Saturday, April 23, 2005

Suspense manuscript is done!

Captain's Log, Stardate 04.22.2005

At 9:00 PM (PST) I typed the last word to my Asian suspense manuscript! Well, I still have several crucial items of revision ahead of me, but the bulk of it is done.

I celebrated by watching the movie "The Day After Tomorrow" with my husband. Awesome special effects. I loved the tornadoes in L.A. I admired the writing and suspenseful plot development--each scene moved to the next one with good pace, with no release of tension. I liked the deleted scenes much better than the ones they had in instead--they added more depth and color to the movie--but oh well, I'm not the editor.

I also watched the most emotional TV episode that I've ever seen, the most recent one of "House." A woman who had several miscarriages is finally pregnant (7 months?) but she also has a fast-acting lung cancer. The whole episode talks about the moral dilemma of saving the mother or the baby. The mom wants the father to raise the baby, and while it seems self-sacrificing, I thought it was selfish because the father would rather have her survive and try for another baby, but she's not taking his desires into account, just her own.

Finally the cancer causes problems with her oxygen levels and they have to operate to try to save her, but she begins to bleed into her abdomen--she's dying. Dr. House has to leave the OR, go to the father in the waiting room and ask for permission for a C-section to save the baby. The C-section would guarantee the woman's death, but the baby might be saved. I started bawling when the father realized he had to give the okay to kill his wife in order to save his son. There's something faintly "Passion-ate" about this, don't you think?

Oh and talk about BLESSED! I've been wondering if I should spend money on Silhouette Bombshell books since my suspense kind of falls under that category of women's fiction. Then suddenly I get a FedEx package that announces I won the eHarlequin Bombshell sweepstakes. I got a Bombshell duffel bag and FIVE FREE BOMBSHELL BOOKS! Including "Stella Get Your Gun," a quirky Bombshell that I've really wanted to get. Praise God! I wonder if this is a hint from Him that I should be writing these types of stories? Hmm . . .

Writing: Man, this manuscript was painful. My analogy is childbirth, although I've never gone through it. :-) The first child (manuscript) just popped right outta me, this second one was a long and difficult labor.

One thing I noticed when finishing is that although I had my handy-dandy spreadsheet with all my scenes listed, and even though I had a whole outline with notes and snippets of dialogue, a few major plot discrepancies only came up when I was typing. It was jarring to have to stop and brainstorm what could save these illogical story directions.

I didn't have these things when I wrote my Chicklit, maybe because it wasn't a plot-driven storyline. For this suspense manuscript, the plot has to make perfect sense and the characters need good reasons for what they do, which in turn drives the story. Any breakdown influences what happens next. I can't get from point A to point C if point B in between doesn't make sense

Luckily, these were fixable discrepancies. I also am glad I took the time to plot my scenes out, because it made writing much much easier and faster. I couldn't imagine what holes I might have written myself into if I hadn't already figured out the plot progression and story logic. As it was, I only had two scenes to trash and rewrite.

I was soooooo distracted by my emails. I really wanted to keep in touch with my writers groups and had a hard time fighting temptation. I really need more discipline.

I learned that I can actually plot a story while writing another one. Since I had already laid out my scenes in detail for the suspense, I could use my brainstorm time (usually the time I walk during lunch at work) for the next projects, the Chicklit novella and Chicklit suspense. I already have a good idea for the Chicklit novella and only a few major points to formulate for the Chicklit suspense. I think I am being very efficient!

The novella is next, since it's shorter and easier to think through. The Chicklit suspense needs tightening of the crime details.

Diet: I've done aerobic exercise everyday this week, either running or walking. Eating hasn't been great food choices (who can say no to Thai food? Yum!) but I'm not overeating, at least. Been drinking lots of water, been drinking lots of iced tea too.


  1. Yay on finishing the ms!!!! now get your butt online and tell me what's going on with you!

  2. now that was a request not a demand. *gg*