Evolution of a Novel: Nobody’s Girl


Just for the heck of it, I thought I’d share the evolution of this book’s writing.

Phase one: inspiration, daydreaming, plotting

Phase two: outline short story (11,000 words)

Phase three: rough draft (40,000 words)

Phase four: major revision (80,000 words)

Phase five: details sweep (going back through the book and adding in details here or there, or cutting some, that I made note of during the most recent read through) (81,000 words)

[current] Phase six: pry apart (taking the book apart, scene by scene, discarding bad ones, adding missing ones)

Phase seven: technical sweep (having musician friends check some of the technical info)

Phase eight: lyrics sweep (since there are heaps of songs quoted from the band)

Phase nine: final look

Phase ten: proofreading (myself, and at least three others with some grammar skills)

Phase eleven: formatting and proof copy review

Phase twelve: publication!

And while it appears I am only halfway through the process, phase six is the last time consuming one.  Everything afterwards will quickly run over a one to two week course of time, and a dream will finally come true as I get “Nobody’s Girl” to press!

What does YOUR process look like?



You Know You’re a Writer When…


Writing (Photo credit: jjpacres)

…every other email in your inbox has the subject heading, “idea for book.”  And nothing is capitalized or punctuated because you didn’t have time for such frivolities before the light turned green again.

…it suddenly occurs to you that nobody has actually ever heard of the greatest band on the planet, because your book hasn’t hit the presses yet.

…you dream in red ink.

…the idea of seeing your book in print is more exciting to you than the idea of marrying the perfect man.

…your best friend dreads facebook conversations with you because she’s certain you’re going to ask her for more commentary on “the book.”

…you have conversations with imaginary people to work on your dialogue writing skills, since your best friend won’t help you out at four in the morning.

…and then you discover that those same imaginary people talk back.  And they’re more intelligent than you are.

Today’s Writing Tip: FALL IN LOVE!

Big Heart of Art - 1000 Visual Mashups

Big Heart of Art – 1000 Visual Mashups (Photo credit: qthomasbower)

Recently while chatting with a friend about our writing endeavors, I realized that loving our characters as we write them is vital.  It can be a head-over-heels passionate kind of love, or that sort of love-hate thing (you know, love to hate them).   If you don’t love all of your characters, your audience won’t either.  Your hero/heroine must be lovable, human and vulnerable on varying levels, even–super heroes!  And, darn it, the antagonist must be somebody that everyone can love hating, too.  Or at least someone the readers can understand the dispute between protagonist and antagonist without much effort.  And it doesn’t matter what your genre is.  Mystery, romance, sci-fi, fantasy, thriller.  If your characters are loveable in some way, forget about anybody else getting wrapped up your story like you are.

And as far as love goes, you might discover that you don’t love your hero the most.  And that’s okay.  With Nobody’s Girl, I happen to be madly in love with the non-leading man.  And that’s totally acceptable.  Besides, this way, Tessie can have her guy, while I get mine.  Right?  (Now, to find him in the non-fiction world!)