I started my efforts around 8:30 this morning and slogged through, not hitting my word count until 6:30. Mind you, I took breaks to run to the post office, buy a new pair of badly needed casual shoes, get in a workout at the gym (still maintaining the 2015 goal), and grab some groceries. Yes, that’s a lot of breaks. And no, I wasn’t super-focused distraction free writer today, but I think that had a lot to do with words. Let me explain…
When I’m in a story, and I’m excited, the writing goes faster. When the writing slogs, one of two things are happening. Either it’s just one of those scenes that has to be slower to facilitate what’s coming, OR the scene is wrong. Today was the latter. I’d ventured down a path that just wasn’t leading anywhere. It felt dull, the pacing was off. What to do?
Delete, delete, delete. When in doubt…cut a bunch of stuff you already wrote. Maybe cry a little.
This is the importance of writing constantly. Write everyday (or most days) because a lot of that writing will be garbage, meant to be tossed. You write often to eventually get to the good stuff.
That’s all for now.
BTW, the blog is back!
Don’t forget, enter to win an ARC of my latest, ENDANGERED. Info Below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
I know I’ve been MIA for roughly a thousand years, but for good reason. I sold another book (cue airhorns, confetti, balloon drop). Thing is, I sold this book on proposal, meaning my publisher (HarperCollins, again) only saw a summary, and some sample chapters before ponying up some cash. Also meaning I had to produce an entire manuscript based on that summary and sample chapters. In six months. While working a brutally demanding day job. And preparing for the 1/21/2014 release of FAKE ID.
These are what we call “good” problems, I suppose. But, boy, did I have to hustle.
So, yeah, I descended into the WriterCave for many moons. Had to climb out. When I did, I emerged with…
It’s called ENDANGERED (for now, titles change and I’m almost positive this one will, too). The short description goes like this: Lauren “Panda” Daniels wants to photograph wildlife for National Geographic someday. In the meantime she settles for snapping shots of her cruel classmates in compromising positions and posting them anonymously on the web. When Panda receives a photo of herself—caught red-handed in her voyeuristic revenge act—she expects the mystery photographer to bust her. Instead, she receives a series of dangerous photos from the shutterbug she dubs “The Admirer,” and along with the photos, a dare: top the death-defying snapshots. Panda meets every challenge, until the little game turns deadly. Now Panda must save the classmates she once exposed—their lives, and hers, are at stake.
That’s my latest baby, delivered to my editor at 12:22 PM yesterday. There’s still plenty of work to do here, but it’s a heck of a relief anytime you can call Draft 1 (or, if this was an Apple product, iDraft 1.04) done.
Now, I must switch gears, as FAKE ID’s release is right around the corner. I’m busy talking to folks about the book (librarians, booksellers, journalists), attempting to make arrangements for a book release party, and generally getting comfortable with the idea of being the front man for a roadshow starting early next year. Is it scary? Hell yeah! In the best way possible? You know it.
In coming posts, I’ll let you know how the lead up is going. My very next post will be about some of the lessons I’ve learned as a pre-debut author. I think you’ll find it interesting and eye-opening if you have any illusions that a writer’s work is glamorous in any way. Getting a book deal is just one of many hurdles, folks. Come back and I’ll tell you about it.
Book sales matter, particularly the sales in the first few weeks of a book’s release. It would mean a lot if you would either pre-order FAKE ID from your preferred bookseller, or make plans to order it on the release day, 1/21/2014. I’d like to keep doing this for a long time, but ultimately, it’s you who makes that decision.
Every little bit helps, and I appreciate you supporting my work. Thanks.
‘Til next time…
Hafsah at IceyBooks just gave the world its first look at the cover for my upcoming Young Adult debut, FAKE ID, which is out in January. Get thee over to IceyBooks for a glimpse of what’s coming, and enter to win an Advanced Reader Copy of the book (Yes, that means you get to read it before most of the world…NICE!)
