Saturday, June 19, 2010

Some (more) Tips On Finishing That Manuscript

LB Gregg again. Day III. Or as it's known in some parts: Shameless self-promotion cubed.

A quick reminder that what follows is not a top ten list, although now that I've spent yet another night slavishly whacking this fucker together, it still looks like a top ten list. That's okay. Go with it.

This post is the second in a two part series I have dubbed~

The Dos and Don'ts of Writing (and finishing) Your First Draft
... in Three Part Harmony...
with a Rainbow of Colors
...and Personalities.

(i.e. another Lisabea Top 10 9 List)

As you may recall, I invited my pal Josh Lanyon and his pal (now our pal, too) Harper Fox to discuss everyone's favorite topic--sex. I mean writing.

Why are we not discussing sex?

Ahem. Writing. More specifically, we're talking about finishing the first draft. Yada yada. On with the show.

LB Gregg's RED ink because she's writing this in blood. Muahahahaha.
Josh Lanyon seems a little BLUE.
Harper Fox is our GREEN M&M today. Nom nom. Nom. She should be Red cuz of the hair. I should be green cuz of my eyes.

I should have planned this better.

Here we go!

#5 Do keep your thesaurus beside you at all times;
Don't stop to use it.
You try finding a fun picture for 'thesaurus'.

LB: baking, blazing, blistering, boiling, broiling, burning, muy caliente, febrile, fevered, feverish, feverous, fiery, flaming,heated, humid, igneous, incandescent, like anoven, nom nom, on fire, ovenlike, parching, piping, recalescent, red*, roasting, scalding, scorching, searing, sizzling, smoking, steaming,

#6 Do shamelessly structure everything around your favourite juicy bits and sex scenes. If the edifice collapses, let it go down with a squelch.

LB: I like that. I'm printing it and putting it on my bulletin board. All love scenes should squelch.

Harper: (fans herself / squelches delicately) I made it to your bulletin board?!

LB: You complete me, Harper.

Josh: I'm thinking maybe I should leave you two alone for a bit. :-D I'll go revise my manuscript some more.

Harper: It's okay, you can come back. I'm weary now and calming down. Hormonal surges only available in business hours at my time of life, I'm afraid. But it was fun, Lisabea...

#6 (b)Don't be afraid to let go of a plot-line that's not panning out. Tcha, six hours of my life I can't get back!

Josh: That's a hard one, but it's painfully true. Which is where keeping an elephant's graveyard file can help. You're not ripping it out, you're...saving it for later.

Harper: I have lots of files like that. Ahhh, d'you remember "Flynn's POV bin"? That's a rich source. Oh, here's another "don't"...

#7 don't use the same dead elephant twice.
Even by accident. Sheesh, that was a close call.

LB: We all have characters named Finn? I move to ban the name Finn from further m/m novels. All in favor?

Josh:Flynn, you wacko. Have you been hitting the spiked lapsang souchong again? But I agree in principle. No more Flynns or Finns. Unless we do sequels of the originals. Is it just me or are there flashfire fads in m/m character names?

LB: Do you have a Finch? I'm worried. Suddenly.

Josh: Seriously, though, those old files are very useful. Stories that I dug out of my "deleted" files...Cards on the Table, The Ghost Wore Yellow Socks, and I Spy Something Bloody. Keep it all. You never know when something is going to prove useful.

LB: Without the now deceased Mr. Riley file--oh shame and woe-- In and Out wouldn't exist. I delete much of the day to day stuff--they're all just words-- but the good stuff? I squirrel those away.

Harper:Flynn, Finn, Shminn. I can't even remember. All I know is, he had a POV and it needed to go. (Not true. I endlessly adore him.) Yes, flashfires, definitely. The author in the very next review down from minehad a Matt and Aaron, too. We both turned up wearing the same frock. I'm sure nobody noticed.

#8 Do warn your loved ones. It's kind of like R&D PMS.

