Friday, April 30, 2010


I hit 250 last night--after realizing that I was in fact on page 253 and had passed 250...

So what's going on now?
-Chapter 27. Present day. Boston.
-First word on 250 is #65, 389 of 80, 114
-Last word is #65, 642 of 80, 114
First sentence: "Lord knows. Maybe we should look up 'voodoo priestess'."
Last sentence: I hit the icon for Google and type in "voodoo priestess," "Boston." Why not?
Word tells me I'm at 308 pages.

Thursday, April 29, 2010


I write awesome dialogue. I'm not going to be falsely modest about it. My first writing professor in college told me "Your dialogue's great!" I was reading one of my intern manuscript deals on Tuesday and while the narrative had that elegiac tone you read in literary fiction--at times--the dialogue? Not natural. Too long. Too wordy. Too..."literate writer who obviously crafted this."

During the Columbia writing program, dialogue was discussed often--since one of our assignments was to write a short scene, which obviously means dialogue. 1) It can't be like real life talk because that rarely makes sense and small talk is not fun to read. 2) It can't be too overly crafted because it takes the reader out of the piece and it won't read well (if it's a scene) and you start thinking 'who the fuck speaks like that?' 3) It has to move the plot along. 4) Subtext would be nice. 5) Has to say something about the character.

My personal pet dialogue peeve is the "As you know" speech. I read an egregious example of this in a submitted mystery--2nd chapter, Tough As Nails FBI Investigator and Her Boss are talking. And Boss goes into a "Well, when you started at the bureau ten years ago..." speech and then precedes to outline TANFBI Lady's entire career. Exposition much? Weave that shit in!

I'm also not a fan of characters spouting off entire paragraphs. Because how often do I speak in paragraphs? More like convoluted short spurts of words.

Do y'all have any dialogue-y things that get on your nerves in movies or books or in scenes?

Eva: “So…she gave you an ultimatum?”
Brix: “Yup."
Eva: “Her or me, basically?”
Brix: “I guess it boils down to that.”
Eva: “We’ll always be connected,” I say. “We have Aimee. We have, what, fifteen years of history. I’m serious about this. If you want to be with her, Brixton, if you feel that she’s good for you and you see a future, don’t push her away. It’ll only end up hurting all of us.”
Brix: “You’re trying to be magnanimous.” He turns to me. “Or are you trying to deflect me to her, so you can keep your shields up?”

In honor of working the working title into dialogue:

"If anything…There’s a drawer in my desk in the living room.”

“In Paris?”

“In Paris. There’s a file there marked ‘Last Request.’ It’s got my will and my life insurance policy.”

“Oh, Ev, don’t…”

“You’re the one who told me to write my will after we had the baby,” I point out. “It’s in English. I had Noel get it notarized here. You get full custody of Aimee. Don’t let anyone fight you on that. You get her. She gets my money and life insurance pay out.”

His eyes are brimming with tears. “Last request?"

Monday, April 19, 2010


I just finished my 200th revised page.

So, what is going on by page 200?

-Chapter 18. Flashback, late 1999. Something tragic has happened and it brings Brix and Eva close together. Takes place in New Orleans.
-Last word on page 200 is #53, 347 of 80, 367 words
-First sentence of 200: I felt cheated then.
-Last sentence of 200 is dialogue. Eva: "Your dad was so kind, Brix."

Another...oh, hundred or so pages to go.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Just hit page 150 of book revision. I'm going by little milestones and this means another 50 pages that I've read, pulled apart, added to, felt, cried over (no, seriously--cried over), and rewritten.

Current stats:

-Chapter 14 is a present-day chapter from Eva's POV. 150 is the middle of an intense scene (dare I say, the climax) between her and Brix. Takes place in Brix's restaurant's kitchen.
-Word says that the entire document is 299 pages, but it's not all formatted correctly yet, so who really knows? But still--that's almost 300 pages.
-The last word on Page 150 is word # 39, 883 of 78 592 words.

First sentence of 150:
"I think I had a blue bra on 'cause I remember wearing blue that day," I said.

Last sentence of 150:
"Yeah, Captain Obvious," he says. "Sorry. Go on."

And in another bit of not-important-news, I read a truly awful ms. last night. Freaking awful. Characters flat. Pompous prose. No hint of scenes or interaction or close POV. I lasted 25 pages out of a full manuscript. Lots of stereotypical description of setting. Took place in Manhattan, made snide narrative remarks about the boroughs--NOT COOL.

But I'm glad I read it because reading it made me realize that I'm actually quite a good writer and I am getting better with age and immersion and hard work and experience. Also, noticed in the email account today that two of the ms. I've read and stuck under "Dislikes" are now labeled "Waiting To Reject."

Monday, April 5, 2010

"Words, words, words."

Just perusing around on the blogs today--one of my favorite romance authors has a new book coming out tomorrow, which I should hopefully receive and devour in the next week--and found this post about revision.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Hello Spring!

It's a beautiful day here in Queens and I'm taking some time out of reading a book proposal to write this blog.
God, I'm a nerd. I mean, who thinks that writing is a break from reading?

It's part of my internship with a literary agency. I have a password to email accounts, in which there are labels for things that the office would like me to read/ give an opinion on. It's right up my alley, is good experience for an aspiring editor (not to mention that identifying other peoples' problems is always good practice to seeing your own), gives me something to do, and I can do it from home. Go paperless!

Rest assured, I'm still revising--I've reached Eva and Brix in New Orleans, the early days, plus the reveal of how exactly Eva's mother died...

Back to reading.