Sunday, January 13, 2008

On Writing

Okay guys, I keep having to apologize for not blogging. But here's the truth of the matter.

1) I don't have a lot of time.

2) The computer has been acting out and is going to need to visit the tech.

3) I've been in a kind of crappy mood and didn't want to take it out on y'all.

We'll address them one at a time.

1) I've got a full time job that has gone a little nutso. I've got a house a family and several much loved but really seriously demanding pets. Oh, and I also write novels, which takes time in and of itself, but also requires a whole lot of business stuff (like redesigning websites, buying rights to photos TO redesign websites, answering correspondence, business plans, etc.). I know that other people seem to juggle this stuff effortlessly. From my point of view it is SOOOOOO not effortless. Worth it -- Absolutely. Effortless? (INSERT LOUD HYSTERICAL LAUGHTER).

The books are actually going well. Cathy is working on a draft of a standalone novel. It was kicking her butt for a while, which made for a lot of discussions and meetings, but it's a helluva good book. I'd not been all that grabbed by the premise initially, but it's turning into something really impressive and cool. But it's taking its time and a whole lot of hard work.

The mystery is on the back burner for right now, simmering away. It's a good plot, great characters, but I found that my bad attitude regarding some small town stuff was bleeding over and affecting the book. I need it not to, so I decided to set it aside until I could get myself a little attitude adjustment. This I have been accomplishing by doing motivational CDs, books, AND writing a seriously vicious little paranormal that is now approaching its climax.

The paranormal is seriously cool. (At least to me. God alone knows if anyone else will like it. I swear, you never can tell. Truly.) It's an urban fantasy, not a romance. First, I'm feeling a little confined by the romance tropes and want to move in a different direction. Second, our core fan base really isn't romance readers. Just isn't. We tend to appeal to hard-core bookstore fantasy/urban fantasy types who like darker paranormal reads. This book is for them. Besides, Celia is just not a romantic kinda gal.

OK -- side trip here. PLEASE do not EVER assume that "write what you know" means an author is using their husband/mother/kids or sexual practices, real life bosses, etc. in a book. First off, UGH. Second -- Can you say SLANDER? How bout LIBEL? I knew you could. Seriously, I've used a physical description with permission. But my characters are actually people of their very own. Yes, I take characteristics from people I've met. (I need a real asshole of an attorney. Hmnn, I've worked in law for about 25 years now, have I met one or two SOMEWHERE? What traits did they have in common?)

SECOND AND IMPORTANTLY, In my opinion (and thus in my writing, because it is my favorite forum) (a) Major characters are more interesting if they have screwed up tortured backgrounds. Happy families seem to make for happy writers and dull characters. Go figure. SO, my poor, tortured characters have really serious screwed up backgrounds. That doesn't mean I do. I don't. My parents are still crazy about each other after close to sixty years, I'm loved and treated well and always have been. (b) Characters are people. This means that they are NOT perfect. They screw up. They have big, honking major faults. Some of them are prejudiced. Some aren't. Some are straight. Some aren't. I try to make my characters reflect the diversity of real life. This means that some of them are going to have opinions I don't agree with. They'll say things that make me cringe. But if I am going to honestly write them and put them in, they NEED to say what they'd say, not some cleaned up dishonest version that isn't believable. Some people swear (myself included.) Guess what? Some of my characters swear. Others don't. Do not beat me up verbally because one of my characters is a jerk and say that I must be a bigot or whatever unless you can put a minimum of 500 random people in a room, interview them, and not find a single one who has a similar viewpoint.

OK -- Back down from my soap box.

(2) The computer is acting out. I'm hoping it holds up until I can get the draft of the book finished. Keep your fingers crossed.

(3) I've been tired, and stressed, and it has affected my mood. Sorry.


I want to thank Laurell K. Hamilton.

First. She's a seriously cool lady. One of the best. Really really.

Second, she's helped us and was gracious as hell about doing it. She didn't have to, but she did.

But thirdly, she has a blog.
(Laurell Hamilton has a blog E I E I O)
And on her blog she has LOTS of interesting stuff about writing.
(and on her blog she says a lot, E I E I O)
(OKAY, this is just getting silly)

ANYWAY, she talks about life, and she talks about writing. Mostly she talks about the life of a writer. And it has been REALLY REALLY helpful to me. Because writing is basically kind of a weird solitary life, and at the same time, you have all this business stuff to go with the creative stuff, and it's HARD. And I feel like I'm a weird, odd little geeky person thats more than a little nutso, and then I read her blog and go -- WHOA, somebody else is going through this. Maybe it's okay.

For example. She's been talking about the edits for Blood Noir. And ohmigod, it came at the perfect time. Because while I'm in the heat of the new book, geting ready to go into the climax, here come the edits for Touch of Darkness. And yes, I have to do them. Cathy's in a book on deadline. I'm the primary anyway. I KNOW that book. BUT NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!! (Watch Cie turn into a 4 year old throwing a temper tantrum that deserves a swat on the fanny) I don't wanna! Don't make me! NOOOOOOOOOO!

And you still have to do it. And you pray, PRAY that you don't loose the heat and excitement of the new book because you're slogging through the mundanity of the finished one. And YES you loved the previous one too, but DAMMIT it was DONE, but it wasn't because it wasn't edited and it WILL be better when you fix it but DAMMMIT.

(If you followed that, you are either a writer, the family member of a writer, or a better man than I Gungha Din.)

ANYWAY, I've got edits. And I've got a book that wants to get written. And church. So I've got to go. But "THANK YOU LAURELL K. HAMILTON for making me feel just a little less like a freak."

Cie/C.T. Adams

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