Yesterday when we went to Phoenix we cruised the luxury car lots. I never knew research for a book could be so much fun! Makes me jealous of my heroine. At first I was sure I wanted her to drive a Mercedes SLK 280, just like this one:
(I know, I know, a Price is Right girl I am not, but that's not the point.)
Because my husband used to sell cars, he told me to make sure whoever came out to help me knew up front that I had no intention of buying. So this guy comes out and tries to put the schmooze on, and I say, "Let me tell you up front that I'm not buying."
"Oh, really?" he says.
"I'm writing a book, and this is what my heroine drives, so I'm doing a little research."
Disgruntled, he walks away shaking his head saying, "It's a slow month, and this is the best excuse yet....research."
At least I found out that no Mercedes have standard transmissions...crucial info for my book. (Doesn't it make you wonder how?)
Next we went to BMW, where I met a nice lady who gave me a few brochures, and let me sit in my heroine's car. A BMW Z4. I love this little car, not that I would ever own one with three children. But it's a darling car! I can't wait to do the rest of the research for my book, which involves visiting more fun places, which I cannot disclose:) What kind of research have you done for your fiction?
Last week I would have laughed at you if you’d told me I’d be touting a supernatural thriller. Me? I’m a chick-lit kind of girl….until now. T.L. Hines has created an awesome read, inspired by events in his own life.
Jude Allman died and came back to life three times, earning him unwanted notoriety. He slips away and becomes Ron Gress, an unknown janitor. When children start disappearing, only he holds the key to what’s happening through the mystery of his death experiences.
Waking Lazarus is peopled with flawed characters involved in complicated relationships with one another. This story is light on syrup, rich in story, so rich in fact that a man repeatedly dying and coming back was entirely believable. I bought into it all the way. Not only is it original and entertaining, it creeped me out, and I think that’s way fun. And the twist at the end? I didn’t see it coming. I thought I did, but I was wrong.
Reckless overindulgence. Everything I do, I do to the max. I wish that included good things like exercise. Lately, my list mostly includes eating and surfing the net. You should see my oldest daughter and I fighting for computer time…not pretty. So how much is too much when it comes to time on the internet? Here are 3 things that made me take notice:
1. Mousehand. My hand gets frozen to the mouse to the point of pain. I don’t stop until I can’t scroll any longer. Maybe I need a new mousepad?
2. Eye ache. My eyes hurt from scrolling through message boards, e-mails, blogs, etc. I wish this made me stop.
3. Hunchback. At least I feel like I have a hunchback by the end of the day. I think it’s from leaning my head in toward the computer. Maybe it’s just poor posture. Either way it needs fixin.
It’s quite possible I need to get out more. I’d like to think that most of my time on the computer is spent writing, but I’m starting to wonder. If I’m honest I’d have to say I spend 1.5-2 hours a day online, not writing. Please tell me I’m not alone.
Sorry to say, it’s my prose. It downright stinks, like mothballs or old wet socks at the bottom of the laundry basket….not that I would actually know, mind you. I blame the time I spent as a journalism major, even though that’s not the degree I earned in the end. I still spent too long writing the facts, and keeping the story to the 5 W’s and the H, with the most important points at the top. Everything I write is clipped, seriously lacking anything beyond the basics. Yep, I’m guilty of telling instead of showing. I’m working on it, though, but this whole editing thing may take longer than I thought. **insert heavy sigh**
On a lighter (and less smelly) note, my middle child turned two yesterday. She’s brilliant, and wonderful, and really, I’m not prone to bragging. I’m married to Super-Husband, and God has blessed us with three awesome kids. Life is good.
Wren tagged me a week or so ago with the meme. So here it is, me in a nutshell. Ooo, bad cliche. And who of you haven't meme'd yet? Jennifer???
