Tag Archives: Human touch

It has been literally an eon and a day…

…since I’ve been here. Real life has taken over and I’ve been killing myself at work. Meaning my reading schedule is a millennium behind. Sadly. I also do have quite a few book reviews to write, but now that Goodreads no longer talks to my blog, it’s going to make that more difficult. In the meantime, my goal is to do PitchWars in a few weeks.

PitchWars is an exciting time. The submission of a story always is, especially when you’ve put your soul into it.

So now it comes to which of my completed, ready-to-go manuscripts I’m going to choose. I am leaning towards going with Love, Darrows. Yes, again. Only because he has had so many agents love him, but they didn’t rep __________ (fill in the blank with whatever minute detail here: LGBTQ, mythical realism, magical elements, Roman/Greek myth), but they complimented him with some of the best words a writer’s ego just loves to hear. I think he and Love, Carter, his partner in crime, can go far with just the right rep.

But then there’s the new incarnation of my opus, Human Touch. Not only is Nikki more improved, but she’s better. The story is better. Still not toned down to one genre. Plus, because of this world building of her side, it’s verbose. I can cut out parts. Not a problem. But…what is that all important part to cut. I understand something that doesn’t move the story forward, but every piece of it is Nikki moving forward and having experiences she hadn’t had before.

I could also do my NYC romances. Which honestly…okay. I can’t say they’re my favorite, because every story I write is my fave, but I can say that I love these because I wrote them for myself, meaning I couldn’t find some fun rom-com type stories that didn’t hold billionaires or army guys. Just a normal guy and a normal girl who meet through weird circumstances and fall for each other with some laughs and quirky characters along the way.

The best part of my stories are…they all interconnect. Across all those genres and styles, the characters/stories are all within each other. I try to keep that in mind when I’m searching for  an agent. That this person needs to have a broad sense of likes when it comes to reading, because I would love to work with them throughout all of my stories getting out there and living a life. I’m in this for the long haul.

So on my day off today, i am going through all of the PitchWars everything–videos, websites, mentors, etc. I am going into it with Darrows in mind, but am keeping my options open. Good luck to anyone else entering this crazy mixed up wonderful PitchWars world. Hope to see you around.

MORE SOON~~~>

{see Brenda Drake’s PitchWars here}

 

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The Writing Resolutes ~ February Check-In

Well, so far so good this year. Yesterday, I completed a second draft of book four (Me & Johnny) of the series I’ve been writing, Human Touch.

Not Human Torch, nor is it Johnny Storm related, purely coincidental…

I somewhat apologize for my ridiculous puns.

Not really.

Anyway, I am so happy it’s complete. Then someone was so kind to print, comment, make notes, and check edits of the newest, best, and last edition of Human Touch (which I swear auto-correct on the new laptop is worse than auto-correct on my old laptop). I finished that out yesterday, too. Two stories done, ish. Still waiting for others to comment or notate on that one, because I might have missed something else or I like to have a consensus…

The problem I have is what to do with it once the final/final is done. Wattpad always sits in my head as one of the top options. Self-pub? Maybe. I’ve also been considering doing podcasts with it…as in the whole freaking series! (Over nine books either written or planned at this point.) Something along the lines of Welcome to Nightvale! But, those microphones can be expensive. And I’ll have to find a place to record along with people to play the parts. That last one would be the easiest thing to accomplish on that short list.

On the agent front, Love, Darrows is still with an agent. Not sure if I should poke and prod for info there or not. I don’t want to be pushy, but at the same time, it’s been months since she’s responded to me…

Sync or Swim is being edited and prepped to send to an agent who has said they wanted my next contemporary LGBTQ book…so fingers crossed that I get it done and off soon.

In the meantime, I am always searching (BIG THANKS TO kiTT FOR POINTING OUT PUB OPPORTUNITIES) for the next submission…

So far this year, I might not have gotten my foot in the door yet, but I feel like I am getting stories done. Which is always a good thing to someone in the authoring process. IMO.