Don't take a huff because a Loved One says s/he doesn't like a character's name. "Name" is different to "idea", "concept" and "whole thing".
(Recent bitter experience, anyone?)
Josh: There is power in names. Ask any fantasy writer. It's very hurtful when one's dearest and nearest snicker at a protagonist's name. What is so darned funny about Colin Bliss? I ask you!

LB: I guess this isn't a good time to mention Mark Hardewick? NOT snickering.

Harper: I swear down to you, and will go find it if you insist, that I have a Star Trek novel in my - er - collection (that I'm looking after for a friend) where the aliens are called Alt and Macro. Swear down.

LB: G calls Caesar Romano --Salad with Cheese.

Josh: Now that's romance. Actually, that blend of comedy and sexy isromantic.

On that note: #9 Do ignore the input of your SO; Don't ignore the input of your CP.

Josh: But pretend that you value the input of your SO just as much as you value the input of your CP.

Harper: Don't pretend you know what a CP is when you don't. I thought I'd try and wing it but all I can think of is "civilian partner". (gasps) Is that it?! Do you folks have, like, backup SOs for when you're off-duty?!

LB: CP is the person who, traditionally, uses a red pen ( pre-editor ) to poke you right in the manuscript. In this case, we'll pretend that some critique specialists use blue ink.

Josh: Critique Partner. We only hurt the ones we love.

Harper: Ah! Ah-ha-ha-ha. I'm relieved, undeceived, and just that touch disappointed.


There are 9 Dos and Don'ts (well 8--one is just a Don't)--you'll have to also refer to the conversation from yesterday. All you need to do is guess who came up with which pair (numbered below). Some of these are pretty easy -okay all of them should be easy. We have distinct voices.

Here they are:

  1. Do finish & Don't whine.
  2. Do save everything. And at the very least email yourself a copy of the day's work.Don't come home late and drunk from a party and start working on your rough draft.
  3. Do fall in love with your leads, even the b*stards, as soon as you possibly can. Passion lubricates graft. Don't throw discarded ideas anywhere you wouldn't want to reach into and get them back. The bin is okay before discarded Chinese food. Not after.
  4. When you're stuck, DO skip to the part where you know what happens next. Don't fool around on the internet with your friends. Or at least--know when to stop.
  5. Do keep your thesaurus beside you at all times; Don't stop to use it.
  6. Do shamelessly structure everything around your favourite juicy bits and sex scenes. If the edifice collapses, let it go down with a squelch. Don't be afraid to let go of a plot-line that's not panning out. Tcha, six hours of my life I can't get back!
  7. Don't use the same dead elephant twice. Even by accident. Sheesh, that was a close call.
  8. Do warn your loved ones. It's kind of like R&D PMS. Don't take a huff because a Loved One says s/he doesn't like a character's name. "Name" is different to "idea", "concept" and "whole thing".
  9. Do ignore the input of your SO; Don't ignore the input of your CP.

I'll choose three winners. What's up for grabs? The upcoming Lanyon, A Vintage Affair; the upcoming Fox, Life After Joe; and a signed copy of Smart Ass 2: Pressure Point (aka Happy Ending in PRINT) from yours truly, LB Gregg.

I'll announce the winner on Wednesday, June 23rd.



Tracy said...

Very funny, once again. And yes, Lisabea you are like the 3 Muskateers.

I'll have to come back later to join the contest as I'm already late! :)

lisabea said...

I just did a quick edit to the contest. I'm trying to keep it simple.

Thanks Tracy. Good morning!

harperfox777 said...

Good "morning", USA. Me, I'm sliding down off my peak into late-afternoon slump. When's Dr Who on? Can I have my tea? What happened to those 2,000 words I was going to write before lunch? Lisabea, the blog looks beautiful. Ta very much indeed. Adore the pics. And thanks, Tracy. I'm swashbuckling even as we speak x

lisabea said...

I have planned my writing schedule to the HOUR and then, by God, I'll be done next Saturday and the book (WHICH YOU WILL ALL LOVE LOVE LOVE) will be in the hands of the mighty. Er. My editor.

