Wed. April 11, 2012: Revisions and Writing

Don’t forget the 1-Day Dialogue Seminars & Solutions Seminar on April 14! Info here.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Waning Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Busy day yesterday, but a good one. Worked with students. Ran errands, took books back to Sandwich, got out some others, including an amazing new release I’m going to have to track down and buy. It’s called NEW YORK DIARIES: 1609-2009, edited by Teresa Carpenter, containing diary excerpts from various individuals, organized by day (Jan. 1, Jan. 2, etc.) from those 400 years. Amazing stuff.

The recommendation is going into the resource list for the digital handbook going along with the course.

I saw a kid waiting for the school bus, with a worried expression on his face, on my way to meditation yesterday. Gave me an idea for a short story, but I’m not sure where it’s going yet.

Revised the first four chapters of HEART SNATCHER. Decided I want the opening scene (now called “Chapter 1”) to be a prologue, in spite of some agents and editors currently cranky with prologues. I love ‘em, and it serves this particular book. Moved the first section of Chapter 5 as the new Chapter 1 — the timeline works better, and the overall flow is much stronger. Developed Chapter 2 — Max’s first chapter — and worked on the caseload timeline/assignments within the squadroom so it’s truer to NYPD procedure, but still makes sense to the reader. Added in the Sex Crimes detective who needs to be in there, reshuffled the squadroom a bit, still have to add a small scene between Max and this new guy towards the end of Chapter 2. Chapters 3 & 4 mostly needed tightening in language choices and flow — cutting more than anything else. I’m going to re-read them for flow again this morning, before printing them out.

I’ve got a variety of tracking sheets — Day/Night timelines (since I’m moving between multiple points of view and sometimes the action overlaps — but it’s got to overlap on the right day), Character tracking sheets, the squadroom case tracking sheet. I probably need to set up a tracking sheet for Valerie’s caseload, too, so I don’t drop anything I started (unless I choose to cut a subplot). Since this is part of a trilogy, and I envision a couple of books taking place several years after the trilogy ends, I’m also starting a Series Bible. The multi-colored draft, original notes, and the Scene Purpose and Character Purpose sheets are all a big help.

I also write 928 words, in the sprint with the students, on HEART BINDER, the second book. Managed to do some re-envisioning of what’s not working for me in “Town Crier”, jot down some notes on some of the other arcs I want to happen in the Jain Lazarus short stories, so I can feed them into the series properly, polished the lectures and resources for Saturday’s workshop.

It looks like I’ll get the same editor and cover artist for OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK, so I’m happy about that.

Today’s the first due date for One Story, Many Voices. Most of the students have taken the previous two short story workshops this year, so they’re used to the drill. I think some of the newcomers are a bit nervous. If they show up and actually write, they’ll get a lot out of it. If they don’t — well, that’s on them. My classes are geared for those who want to challenge themselves as writers by writing in the moment, not think about doing it someday in the future.

We should have a new lecture in the Steampunk class. I’m getting a lot of ideas.

Also have a bunch of paperwork to get done, and must make a dump run — both garbage bins in the garage are getting rather full! Time to empty out and not have to think about it for awhile!

This week is busy/crazy, but I’m hoping next week will settle down a bit. Back to the page.



  1. Funny how the smallest things can trigger a story. I was looking at the family tree on Ancestry and realized that not only was my grandmother a “runner” but her mother may have been, as well. No record of her buried anywhere near her family, so it’s possible grandma got her “wandering” gene from her mother.

    What a great story idea, huh?

    • Oh, that sounds great!

  2. It’s been a crazy week here, too. I am hoping for both our sakes it calms down soon! Blessings!

  3. I agree about the use of prologues in certain cases. I think they can really set up a story and get the reader hooked if used properly. I am actually using one in my Sci-Fi manuscript, but not in my Thriller. The Sci-Fi story needs a kickoff that is quite a ways away in time from the main story, so that separation really works. With the Thriller, it doesn’t really require it so I didn’t use one.

    • Yeah, when someone hates a prologue JUST because it’s marked “Prologue” — doesn’t really make sense to me.

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