Monday, January 30, 2012

Books as Movies

Yesterday my friend and I went to the movies (had to check out the new theater with the reclining leather seats!), where we saw One for the Money (based on the book by Janet Evanovich).

The book was a great, action packed, fun read, and I loved it, but was heading into the movie concerned they wouldn't do the book justice.   I have to say I was pleased with what they did (my friend who hadn't read the book loved it, and I sent the book home with her to read).  While I still think the book was better (they almost always are!), they did a good job with it, and the casting was excellent.

In addition, I was able to see the trailer for Hunger Games (just read the books over Christmas), and was impressed with what I saw (not sure if I'll go to the theater for it, though-- I really do prefer to watch in the comfort of home, although the reclining seats were nice. It felt odd to be in them in the theater, though).

 Have you seen any good movies based on books you loved?  Any special movies you are looking forward to seeing?  Share below!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

How Do I Edit? Let Me Count the Ways!

Editing.  For some this conjures up thoughts of pulling out hair, others rub their hands in anticipation as this is where the real work is done.

I have a tendancy to underwrite on my first draft, which can be a good thing, but there are times it leaves me quite frustated when trying to make a word count.(I'm still about 1700 words short of 50,000 for my surrent WIP).  So, my editing usually isn't only about looking for the words I overuse, but also fleshing out the scenes with description and dialogue tags.

To give you an idea of my process, here is what I did this week with QUEST:

I read through from the beginning, keeping an eye out for typos and letter reversals (from/form- things like that) pulling out any unnecessary "that" (I never knew how much I used this word until a friend pointed it out)  and my new favorite "then".  (Seems I replaced that with then.  Wonder what I've replaced then with!) I evaluated my words choices, replacing and reworking sections that read clunky.  I added some description to a few scenes and adjusted my dialogue tags.  There were a couple chapters that seemed to run long, so I merged them into other chapters as well as created two new chapters.

Then I sent it off to my lovely CP's for them to read through and point out what they find.

Now, I will take a few days away and next week I will read through it again with fresh eyes, trying to read as a reader, not an author (this never lasts long, as the author tends to want to pull out the red pen again!)  I will look for repeat words and overuses again, check for too many pronouns in a sentence and reword these.  By this time, I will be hearing back from my CP's (they send in chapter chunks as they get to it-- usually we exchange 3 chapters at a time, but this time it was the whole thing).  I'll read their comments and look at the problems,  making changes where they all had an issue.  If only one has an issue, I think about it, making sure it isn't just an opinion before I make any changes.

Do you like editing as much as or more than drafting?  What is your process like?  Share below!

Monday, January 23, 2012

I Did It!

Saturday night I finished the draft of QUEST OF THE HART (yes, as in deer, not heart :-) ).  Now, I just need to do a quick read through and send it out to my wonderful CP's for them to find any inconsistencies or poorly explained areas (you know, the places where you know exactly what you mean, but when someone else reads it, they go, "Huh?").

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend.  What did you accomplish?  I'd love to hear about it in the comments!

Oh, and come back Thursday when I'll share some things I've learned about editing.

Thursday, January 19, 2012


Lately I feel like an ostrich, hiding my head in the sand of work, family and life, poking it out only to hear bad news, then sticking right back in the sand. Which would explain why yesterday when sites were going black for SOPA and PIPA protests I was scratching my head and saying, "But isn't stopping on-line pirating a good thing?"

I did some research on my own to find out what the problem was, and have made my own conclusions.  If you haven't done that on your own, I encourage you to take a few minutes to search it out, as if these laws pass, they have the ability to effect the blogs you write.

Here are some links to the actual bills:

PIPA-(Senate 968)

SOPA-(HR 3261)

A quick search on your favorite search engine will lead you to many articles with explanations from both sides.  Read through, become informed, then, if you want, let your representatives know how you feel about these laws.

Hope you all have a great weekend!  See you back here on Monday.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Weekend of Firsts

This weekend was our first hockey tournament.  All four squirt teams played three games each, followed by a pizza party, then an AHL game (Binghamton Senators vs Hershey Bears).

While Brett's team didn't win any, they did tie one, and have shown great improvement over their first few games of the season.

The other first came in the third game.  Before he went out on the ice for the final game, his father reminded him that when his teammates were shooting, he needed to charge the net to get the rebound.  (He was playing left wing yesterday.)  So, when his teammate shot, Brett charged the net, and when the goalie dropped the puck, he dove and reached out with his stick, poking it into the net.  First goal of the season!

We thought he might get a second goal when he took off on a breakaway, but even though he lifted the puck, the goalie shifted at the last second and stopped it.

So, how was your weekend?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Book reviews - Do they really work?

Last Thursday I posted a poll about what makes you purchase a book all so I could gather some unscientific data for this very post.  (Kudos to PK Hrezo who seemed to figure out at the get go where I was heading with this!)

First off, here are the results.  Drum roll please!  (and yes, the typo is still there!)

So, according to this, out of 17 votes, only 7 would choose a book based on a book review.  Most fall into the blurb/recommendation from a friend.  Surprisingly, the cover was the least likely thing to influence your choice.  That surprised me a bit

But, the book review didn't.  I know I have a tendency to skim through reviews on line as I either don't want to know too much about the book, or don't know the poster well enough to know if we have the same taste in books.

There was one review I read last year, that had an opposite than intended effect on me.  The poster lamented how much they didn't care for the book that I went out and bought it, certain it couldn't be that bad (and it isn't.  I haven't finished it yet, through no fault of the book, but am close to halfway and have enjoyed it so far.)

Have you ever bought a book because of a bad review and was it as bad as the reviewer said?

Monday, January 9, 2012

Writing Smarter, not Harder

I have always been a pantster with my writing.  I liken it to taking a trip and knowing where I am starting and where I am going, but leaving the journey in the middle unplanned so I can take whatever route I want.

Then I started working full time again, and while I was still getting places in my writing, it was taking much longer and there were more rewrites before things could go out to beta readers as I didn't have the same flow.

Needing a new approach, I tried a few things, until I found one that seems to be working quite well for me.  I wrote chapter outlines.  They are not very detailed, just a few sentences of things that need to happen in the chapter and some suggestions for dialogue or character development things.

So far, I have found I don't have to spend so much time thinking about where I am going as I have my road map.  I just have to start the scene and keep in the guidelines I have jotted down.  Does this mean my road map is set in stone?  Absolutely not.  I already made changes to one chapter that were not in my outline, but did go back and add in a character development I had forgotten I wanted and needed.

Have you found any tips for writing smarter and not harder?  Share below.  And be sure to come back on Thursday for the results of the poll and a book review story I think you'll enjoy.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A Poll for the New Year

Happy New Year!!  I hope you all had a great time sending out 2011 and welcoming 2012.

In our house, we had friends over and played games from one year into the next.  Munchkin Bites, Apples to Apples, Loot, and Munchkin Quest as well as a variety of finger-food snacks filled our night, ending with a toast of Spumante.  A good time was had by all!

Lately I've been pondering something, and was curious how my thoughts stack up to the rest of the world's.  Or in this case, all my lovely followers!  So, without further ado, here is my Poll for you.

(Yeah, I know it is supposed to read "Blurb" for the second option, but I didn't catch the typo until my husband pointed it out after I posted it and I don't know how to fix it in the HTML code.  Guess I need to proofread better next time!)