My characters and I have been trapped up on the Seiser Alm for weeks now. Don’t get me wrong. It’s a beautiful place to be. I’ve enjoyed the research. But today, I decided that I had to break out. After studying pictures and video from the web–not to mention our old photo albums, I knew … More Escape from the Seiser Alm!
I’m finally digging in again on PORTRAIT. This week I managed to pull together over a thousand words. It really shouldn’t be that difficult. I try not to get jealous when my Facebook friends manage to pull together three or four thousand words a day. But one of the problems with this chapter is that … More Over 11,000
When my son started running long distance, his coach said something pretty close to the following: “Sprinters are born, but you can be successful in long distance if you put in the miles.” (Now, of course, the elite long distance runners are probably also born, but I’m guessing that even they need to put in some serious … More Putting in the Miles
It felt like I was back to my old plodding ways. On April 19th, I was at 5600 words. Yesterday, I was hardly 1000 words further along as I struggled to get my character from Merano to the Alpe di Siusi–or as she’d say from Meran to the Seiser Alm. (Elise has a connection to the German population … More Over 7000 Words
Back in March, I opened up a fresh blank book that I’d gotten for Christmas last year and started scribbling away on what I’d been calling the Italian chase novel. The black and white cloth cover was attractive enough. I would have been happy to scritch-scratch away on all of my outlines and extremely rough … More Another Blank Book
In general, I tend to work quite slowly. Dialgoue might flow easily, but then I have to smooth all of the details that bring a story to life with action, description and movement. That’s why I’m just a bit surprised to discover that I’m about 5600 in. The first chapter is fairly polished. The second has … More Over 5000 Words Already?
Every novelist approaches projects differently. My technique is usually to get what I call a semi-polished rough draft in place for one chapter before moving on to the next. In my case, that means that I’ve got most of the dialogue down as well as a goodly chunk of the action. Instead of polished description, … More Chapter 2: Roughed In
Last weekend I made my usual pilgrimage back to Missouri for the annual SCBWI retreat. One of the guests was Jennifer Mattson, an agent with Andrea Brown. She joked that she was “celebrating the nerdiness within” as she prepared her speech because it brought her back to the days of writing term papers. I had to smile when … More Plotting and Planning with Jennifer Mattson
Picture book writers maintain that they have to slave over every single word. I believe them. In fact, I was more than willing to agree with them that they had a much tougher job on a word by word basis than novelists did. That was before I spent three weeks writing the first chapter of … More Chapter One….More or Less Done!
It’s been a long, long time since I started a new project. But today, I created a file with the name of ItalianChase and managed to produce just over 500 words. It will be another young adult novel, but more in the vein of a suspense/thriller than a cozy mystery. In fact, bad things are … More Starting a New File