Wednesday, December 28, 2011

I finished the first read through

The first read through/edit of the Black Cat Diamond is done!  I end this draft with 47201 words, 208 pages, and 5 pages of editing notes.  Plus any mental notes I've made in my head.  I find that mental notes made on paper are very hard to read.

I think I'll take a break from the BCD until January. My brain needs a break from it.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


I'm almost half way through my first read through of the Black Cat Diamond.  So far, I have had two big thoughts while reading it: "Wow, I'd forgotten how good a writer I am! Yay me!  That sentence is awesome!"  and "Ugh, I'm only on page 91, when is this going to end?"  Okay, that's more than two, but those are what I keep thinking.  On one hand, I'm really enjoying it.  It's a good story.   On the other, editing sucketh.   There are more holes than I'd thought, and my characters need some work.   On the upside, this is only my first novel, so it probably won't be this bad ever again. 

Also, while adding edits, I've raised my word count above 47,000!   That's only by about 150 words, but it's still a milestone.

And on a completely unrelated note, I just Googled myself, and I am the top eight links. Sweet!

Merry late Christmas!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Theme songs

One of the new things I found for developing characters this year is giving them theme songs, and I have found it quite enjoyable.  However, I found that it is very difficult to give my characters just one theme song.  Which, it just dawned on me, makes sense.  There's more than one side to every person, so they have more than one theme song.    For instance, Lizzie has three theme songs right now: Just a Kiss by Lady Antebellum, Gimme That Girl by Joe Nichols, and Wildflower by the Jane Dear Girls.  None of them fit her perfectly, but they all fit some part of her.  I do not doubt that her list of theme songs will continue to grow.

Theme songs also work in reverse.  The right song can inspire a character.  This happened to me in July.  Or maybe it was August.  Whatever.   Anyway, sometime this summer Getaway Car by Thompson Square inspired one of the many characters running around in my head and her story line.  Her theme song fits her better than any of my other characters' theme songs fit them.  But that is only to be expected since it was that song that inspired her.

Finding theme songs for characters helps me to give them back story.  It doesn't help a lot, but it helps.  It's like I'm hearing them tell me how to write them and how they want to be.  Yeah, it sounds kinda lame and a bit crazy, but it is none the less true. And looking for theme songs means that I have all the more reason to hang out on YouTube or near a radio and listen to new music. Oh, poor me.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Things to hit a Villain with.

I wrote this post a while back for This Page Intentionally Left Blank, under the pen name of Gwendolyn Copperstone.

When I started writing a few years ago, I made a list of things my MC could hit the villains pestering her over the head with.    This list had a few requirements, the main one being that the items that went on it had to have a very low risk of killing anyone.   It would be very hard for my MC to solve mysteries if she was in jail for murder.   Having said that, all of the items can be used as murder weapons if put into really creative, yet evil, hands.  I do not recommend imagining the ways they could be used as murder weapons.   I did, and it was not pretty.  Unless you really like… never mind, I don’t want to be responsible for the disturbing dreams that will haunt you.  Anyway, the list was as follows:
  • A hair brush (good for giving out scratches as well)
  • A potted plant
  • A vase
  • Golf clubs
  • A toilet plunger (I actually used this one in a story)
  • A plastic baseball bat
  • A purse (the bigger and more stuff in it the better)
  • A carton of eggs
  • A “Yard-o-beef” summer sausage
  • A bottle of some kind (like wine or beer)
Since then, I’ve added a few more dangerous items, ‘cause aiming for a villain’s head may be difficult in a given situation, and my MC needed to have stuff that she could beat the bad guys up with and do enough damage to incapacitate them, but still without killing them.
Some of the new things are:
  • A watering can
  • A bird feeder
  • A giant cardboard tube
  • A camera (NOT the itsy-bitsy digital kind)
  • A big book
  • A skillet (Okay, this one wasn’t my idea, but it’s still cool)
  • A trash can of reasonable size
  • A mop or broom
Of course, there are other methods of making villains’ lives hard without beating them up directly, like throwing things at them.  Or hiding trip traps.  Or spraying something weird at them.
Here are a few of my favorite “other methods”:
  • Opening a bottle of champagne and aiming the cork at the villain when it goes flying
  • Throwing hands full of small projectiles at the villain (such as marbles or Hot Wheels)
  • Spreading roll-y things (such as marbles or Hot Wheels) on the floor and covering them with a bath mat or tarp for tripping purposes
  • If your villain has a leg sticking out of a window, gluing a pom-pom to the end of a stick with a piece of gum and shoving it up their pants leg (I made this one up myself, so no stealing!)
  • Fencing with knitting needles
  • Tweaking your villain’s nose with a pair of hot, metal salad tongs
  • Spraying perfume, spray paint, hair spray, or another spray-able substance at the villain (again, not my idea, but still cool.  And if the villain gets away, he’s all the easier to find if he smells like designer perfume and is covered in pink spray paint.  And those unfortunate circumstances can lead to an endless array of jokes)
These are all a bit out there, and sorta unlikely, but they’re all fun, for you and your protagonist. That is if your protagonist isn’t fearing for his or her life.
I’m not sure what I’m going to do for my NaNo story’s villain(s).  One of my possible villains is a slightly pyromaniac fireworks sales rep, and he may provide new means of capturing a villain in a hilarious manner.  Explosives can always improve a story, and sparkly explosives are even better.
What your favorite ways to get rid of villains?  What would you use to knock someone over the head?

Thursday, December 22, 2011

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