You know you’re a writer when…

September 21, 2009

#1 …you take a vacation and find yourself taking notes and dreaming about paragraphs.

Since I finished those hardcore edits, I treated myself to a trip out to Atlanta to see the Aquarium on Saturday and visit Japanfest on Sunday. It was supposed to be a relaxing, writing-free weekend with the boyfriend (who occasionally gets neglected in favor of the keyboard ^^; ).

Then I ran across electric eels…. HMM, note to self, go home and research how their electricity works in order to make sure that Analee’s ability is fleshed out. I’m sure I researched that back when I first gave her the lightning but just in case. Then I found some adorable garden eels that absolutely must make an appearance in Deep Within. I can see Bones playing among them šŸ˜‰

Then at Japanfest we got to see a demo of Paro, the therapeutic robot seal and I can’t help but branch off from that into the robots of the future in Sierra’s unnamed story (oy, I need a title because I don’t think her name is even going to be Sierra)

#2…. (added after a long day) you’re so engrossed in writing that you forget to eat. Again. ‘Just one more word…’


Letting go of the Prologue

September 14, 2009

In the Breakout Novel Workbook, Maass mentions that a prologue or flashfoward at the start is a red flag that the author doesn’t have confidence in their first chapter. My first chapter has had the worst growing pains. I always had problems with it and everyone who read it had problems with it. So I wrote up a prologue that starts with Nighthawk (the guy who seems to be almost everyone’s favorite šŸ˜‰ ). And I know it was because I wasn’t confident in my first chapter.

But I was feeling good about some changes I made recently so coming to the critique meeting was awesome — to hear those specific changes pointed out as A+ and that it was really hard to find anything to critique. What helps more is that we found a solution to something that has been bugging me and it solves a few problems I didn’t even notice in addition to that! With that in place, I feel that not only is the prologue unnecessary but its a hindrance. It’s getting in the way of starting the story with the main character, it’s getting in the way chronologically, and reveals too much too soon.

Proud moment šŸ˜€

Query dreams, the end is nigh, dreaming big, writing workshops, where are they?

September 7, 2009

By the time I post this, I will have finished my hardcore edits. I HOPE D:! Below you shall be blessed with my unique brand of procrastinating from writing: …more writing….(and more, and more…)


haha usually I’m dedicated, but not THAT dedicated… crampytime tends to be the only time I tear myself away from the computer to do something like play video games (Bioshock, incidentally, is very well written) or watch a movie.

but today the writing MUST GO ON!

besides, Jennifer just got back from the hospital and wrote us all a huge long email…..if she can do it post-surgury then I have no excuses ._.

Onward and upward….!

I live by a few phrases:
You make your own happiness
Do unto others as you would want done unto you
Hope for the best but prepare for the worst

Given the last one, I’m currently in a safe zone with my writing. Near enough to the end and experienced enough to know I’ll finish the novel and I’m damn proud of my writing. As I hardcore edit the last few pages and then do my last read through, I’m taking a self-indulgent moment to day dream that querying will be magic. That (haha!) every agent will request my full – I can hear myself screaming and sure hope it’s not something I find out at work. I imagine them calling me because they adore it and we chat over my WIPs which they also love, I must struggle valiently to pick the agent that meshes best with me. I can’t help but casually mention ‘Why yes, I DO have an agent’ to a few choice people who I might fling a few other choice words in the face of. From there I’ll immediately get a wonderful publishing contract with such a large advance that I can walk into the bubble tea place (uh, that no longer exists ): ) and treat everyone in there to tea, that writing will become my career, the book will be in stores from small to huge, that I’ll couch surf around America doing a tour and stop by critique groups, I’ll set up writing workshops (there aren’t nearly enough out there), attend conventions, do interviews that reveal parts I loved but had to cut, and write write write write~!! Fabulous!

Right now I have the opportunity to indulge myself but when I start querying that’s when I go into ‘prepare for the worst’ mode which means I cut myself down, expect nothing so I can let rejections roll off my back and so if/when I get request(s) it’ll be a pleasant surprise. And all the while working my ass off on the next book as preperation for ‘the worst’ which would be no representation (yet).

This mentality serves me well. It’ll be my second time querying (previously the book was too long and the query didn’t have enough personality) and last time the rejections honestly didn’t bother me. I don’t go through the rollercoaster writer’s talk about. It is what it is. I actually was working on Deep Within and thinking that Lightning Spliced had unpublishable qualities–Karen and a few other fantastic beta readers kicked my butt in gear, got me to edit out parts I used to think were essential. It was like shining the rough till it becomes a diamond (is that too cliche?) I’m confident in my novel, if agents can’t see that it’s great then I’ll just keep writing and eventually one of my novels will strike someone’s fancy šŸ™‚

As I write this, I wonder if an agent will google my name from my query and judge me on it. Do I sound too blase? Do I look lazy because I didn’t look up how to add the accent on blase? Do I look crazy because I wrote a sentence to explain the lack of accent when it would have taken less time to look up the accent? Do my questions make me appear self-concious, does my questioning my questions damage my image of confidence? Does my assumption of confidence smack of egotism? etc etc etc

I don’t know. I like to think I’d fit well with an agent with understands Web 2.0, that the draw of social media isn’t just the presense but the depth….personality shines not in the perfection of a Hollywood commercial but in our flaws. Not that we shouldn’t be polite and put on our best face but we shouldn’t neuter ourselves in the process. Everyone can relate to flaws but who can relate to being perfect? Haha but since no one is perfect and since beggers can’t be chosers, I’d be happy to land a reputable agent who is happy to represent my work šŸ˜‰ everything else is just details.

