Posts Tagged ‘Check-in’
No, I didn’t sell my MS … or even sign with an agent.
What I did do — no small accomplishment, let me tell you — is surpass my goal to write 100,000 words this year.
Yes, I said THIS YEAR — and it’s only June. Since NARWA’s word count challenge began in January, I’ve kept track of words written. My goal was to write 100,000 by our November meeting.
This afternoon, while sitting at Barnes & Noble, I hit 100,967. (I might not have been faithfully updating my “Word count countdown” widget in the sidebar, but I have been keeping track in my Excel spreadsheet.)
Thanks go out to Meg & Matt, Bethany & Cody, Bree & Mike and Cassie & Dustin, the characters that have helped me meet my goal. Thanks also go out to my NARWA sisters and the gals at the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood, all of whom have provided support and encouragement. I hope I can return the favor.
Of course, I’m not going to stop writing. Unofficially, I think I’ll push to write another 100K before the end of the year. With Bethany & Cody talking to me practically nonstop, it’s entirely do-able.
I was enjoying a nice, quiet get-to-know-you lunch with my characters when Bethany dropped a bombshell.
Even in “Blind Date Bride,” I knew that Beth was different. She’s the one who tried to get Kari to get in touch with her inner tramp, and who told Kari, “Keep a man happy in bed and he’ll keep you happy out of it.”
Yes, my Bethany LOVES sex. She’s been around the block so many times the sidewalk was named after her. (It bothers her a little that she’s had more partners than Cody, even though he’s 3 years older, but it bothers her more that he’s more content to cuddle than burn up the bedsheets.)
While I was jotting notes about their appearances and history, Beth revealed something surprising. Scratch that: It went beyond surprising and landed smack-dab in the middle of astonishing land.
It turns out Bethany had her first sexual experience at 14 years old. Wait — that’s not the surprising part. At 16, her mom kicked her out of the house for trying to seduce her stepfather. (It didn’t happen … it was all in mom’s head, but it still left Bethany estranged from her mom and kid sister.) She moved in with her aunt to finish high school, then went off to college, where she met Kari (and spent a lot of time on her back, staring at frat house ceilings).
I have no idea what to do with that tidbit. Where does it fit into the story? Will she reconnect with mom? Will she finally realize that there’s more to a good relationship than great sex? (I think she has to … and in the realization, sex with Cody will go beyond great to soul-shattering.)
Anyway, nothing Cody has come out with is all that surprising. It’s not that I find him boring … in fact, he’s shaping up to be one of my favorite heroes (right behind Mike James and Damien). But so far, he’s pretty tame. There is something in his past, alluded to in Kari and Damien’s story, but so far, he’s mum about what it is.
A counselor for at-risk teens, he’s working long hours (which concerns Beth because he’s sometimes — often — too tired to get busy) in part to save up for an engagement ring. He believes actions speak louder than words (and thinks spending the day shopping tells Beth he loves her). Above all, he likes being comfortable, which is why he’s often content to cuddle. Even in high school, he wasn’t one of those guys who was always trying to get some.
I probably need to get to the bottom of that before I get too far into the story.
Right now, I’m in Chapter 3. And, to borrow a catchphrase from McDonald’s, I’m lovin’ it … surprises and all.
Bethany and Cody are chattering away in my head and I’m getting more and more antsy to start telling their story. Today, I spent an hour or so sketching out a basic plot.
Since I’m not much of a plotter, that’s already more plotting than I usually do for a book. I’m thinking it might be time to sit down and write.
Of course, if I do more pre-planning, it’ll make the actual writing easier, right? I keep hoping that’s the case. Usually, I just have a vague idea that something has to blow up in my characters’ faces … this time, I already have a great Black Moment in mind.
It’s been a busy weekend: I’m also doing some research on agents, in preparation to send out queries on “Blind Date Bride.” I’m excited about that story — and I believe in it.
After reading agent Nathan Bransford’s blog post on the importance of having one-sentence, one-paragraph and two-paragraph pitches ready for your novel (you never know when you’ll run into your Dream Agent in an elevator, after all), I decided to take a stab at crafting some of my own.
One sentence: As the reluctant winners of a cable TV network contest, a painfully shy woman and an outgoing man — neither of whom are seeking a spouse — must marry and live together for 90 days, learning true love — not cold, hard cash — is the real prize.
One paragraph: Thanks to her meddling best friend, Kari Parker earns the dubious distinction of becoming the “Blind Date Bride” — sentenced by the judges in Romance TV’s “Get a Love Life” contest to meet and marry a complete stranger for 90 days. Unable to pass up the cash prize that she wants to help her parents’ failing restaurant, she finds herself saddled with a too-big, too-strong and too-friendly husband who reminds her way too much of the ex she’s been running from for years. Then Kari moves from the spare room to Damien’s bedroom to accommodate a camera crew filming a reality show of their “marriage” and realizes she doesn’t have a chance of making it through the 90 days with her heart intact.
Two paragraphs: Thanks to her meddling best friend, Kari Parker earns the dubious distinction of becoming the “Blind Date Bride” — sentenced by the judges in Romance TV’s “Get a Love Life” contest to meet and marry a complete stranger for 90 days. She agrees to do it because the prize money will save her parents’ foundering restaurant. Damien Walker didn’t enter the “Get a Love Life” contest, either — his buddy was hoping he’d win second prize, a trip for two to Club Med. But when a panel of romance experts says he has the worst love life in America, he realizes he has become too wrapped up in his veterinary practice. He sees his beautiful, bogus bride both as a lifeline to pull him out of his dull existence and a puzzle to solve.
The real fun begins when Kari moves from the spare room to his bedroom to accommodate the camera crew they agree to let film a reality show of their “marriage.” As Damien tries to figure out why Kari bolts every time they touch, she quickly realizes she’ll never make it through the 90 days without succumbing to his advances. Worse yet, she finds herself wanting to trust Damien and see if they can make their sham marriage real in every sense of the word.
I was pretty pleased with my efforts, especially when I had a chance today to use my longest pitch on an editor taking pitches on someone’s blog today.
Well, either I did a poor job communicating what I wanted to convey or “Blind Date Bride” isn’t as ready for querying as I thought, because the editor didn’t have a kind word to say. She said my plot was too far-fetched.
What, I ask you, is so far-fetched about a TV network coming up with a crazy, intrusive premise for a show and changing people’s lives? 😉
Maybe I just need to explain their motivations a little better … but this is the short version — even shorter than my one-page query. Hmm. What to do, what to do?