In case you missed the other two links in this post, here’s another: http://www.iceybooks.com/2013/06/fake-id-by-lamar-giles-cover-reveal-and.html
Take a look and help spread the word!
It’s rare that a post can be random and relevant, but that’s kind of what this is. The relevant part involves the trip I’ll be taking later this week to attend the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) 40th Anniversary conference in Los Angeles. I’ll get to rub elbows with some industry folks and attend cool and informative workshops, which is always a plus. But, more importantly, I’ll get to meet my very good writer friend Jennifer Bosworth and my Super Agent Jamie Weiss Chilton in person for the very first time (this alone is worth the price of the plane ticket).
Confession: I rarely get excited. It’s like my brain secrets Prozac, I’m so even keel. However, this trip excites me. It’ll be my first time on the west coast, and I can’t wait to see LA for myself. I’m from Virginia and the farthest west I’ve been is Texas…all I know about LA comes from ENTOURAGE and KEEPING UP WITH THE KARDASHIANS. My only regret is that my wife can’t make this trip with me, but she’s demanded that I bring her back something “decidedly LA”. I’m thinking a jar of smog.
That was your dose for relevant, time for the random…
I’m a Type A all the way, an obsessive PLANNER. So, uncharacteristically, I made a misstep in my conference prep. See, it’s good protocol to have business cards with you when you attend these things because you meet so many people there’s no way to keep everyone straight in your head. And I have A METRIC TON of business cards already. The problem: the cards are specific to my Indie Pubbed adult paranormal novel LIVE AGAIN, which maybe doesn’t matter too much, but it’s not the impression I necessarily want to make at conference centered around books for children and young adults. This didn’t occur to me until Thursday night, exactly 1 week before I get on a westbound plane.
The Type A in me panicked. While all of my relevant contact info was on the LIVE AGAIN business cards, I’d simply be MORTIFIED to hand those out at SCBWI…it’d be like, I don’t know, wearing white after Labor Day. I needed something representative of my young adult work. Since graphic design is a hobby I’ve dabbled in for the last two years, I got the bright idea that I would DESIGN A NEW BUSINESS CARD IN ONE HOUR, so I could make a rush order with Vista Print and get new cards before I leave.
If you’re a planner, too, you probably already see what’s wrong here…
It was close to midnight when I started my ambitious design project. I’d been up since 5 AM. I discovered SLEEP-DEPRIVED DESIGNING is kind of like DRUNK DIALING YOUR EX…you wake up the next day with one thing and one thing only on your mind, “What the hell did I do?”
I completed my design, all with a snazzy, unique color palette (not the problem), and this cool little ink-in-water accent along the bottom left to highlight all my social media logos (not the problem). I even added a custom logo (problem).
The logo I’d been working on was meant to represent a character I’d created for a YA project. It’s essentially the silhouette of a guy wearing these big ’80’s style headphones because the character was really into music. I got the basic logo from istockphoto and planned to tweak it (which I never got around to) so I could throw it on some promotional stuff. Really, there’s nothing wrong with the idea on paper. The problem comes in when you consider the following (something my sleep addled mind was not able to do…at the time it seemed like the best idea ever, freaking award-worthy):
1) The character changed, and music isn’t as big a part of his makeup as it used to be. The headphones are insignificant now.
2) I can’t say too much about this project yet. And I can’t say WHY I can’t say much about this project yet.
3) Since the character changed, and I’m not supposed to discuss him too much, the logo is meaningless. It’s like painting a Pepsi logo on a prehistoric rock for the dinosaurs to stare out.
4) This is the worst part – It’s a kid wearing BIG ASS HEADPHONES. That doesn’t exactly scream WRITER. It screams DJ!!!!!
And I paid fifty bucks to get my new DJ business cards in time for my WRITER’S conference. <Insert Joke Here>.
So if you happen to be at SCBWI next week and you’re looking for me, I’ll be the guy saying, “Hi, I’m Lamar. I’m a writer…but I also do weddings.”