Love Inspired Historical line requires a word count of between 70,000-75,000. So if I stop at 70,000, I should be able to get the revision up into the 75,000 word range. Actually I think that even if I stop at the 60,000-65,000 range I’ll be able to get the book to 75,000 words.

Just wanted to share a bit of good news and go back to bed. It’s 3 a.m. here.

Writer: Get to the Point

I was just reading a post by a writer who shall remain nameless. It was a really good post full of descriptions and details. Ah the details. I found myself looking at my internal watch thinking “would you please get to the point”. It’s not that I don’t enjoy details when reading…no, that’s not it. Please leave me room to come up with my own ideas about the details of your writing.

My reasoning for coming off impatient with so much detail can be summed up in that I am an impatient person. I want people to get to the point and stay there not ramble on and on about the details. I’m this way with my own writing, which makes me wonder if I’m leaving out too much detail in the first draft of the novel I’m writing. I keep telling myself to get to the point and hurry up and write 1,000 words already so I can move on to other parts of my life–whether those other parts are important or not is left for me to decide. Okay, most of them are not that important. On a good day, it takes me about 1 hour to come up with 1,000 words for my novel. On a bad day…let’s just say it takes me about 2 hours for that same 1,000 words and that may be a day, during the editing process, that will need to be scraped because it may be pointless to the plot. Hmm, I’m not really willing to admit that it may need to be scraped. Surely there is some work on days like that that can be saved if reworked. Okay, I like that suggestion better. I’ll stick with it.

Oh Good Lord here I am rambling on and on and not taking my own advice to get to the point. Does anyone else out there struggle with getting to the point in their writing?

Thank you for reading and commenting.

New Year’s Resolution Achieved

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions easily. I’m better at breaking them. This year I made one December 30th to write more. There was a novel swimming around in my head that I wanted to write. So December 30th I started writing it. I didn’t keep track of how many words I was writing on a daily basis or even if I was writing at all until sometime in February. Once I started keeping track on a little purse-size calendar on the wall by my lazy chair and rolling table from which I write I began to look forward to writing. Now that I challenge myself to write 1,000 words everyday I find writing easier since I’ve broken it down into 1,000 word chunks.

So far I’ve written just over 43,000 words, which achieved my goal to write more. Last year I wrote a 41,000 word novella so anything beyond that is good. Since I’m focusing on writing Inspirational historical romances for Harlequin my word count needs to be 70,000-75,000 words. I do have enough material to get me there (hopefully). And with that and another 1,000 words written (not here, but today), I’m going to bed.

Love Inspired Historical Romance Formating

These are the guidelines for submitting to this Harlequin contest:
FORMATTING GUIDELINES


Not sure how to set up your documents for Love Inspired Historical to submit them in the Manuscript Matchmakers pitch session? Not a problem! Here’s a cheat-sheet for how to set up every entry.

**Please Note: We will review only one entry per author**

Stage 1: Proper Introductions
Submission: Matchmaker card and manuscript first page


The Document
• Page 1 is the “matchmaking card” for your story. This includes the Targeted Team (Amish, Mail Order Bride, Babies/Children, Reunion Romance, Cowboy/Rancher, Marriage of Convenience, Choose Your Own Hook, or Pony Express); your name; your book title; your story’s setting and time period; the hooks; the conflict; and a one-sentence pitch. Please list this information bullet-point style. If you want an example to follow, check out Giselle’s blog post with tips on how to write your Matchmaker card. She includes examples from current LIH books.
• The matchmaking card information is not intended to take up the full page. It’s fine if half of the page is blank. Please start the manuscript at the top of the next page.
• Page 2 is the first page of your manuscript. Usually new chapters start about half way down the page, but that’s not what we’re looking for here. We want a full page, beginning at the very top to really give us a feel for your voice. Check your word count—unless your story starts with a lot of short sentence dialogue, aim for at least 250 words on your page.
• Use Times New Roman, 12 point type, and always, always double-space. Check your margins to ensure they’re an inch in each direction.
• Make sure the document has a header with your name, your pen name (if it’s different), the page number, and the working title of your manuscript. This needs to appear on every page.
• Please use Microsoft Word and save the two-page file as a .doc or .docx. We will not be able to accept entries that are not in these formats.
The Email
• The subject line should read “Stage 1,” followed by the title of your manuscript, then your name. So it might read “Stage 1 – Doorstep Delivery by Jane Smith”.
• In the body of the email, please include your name and your contact information. Also copy and paste the matchmaking card information into the body of your email.
• Do not paste your first page into the body of the email. Include the card and the page as a separate attachment. (To clarify, your matchmaking card should go in two places—in the body of the email and as page one of the attached document. The first page of your manuscript should only go in the document.)
• Make sure to send your email by 5:00 PM EST on March 2.

Stage 2: The Courtship
Submission: Synopsis and first three chapters


The Document
• The synopsis and chapters should be in one document, with the synopsis first. A synopsis should run about 3-5 pages, following the previous guidelines in terms of font, margins, spacing, and document type.
• Don’t forget the header with your name, your pen name (if it’s different), the page number, and the working title of your manuscript. Please do not use a different title than you did in Stage 1, even if you’ve come up with a better title since then. Whatever title you use at the beginning needs to stay consistent throughout. Ditto with your pen name.
• The first three chapters will follow after the synopsis. Try to make each chapter at least ten pages long. If your chapters are running shorter than that, see if you can combine some of them.
• The overall proposal (synopsis + chapters) should run about 50 pages.
The Email
• Please include your team name in the subject line so that it follows the format “Stage 2 – Babies/Children – Doorstep Delivery by Jane Smith”.
• Please include your contact info in the body of the email, attach your proposal, and submit your entry by 5:00 PM EST on April 6.

Stage 3: Betrothal
Submission: Full manuscript


The Document
• The completed manuscript must be as close as you can get it to 70,000 words. If you’re over or under by a thousand words or so, then that’s not a problem. If you’re over or under by 5,000 or 10,000 words then that’s a bigger concern. Keep a close eye on word count as you write the story. Continue to follow previous guidelines in terms of font, margins, spacing, document type and header information.
The Email
• The subject line should follow the format “Stage 3 – Babies/Children – Doorstep Delivery by Jane Smith”.
• Please include your contact info in the body of the email, attach the file with your complete manuscript, and submit your entry by 5:00 PM EST on July 15.