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all gifs found on giphy.com

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Working on my writer’s resolutions…

Started the final rewrite on my YA LGBTQ story, Sync or Swim, yesterday. I plan on entering it into a few contests and/or submitting to agents who are actively searching for LGBT stories. Got in touch with my reader and he’s going to comb through it for me. Looking for one more reader to add a new set of critical eyes. I am excited about that one finally being done done.

This morning, I found a publisher who is accepting book proposals for LGBTQ stories. Google will help me learn how to write a proper book proposal. (I hope.) Then I plan on submitting my Love, Darrows/Love, Carter duet for consideration. The gut feeling is still there. Darrows and Carter are meant for something great. And it’s been close a few times. Quite a few times. I’m hopeful that this will be their destiny! *fingers crossed*

In the meantime, Human Touch, my opus of a tale, has been rewritten from beginning to end. I LOVE this version more than the first, more than the last, and DEFINITELY more than that one I will never see again…the one that starts off with a “The Lovely Bones” vibe and feel… It was too dark and dank for a story I wanted to be like a teen soapy romcom with ghosts, angels, demons, and a FBI-type bureau in the afterlife all while being contemporary. I feel good about this version. I had a new lovely reader volunteer to read it–in addition to the two people I trust most with this story–and she has been sending me good notes and some great criticisms so far. Hoping this is the final destination for that part of the overall series.

Been working on book 4 of that series, being in editing/rewrite/second draft. Been working on an off-shoot story about one of the secondary characters in the series, Callum (see gif…he’s very much a Cap inspired character). Because his story is complicated and really compelling. Writing notes on two other stories, compiling images, drawing floorplans…hoping to get busy typing on those soon. After the others are complete.

So far, 2017 has blessed me with the gift of stories. I am VERY THANKFUL for the plethora of tales, especially since the block of 2016 (June-September) sparked major doubts about writing in my mind.

How’s your writing goals coming along so far this year?

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NaNoWriMo, Chris Evans, and the writing cave.

Crawling out the cave for a moment before I dive into today’s NaNoWriMo work…

After three (literal) days of typing this month, i am proud to say the work is 402 words away from the 10,000 word mark…and I am LOVING this story more than I ever thought I would. It truly helps to have done most of my research, plotting, and casting (part of my process is who I would like to see in the movie version of this book; it helps me visualize what I need to type) over the past few months.

So why am I bringing Chris Evans into this quick update?

Well, one and the MAJOR DISCLAIMER: I’m a total fangirl. I cannot apologize for it. And I cannot undo it.

That aside, two: Because as I type this RomCom, I see it as a movie in my head. I have thoughts and flashes to What’s Your Number? which is possibly my most favorite RomCom this side of The Secret of My Succe$s. But I also have thoughts of Before We Go, a movie directed by and starring Chris Evans. Which, honestly, his name brought me to the door, but I stayed for the splendor. There is such an intimate feel to the way it was directed…and that was one of my favorite things about the movie outside of the story. It’s like you’re peeking in on this world and these two characters are unwittingly sharing their night with you. It’s intense and sweet and there is just something so powerful about it to me. As I type out Wings, I am fully thinking of how this film was shot, how the backgrounds are blurred so the focus is kept on the characters, how it’s like you’re let in on this secret and no one else can ever know about it. And I hope I’m capturing that feeling here. It’s very difficult, especially with all this show not tell stuff everybody seems to be all over these days. I almost want to say: Imagine a borough of New York City at night. Now blur it out and just watch as Charlie and Violet interact, or him with his friend, her with her friend. It’s not what I’m actually saying…but I hope I am more accomplishing.

The question is will someone else get it. Tough to say since I’m the only one watching this in my head.

Three: I am happy with my progress. I love that I could combine some old stories into this one by locations and side characters [from the first screenplay I ever wrote: If Only in My Dreams (2009) and a novel series I wrote a few years ago: Life Imitating Art (2013) as well as things that tie into other stories I’ve written including HT and Darrows. I’m like Stephen King in that way, I guess. I refuse to let any of my old characters/locations die.] Hopefully, Wings will be complete before our late, American Thanksgiving this year. *fingers crossed*

Four: Non-fiction November is going well. I think I’ve fallen in love with The Princess Bride all over again as I “see” it through someone else’s eyes. Cary Elwes narrates the tale perfectly…so far (I’m almost done). Westley is alive again!

