My Projects

How I Revise

I'm in the middle of revision right now. Though my process is different for each project, I'll share the revision method for my current WIP.

Step One: I print out the whole thing in whatever font strikes my fancy, but it's always double-spaced so I have enough room to scribble notes. Then I read it through in 3-5 days and make notes. They're not extensive, mind you. It's mostly for big things like:

  • Yawn. This lags.
  • This doesn't belong here.
  • I have no idea what this sentence is trying to say.
  • Oops. Misplaced punctuation / words.
  • Who's saying this?
  • Action choreography doesn't make sense here.
  • This point deserves emotional depth upgrade.
  • Whoa. Emo much?
  • Repetitious.

Step Two: I consult my Maass notes and go through the hard copy draft again, this time marking places that could be changed / improved per my notes. If I run out of space on the actual manuscript page, I use a notebook designated for revision.

Step Three: I finally make all the changes on my computer.

Step Four: I spend about 2 weeks doing nothing but reading other people's books and/or working on some other projects, but I do not revise anything I've written, even if it's not my WIP. (I might beta for other people who I may ping later for Steps Seven and Eight below.) This helps me "reset" my eyes and brain, so to speak.

Step Five: I print out the WIP again. Repeat Step One. Then go through it again with ECE and EDITS.

Step Six: Make changes to my soft copy. Send to the 1st set of betas.

Step Seven: Make any changes as needed per the 1st set of betas.

Step Eight: Send it to the 2nd set of betas. (By this point, the manuscript should be more or less in shape.) Make final changes as needed.

Step Nine: Send to Agent. Give myself a week of detox time from revision so I can "reset" again as I know Agent usually has her own set of revision comments, etc.

How do you revise? What tools / books have you found helpful?

2010 Is Half Over...!

Can you believe it's already July? 2010 is officially half over.

Since finishing the first draft of my Sekrit Love Story in May, I took June off to give myself a little bit of distance before I start revising. Mostly I spent last month reading books I've been dying to read for a while and watching soccer. I finally got to read Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater. What an excellent YA. If you like gorgeous prose and an interesting twist on werewolves, you ought to try it.

Now that July 1st is here, a pristine print copy of Sekrit Love Story is ready for my highlighters and color pens. July and August will be all about revision.

How do you plan to spend your summer?

P.S. For those of you who missed the announcement, don't forget about my Kiss of the Rose contest!

Lovely June

May was a super busy month. I have no idea what I was thinking, joining MayNoWriMo while doing the uber-challenging (but also uber-rewarding) mentorship with Kate Pearce.

But the good thing is I got a lot of writing done. Finally I'm finished with my sooper-sekrit project set in futuristic Paris and Shintokyo (New Tokyo) to the point where I'm satisfied with all the major plot / character arcs. I also edited a short erotic novella and sent it off to Agent, wrote the first draft of a paranormal romance novella plus a synopsis for the sequel.

On the non-writing front -- I'm sure you've noticed that my site looks different. Frauke from CrocoDesigns worked her magic again. It's amazing that she knew exactly what I wanted even though my emails were somewhat vague. If you ever need a web designer, definitely check her out. She's just fantastic.

Also say hello to Miss Moneypenny (Dragon Naturally Speaking 10). I've been having problems with wrist and hand pain, and I figured I should learn to dictate. If nothing else, I can "speak" dialogue out loud, so I don't have too much downtime due to pain. I honestly don't mind having pages and pages of dialogue to go back and fill out later with descriptions and tags, etc. And now that I have a new helper, I need to train her so she can transcribe correctly.

(BTW -- Amazon has an incredible deal on Dragon 10 right now. So if you're interested in trying it, you may want to check out Amazon's price.)


Finally, I uploaded A Happily Ever After of Her Own on Amazon Kindle. Several people asked me about its availability in the Kindle format, and I decided to just go ahead and do it. It's still available on my site for free to my newsletter subscribers, but if you want the convenience of reading it on your Kindle, you can get it. (Unfortunately Amazon doesn't allow individual authors to give away stuff via Kindle, so I had to price it at ninety-nine cents, the lowest allowable.)

