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Archive for September, 2013

People have been telling me I need an author page instead of just a friends profile. I’ve balked against it for awhile, not really sure what the benefit might be, and aggravated because Facebook doesn’t let the people who like your page always see it in their news feeds (they want you to pay to have everyone see it). But, it IS more professional than having a friends page. And there are people who might like your page who don’t want to get personal enough to add you as a friend. So I bit the bullet and did it.

Right now, I’m trying to just get to 100 likes. When that happens, I’m going to do a drawing from all the people who like my page for a signed paperback of one of my books. It will be winner’s choice of which one. So if you want to be entered into the drawing, go to Facebook and like my page. There’s nothing more you have to do to enter. 🙂

Lauralynn Elliott Author

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Has it actually been a WEEK since I’ve posted? Where does the time go?

I know it’s weird for me to have a blog post again involving plotting. I’ve always been such a total pantser. But, lately, I’ve gone over to the dark plotting side. I’ve done a couple of posts about all that. Susan Bischoff, AKA The Pink Hammer, has shared a lot of notes with me, helping me understand how plotting can help. It took me so long to get it into my thick head that just because I do some plotting, that doesn’t mean my characters can’t go in another direction if they want to. I always thought plotting meant I had to be rigid and not veer off the path, but after some strong talking to, I’ve been convinced that doesn’t have to be the case. The class I took at RNC with Lynn Lorenz also helped. All plotting has to do is give some structure and the basic things you need your story to do. If you think of something different, you can change your outline. Or notes. Or however you plot. I use a combination of a spreadsheet and some notes Susan has set up to ask basic questions. I don’t think I’ll ever get as detailed as Susan gets about a story, but there is a happy medium between extremely detailed plotting and pantsing. And I think I’ve discovered that happy medium.

So what does this mean for my current book? Well, I broke it down into 24 chapters (figuring a 50,000 word manuscript with a little over 2,000 words per chapter) to be adjusted if the story is longer or if there are more or fewer chapters. I went ahead and did the chapter headings with section breaks. (Doing the chapters ahead of time is a suggestion by Lynn Lorenz.) I know everyone is used to using page breaks. But you have to use section breaks for print to get the page numbers right. And when I checked my last book on the little thing they use on Amazon to see what your ebook looks like before submitting, I saw that when I use page breaks, it starts the chapter headings right after the previous chapter, but when I used section breaks, it starts a new page. But I digress. That’s not our topic here. 😛 Anyway, I was already almost halfway through my manuscript when I started plotting. So I went back and did the outline on my spreadsheet for chapters 1-10, which I had already written. Then, I did some outlining for chapters 20-24, because I know what needs to happen in the last part of the book. The challenge is going to be plotting chapters 11-19. That 3rd part of the book is always the hardest for me. I want to make sure the plot continues to move forward with no lagging parts. There has to continue to be mystery and eeriness. I think I’m going to add some extra angst to the hero, who is a very FLAWED hero, but redeemable.

Okay, this whole blog post is getting me anxious to start writing when I get home from work. I might let hubby talk me into watching Sleep Hollow before I get started. So now, lunch break is over, and it’s time to get back to my real job. Wait, writing is a real job, right? Unfortunately, this job pays more, so I need to get to work. 🙂

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Stephen King is the MASTER of character development. I have never read anyone who does this as well. In his book “11/22/63”, he did an amazing job with this, so much so that I felt like I was right there with the main character the whole time. And it was a long book, as most of King’s are. Another thing he does well is develop multiple characters with multiple POVs in his books. In Under the Dome and Needful Things (among others), he does a great job in switching the points of view from one character to the next, so that we get into the minds of all of them.

Okay, so here’s why I’m saying all that. My current WIP has a major backstory that needs to be told. Most of you know this because of other posts I’ve written. I’ve looked at several ways to tell the backstory, but there are two that I’m trying to decide between. 1) Doing a prologue about how the whole thing came about without telling the WHOLE story right away (because the reader doesn’t need to know EVERYTHING at first), or 2) writing the POVs of several of the characters to gradually tell the story. I’ve already done a scene where several of the townsfolk (the founders) get together and talk about a situation outside of the two main characters’ views. But there was no inner dialogue in this scene. Then, the other day, a scene from one of those character’s POV hit me and I had to write it. I haven’t yet inserted it into the manuscript, but I’m going to.

So here’s what I’m thinking. I MIGHT go ahead with a short prologue that gives a general gist of what happened ten years ago that got the ball rolling without giving too much away. Maybe use it as a teaser to the reader. Then, I can write scenes from the POVs of the characters involved, basically the antagonists, to slowly reveal the rest of the story. Stephen King writes multiple POVs seamlessly. But can I? I don’t know.

