Archive for the ‘One Shot’ Category

Things that keep writers up at night.

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

I go through a lot of revisions. Before even submitting a story to a publisher, it’s quite possible that I’ve combed through it at least ten times before sending it in. This does not include the rather complex system of beta readers I have, each with their specific purpose in vetting my story. Does the concept make sense? How are the characters? Does everyone remember to take their shoes off with the rest of their clothes during sex? Did I use that semicolon correctly?

Overkill. I know this.

Yet there are still errors.

My editors at all my publishing houses are excellent. They find stuff that no one before them found. They spot plot holes I hadn’t even considered. I may grumble and grouse about how they want me to butcher my work of art, but after the first few minutes I get over it because they’re usually right. I make those edits. I start to feel good. Comfortable, even.


Below are two short passages from two different novels. Non spoiler, but both containing pretty horrifying typos. Typos that were caught in the late stages of editing–in the case of Lone, the final pass before the manuscript was set to go to the printers.

From Lone:

He grinned and walked around to the side of the house, where an older man was shopping wood. He had the same Dirisio jet-black hair, with shocks of white at his temples.

Should have been:

He grinned and walked around to the side of the house, where an older man was chopping wood. He had the same Dirisio jet-black hair, with shocks of white at his temples.

From One Shot my upcoming novella:

Riley touched our noses together. “And, for the record, I don’t think you’re sexier than me.”

Should have been:

Riley touched our noses together. “And, for the record, I don’t think I’m sexier than you.”

Two TOTALLY different meanings there, gaw.

Now, let me just say that I like to think of myself as pretty good at catching my own mistakes. I know my beta readers rock, and my editors are amazing. Still, though it was no one’s fault, the above errors were a last minute catch, and every time something like that happens I ask myself compulsively “What if we hadn’t…?”

Which, of course, inevitably leads to “I wonder what else we didn’t…?”

And suddenly I’m staring up at my ceiling fan at four in the morning.

Part of being a writer is letting your cherished story go. For me, “letting go” means not looking at the book months (if not a full year) after it’s out there. Even now I suspect there’s a spelling error in Lone but I refuse to look. At this point there’s nothing I can do about it and who needs the stress?

By the time a story of mine goes to publication, I’m so sick at the mere mention of the title that my stomach twists. But eventually I always go back, read through it again. I can honestly say that even though I sometimes cringe at a turn of phrase or grammar error, I’ve never been ashamed of any of my stories. Now that I’ve gone through this process with five releases, it’s a comforting thought, despite my tendency to freak out.

So that’s one of the things that keeps me up at night. I’d wager I’m not the only writer out there who goes through it. As usual, there’s no real point to this post. Just thought I’d share that a part of me lives in a constant state of fear. 🙂

"One Shot" has a cover!

Friday, August 21st, 2009

The art was done by P.L. Nunn. 🙂

Click here to learn more about One Shot

Houseguests, anime, liquor, and…oh yeah. That writing thing I do.

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

One of my best friends is driving up on Monday and will be staying with me for two or three weeks, at which point I will be driving down with them to Florida and staying for roughly the same amount of time. Somewhere in there I’ll also be taking a side trip to Atlanta for Dragon*Con, where I fully intend to stalk Michael Biehn, who has the best death scenes ever. I assume the non-Dragon*Con days/nights (hell, probably a good percentage of those, too) will be filled with anime and liquor, because this is our way. We call it Drunken Anime Night, but it often spans a lot more than one night.

In the middle of this debauchery (hmm, is that the appropriate word? Yeah, let’s go with that), I’ll be receiving, working on, and returning the revisions for One Shot. It should be interesting since I’ve managed to bust up my wrist a bit, and I’m supposed to be going easy on the typing. You can see how well that’s working out. 🙂

At Dragon*Con, I’ll be breaking out the “Where’s Rowan?” hat, and it’ll be game on for hide-and-seek. Official rules will be posted later, but they’re similar to the previous set, which you can read here. One addition to the game is that I think I’ll be able to let everyone know my location in real time via my twitter account, so that should be fun.