I got really excited for a day because there’s a writer convention going on in DC around the time I’ll be up there………but I was wondering why I’d never heard of any of the guests. Well, looking closer it’s a short story focused convention šŸ˜› I HATE SHORT STORIES. I know it’d be good for my career and good structural practice to write some but damnit I can’t stand reading them let alone writing them. They’re all so freaking high concept but I want vivid characters. If they do have those, I feel cheated because the stories are over so fast but I want to spend a series with a good character.

A rare symbolic and writing related dream:

I was on a metal stair case much like the one in MGS near the Hind and also much like the staircase in GAMA leading to the roof at the end of the novel. There was a light on where I entered the staircase (which was about halfway up the building), I ran up a bunch of flights, ran down a bunch of flights, back and forth, kept coming back to the place with the light on, couldn’t find anywhere else with the light on. It’s hope for my query, the light is that there’s one line that almost everyone liked… but I can’t seem to hammer down any of the other lines šŸ˜›

Hmmm April Rain by Delain sounds like April THUNDER OF DOOM. <3metal.

I have an addiction to describing eyes. I'm really enjoying Zcythe's right now. Originally she had purple contacts. I like purple but how ordinary for contacts….so I searched special effects and came up wiith BIOHAZARD contacts. They glow in UV light! I hate yellow so I don't use it much, but what a great use for it.

Hardcore edits have finished, Query Hell round #666 will commence tomorrow. Thankfully is up after major construction time over Labor Day weekend.

Yes, I’m a Writer

September 3, 2009

…I’m having one of those moments were I realize, I’m a Writer. Not just a dreamer. I’m throwing my life into this and I love it. I may not get “Lightning Spliced” published, I know it’s rare to get a first book out there, but I’m working my ass off to make sure it does. And if not, the second draft of Deep Within is looking beautiful and the brainstorming for Sierra’s story is glowing like a supernova. One day this will be my career even if I have to work part time at another job to support my travel addiction šŸ˜‰ It’s there. I’m in.

I’m Zellie, I should understand the power of names–how many do I go by? ^_~ But after how many years, it’s not until now that I’ve changed LS’s MC from Amy to Analee. It’s a transformation. Suddenly everything I held against her fades away and I see her as someone real. I realize that losing perfection is not a tragedy because it’s not real enough (duh). I’m 19 pages from the end of my hardcore edits before I do my last read through.

I just read a note to myself about Zcythe’s last scene. “Oh wow, that’s brilliant! I don’t even remember writing that!” ā¤ great moments when I can compliment myself.


The above was written about 1:30pm

It is now 5pm


Writing Effectively

August 13, 2009

30 pages left to edit of The Resistance! (lul, before I do a read through from start to finish, anyway šŸ˜› SIGH)

So close and yet so far! I’ve busted ass over Nighthawk’s battle with Gandon so I doubt much of that will change (THEN AGAIN…)

I always loved Jack’s meeting with Maria. The writing has changed dramatically over the years. Like today. I literally deleted the chapter and rewrote it, keeping only the best lines from the previous versions (of which there were like, three) But despite that, the soul remains the same. That’s what learning how to write is about–not learning how to change your ideas into sell-out formulas, but learning how to most effectively get the heart of your story across to your readers. CRITIQUE MEETING TONIGHT AT THE BUBBLE TEA PLACE WHOOO WHOOO

Doh! moments

July 21, 2009

….of all the times I’ve read the threat Nighthawk carves on the outside of Gandon’s basement…. of all the times people have critiqued and said the wording was confusing….. none of us picked up on the fact that he’s BLIND. HE DOESN’T KNOW HOW TO WRITE šŸ˜›


I’m doing an adverb / passive voice scan and today I LOVE my novel. Days like that can be rare when editing.

I’ve also found a pen in my glass of milk.

So I may just be crazy.

Once upon a time (again)

June 4, 2009

I’ve started several writing-themed blogs over the years but I always seem to revert back to posting in my super secret diary.Ā  But I love reading Works in Progress so I feel like I ought to contribute my own.Ā  Here I am again.Ā  This time, I’m combining my writing blog and adventure blog.Ā  Writing is totally an adventure (and also I don’t get to dance around the world on a daily basis T_T)

My current status is:Ā  I hate twitter.

Okay, I don’t hate it.Ā  It’s useful and probably great for honing my query skills but I want depth when I read something, I want MEAT.Ā  I want a full course meal, none of this snacky stuff on the side.


I’ve got seven betas helping me with The Resistance aka Judgment aka Lightning Spliced.Ā  Either I’m very smart or very masochistic.
I’ve got two very, very brave betas reading the rough draft of The Deep Within.

Due to the economy collapsing around us, the Grooming Business book is being put on hold.

I’m brainstorming aka daydreaming a delicious urban fantasy set in Savannah. Because Savannah is delicious. Ā  Untitled but the main character’s name is Sierra.Ā  Maybe.

I’m beta-ing four stories and a chapter here and there of four others.

And I’m teaching myself Japanese.