Five: A quick moment for the readers of Wings as I go…the cast…or who I could see playing them in the movie version.

Charlie – Chris Evans

This is the actual image that spurned the entire story into existence. So how could he not be Charlie?

Violet – Kelsey Chow Asbille
(editing to fix her name. I had no idea she changed it.)

Maybe like a version that’s ten years older, but definitely her.

Darshan – Sidharth Malhotra

I imagine his voice more like Ravi’s (Rahul Kohli) voice from iZombie, British and sometimes implied snooty.

Amala – Danai Gurira

Because Amala has that same fierceness Michonne has, with guys instead of walkers though…

Off to the cave where my story awaits!
Fare-thee-well, my lovely readers.
Thanks for listening to the writing blathering this time.

(Fangirls never apologize for fangirling, though i can totally blame The Princess Bride for the way I phrased that. )

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Mr. Holland’s Opus

Anyone remember that movie?

It came out about the same time as Powder.

Both movies made me weep crocodile tears and kill off about thirty trees’ worth of tissues. They’re both one of those movies that I could only watch once, but I remember vividly and has yet to leave my mind.

Anyway…That’s the reference. The actual story for this post is this: I’ve decided that Human Touch may very well be my Mr. Holland’s Opus, but instead of creating the most beautiful piece of music, I’m trying to create a saga type tale along Harry Potter lines, minus the wizards, add ghosts, demons, but still witchery and religion mingling in a rom com YA.

Yeah, I still need a lot of work on finding the perfect genre for this sweeping series of stories that I would love to finish, that I want to share with other people, that I know is supposed to be out there in the universe somewhere rather than sitting in various Word docs and Scrivener files…and sitting in my brain.

This story has been ___ years in the making. The story idea started in my head in 2010, written out in a short “Note to Self” post-it on my computer–a literal post-it stuck to the laptop lid. 2011 it was a passing thought as I couldn’t figure out the story, the hook. 2012 it clicked when I was at Comic Con…and I was literally seven to ten people (depending if I let the others in my group go before me or after me) away from meeting someone while camping out for the Thursday Hall H opener. And after, I sat thinking, as most of the line was going to sleep…this is how my ghost would feel if this guy just missed her. She would be super bummed, like it should happen, but she’s a fracken ghost in love with a human…

And everything just became a waterfall. Possible names. Possible places. Events that go on in a high school senior’s life, things my ghost would have missed out on, the things that have changed from the 1980s to the (then) present day of 2012.

And this tale started spilling onto journal pages decorated with birds and trees. And when I had a rough plan, I began to type and type and type. Through tired fingers, tired brains, and temporary carpal tunnel as I’ve never typed that much before in a single sitting. Nikki and McClane came to life. The only thing I didn’t have, was an ending. Did I want to go typical HEA or did I want to go with reality?

I opted for HEA with a twist, leading to another book, then another, then another, then plans for two more just on their story, plans on four others for stories of other characters, then the alternate ending story which, truthfully is a book within itself (and almost completed in first draft now).

Spring 2013 – I had the first three books of Human Touch series typed. I call this first half of the series my baby, though it’s been said to never call it that. But in my eyes, it is. July to April to complete the three (very long) books in first draft. Nine long, learning filled months. The amount of time for a baby to grow and be born. My baby.

Fall 2013 – The first work was edited and formatted and re-written…a few times…then voila! I considered her done. Researched queries…which admittedly is still a weak point of mine…and sent them out. No after no. I’ve had about four personalized noes, feels like a thousand form noes, and a few that said it was great, but the genre was falling apart and they were taking less Paranormal Romance YA…which, this truly is being about ghosts…not that Vampire/Werewolf stuff they say is Paranormal. (THOSE ARE SUPERNATURAL!)

