Pitching to HQ

Never really thought I'd see that happen in my lifetime. I know I write romance so it's not completely off the charts. Maybe it just took a few years to understand the value of the cliche... the trope. I wrote a story, and it just fits the line. :)

Wish me luck. It's a 100 word pitch, which I'll share in my Saturday Snippet. I don't know why. Maybe I'm just suspicious enough not to want to throw it out there before I use it officially.

For now, I've got my coffee.
I've got an extremely quiet house...
Time to get to work. Have a great day.
With Love, Bethanne

This post is Procrastination

How do you handle CONFLICT?

and yes, this is for all my writer friends out there. I'm not really talking about how you duked it out with your buddy at the bar last weekend. Or, how you gave your bestest girlfriend in the whole world the silent treatment for an entire month one time.

I'm editing.
So, tell me how to do it!

1) break it down first and go through the ms one issue at a time
for example...bulk up on sensory items, first adding stuff for smelling, then for touching. In this way, I could go through for each element of conflict. Ex. Morgan left his girlfriend after high school to join the Army. He was escaping. Are those feelings clear. Does his girlfriend treat him like a woman scorned would?
Through each scene with one item.


2) Go through a ms with a list of items and change everything as you go...
i'm sure this is possible, it just seems a little overwhelming to me.

How do you do your editing?

Me and Self Publishing?!

Despite the naysayers and the wary warners, at the end of last year, I decided that I was going to publish something this year, even if that meant self-publishing. I'd done my research, but the venture still seemed daunting... [thanks to Starving Author for the word choice!] The hardest part...promotion and marketing. How to get a book out to reviewers? to book websites? to READERS?

[understatement of the year alert] Without readers, my book won't sell.

This issue, even now, makes a publisher ideal. Even the smaller presses have connections it would take me twice as long to make only because I'd have to do the research first. It's hard to write and promo/market at the same time. I've watched authors do this and I've seen them get dragged down by the process.

Really, we all just want to write.

For eight years, I've been writing. Now, I have several manuscripts. Yes, I'll keep writing, but I don't mind the thought of slowing down in order to put my work out there.

What did I do first?

I picked a manuscript and hired an editor. Why this manuscript?

Because it was different than most of my other work, a contemporary romance when I'd been writing romantic suspense for years. It had been through my crit group and a few beta readers already. I was happy with this story and had gotten some decent, positive feedback already.

Why hire an editor?

Because the biggest complaint about self published work is crappy writing, typos, misused words, overused words, incorrect grammar/punctuation... Overall, stuff that should be easily found by an editor or critique group. I picked someone I knew of, but wasn't friends with. I checked her reviews and feedback. I sent her a five page sample so I could see her work. All my dealings with her at this point had been professional, business-like. Her price wasn't the cheapest, but I found it to be reasonable and within my budget. That's when I hired Rhonda Helms. I don't mind putting a shout out to Rhonda. She did a great job on line edits... on my next manuscript, I'll put her through her paces for content edits.

What next? [besides revisions]

Where to publish. This might seem inane, but there are several means of self-publishing out there--not to mention digital vs hard copy. There's direct, going straight to the book seller, like Barnes and Noble [Pub it] or Amazon [Kindle]. Or through third party distributors, like Smashwords. Smashwords will take your [formatted]ms and distribute it to a number of book sellers, including BN and Amazon. Tempting as that is, you have to be sure you're willing to hold out on the money end. Word is that there is some delay in seeing your proceeds. I imagine this would be true for most third party distributors.


I decided a good while ago that digital was the only answer anymore. With all the technology out there, people want digital--unless they don't, and in those cases, I find they are living with their heads in the sand. All that aside, I love to hold a book, too! But I like my ereader for practical reasons... Now, there is my grandmother, and I might concede a POD [print on demand] publishing strategy [like Createspace or Lulu] so I can get a book in her hands. But that, I still have to look into. :) I also think that if formatting is my job anyway, I might as well publish directly through the big two [BN and A]. And upload to Smashwords for the more obscure sellers. Maybe I'm crazy!! If you've done this before, let me know your thoughts. I'm interested.

Apparently, I've done some thinking in the past several months.
Now that I know what direction I'm taking, next blog post I'll touch on the actual book. After that, perhaps my thoughts on promotion??? Am I boring you yet?! Let me know if you have any questions...

And have a great week!
With Love,

Fast Draft--National Novel Writing Month

I think I've had a mental block on this issue. An if-I-play-dumb-it-won't-notice-me mentality. But I read something this morning at Romance Divas forum:

I wrote my first novel over a period of a year and a half. And it will never see the light of day, that's for sure. Trust me, it was so stale, I had to keep rereading it so I'd know where I was going with it. And that led to wanting to edit the crap on it before I could move forward.

I wrote the first draft of my second novel over a 6 week period. MUCH better. Because it was written in such a short period of time, it was much more coherent, and I was still excited about it and didn't forget where I was going.

I will always draft fast now. Editing and revisions take a lot longer, but that's where the story will come alive. But when I draft slowly, I lose the magic.

~Amanda Brice, author, dancer and lawyer

For some reason, that totally got me. Squinting at my computer in wonder, I considered each manuscript I'd started. Certain Suspicions, finished in one month but needing so many edits it was a year [at least] before I started something longer than a prompt [500 words or less]. Of course, I didn't know anything about writing then.

Since I know so much now [insert sarcastic tone], I wonder if I could successfully combine a Fast Draft with that dose of knowledge [and not call it internal editing]. Because isn't that the point of a Fast Draft? To lose all that internal editing--the very voice in your head telling you not to move forward until you've fixed it?

I want to, so badly, do a quick writing exercise like that but I REALLY like that, although not perfect, my manuscripts have become more readable. I do spend time editing as I write. It's almost impossible for me not to, but my revisions seem surmountable at the end. Like Amanda stated, I can enjoy the revisions for the creative quality they lend, yet after several weeks, i'm not being driven crazy by the tedium of what seems to be common mistakes. I.E. using words like that, just, and almost, or words such as was, or even the dreaded tellings of heard, saw, felt...

The editing is more reasonable but certainly not nonexistent. I'll forever be removing unnecessary punctuation, adding description, or fixing typos--that's a big one, though. I can not, have never been able to get past a typo without going back and fixing it. I use the shift key to start a sentence and because my Word is screwy, i'm often tabbing my paragraph starts. I'm thinking I might be a lost cause.

I really can't imagine getting it done.

But I think I'm going to try. Starting in November with the Novel in a Month.

That's my goal. Now I just have to figure the rules. Make sure I'm not breaking any.

What is your motivation in a Fast Draft?