Saturday, October 10, 2009


Status:page 160

Hey, everyone, how are you on this chilly October morning? Have you had a chance to enjoy the harvest moon that's been keeping night owls company this week? I love this time of year. Spring and fall are the seasons of transitions and are my favorite. It is a proven fact that winter and summer, while occupying the same calendar space as spring and fall, are actually three times longer! No, really. You pay attention, you'll see.

I have not plowed through dozens of pages. I've advanced a mere 20 but that's okay as I reached a part of the synopsis that was fuzzy to say the least. Figured a few things out and for today, at least, know where I'm going and kind of how to get there. I anticipate ten pages today, and then there's more fuzziness to figure out. And so it goes. But I am in the second half of the book now and I think I have recognized a pattern. First three chapters tend to roll along with much enthusiasm as the plot unfolds and the proposal is readied for for editor acceptance. Then come the pages of the second quadrant and things begin to get tricky, pacing is inevitably a problem. Now I'm in the third quadrant and this is a time where the end is being set up, where facts are being discovered and the mystery expanded. It's tough going, too, but it's a little smoother for me. Lastly, will come the conclusion and the book I thought I would never get written suddenly is too long and need editing. Happens every time.

New goal -- I'd like to see page 200 by next weekend. Your turn.


Genene Valleau said...

Hey, Alice! I also love fall and spring. Although this year I'm feeling the urgency to keep moving on house and yard projects before we get lots of rain. So I have to remind myself to enjoy these beautiful days we've been having.

Sounds like you're making good progress. Knowing where you're going with a story is a huge step forward.

That's kind of what I did this week. Though I fell short of my goal of 45 scene sheets (only completed 8 this past week), I've got a couple big things going on my nine-book series.

--I went back to construct a master calendar that is going to be vital in keeping dates and events on track for my series.

--I hit an aha! moment that will make the series stronger and deepen the conflict. In addition to the internal and external conflict between the characters, each book will have a major revelation that will shake up the entire family, and result in disagreements and character growth. This revelation will seem to be resolved by the end of each book, but will play a role in what happens in books that follow.

So hooray! I'm pleased with my progress. I also got all my storyboards on one wall rather than scattered around the room. So that will help keep me focused and moving forward.

For next week, my goal is to revamp the scene sheets for the first book as I edit to make full use of the major revelation. I'll also keep the master calendar up to date as I do this. Then it's back to the scene sheets for book two!

Paty Jager said...

Hi Alice and all, I'm waving from Bellevue WA and Emerald City conference.

I skipped a workshop right now to get some quiet in the room before I head to the book signing. Tomorrow at 10 is my workshop.

I plan to blog on Monday about what I've gleaned and my finally stepping outside my comfort zone and actually approaching agents and editors in the hallways- Huge step for me! Wish it had garnered me better news.

Last weekend I finished the Christmas Story and went to work on the edits for DIP. Only the Christmas story bugged me- there was way more story than I wrote so I told the editor I was out of the anthology because I wanted to make the Christmas story a full length story. So I have 27,000 words that I hope to expand to either a harlequin historical length or 80-90,000 for other avenues.

This next week I plan to finish the edits on DIP and then start on the edits for Spirit.

Alice Sharpe said...

Genene -- great news on making progress. I often think about the logistics of writing a book. Taking two days to write a chapter, making ten chapters that gives you twenty days to write a book (a short one like mine, anyway). Toss in a completely free day and you have three weeks from start to finish.

But it doesn't work like that. It's start and go and change and rethink and add and figure out and hit your head on the keyboard -- those three weeks of writing time turn into three months of actual time.

That's wonderful about your aha! moment. Love those.

Alice Sharpe said...

Paty -- I forgot the conference was this weekend. Hope you're having a fantastic time and that your talk tomorrow goes well (though I have no doubts it will.)

How exciting that you're thinking in terms of HQ historicals. Consider appropriate digits crossed and good wishes winging your way. Can't wait to read your blog and hear about the new confident you and what you mean about wishing there was better news.

Drive carefully.

Elisabeth Naughton said...

Alice, you passed me!!!!

I haven't written a word all week. So much for my "working vacation". LOL. I have figured some things out about the book though, so hopefully when I get back I can make up what I lost by not working this week.

I DID get some reading done though, including Alice's new release - AGENT DADDY - which was fabulous! I really loved it. :)

Today is the DH's birthday so we're heading out to dinner in a bit (after I take the kids to the pool and let them swim some). It's been rainy and cloudy here all day, so our morning at the beach was ruined. :( But it's still warm so no one's really complaining. I just got back from shopping with the kids...they had money burning holes in their pockets all week long...and I'm exhausted.

One more day here in paradise, then we head home on Monday. Can't wait to see you all next week at the meeting

Alice Sharpe said...

Eli -- I am so glad you have been enjoying your vacation. Why fly all the way there and sit in a hotel room typing? Good for you.

Thanks for the nice words about Agent Daddy!

Have a great last day.

Deborah Wright said...

I think a wrote maybe a page this week. But! I did finish putting together my presentation for the meeting this week. And I've got quite a few example websites lined up. I'm not sure my presentation is going to be exactly what people are expecting, but I hope it's still useful.

Going out on a limb and sticking to my "page a day" goal for the week.

Alice Sharpe said...

Debbie -- If I worked a full time job or was raising small children, I would be thrilled to making any advances. It always leaves me in awe as I can barely manage the requirements of having neither. Good going!

Bethany Gabbert said...

I made tiny amounts of progress in plotting--I get closer to my characters each day even if there isn't a whole lot of writing being done.

I entered the Linda Howard Contest this weekend b/c I saw that they were low on YA entries and b/c it made me feel good to get something out the door, but it also made me more determined to get something NEW to get out the door.

Slightly down to tonight and morose about not making much progress. This week is looking busy for me, but I'm going to continue to work on plotting. d

Alice Sharpe said...

Bethany -- Hang in there. You are working on something new, it's in your head and on your mind and when the opportunity presents itself, you'll be off like a rocket.