Accent: I wish, but nope. Unless you count my daughter and I faking a British one. Best personality trait: Humor, maybe. Chore I hate: the kitchen floor!%. Especially when someone insists on wearing shoes inside!%$# Dad's name: George. Big surprise. Essential make-up/skin care products: lotion, and mascara since I don't have eyelashes Favorite perfume/cologne: NOA, or Amore Amore (my MIL works for Armani! Yippee!!) Gold or silver?: Silver. Hometown: Flagstaff Interesting fact: I was second runner-up Miss Arctic Circle 1990 Job title: See my profileJ Kids: YES Living arrangements: squeezed in like Vienna wieners Mom's birthplace: same place as my 3rd child Number of apples eaten in the last week: 1? Overnight hospital stays: 3 Phobia: Spiders (just like Wren) Question you ask yourself a lot: When can I nap? Religion: Christian Siblings: 1 sister, 8 years younger Time I wake up: 7, which is WAY too early. I look forward to the day I can sleep in, because I haven’t done so in 2 years. Unnatural hair color: the white ones I keep pulling out Vegetable I Refuse to Eat: mushrooms. They remind me of giant snotballs. Eww… Worst habit: Caffeine addict, and cracking my knuckles isn’t so hot either X-rays?: teeth only Yummy food I make: chicken tacos, or mashed potatoes slathered with cream cheese and butter. Zingers: Yes, the chocolate ones, or the pink ones, mmmm….the lemon are good too
WOW, WHAT A VIEW! Today we went to the top of the mountain in the name of research. This is a view of our town, from about 9000 ft. You can see where the trees are all burnt out from a massive fire in the 70's. The top of the mountain provides the setting for an important scene in my book. I wanted to make sure I got everything right, so up to the top we went. Too bad our brakes busted out on the way back down.
In any case, I still can't decide whether to use the real name of our town in my book, or not. Do you make up your settings, or do you stick with a real place? Inquiring minds want to know.
After six long days of reading my book for the first time, I’ve come to the conclusion that writing/editing a book is a huge undertaking. (Like, DUH!) And I’ve learned more over the last six days than in all of the other years I’ve spent writing.
*I learned that my book wasn’t as good as I thought it was. Nor was it as bad.
*I need more than one red pen.
*I really should have waited longer before starting to edit, because while I hadn’t seen the beginning in a couple of months, the ending was oddly familiar. Or maybe it was just odd.
*I must be a novice, because I could literally see the improvement in my writing from beginning to end. If you’re an experienced writer, your skills are likely as good at the start as they are at the finish.
*God gave me the fortitude to get to the end of a longer work than I’ve ever done before. Now I just need to fix the fuddy-duds.
This weekend I started editing my novel, and I can’t begin to explain how much fun I’m having. (As a writer, you’d think I could explain it, but I can’t.) I always thought that editing would be the boring part, because editing my short stories and whatnot was so tedious. But, editing my novel is different. Obviously, the length has something to do with it, like the fact that I’d forgotten so much of what happened in the opening chapters that everything was a surprise.
The other thing I can’t begin to explain is how B-A-D my writing is in the opening chapters. I kept thinking I was about to get to a really cool part of my book, and lo and behold, I haven’t gotten to it yet. LOL. Don’t get me wrong, there is some good stuff in there, but my point is that my first draft is embarrassingly rough. I couldn’t have hacked away at it more if I’d been using a machete instead of a red pen. It actually looks like someone died on my novel.
Probably the biggest thing that made editing such a hoot was sitting at Barnes and Noble with my gigantic coffee, and working in peace. That’s due to my loving family, who let me sneak out for four hours, and who will be front and center on my acknowledgements page when my book hits the shelves…. (See, I’m really an optimist at heart!)
Since I finished my WIP last week, I’ve been kicking back and relaxing, though it’s not really in my nature to do so. I’ve read in so many places that when you finish a piece, you’re supposed to take a step back, so that when you come face to face with your manuscript again, it’s with a fresh eye. At least that’s what the “experts” say.
So, what’s a girl to do in the meantime? Keep writing, of course, but my brain is already too scattered to start a whole new project until I’ve wrapped this one up. That left me with only one choice (not really, but it sounds more dramatic, and that’s what I’m all about!) I started writing my synopsis.
There are several good resources out there for writing synopsis’ (synopsis’s?—synopsi?) and they’re free, too! Looking at a few of them that actually helped to sell a book is a good place to start. Randy Ingermanson has one on his site www.rsingermanson.com, and Gail Martin does as well, at www.gailmartin.com under writer’s resources, FAQ. I also trolled through the archives at ACFW and found some material by Marilyn Griffith and Susan May Warren—both extremely helpful resources.
I thought writing a synopsis would be a drag, but you know what? It was fun! (OK, it’s not really spit-polished yet, but I’ll get there. Really.) While I wrote, I remembered all the funny things that happened in my book, and I had to laugh all over again. If my book is as funny as my synopsis, then I’ll have a winner!
By the way, I can’t stay away from my WIP any longer, I’ll be tearing into it starting this weekend, assuming my family can spare me for a while…
What do you do after you finish a writing project?
Georgiana Daniels resides in the beautiful mountains of Arizona with her
super-generous husband and three talented daughters. She graduated from
Northern Arizona University with a bachelor's degree in public
relations, and now has the privilege of homeschooling by day and
wrestling with the keyboard by night. She enjoys sharing God's love
through fiction, and is exceedingly thankful for her own happily ever