My questions to you. Have you ever written a book that had multiple POVs? If so, do you think it was effective? Were you happy with it? Did you find it difficult? Any advice?

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Last week was hectic since I had my friend’s 10-year-old son for almost a week. But that’s over, and although I miss him, it’s good for life to get back to normal. My goals are:

1) Write at least three hours this week. I didn’t write three hours. But there was a day at work where a scene was itching to get out, so I ended up writing it at work. I didn’t put it into my manuscript, but wrote it as a separate Word document. I need to figure out exactly where I want to add it since it’s from a “supporting” character’s POV.

2) Do at least 15 minutes of housework per day using the FlyLady challenges. I didn’t do it exactly this way, but I did get some housework done. I bought a couple of nice trunks, in two different sizes, to put some things in rather than have them scattered all over my bedroom or in ugly shoe boxes. And I got the Mt. Everest of paper off the bar that separates the kitchen from the living room. That looks much better now. 🙂

3) Get back to my healthy eating habits. It’s getting better. I’m taking baby steps in this.

So, are any of you finally getting some fall weather? We were actually in the high seventies yesterday instead of in the nineties. This was great since we went to my husband’s company picnic yesterday. Wonderful weather to be outside!

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When was the last time I did a Wednesday check-in? A while, I think.

So…this has been an interesting week, keeping my friend’s ten year old son. We’ve watched Scooby-Doo (I fell asleep), The Aristocats (I fell asleep), Mulan (I fell asleep)…you get the picture. I haven’t been bored, just tired. His air mattress is in the floor in front of the TV, so we both fall asleep watching TV, me on the couch. I end up getting up in the middle of the night to go to my actual bed. I sure am going to miss the little rascal when he goes back home tomorrow. I take him to another friend’s house during the day, where she home-schools him with her own kids. This has all forced me to make, you know, actual dinner. LOL

Today, the narrator (Al Kessel from Storyteller Productions) that’s doing the audio book for Haunted Lake sent the first six chapters. I approved it, so we’re moving onto the rest of the book. I’m so excited! And as I listened to it, I heard, once again, why it’s my favorite of all the books I’ve written. I only got to hear six chapters, and I was SO wanting to hear the rest of it. Even though I had read it many times. Even though I wrote it. It’s just my favorite story.

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I didn’t post last week because I was on my anniversary trip. Here’s how I’ve done on my goals this past week.

1) Write at least three hours this week. This didn’t happen. However, I started from the beginning and reread my whole WIP, which is about half finished. I added a little scene from my male main character’s point of view. And I’ve done some plotting for the rest of the story. So I’ve been fairly productive.

2) Do at least 15 minutes of housework per day using the FlyLady challenges. Major fail. But I did do a little housework, mostly picking up things from where they don’t belong. I’ve been slowly getting rid of some things. It’s hard to let go of things, thinking I might use them again. But if I haven’t used/worn it in a year, it needs to go away.

3) Get back to my healthy eating habits. I’m actually doing better. I haven’t made any drastic changes…that usually leads to failure. But I’ve gradually worked on eating better. And I’m still walking on the treadmill every day, so that helps.

This week, I’m keeping my friend’s ten-year-old son while she and her husband go on a business trip. This is an interesting experience. My boys are now men, so it brings back fond memories, although this child is a lot different from my sons. It’s going to be a fun week. I’m looking forward to playing games and watching kid’s shows. 🙂 (I’m being serious, not sarcastic.) The biggest problem is he and his parents are late to bed, late to rise. I’m early to bed, early to rise. I woke him up early this morning by making noise walking on the treadmill. I told him he would just have to adjust. LOL

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I’m now back to work trying to recover from my weekend. Why do we always have to rest from our vacations? LOL

My son said I shouldn’t have complained about the kids making so much noise above us in the motel room. He kind of made me feel bad. I got to thinking…what if there was a reason the kids were pounding their feet across the floor like a herd of elephants. But it turned out they were UNSUPERVISED kids, and each adult thought the other one was watching them. So maybe I did them a favor. What if they got hurt in the room alone? See, that’s what I keep telling myself so I don’t sound like a total horse’s butt.

Anyway, there were fireworks…

FIREWORKS

And accordion players…

ACCORDION PLAYERS

I used to be able to embed the videos in a post, but I couldn’t find that option. Maybe it’s not available on the iPad app? I’m having to use my iPad because my work computer is in the shop. I love my iPad and my iPhone, but I still prefer a computer. SO much easier.

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