Later this month I plan to give away a copy of Kate Pearce's Kiss of the Rose, the first book in her Tudor Vampire Chronicles. Vampires in Henry VIII's court -- what more can paranormal and/or historical fans can ask for?

Stayed tuned for your chance to win!

(FYI - The giveaway is open to anybody anywhere in the world. I don't have any author copies or ARCs; BookDepository will ship a copy to the winner when Kiss of the Rose is released.)

Hello, Month of May!

May is one of my favorite months. Not only is it beautiful and warm, but everything's so green and lively! (April is hit-or-miss where I am, alas...!) Also May is when I try to organize my stuff, toss out things I no longer need, etc. Hero Material and I bought bunch of shelves and closet storage boxes. And I found the coolest thing called DropBox. It allows you to back up all your project files, etc. on their server. It also automatically syncs your files so no matter which computer you're working on, you have the latest version of your work.

Perfect, huh? :)

Since my last update, I've been pretty busy. I found a project that I had totally forgotten about on my hard drive. I know, you guys are thinking, "How can you forget about your own project? Aren't your stories like your babies or something?"

Alas, no. I don't really consider my projects babies. If I did, I couldn't be a writer since trying to sell babies for profit is a crime, and I do try to be a good law-abiding citizen. *grin*

Actually, I worked on the project all the way up to my wedding. But around that time we had lots of drama, including the bride getting ready to call off the wedding (not the groom's fault), and so on...and in all the excitement the project kinda slipped my mind until I was going through my project folders last month to decide what to back up on DropBox.

Anyway, I revised it and sent it off to Agent, who told me she liked it. Yay me.

The mentor program with Kate is going very well. She's been super encouraging, and I've learned so much from her already. I don't know how she does everything though because she has insane deadlines this year. I'm in awe.

I may also have found a good crit partner whose interests match mine. She likes to read the kind of stuff I like to read and so on. And speaking of reading, if you haven't done so, check out Larissa Ione's awesome Demonica series. She made my autobuy list with solid writing, hot heroes and strong heroines.

The rest of the month is going to be spent on reading and doing MayNoWriMo. I have some simple goals for the challenge and for the rest of the year. I plan to do a book giveaway in June, so stay tuned!

Mid-March Update

It's getting warmer in Japan, and many news programs have already started talking about hanami. I can't wait to see the gorgeous cherry blossoms in April.

I'm making a couple of changes to my blog. As you might have noticed, I'm not blogging much. Mostly I don't have anything to say on my blog that I haven't said on Twitter, and I hate repeating myself. Besides I already share what I read and my ratings on Goodreads. I feel bad, but right now, I don't have the inspiration to blog regularly. So my blog's going on a bit of a hiatus. This doesn't mean I'll never blog again or that my blog's going to disappear. You can still browse the archives, and I'm going to occasionally post pictures and news. Furthermore, if you leave me a question on my blog, I will answer it. This applies to my Twitter account, too. I don't auto-follow, but I will answer if you send me a @ reply with a question or comment. If I don't answer, it's because I somehow missed your question. Feel free to try again. My email is also open to anyone.

So what am I going to do now that I won't be spending time trying to blog regularly?

Firstly, I'm going to focus on working with my mentor, Kate Pearce. We hooked up through the Romance Divas formal mentor program, and I get to pick her brain until the end of June. I've already learned a lot from her, and I'm totally excited about honing my craft and learning more about how publishing works.

Secondly, I'm going to finish the current draft of my untitled novel plus a sexy paranormal romance novella set in Greek-myth-world by the end of April. These items are not negotiable.

Thirdly, I plan to work out more regularly. I'm turning into a couch potato, and it just won't do, especially with the bum back I have. Regular stretching and exercise make a big difference, and I've got to take care of myself better.

Fourthly, I plan to read more.

Finally, I'm going on an eight-day honeymoon to Thailand with Hero Material. We'll be hitting Phuket and Chiang Mai, and I'll post lots of pictures on the blog when we get back.

How about you? What do you plan to do for the rest of the month and April?