Monday, October 10, 2005

What I'm up to right now

Yes, I know my blog has been mostly a place to advertise other people's books lately. I've been racing to meet my deadline on my new Berkley book, MASTER OF WOLVES. It's finished -- with any luck, my Berkley editor is reading it this weekend. (Hope she doesn't think it sucks!) So now I can do things I've been wanting to do, like get caught up on this blog and finish the desperately needed site redesign on my site. I've been doing some artwork I really like, by the way. Hopefully the new site will be up in three or four days.

If anybody is interested in the fiction writing process, I'm currently teaching an online class on writing the Erotic Romance for the month of October. Once the class is finished, I plan to get it published by either Loose Id or Changeling, if they'll take non-fiction. So you'll be able to buy it, maybe even in paperback form.

One of the things I'm doing in the class is telling people about how to avoid some of my more boneheaded mistakes, like the ones that made MASTER OF WOLVES such a bloody nightmare. I started that book in May. I should have had it finished two months ago, but the book kept going offtrack. For one thing, I didn't think out the logistics of it.

Ok, hero is a werewolf who goes undercover as a police K-9 to investigate the murder of his best friend. He falls in love with his beautiful handler, only she thinks he's a dog. Cute idea, right? So I plotted the thing and started writing. But as I'm writing this book, I realize I'm on page 80 and the hero is still a dog, and the heroine doesn't know he's a werewolf. Well, this is a romance. Duh -- if the hero's a dog, no romance is occurring. So I gut the book, replot it, and start over from scratch, including killing a first chapter that appeared in Master of the Moon as a teaser. This time I make it to page 180 beforeI notice I'm having the devil's own time just sitting down to write the book. Deadline is fast approaching, and I don't want to write. Now, when I get like that, it's cause there's a problem in the story.

I knew the story had a problem, but I was damned if I could figure out what it was. Went to the Romance Writer's of America conference still wrestling with it. I read it, and realized I outright hated the book. NOT good. Sent the 180 pages to my agent, and she said she was in the first 100 pages and loved it. Then she called and said, "This book goes off the rails on page 103."

Which was pretty well where I thought it went off. Something had happened to the heroine, and she wasn't handling it well. In fact, she was whining. So I had to gut out 80 pages of the book, and replot it AGAIN with a big change in the heroine's personality. Between August 1 when I got back from RWA and Oct. 1, I wrote 300 pages and did two rewrites on the book. It's now MUCH better, I think -- knock wood. It's one of those rollercoaster ride books I love to write. We'll see what my editor thinks.

Cindy also gave me the new cover. Isn't it pretty? That guy is hot, IMHO. :)

Anyway, now I'm planning my next book while taking care of stuff like painting the house and putting in new flooring. You can be sure I'm going to plotting the next one a LOT more carefully!


ChrisWoznitza said...

Hi I´m Chris. Greatings from Germany Bottrop !! said...

Ooooo, Hope she likes it, because ever since I finished Master of the Moon, I've been dying for this one to be published. (Love the concept)

Of course, I felt the same way, when I had finished Master of the Night, and was waiting for MotM :)

Thanks for sharing your talent!

Melissa Lopez said...

Hello Angela,

NICE cover! I agree, the model is yummy. Hugs, for all the trouble you had with the story. I know your editor will love it, because you’re now satisfied with it. I think that fact alone goes along way. Very cool on getting your workshop in print! And it’s very nice of you to advertise others stories. Your generosity is inspiring.

Happy plotting!
:-) Melissa

wendywoo said...

Sympathies re. that horrible, sinking feeling you get when you know a book's gone wrong! It's happened to me occasionally, and it's just a nightmare. Sounds like you've come through and produced something crackingly good! Don't they always say that nothing worthwhile comes easy?

Love, Wendy