I planned this all out in my notebook last night at 2 am. I CAN DOOOO EEEET. Or at least, at 2am I believed this.

So, er, I'm handing the post over to you Harper. You know you want it.




harperfox777 said...

(runs frantically to catch, misses and ploughs face-down into the lawn) Thanks, LB! Got it! Good luck with the work. You can, as you say, dooooo eeeeet. Those 2am moments are moments of truth. xxx

Jason said...

Ack! total guesses!!

1. Harper
2. L.B.
3. Harper
4. Josh
5. L.B.
6. Harper
8. L.B.
9. Josh


harperfox777 said...

Sooooo, Jase, my unique authorial voice isn't immediately distinct to you...? (Gosh-darn these autoblog chat generators! I paid a fortune!)

All Will Be Revealed.


Tam said...

Holy crap. That's hard. Maybe I'll steal Jase's answers, then we'll tie. I'm kidding honest. *pssst. What was #2?)

Fantasy names are much fun. I find myself glancing around the room for random words then mixing up the letters.

1 - Josh
2 - Harper
3 - LB
4 - LB
5 - Harper
6 - LB
7 - Josh
8 - Harper
9 - Josh

Josh Lanyon said...

Morning all! I'm in network hell right now. Trying to catch up on posts everywhere and I seem to be getting nowhere fast!

But thank you all for playing along.

Josh Lanyon said...

I find it hysterically funny that I'm dispensing wit and wisdom while in fact in my own writing world I'm lying in the sand, gasping out...Water...I...can't go on...

harperfox777 said...

Hi, Tam. I'm jotting down good candidates from the "word verification" tests for this blog. Coulda populated a fantasy trilogy by now. The last one was "Canif". Look out for him in future stories.

harperfox777 said...

Blessed is he who, even at last gasp, spares a lifesaving breath for a friend, Mr L. You *know* what I'm talkin' about. xxx

Chris said...

Uh... *mind goes blank*

Maybe I could write a haiku instead:

Writerly wisdom
dispensers share their pearls of
great price at no cost.

harperfox777 said...

You honour us with your haiku, Chris.

lbgregg said...

I was going to call her a cheater-pants. That would probably place her in the lead because Cheat to Win is on the Lisabea Seal-of-Approval.

Is this really hard? Hm. It cannot be as difficult as that Kris'n'Match Photos of Characters contest last month.


Joanna Terrero said...

Where is #10? I mean, there is a number ten, right?

I love #5. Does anybody else try to guess if it was briefs or boxers under those jeans? Please God, don’t let me be the only one.

Are links allowed around here? I would like to share my secret weapon, an English thesaurus and dictionary software that I cannot write without. We all qualified for the free fully functional version. It’s safe to use, I’d been using it for many years, I guess if I ever get an advance from a publisher some it will go to them and the wiki. Here is the link, feel free to edit it if I broke any rules:

Lisabea, don’t be shy about the self-promotion, indeed, you should include a link from the image to a page where someone can use a credit card, honesty, that cover from Smart Ass inspires to do so, I love the smiley tattoo (no guessing this time, I think they both went commando).

About rule #9, I have five wonderful CP (we are a group) for my hetero writing.

Following rule #4, I better go back to my work (crazy revising two different MS that a couple of editors showed interest in taking a look at).

harperfox777 said...

Oh, Joanne! You just revealed to me the meaning of question 5! It's about characters' underwear, right? I thought it was - um - my own personal preference (blushes radioactively and crawls off under stone)

harperfox777 said...

(and crawls out to ask Lisabea how the 5K went?) xxx

Joanna Terrero said...

LOL Harper, I must confess I don't understand what the contest is about. I just like the rules, and the view. Anyway, I won a great book, yours, and if my budgets allows it I would buy the others, showing my support while reading my favorite genre. If I ever need a better excuse to justify the expenditure, I'd call it 'research'.

harperfox777 said...

