Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Where Did the Summer Go?

It's already fall. Can you believe it? I love fall--probably my favorite season, especially here in the South where summer is too darned hot, winter is boring, and spring makes me sneeze my head off. But I just wasn't really ready for fall to arrive quite this soon!

I haven't watched any Alabama football to speak of. Of course, from what I hear, I haven't missed much. I've even missed an episode of the new season of HOUSE because I forgot it was on. Over the summer, I stopped watching much television at all, and I've been sluggish to get back in the habit. I guess that's probably a good thing, overall, but I do love HOUSE and don't want to miss any episodes.

Beginning this Sunday, I have to start writing again. Oh, joy. Actually, I am looking forward to getting back to a daily writing regimen. I enjoyed the time off but I don't want to lose the muse. That said, I have a feeling the final three chapters of DEADLY ILLUSION are going to be a bugger to write.

So--has fall sneaked up on anyone else besides me?

Monday, September 25, 2006

The Lost Art of Subtext

I may have mentioned once or twice my renewed obsession with that famous Days of Our Lives supercouple, Steve and Kayla, thanks to the actors' return to daytime in those roles. I've viewed a lot of the old clips now, and one striking difference I've noted between soaps in the 1980s and soaps today is the glaring lack of subtlety in storytelling. All of the dialogue is on the nose. There are no interesting pauses to let the actors, you know--act. Things that should be implied are said aloud.


I'm seeing that trend, at times, on prime time television as well. Does it have to do with the shortened attentions span of the viewing audience? I have to wonder, as I think some of the more challenging televisions shows, such as LOST or HOUSE, still do the subtext very, very well---and these are critically acclaimed shows that pull in decent to good ratings. They also have rabidly loyal fan bases. I don't think that's a coincidence.

I've been thinking about this a lot and trying to apply it to my own writing. Dialogue should be as revelatory for what it doesn't say as for what it says. Am I taking advantage of the nuances, the subtext beneath my characters' lines? Do I use dialogue too directly when I should be using it to surround the idea instead of hammer it into the ground? Do my characters have a lot going on beneath the surface of what they're saying to each other--0r not saying to each other?

Sometimes I think when contest judges and editors talk about "stilted dialogue"--they're really talking about the lack of subtext. Characters saying too much, too directly, and not letting the context and the characters pull their part of the load.

So what about it? Is subtext overrated? Am I a dinosaur wishing for the return of the good old days that were never that good and will never come around again?

Friday, September 22, 2006

Out of the Habit

It's really easy to get out of the writing habit. Usually having to stop and work on a synopsis/proposal is one of the worst habit-breakers for me. I have to stop thinking about what's happening inch by inch in my story and look at the bigger picture. Plus there's the whole struggling with the sucknopsis thing. :::shudder:::

Right now, I'm giving myself to the end of September to be lazy. It was when my deadline was, anyway, and since I beat the deadline, I'm allowing myself a little luxury. I'm going to read my friend Gayle Wilson's new Mira book, THE INQUISITOR, and I'm going to make cheesy Steve and Kayla music videos now that I've discovered how to use Windows Movie Maker. But October first, I'm buckling down and finishing the last three chapters of DEADLY ILLUSION and then I'm going to start putting together a three-book proposal for my series idea.

Really. I swear.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The Manuscript's in the Mail

DANGEROUS PURSUIT (aka FORBIDDEN SOMETHING) is in the mail to my editor. The proposal for DEADLY ILLUSION (aka FORBIDDEN SOMETHING ELSE) is also on the way.

Now I have to buckle down and finish the last three chapters of DEADLY ILLUSION, based on the synopsis I hammered out for my editor. Well, at least the plot is now outlined for me. :)

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Shout Out to Michelle

Michelle Willingham just sold to M & B Historicals! Michelle has been working long and hard for this, and she so deserves this good news!

Tell her congratulations!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

I Hate Synopses

Just in case you're an unpublished writer who thinks that selling a book automatically makes everything you do easier, let me quickly set you straight.

Writing a synopsis still sucks. In fact, it probably sucks even more than it did before. Because now I'm supposed to present a coherent, detailed narrative of a book that isn't even finished yet, and make it sound like something my editor will actually want to buy.

However, griping aside, I did finish the first, very rough draft of my synopsis for DEADLY ILLUSION, aka "The Forbidden to be Named Later." The partial (first three chapters, for the uninitiated) has been ready for a long time. I swear, it's taken me longer to write the synopsis than it did to write those first 46 pages.

At least I'm still on course to send out the proposal ahead of my Sept. 29th deadline, so that's a plus.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Obligatory Blog Post

I don't really have much to blog on today, but I feel like such a slacker for not having blogged for a while. I'm still waiting to hear from my editor about my publication date for book two and whatever title they've come up with that includes the word FORBIDDEN. I'm drawing a blank on titles, myself. I don't like any of the ones I've come up with.

On the upside, it leaves DANGEROUS PURSUIT free for another book, should I need it. :)

So, anybody out there have anything exciting going on you'd like to share with us?

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Desperately Seeking a Blog Topic

I'm so out of ideas right now it's pathetic. And I have to blog on Romance Magicians before the week is over--eek!

So I'll cheat and point you to a blog that makes me laugh: Manolo's Shoe Blog.

Anybody had any good news lately? I'm still waiting for a pub date on book two, still slogging away at the synopsis for book three, and I can't come up with a good FORBIDDEN title to save my life.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Steve Irwin, RIP

Sad news out of Australia. Wildlife expert and conservationist Steve Irwin has died, stung through the heart by a stingray. He was 44 and leaves a wife and two children, ages 3 and 8.

I'll miss his unparalleled enthusiasm for the animals he fought so hard to protect and preserve.