Thursday, 28 August 2014

Upcoming Event with Ottawa Romance Writers: Sept 7

Blood, DNA and Science for the Writer:
Sunday September 7th at 2 pm, Mlacak Community Center, Kanata.

You’ve watched some procedural dramas on TV, and now you want to spice up your next novel with some crime.  Maybe you just want you’re hero to be a scientist working in a lab.  There’s a wealth of information and misinformation on the internet, but where do you start?  How much detail should you include?  How technical is too technical?  There’s a fine balance between convincing detail and overly dry information.  In this workshop you will learn the basics of blood properties and flow in the human body and an introduction to DNA.  We’ll discuss accurate science portrayal in popular culture, and we’ll even do some hands on activities to explore DNA crime scene analysis.

Katie Pitts has a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, and a PhD in Chemical Engineering.  Her PhD thesis focused on imaging micro blood flows in biomedical microchips.  Dr. Pitts has taught at the University of Ottawa and currently works in the biomedical device field in Ottawa.  She is an avid STEM advocate and volunteer educator and was featured as an Inspiring Woman in Engineering as a part of the NSERC Chair for Women in Science and Engineering #30in30 National Engineering Month campaign for 2014.

Friday, 22 August 2014

August 17-23

Final word count this week: 3900, close but no cigar.

After much hemming and hawing, I found a solution to my dry spell: put the scene in a different place.  It wasn't flowing in the spot I originally had it but when I moved it back a few chapters, it all came together beautifully.  Now I don't feel like I'm dragging the action, which should help when I get to move forward.

I'm also starting to figure out my way through Goodreads and Facebook (I'm chronically Social Media Impaired, I'm thinking of starting some sort of support group).

I also got more details on my cover and editing work and it looks like I was overly optimistic to hope for a December release.  Revelations will still come but it will likely be in January or February.  That means I miss the Christmas sales, but I can live with that.  I'm in this for the long haul.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

August 20

I am having a real struggle this week.  Usually I can easily manage my goal of a thousand words per day but here it is Wednesday and I'm barely at 1500 for the week.

When this happens, it's usually because I've hit a plot area which I haven't mapped out well enough.  I know where I want to go and I even know roughly what should be in this area but for some reason, the pieces aren't coming together.

My usual techniques aren't working to loosen the blockage. 

I've tried writing alternate, stand-alone versions of the scenes I need to see if I can come up with good linking material.  No dice, the scenes are stuttering like a flooded engine.

I've tried writing ahead to material I feel more solidly about.  This will usually give me a better idea of what I'm missing, letting me get a better grasp on it.  No luck.  Instead, I feel almost as if I'm writing an entirely different novel.

I'm starting to think I have a flaw in either my characters or the initial third of my plot.  Maybe I've made the conflict between their goals too strong, reducing any realistic chance of them working together.  Or maybe I'm suffering from TMP (too much prologue).  I do have a big reveal coming up in the next chapter.  Maybe I should just forget about trying to put something in the middle.

I'll have to spend some time thinking about it.  Give my brain a chance to rest from churning against the current.  I hate to lose more time this week but better 500 of the right words than 5000 wrong ones.

It helps to write out the problem.  I've always used words to help define the world around me.  And once I have a problem defined, I can tackle it head on rather than grappling with phantasms. 

Meanwhile, to keep myself disciplined, I'll use the time to keep working on the business side of my writing.  Nathalia Suellen let me know that she won't be able to do my cover, so I need to look at some alternatives.  And I need to make sure my tax paperwork is all set with the IRS so that I don't get dinged twice for withheld income tax.  There's plenty to keep me busy.

Monday, 18 August 2014

August 10 - 16

A very good week for me: 6400 words for writing.

It was also good because I got started on the final stages for getting Revelations ready for publication.  I contacted Red Adept Editing and have begun speaking to them about hiring one of their editors to go over the book.  I've heard good things about them from other writers that I know.  I had a lovely chat with the owner and her passion for books can't be denied, which is always a good sign.  I still have some details to sort out but if all goes well, editing will begin in September.

I also spoke with an amazing artist, Nathalia Suellen, about doing a cover for me.  I really love the combination of realism and surrealism in her work.  I think it will be a good fit for Revelations.

I'm still treading the waters, figuring out Facebook and Goodreads.  Once I feel a little less like I'm stumbling around, I'll make sure there are some links for people to connect with.

Monday, 11 August 2014

August 3 - 9

Got my count this week: 4500 words.

I also managed to set up my Facebook and Goodreads accounts but I'm having some trouble getting my email verification to work.  I'll have to check in with tech support (i.e., my husband) and see what I did wrong.

I'm pleased with how things are moving along for the story.  I'm still very much in the exploratory stage of getting to know all my characters.  But some of them are becoming quite strong and fleshed-out with definite opinions on what's going on, thank you very much.

I'm sure I will change these opening chapters a dozen times over.  But I'm on the right path, I can feel it in my fingers and feet.

Saturday, 2 August 2014

July 27 - Aug 2

Way under my total for this week: 2000 words.

No excuses ... but I do still have some.  Namely, I've been working on my website and getting everything set up to start sharing my online presence with the world.  That and it's been my official vacation from my day job.  My saved programs on the PVR aren't going to watch themselves!

Next week I'll still be on vacation but I'm hoping to do better.  I had visions of getting 7000 words done this week and instead I got sucked into the sweet, sweet world of procrastination.

Next week, TV off and computer on.