Pre-Vacation Update

I feel compelled to post here about the week’s events on the writing front but OMG I am so freaking tired today.  Here is why, if you are interested.  Grist for the mill, right?  Well after last week’s 10k word execution and edit streak, I was left with a tighter manuscript and a burning desire to get it into my old writer’s workshop.  This necessitated a number of critiques on my part (as you critique others’ work to earn posting rights on this particular group), so I spent some time doing that.  I also edited the up to the minute WIP of


 in return for her kind services of the same last week.  We’ve been back and forth all week brainstorming about how to work around some issues in our respective pieces.  I know where I want to go in about a chapter on Houses of Cards but I am currently a bit bogged down with Chapter 12 after our heroine’s big “okay here’s the truth” session with our hero.  That scene, which takes place in a lengthy Chapter 11 is a bit much to hit someone with at once (hey, I’m a Fed, I’m a rape victim, and my fiance was brutally murdered–are you sure you want to date me?), so


 and I have been discussing how some of this could be discovered ahead of the big reveal by hero Collin.  I think we hit upon something today, which means I actually have to sit down and rewrite some more scenes.  I don’t have a problem with that, but I object to trying to do so when I have jello for brains.  And just now, hopped up on allergy meds (dear God, the pollen!) and a Maxalt, that’s exactly what I have.  All I want to do is sleep.  Anyway, I got my first crit back from the Workshop, and it was positive.  There were some really useful suggestions in there.  The funny thing was that the critiquer had also critted a previous incarnation of this book when I was in the workshop about 3 or 4 years ago and he mentioned “I can’t help feeling this is familiar…”  Well JP, it should…you’ve read it before… [g].

Anyway, instead of writing tonight like I probably ought, I’ve been reading a bunch of writing blogs, answering email, and generally staring off into space, trying desperately to stay awake.  In one blog I came across a 77 page PDF file of agents.  Once I have Houses of Cards finished, I’ll be perusing that again and submitting a query to try and find an agent.  I didn’t do that back in high school when I was shopping my first completed novel.  Back then, in my extreme naivete, I was just submitting to small houses who accepted unsolicited manuscripts.  I will probably do some of that again when the time comes, but for long term publishing goals, agents are the way to go.   They are, after all, the ones with the contacts.  Anyway, even if I finish Houses of Cards this year, I’ll want to run the whole thing through Workshop before I submit it.  I want this thing to SHINE as much as possible before trying to shop it.  It’s gotta be a jewel shining out of the slush pile. 

I feel like I need to do some work on the front chapters at making my heroine more likeable and approachable.  She’s a total prickly pear (for a reason), a wee bit unbalanced due to massive stress, and very unapproachable.  I’m not sure exactly what to do to soften her, but I’m sure some small scenes are in order somewhere.  Perhaps even just a few lines inserted here and there.  My rewrites of some of the early chapters were helped immensely by only a handful of lines.  So we’ll see.  I’m hoping some of this will gel while I’m on vacation the rest of this week.  We’re headed to the Smokies tomorrow until Monday and I can’t wait.  I desperately need a vacation.  Especially after last night. 

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