Where Ladybugs Roar

Confessions and Passions of a Compulsive Writer

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Yay or nay. Yeah or nah. Oui or Non. It's done.

So, I took Sentinel's Run from a level zero to a level... five... with seven being the highest. (Because I like seven... that's why... so shut up.)

The continuity errors gave me fits at first, and I wanted to weep, but I made it through those via lots and lots of Mountain Dew and late nights.

Then, came the voice revision... and you know from previous blog posts that voice is king in my world. A book can have all kinds of problems, but if the voice is good... that saves everything. If I can hear their voice in my head, it's perfect and wonderful and I love it.

I wasn't hearing it on Sentinel's Run... not completely. The world was good. The plot is awesome... it has a lot more action, and it's tighter than my other stories. I might do chapter summaries from now on when I'm preparing to work on a book. But the voice wasn't as obvious as in other books I've recently finished.

Voice is king.

Then, over the weekend, I stumbled across the perfect fix for the voice, and everything fell into place. Usually, that's the way of it--when the voice works, I hear birds and see magic, and I just want to run out into the streets and scream in relief. That's how this was.

In other books, once I figured out a few key words that my MC would say... then I knew what they'd say about everything.

In this book, it was all in how Coby responded to questions... did he say "yes" or "okay" or "fine" or "yeah" or what? Was it "no" or "not really" or "nah" or.... When I realized he'd say "yeah" or "nah" and "fine" but never "no" or "yes" and rarely "okay" it all started slipping into place.

Then, I had Mori... who is from an area heavily influenced by French Quebec... and she keeps slipping into French. So, I went through and made sure that she always responded with "oui" or "non" especially when she was under stress, and I watched for those stressful points and added even more French. All week I've had several tabs with French translations and Quebec slang open... right beside sites with farm equipment pictures. I've looked like a cultured hick according to my browsing history.

So, Sentinel's Run is done... and it's well done. I'm really proud of myself. It's not often that I want to hug a manuscript once it's complete, but I want to hug this one. I've sent it off to three betas who'd read the beginning of it last year when I first started it. Then, I suppose I'll let it settle for six months unless Sarah tells me differently. So, I should be revising it the beginning of next year if I can manage it... which is probably when I'll start the second book in the series... if my schedule holds. Looking back, I haven't really kept to my planned schedule at all so far.

Next up, I have a beta read to work on over the next few days, and then I'm burying myself in SECRETS for the rest of the summer. I need to create a more high-stakes version for the film agent. Woo! Violent cowbell!

My muse wants to work on the other WIP that I walked out on last year, My Other Life, so maybe I'll work on that when I'm done with SECRETS or while working on SECRETS. It takes place in Las Vegas so the voices aren't at all the same. It's also in third person... so that might factor into when I can work on it. I don't know. I might create a chapter summary for it just to keep my brain on task. I might do that for SECRETS too.

Well, that's my writerly news.

In non-writerly news, my husband got our Subaru fixed which entailed swapping out the entire engine. It's pretty amazing. It's been out of commission for a while, so it's weird to have another car. He worked on it all weekend and then some. It's so awesome having a husband who can do stuff like that. It feels magical. He's magical. He can fix anything... I'm pretty sure. Everyone should marry useful geeks like him. The world would be a better place... but not him... he's mine... I found him first... get your own.

My kids had a good 4th of July. T is severely spun out from fireworks and hanging out with friends and family. He fell to pieces today at the park when he thought we were out of water for a moment. (My friend had extra water... and it wasn't more than a short walk to get some.) That's how it works with T... the little things add up until he starts falling to pieces over everything. B is doing really well. We got a YMCA membership and we've been taking her to swim at the pool which is perfect for her sensory system. They have a slide, and she goes down the slide over and over and over and over--in a loop.

I'm really, really stressed out. My OCD is so obvious to me that I just want to make excuses for it and say, "I'm sorry... but I have OCD and that's why I'm acting like this." It's probably not all that obvious to those that don't know, but it feels obvious. It's like when the kids were young and would have meltdowns in grocery stores over minor things and I just wanted to shout "They have Autism! They're not bad kids!" I just want to shout, "I have OCD... I swear I'm not psycho... but can you NOT keep repeating yourself or I'll be forced to kill you! Also, your kid isn't being safe! Go stop them from doing that, or I'll be yanking them off the slide while screaming and shouting and ranting... okay? Okay... good. We're clear that I'm not psycho, though, right?" It's so severe that I can't sleep. I stare at the ceiling for an hour or two or three while my brain obsesses over one thing or the other. Finally, exhaustion is knocking me down at three or four in the morning before T stares me awake at eight a.m. (He has got to learn a better way to wake me up... the staring is so creepy.)

Okay, so that was a long update.

So, how is your summer going? *hugs*


  1. Hot. Slow. Full of waiting.

    Also, I'm trying to finish the first draft of a middle grade featuring dragons in Hawaii. I'm excited about the story, but first drafts make me want to hide under the bed.

    *hugs Wendy back* *sends cookies in batches of seven*

  2. LOL. I couldn't figure out what your first line was about until I came back here and reread my last sentence. I thought you were like putting the moves on me, Miriam. *awwwwwkward* This first draft scared me, but it turned out all right in the end. *pats head* Yours will too.