Breaking Up is Hard to Do

I’m at that point in The Easy Part when I have to break the central couple up and seriously, I hate doing this. Someday I’m going to write a book where the central couple don’t get together until the very end just so that I can avoid writing painful scenes like the one I’m about to attempt.

For NaNoWriMo, I’m at 33,554 words, with 56,906 total in the manuscript. Let the bridge burning begin!

(Also, it isn’t on their blog but I think I can write about it: Brave in Heart finaled in the 2012 Novellas Need Love Too contest, sponsored by the Celtic Hearts Romance Writers. Yay!)


I’m at 16,689 words for NaNoWriMo. I’m about 5,000 words behind, though I haven’t done any writing today. With some consistency and luck, I might be able to win. At the very least, I’m making good progress on The Easy Part, which now has 40,035 words and should be done by the end of the year.

Really, though, this post mostly serves as a reminder to check your characters’ names against those not just of the other characters in the book you’re writing but those in your other WIPs. The heroine in the recently finished Brave in Heart? Margaret. The heroine in The Easy Part? Millie (short for Amelia). The heroine in Brave in Heart’s sequel, which I’m plotting in my head? Matilda.

Why am I so fixated on the letter M?

I can’t change any of these names. I’m far enough along in the characterization that it would be weird. Margaret is Margaret. Millie is Millie. Matilda is Matilda. But I think it’s safe to say that I’m done with M-named heroines for a while.

Mood Music, Part 2

This is for the Washington contemporary which is at 25,000 words and now has a complete outline. A victory plan if you will.

I have realized that I have a tendency to write complex heroines and too perfect heroes. I’m annoyed that my heroines always have these “issues” that need to be fixed and that the conflict in the hero’s trajectory is always external. I need to fix that.

Continue reading “Mood Music, Part 2”

Plan, Plan, Plan

I’ve been traveling and dissertation writing and haven’t worked on fiction in a week. But I have been reading K.M. Weiland’s Outlining Your Novel and I think I know why I tend to hit 20,000 words and then have the well run dry.

When I’m thinking about a new project, I do commit some notes to the page. Usually this plan is less than one page single-spaced. It identifies the characters then briefly summarizes the plot. I generally have some ideas for major scenes: how the heroine/hero meet; the first kiss; maybe a subplot. There’s a lot of unanswered questions. A lot of “and then something happens and they fight” or “somehow, that subplot that I haven’t defined resolves the conflict.” It’s not a plan at all, really, it’s a sketch. And I’ve discovered that I sketch in 20,000 – 30,000 word chunks.

What I need to do is not to let myself jump into the writing until I can write a fuller sketch — something more like a plan or an outline — so that all the writing can be as good as the first two frenzied weeks tend to be. I feel like I could write a novel in about 6 weeks, but only if I have a solid detailed plan.

To focus on the good for a minute, I’ve written 40,000+ words in the past month, plus revisions for Together is Enough and dissertation reading/writing. It’s not enough to “win” NaNoWriMo, but it’s much more than I could produce when I started writing fiction last November. I still like both projects and want to continue working on them. But I think I need to pause and work through an outline or plan before I can finish drafting.

What are some of your strengths and weaknesses as a writer? How are you approaching them?

Word Count Check In

The novella has 20,053 words. It’s gotten to a very sad place and it distresses me. But I love my characters and I need them to achieve happily ever after.

I also started writing the novel of the sticky scene, and it has 3,301 words. And I absolutely love it. It’s such frisky fun and I’m resisting my normal impulse to get the hero/heroine together too quickly. I don’t think I can stand to break these two up, so it’s more of the will they/won’t they plot. We’ll see how it goes.

Plus, I finished my dissertation introduction and I worked on revisions on dissertation chapters and Together is Enough. It was a very successful writing week.


Word Count Check-In

My novella’s up to 14,231 words and I hope to write this evening. I only penned 5 dissertation pages this week, but I worked fairly extensively on revisions for Together is Enough, which I hadn’t planned for. I’m going to go ahead and call that a successful writing week.

Next week will be all about the dissertation, but I’d like to get the novella over 20,000 words.

I’ll get a full review up at some point in the future, but I wanted to draw the attention of my readers to Kimberly Truesdale’s new novel, My Dear Sophy, a beautifully realized prequel to Jane Austen’s Persuasion. I was fortunate enough to read an early draft and I can assure you that it’s delightful and squee-worthy. You should just go buy it now.

Happy writing!

Word Count Check-In

7968 words for the novella. About 30% of the way there, at least if my outline turns out to be accurate.

I hate when you end up with a middle chapter that you don’t want to write but need for the story. For me, it always ends up being a chapter in my notes that contains the phrase “they fight.” I’m not good at writing conflict.

I’d like to have 15,000 words by the end of next weekend, plus 15 dissertation pages. That’s a lot of writing.