So fine. I put it away for a bit. Made some changes. Wound up expanding on the story. to over 150,000 words…and it still doesn’t cover everything.

And after taking out what was considered “non-essential” I had it down to 126,000…but it lost so much to me. Nikki’s personality was gone. Events that run through all six books, some through three, gone. Nothing made sense anymore. I hated it.

Summer 2014 – Queried that version. Again, the same amount of noes. pretty much just like that first list. So I put it away. Very far away. I even have drafts in a folder labeled: NEVER LOOK AT THESE AGAIN

Seriously. Those drafts are horrible. I hate them, but I refuse to delete them. Reminders of how terribly things can go wrong when writing.

Fall 2014 – Started another series, Love, Darrows. (As if I hadn’t written Last Man Standing, Life Imitating Art, Life Inspiring Art, and an untitled novella in there.) And it took a while to find my style and voice. I am pithy. I am also very verbose. (150,000 + words for one book!…*looking at Order of the Phoenix and wondering the comparison on that.*) I don’t like info dumps, though everyone critiquing my story (except the BFF and someone whose opinion on writing I trust more than Honest Abe) kept harping on show don’t tell. But I was showing. Maybe not in long-winded descriptions like most authors seem to do, like most agents seem to like as these books/stories are published. I think it detracts from the story. (see also The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo) I think describing bits and pieces that are important works with all of the events going on in the story. You’re getting the story. You’re getting the descriptions. You don’t need to know that McClane is in a western style shirt that is blue plaid with small black lines broken up with white and a t-shirt under that came from some band Nikki thinks is fake because Thirty Seconds to Mars makes no sense, though DeLoreans going 88 mph to time travel makes perfect sense, and how those items pair well with his tight denim jeans then the boots, cowboy not work, but I’ve seen some places where even the color of the shoelaces have been described just to paint the complete picture.

I hate it.

So it would go with me that Nikki would notice the worn jeans that are just right tight. She would jaw drop at those old boots of his, as though he’s been riding out on the range all day and is just now swooping into town all dusty. But then they talk… He says, “Hey, Kitten. You ready?” as “Hi, Cowboy,” wisps from her in a quiet breath. She can’t think of an answer to the rest. That hours later, during a hug, Thirty Seconds to Mars must make some great music. That t-shirt has been worn a thousand times, because it’s the softest thing she’s rested her cheek on. McClane’s football-sculpted chest rock was hard though. Then during their moonlight stroll, he offered her this cowboy shirt that was blue, plaid, and thin when she was shuddering from the cold breeze swarming them.

Something like that. That’s not even a part of the story which is how easy those characters are for me to write.

So here we are. 2015. Summer-ish. The story has been put away for a year now. One whole year–with the small exception of formatting a chapter for self-pub(?) here and there as writer’s block hits or I am too tired and it’s easier to type what I see than think. . And these characters are screaming at me. Like taking Cruz, Tyler, and Jamie–three guys from the newest story I’m writing–and shoving them to the side as though they aren’t important. McClane, Nikki, and Jaden are screaming at me, “Pay attention to us!” And a thought hit…what if I took my longest draft to date (the 156,000+ one) and kept the events the same, because they are perfect, and used my way of show not tell, only highlighting the most important things to these characters instead of painting out every little detail like I have.

And yesterday, since it was bothering me and I couldn’t go to sleep until I had it done…

I took chapter two…the real, almost original start to my story, the moment I love…it starts with him and her and it will end with him and her…and typed it out as though Nikki was talking through Quentin with less poetry. So far, I’ve condensed 2,505 words down to 1,600, and divided two-thirds of a chapter into two smaller chapters.

I rather like it. This is just a smidge more Nikki from the first drafts then the rambling long-windedness I hate.

So I’m now toying with writing the rest like this. Like Quentin without the poetry, but with the voice on an 18-year-old girl from 1989. Like it was. Taking this format that a few agents have liked enough to ask for full drafts of Darrows…That maybe there is a light to the end of this Human Touch tunnel

My Opus.

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