Writing, Writing, Writing

Yesterday was a busy day at work, and I did some lurking at different writer-type blogs (Evil Editor, for example).

However, I did do some writing over the weekend (yay, me!). I lugged out Ye Laptop and attached my jump drive to it (where my WIP is located). I re-did the opening scene. It still isn't quite right--what writer ever thinks that?--but I think the opening line is much better. It sets up what's coming a tad later in the chapter, and it gives some background to Jackie and her thinking.

I went back this morning, before I went off to work, and did a little more tinkering because something was bothering me. But then I left it as is, deciding to move on.

That's important for me--because in the past, I've tended to be stuck on the same few paragraphs, vainly attempting to get them into perfect shape.

Like that's ever going to happen.

I'll strive for the best I can do, and leave it at that. (After 9 or 10 revisions, heh.)

There's also another problem later on, and I didn't remember it until I woke up Monday morning. I was in sort of rush yesterday and couldn't tackle it, but I'll work on it later today.

The problem is in what the Diego character--he's in the Shadow Force, a police force (of sorts) that takes care of supernatural cases--does to the dead guy Jackie falls on (almost literally). I bought a book last week called Scene of the Crime: A Writer's Guide to Crime-Scene Investigations by Anne Wingate. She's a former cop who writes crime fiction/mysteries.

Her first rule of thumb at a crime scene: Don't touch anything.

Although the cops in this shadow force are going to be dealing with some unusual dead and maimed bodies (ooo-wee-ooo), I want to incorporate some real-life police procedures into the mix.

And I have Diego violating that first rule of thumb, by turning the body over with his boot.

Now, later on, I might go back to the original version; the story might work better, or it might explain something down the line. But for right now, considering Diego is a former, regular cop, I don't think anyone's going to buy it. Maybe if he were a rookie, but that's not the case--I have him setting up this shadow force, so he's got to be pretty familiar with police procedure (and if he did do something like that in the past, he's going to get a lot of people yelling at him).

Another thing I noticed is that I expected the first chapter to end at a certain point; it felt like it should end, but it didn't. I went on for another 200-300 words.

Too long. I moved most of those words to the next chapter, with the opening line there something like: "Is this guy the Slasher?" He's not, and it's obviously apparent because Diego doesn't knife her, but when you've lost a lot of blood, you don't necessarily think of the obvious...

Another book I bought, out of curiosity, was How I Write: Secrets of a Bestselling Author, by Janet Evanovich with Ina Yalof. Anyone who regularly reads this blog knows how much I lurve the Stephanie Plum series, so I wondered where she grew up (not in Trenton), how she works, etc., etc.

Are there any new insights? No, not for people who've been trying this writing thing for a while. But I love her sense of humor throughout, and a lot of it is self-deprecating humor (must be a Jersey trait ;-)). There's some good advice as to agents and publishing and the like, which I'll probably explore in the next couple of posts or so.

She also has a section on encouragement, which I really liked. For instance, did you know it took her 10 years of rejections before her novel was published (and it was not her first one, either).

Small encouragement, you say? But what it shows is that she hung in there, persisted, kept writing, and eventually broke through.

If she can do it, why can't we, the Great Unpublished (For Now), do so?