I'm so pleased you won a copy of Life After Joe. Congrats, and enjoy!

Joanna Terrero said...


Tracy said...

I'm back! Thanks for the text LB - and no they didn't have that book in stock, dammit!


1. Josh
2. LB
3. Harper
4. LB
5. LB
6. Harper
7. Josh
8. Harper
9. LB

Anonymous said...

Somehow trying to guess these gives me the same vague discomfort I get when asked, "What do you guess my age is?" :->

1. Josh
2. LB
3. Harper
4. Josh
5. LB
6. Harper
7. LB
8. Harper
9. Josh

lbgregg said...

Oh no! No discomfort...I thought it would be fun!

Ok hint #1. #1 is me. Hah. Wait. That's not a hint, it's an answer.

A real hint is that Harper has more Dos and Don'ts on this list than either Josh or I. And I am not the one that mentioned drinking or alcohol. I think that was a gentle reminder for me not to email my friends after opening my wine club shipment.

OK onward! Keep guessing!

Anonymous said...

I was just kidding. ^_^ Ok, since I obviously bombed out with the first try, here's me keeping on guessing. Can we have 3 guesses? ;-)

1. LB
2. Harper
3. Harper
4. Josh
5. LB
6. Harper
7. LB
8. Harper
9. Josh

Josh Lanyon said...

My God. All I can say is, I was part of this and *I* am totally confused.

And here we're so confident our voices are utterly different.

Apprently we get our writing advice from the same one stop shop.

Our dos and don'ts are matched, right? So if someone guesses part of a pair, they've got...never mind. You're all doing fine as is.

lbgregg said...

@Josh **headdesk headdesk headdesk**

Oh my word veri is CURDL.


@Tracy Shall I send you my coveted copy? It would be an honor. It's on my keeper shelf forever--but for you I'd send.

@mareahl As many times as you like, dear. Remember: Cheat to win!

@Harper Just over 4--I had to take the teens to the movies some mommy things. What day is it? I'm a little fuzzy.

@Joanna Thanks! The link is down below. Smart Ass 2 contains my second novella, Happy Ending. You can find links to the ebook on my website, as well as excerpts and reviews. The buy link isn't up yet on my site--my web guru is undertheweather. =(

Carolyn Crane said...

Oh, fun!! Great post. Love your thesaurus

1. Josh.
2. L.B.
3. Josh
4. Harper
5. Josh
6. Harper
8. L.B.
9. Josh

Joanna Terrero said...

@Lisabea, thanks, I will take a look.
My match is as confused as me, sometimes it sounds like you guys paired on the same rule.


harperfox777 said...

Hello all! Thank you for playing our game. We're enigmatic, aren't we... What happened to today, please? I toddled out into the garden and didn't emerge for ages, and now it's nearly &$!!*£* midnight. Is this some effect of the Island, LB? Am I Lost?

harperfox777 said...

I just had "Speduad" as a word veri. He'll be joining "Canif" in my projected space opera set on the exotic moons of "Spongola".

Kaetrin said...

Oh man! this is hard! I can't believe how much time I've spent on this - it's like a logic puzzle (and I HATE logic puzzles) - If someone says it's great, they DIDN'T write it and LB DIDN'T write anything about drinking BUT each pair was written by the same person. Harper has more pairs than Josh and LB. Solve.


Anyhoo, here is my guess, cause I'm really not confident with No. 2 and No. 7.

1. LB
2. JL
3. HF
4. HF
5. LB
6. HF
7. HF
8. LB
9. JL

If you get it wrong (but you tried REALLY hard) are you still entered in the contest?

It's 10.54 am where I am - is it too early to start drinking?

lisabea said...

I JUST posted winners.

Oh man and you were so close too!

Thanks to everyone who gave it a try!!

Copyright © 2008-2011 Desert Island Keepers All Rights Reserved. Proudly powered by Blogger

  © Blogger template Starry by 2008 Modified by Lea

Back to TOP