Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Mad with myself.

My deadline is two days away and i'm not going to make it.

I know it was a self imposed deadline and no one is depending on me, but I am just so narked with myself. I'm going to drop the Ed a line this morning and explain, but I desperately wanted to turn it in on time - kind of show them that I could do it, you know?

Why has this happened? Well, life just got in the way. A couple of completely unexpected things took up alot of my time and head space last week, resulting in my writing time disintegrating before my very eyes.

I have one chapter left to write and then the edits to do, which hopefully shouldn't be too arduous as I tend to edit alot as I go along anyway, so I'm planning to ask if next Friday would be OK rather than this one.
I've been beating myself up about this since the weekend, and have been debating between writing like the clappers and rushing it in on time, or taking the extra week to polish it until it's the best I can make it.
Ultimately though, I know in my heart that I wouldn't feel happy pressing send unless it was my best attempt - that has to be the most important think doesn't it?

I just hope that it doesn't make me look flaky. :o(

On the positive side, I am pretty pleased with the way it's shaped up, despite the fact that I think it may be a little heavy on the, erm, sauce.
Am feeling a bit wrung out right now as have just written the most emotional scenes, I actually ended up crying with them at about midnight last night. That's normal too though.. right? I tell ya something - I'm really looking forward to finally giving these two their HEA, because they sure have worked hard for it.

Lastly, a question. This is my first full manuscript, and my head seems to have been stuck in Jack & Nancy's world permanently for months... and *nervous cough*... I sort of really like it there.
Is it easy to detach yourself at the end? I imagine i'll find myself wondering what happened to them after I leave them to it.

I don't suppose I get visitation rights do I? lol!

Monday, 17 May 2010

How much is too much?

I'm having serious trouble keeping Jack & Nancy out of the bedroom. Or the kitchen, or the bathroom for that matter - they just can't keep their hands off each other and it's got me thinking about how much sex should be included for a MH submission. Is there an unofficial guideline?

(I mean... come on! These two were getting steamy in a lift within ten minutes of first clapping eyes on each other, so what hope have I got of controlling them?)

I understand a bit better know what people mean when they talk about the characters taking over and leading the way, because these two are pretty dominant over me right now.
However, I'm pretty sure that it might be having a detrimental effect on the conflict aspect of the story, and that's obviously a big concern. I've tried to weave in their individual inner conflict within the story so each characters motivations are clear to the reader, but as far as Jack and Nancy go, well, they haven't actually revealed much of this stuff to each other until at least 40,000 words in.
My fear is that in not doing so, they have a bit of a 2d holiday romance going on, and not enough obvious conflict between them on the page. Have I made a soggy middle? Do I have to make them battle more?
I think this comes down to learning more about the craft of romance writing, I am really in at the deep end here and floundering a bit. Please don't let me drown!

Anyway, going back to the original question... is there such a thing as too much sex?

I currently have five sex scenes in my wip, ranging from a skipped over half page descriptions to quite lengthy episodes. The thing is though, I've considered them within the story and they all feel necessary. But if they take up too much of my word count, am I not leaving enough room to really develop the emotional side of the story too?


Monday, 10 May 2010

One step forward, two steps back...

I'm currently working on the requested full for Shoes, Lies & Videotape, and I'm really frustrating myself, but on the good side I'm learning alot as I go along. My word count currently stands at just over 30,000, which leaves me 18 days to complete it, edit it, and submit it. *gulp*

I have spent time worrying about the fact that I seem to be someone who writes slowly, but then I tend to edit quite heavily as I go along, rather than being able to get a rough draft down quickly and then go to work on it. I suspect I'm probably doing that wrong way around, but I don't think I could do it the other way so I'm going with it.

I also fret that people will think I should have written the whole thing before subbing an entry into the competition, or at least have written it in the interim. But then I'd never written any romance at all before entering the competition, so had no clue ( and still have very little!). I wanted to wait to chat with the editors once i'd placed to see how they wanted me to progress, and actually I'm glad I did in retrospect, because such alot changed from my original premise as a result of that call.
Then it was onto resubbing a revised synopsis and waiting, resubbing the partial and waiting, resubbing the revised partial and waiting again...and being kind of paralysed with fear in each interim waiting period in case i'd got it horribly wrong and not writing anymore until I had confirmation from them that I should. I've been incredibly lucky that my waiting times so far have been tiny, but still I should probably have written more during them. It's a learning curve I guess, I've kind of needed my hand holding throughout because this is all very new to me.

Anyway - the one step forward and two steps back thing. Over the last couple of days I've written myself into a corner, and have really struggled with a particular scene. I've written it from one pov, then tried it from the other, but still it just wasn't clicking into place for me. I sat down with it this afternoon thoroughly disheartened, and finally realised exactly what I needed to do with it.
D.E.L.E.T.E the damn thing!
If I was finding it such an uphill struggle to write, I'm pretty sure other people would find it an uphill struggle to read. And then go and do something less boring instead. ( see what I did there? Anyone of a certain age in the UK will be singing the theme tune to a certain kids TV show from the 70's...)
Deleting it was liberating, and I love it so much better the new way. I am back to enjoying writing it again, which has to be good, right? I've kind of concluded from this episode that I'll listen to my gut instinct earlier - if it's just not going right, then there is a reason for that.

18 days isn't very long is it? I shouldn't be here!