Basically, the next six weeks or so will be the busiest I’ve had all year as I balance fun, work, and writing (which is a beautiful combination of both). Hopefully the Fates will be kind and gift me with more fun than work since I’d had it in my head to take a vacation in my last rambling. So Wish me luck! And caffeine!

Jennifer Crusie is a great writer. Crap.

Thursday, June 11th, 2009

One of the drawbacks of being a writer is that you’re never again able to read for the pure fun of it. No matter the book, a part of you will analyze sentence structure, character growth, plot development. Chances are pretty good that you’ll get sidetracked once or twice with how you would have turned that phrase or twisted that plot. Inevitably, you compare your writing skills to theirs and try to figure out how you measure up.

How much time you spend doing the above varies with the book. Some books you never really take off the writer’s hat.

But some books? Pure magic. You don’t notice the writing because you’re transported, and suddenly you’re honestly caring about the characters, laughing with them, getting angry on their behalves. Then suddenly you realize what’s happened and you flip back a couple of pages and attempt to figure out how they did that.

This usually results in massive writer’s envy, and yeah, I feel it. A lot.

The most recent book to turn me green (in a good way, as I happen to look fair to decent in green) is Jennifer Crusie’s Bet Me. Even though I don’t read a lot of M/F romance, I picked this one up after catching a recommendation for it at Jen’s Den.

My first reaction was that this was the most hilarious thing I’d read in ages.

My second was a liking for Minerva, one of the main characters, because she was an actuary and tended to break a lot of things down into stats. I had just finished the rough draft for One Shot, and my character Nick is a numbers guy, so I felt like he suddenly had a sister. Sort of. Okay not really.

Then came a few moments of uneasiness. What if Crusie’s numbers gal was more interesting than my numbers guy?

Note: While I fully realize that there is no comparing the two stories—different characters, different plots, different tones, different styles, different genres AND subgenres—this in no way alleviates the uneasiness. Such is the nature of writer’s envy.

And finally, because Bet Me IS such a great book, I slid right back into enjoyment. It had been a while since I read a story that made me laugh out loud. Even when you’re green, you gotta appreciate that.

So am I still a little insecure when I compare myself to Crusie? You bet. But that’s a good thing. If I thought I was the best, how the hell would I ever get better? The trick is to not let those insecurities freeze me up. I learn from other writers, but I don’t discount what’s enjoyable about MY writing. Also, I’ve learned to celebrate the good news when it comes my way.

For instance, One Shot being accepted by Loose Id.

Yep, that really happened. How cool am I? 😉

Blurb for "One Shot."

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

The rough draft of “One Shot” is currently stashed under my bed and shall remain there for the next few weeks. I torture my stories this way so that I can get some distance from them before I sit down to revise.

In the meantime, here’s a blurb for the story, originally posted on my newsletter ( on March 15th:

Nick Carlyle understands the intricacies of his job better than anyone. He lives to crunch those numbers and his skills are valued throughout the company. If his personal life might be lacking, he doesn’t notice, especially whenever he steals a harmless glance or two at Riley Jameson’s tight body.

When a universal flu shot is developed, it’s hailed as a miracle, and rightly so. But the seemingly harmless side-effects begin to change the world, warping the statistics that Nick’s always used to guide him through life.

No one changes as much as Riley. Suddenly the young man is bigger, stronger. He’s also aggressive in ways Nick isn’t prepared for, and for the first time analyzing the numbers does nothing to help the situation.

And if numbers can’t help him, what can?

The blurb’s also rough but… Do ya like it? 🙂

"One Shot" rough draft is finished!

Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

I just finished the rough draft of “One Shot,” a muscle growth office romance story. It’s still got a lot of work ahead for it (ah, revisions), and I have to write a snazzy blurb, but I’m wicked happy right now. 🙂

Happy Dance.