27 March 2009

The Curse of the Character with the Changing Name

I've just received a pdf of Bought: One Damsel in Distress with line numbers for me to make any last minute corrections, which is thrilling but kind of scary.

The last time I read the story, about a week after I'd sent the revisions to my editor, I noticed that my heroine's sister, Anna, briefly becomes an Alice. Oops. Schoolgirl error. (Cue absolute horror and cold sweat and the conviction that they'd whip the contract back.) But then I reckoned that someone more eagle-eyed than me would pick this up while cutting dialogue and removing any madey-uppy words. However, Alice is still there and I'm wondering what else is lurking. Yikes. I'd better go and find a fine-toothed comb.

26 March 2009

Where did the week go?

I can't believe it's been a week since I last posted. Where's the time gone??? Not lost in the depths of creativity, that's for sure. I got bored with rewriting the same scene over and over again, so have plumped for writing a string of standalone scenes in the hope that I can link them together later. As someone once wisely said, you can't edit a blank page. On the other hand you can't have a decreasing word count with a blank page.

The thing is, I'm not really that into my characters and the plot hinges on complications that I haven't even begun to work out. I realise (hope) this will pass. I've been looking over the drafts of my last book, and the end result was nothing like the earlier versions. But I can't help wanting this one to be perfect first time. Hmm, I guess there's nothing for it but to plough on through.

19 March 2009


I'm rewriting. The word count on my wip is going down, the word count on my 'text dump' file is going up. But at least I've found something pretty to keep the inspiration flowing.

[image deleted]

Eddie Cibrian

17 March 2009

It's all going pear-shaped

Book 2 is a total mess. I have scenes that go nowhere, dialogue that is cringeworthy and misbehaving characters. The only thing that is doing what it should is the wildlife.

Take my heroine, for example. She's sworn off men for, like, ever. So what does she spend most of Chapter One doing? Flirting with the hero and agreeing to have a drink with him. Aaagghh. Why she'd want to do this when he's being such a sap, is beyond me. I need to totally rewrite, which means I might as well scythe through the rest. Oh, happy days.

With any luck and if this is anything like the last book, the tortuous first half will morph into a far easier second half. Here's hoping. Does anyone else head off in totally the wrong direction and blindly keep going, or is it just me???

16 March 2009

Being brave

At the weekend, I wrote a scene involving my hero and heroine, a stoned party guest, a flamingo and a canape. I think this might have to change. If Mills & Boon don't approve of characters who smoke then I can't imagine they'd allow a character (however minor) who's high on cocaine. It would be a shame as the scene is quite revealing, but I suspect the drug thing, although entirely relevant, may be a bit too edgy. Any thoughts?

10 March 2009


I'd like to be able to say I've spent the past five or so days tucked away writing like a demon, but no. Instead, I've been playing hookey and having a lovely time visiting family in the UK. Total words written since Wednesday? Umm...zero. However, I did have a couple of lightbulb moments about the current wip and I did meet a genuine utterly-charming-and-not-at-all-ruthless Greek tycoon.

But unfortunately I find writing is like exercise: the longer the break, the harder it is to get back into the habit. This requires self-discipline. Will power. Determination. Just sitting down, turning off the phone and getting on with it. Hmmmm. Tomorrow. I shall start again tomorrow.

03 March 2009

(No) method in the madness

I'm 13k words into my new book. My heroine's just announced she's half Dutch (which came as something of a surprise) and my hero's been chopping logs without feeling the need for a shirt. It's messy, disorganised, grammatically horrible, disjointed and unexpectedly features flamingoes (although happily, the foray to Scotland stays). But hey, that's what a first draft is for, right?

However, I know from experience that I can't finish the whole thing before going back to tidy up. I have to edit as I go along in order to move forward, and an edit is long overdue. But is there anything more demotivating than a decreasing (and it would be decreasing) wordcount? Ho, hum...maybe when I get to 20k...

Obviously this means I've been procrastinating. Single line spacing or double line spacing? Big margins or little margins? One document or lots of little ones? Music or silence? A glass of wine or a bottle? How do you write?