Monday, October 24, 2011

Melissa-ish Monday - What To Write Next? edition

So. I have a conundrum. I've finished round one edits for Book 2 in the Tales of Gymandrol series.

What do I work on next??

I have the following projects:
-Middle grade (MG) book about a girl, contemporary setting - 10 pages written
-Young Adult (YA) book about a guy, contemporary setting - outline somewhat written
-General fiction (possibly "chick lit") about a 20-something after her engagement is broken off - 15 pages written
-Book 3 in the Tales of Gymandrol series - 80 pages written

Chris said I should work on Book 3 so I can get it out of my head. BUT! I'm kinda thinking I want to work on something other than fantasy for a short time. I was able to finish a young reader's book this month and it was so much fun to do something radically different than YA fantasy. It also made me realize how much I love so many different genres of books. Not only to read but also to write.

And for NaNoWriMo, you're not supposed to work on anything that you've already written. might be the YA guy story. Or...I might have some new lightning bolt idea between now and November 1!

That's it for this Melissa-ish Monday. What are you planning on writing for NaNoWriMo?

Happy writing!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Interviewed by Kerry Castorano

The super fun Kerry Castorano (author of VALREN) interviewed me! Check it out. :)

Getting to know Melissa Buell

Friday, October 21, 2011

NaNoWriMo Time!

It's (almost) that time again! NaNoWriMo time! National Novel Writing Month is in November. Have you signed up yet? If you're on, find me: MelissaBuell and we can be writing buddies. :)

If you haven't signed up, do it now! It's a great challenge and SO much fun to dedicate some time EVERY DAY to write. I'll be working on a contemporary YA romance book that takes place at the Ren. Faire. Good times!

NaNoWriMo site

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

First drafts for Book 2

I spent Friday night, most of Saturday, and Sunday evening on the first draft line edits for Book 2 (tentatively titled THE HIDDEN BLESSING) in The Tales of Gymandrol series. Line edits are essential to having a good book. My editor, Farrah, sent me back my novel with her suggestions for changes (along with essential changes -- like making those double hyphens into a "em dash" and the proper way to make an ellipses.)
What happens in "line edits":
-Taking out all those wretched adverbs that I am so good at including! (Farrah had dubbed me "The Adverb Queen" during Book 1.) Thankfully, I've grown out of saying things like, "She ran quickly." Duh! If she's running, it's quickly! :-P  (Same with "yelled loudly" "whispered quietly") Those like to sneak into writing. If you're not sure if you do this, use the "find" feature in Word and search "ly" for those adverbs. Let me know how many you find! :)

-Redundancies. This is one I'm guilty of. It's very hard to find other words for "room" or "face" when you're writing a whole scene where a room is important or faces are important. The thesaurus doesn't help with this. My editor does. Because she's awesome. It's also important to have someone else read your work because you won't notice that you've used "face" three times in three sentences right away. What else? Check if your character always does the same thing. Does he "quirk his eyebrows" ALL the time? Does she "cross her arms" when she's mad? EVERY time? Change it up a little! :)

-Making sentences active instead of passive. This was a hard one for me to think about first but once I saw Farrah's first example, I totally understood. (You can google search for it for good examples.)

-Changing the way a phrase reads. Sometimes it just reads awkwardly. And it has to be rewritten. More than once. If you're not sure, read it out loud. It can be a lot of work but it'll make it better!

I'm now re-reading the whole manuscript to see if the changes I made fit. I'll be rather boring for awhile on Twitter and blogging. It's all for the greater good! :)

Happy writing!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Editing Fun!

I'm working on edits for book two in The Tales of Gymandrol series this weekend. My boys are gone camping but my little sister is over. We are apparently low on sleep and full of caffeine because everything is funny right now.

I did a load of laundry, straightened up the living room and then went back to the office.
"Well, back to the salt mines!"
Sister: "Did you say the 'salt mines'?"
"Um, yeah. Hard work."
"You are definitely abnormal."
Yes, yes I am. ;)

Sister: "So, I was telling my parents about me being dorky."
Me: "Because they didn't already know?"
"How would they know about me being dorky?"
"They live with you!"
"Wait, what are you talking about?"
"You being dorky?"
"No! About me being DOROTHY for Halloween!"

*Sister checking Twitter*: "Why would I follow Justin Beiber?"
Me: "I think Twitter adds random people to your Twitter feed."
"Maybe I started to follow him just to annoy me? But why would I do that?"
*me laughing*

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Melissa-ish Monday - Naming A Book edition

My fantastic editor Farrah Penn is currently doing the "line edits" on Book 2 in The Tales of Gymandrol series. I'll be reading those and editing my story based on her recommendations this weekend. (Hopefully I will get those done this weekend!!) I'll probably hole up at Starbucks on Friday night and write and write and delete and write some more. :)

There are a few things that I already know that I need to work on. First of all, one of the "bad guys" needs to be more...bad. He's a bit whiny right now and he needs to have more of a psychotic side to him. (And this is hard for me to do!) Secondly, I need to make my main guy less perfect. He needs to have some of the shine taken off of him. But I have to do it in a way that he is still likable. I've been thinking about flaws to inflict upon give him. Any ideas? And thirdly, MOST IMPORTANTLY - The Title. *dun dun dunnnnn*

Oh, The Title. So, I named my story after a very important event that takes place during much of the novel. After I finished writing my story, I went to Barnes and Noble and was wandering around (as I'm wont to do) the children's area. To my surprise and chagrin, I found a book with the same name as my story! And by an author that I adore!! In my same genre!!! *huge sigh*

Where does that leave me? Scrambling to find a new Title. Yay. (Not really yay.) The first Title was SO easy to come up with and everything else seems flat to me. I've made a list of action words and nouns that are in the story to see if I could find something to combine to make the Best Title Ever! It hasn't happened yet. Everything I've written feels like a Nancy Drew mystery or a Hallmark Channel movie.

Examples: "Finding Emma" (NO), "The Secret of the Princess" (NO), "The Forlorn Princess" (NO), "The Mystery of the Lost Princess" (NO), "Finding the True Princess" (NO). Grrrrr....This is going to take some time. If you have any ideas, throw them at me! I'll give you credit in my "Acknowledgments" area of the book. :)

Happy writing!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Melissa-ish Monday - Painting Edition

 One of the things I like to do in my free time is paint. Fine painting, not room painting. Since I don't have a lot of free time (and the little that I do is spent writing), I don't have much opportunity to paint. BUT I managed to carve out a little time to finally finish this painting!

The next one I need to finish is a watercolor that I started about a year ago. I worked on it about two months ago and I really want to get back to it. It needs some finishing touches (outlining and such).

I'm also exciting to start subbing again. I have my first job of the school year tomorrow and it will be great (High School History classes FTW!). I hope you all have a happy week!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

AT Russell interviewed me!

Happy Saturday everyone!

Author AT Russell interviewed me and you can find the interview here.
AT is a fellow TLT Publishing author and his series "Great Alpha Werewolf" is coming out next year. For more info about AT, click here for his website.