Thursday, March 29, 2007

The Agonies of Rewriting/Editing

I've been emailing with my old CP this week about this topic. We're both trying to re-write older projects, with the same characters, and some new plot points, subplots, etc.

I was complaining to her that I was having trouble matching my "voice" to my "old voice" as I rewrote scenes and changed the first three chapters to better reflect the new ending.

What she had to say made so much sense that I thought I'd share it here: "Bottom line when you originally wrote/write a book you are writing at your level at that time & with both a conscious and unconscious intention re: themes, story line, character types, etc. In other words you are in a certain space for that time and it will not be repeated...Second bottom line = you can't match your voice from two years ago. You are a different person. Does that mean you have to throw everything out? I don't think so (I hope not!!! :))"

Robin is a published author and teaches online courses for HRCW and KOD. You can find her at her website RE Matheson

You can probably tell from the above that she's a dynamite online teacher. :) Keep your antennae out for any lists which carry her courses, as you won't be disappointed. She and I've shared this writing journey for a few years now. We stopped being CP partners when our lives and writing genres took us in different directions (quite literally from one end of Canada to the other!)

If you're in the stages of rewriting an older piece of work, don't give up because your characters are likely sound. I've been in the process of redoing my character sketches for this book because I've changed the villain, so must now make up a completely different character for the same "name". I've amped up the hero and changed some characteristics of the heroine to make her more obsessive and revenge-oriented.

I took the "best" rejection letter I had and tossed out the things they said didn't work in the book. Some of you will disagree with me here - some writers are purists who just keep sending a MS out over and over. I still feel the need to write this story, but in a different way, and I can see where that editor was coming from when she rejected me. I now have a bigger "feel" for my story, and want to have a different theme and emphasis for it. (I guess I should thank that editor for rejecting me, because if I can pull this off, it'll be a MUCH better book! :))

And of course, working on one WIP doesn't stop me from making notes on a new WIP, with different characters. They'll be waiting in another file when I'm done re-doing this one!


Wednesday, March 28, 2007


Just to let you know that I do something besides post that I've now placed again in the 11th Round of the First Line Contest, I've been away for the last five days visiting family in Winnipeg.

I've been enjoying BEFORE I WAKE, by Dee Henderson. This is definitely her best book yet, and I've read alot of them (although I admit I missed her Untamed Heroe series, and only read one of those). Tight writing, faster pace, better characterization...I could go on and on. But I won't...treat yourself to a great romantic suspense between an ex-FBI agent-turned PI & crime scene clean-up operator, and her decision between an old flame and the local Sheriff. The main premise: who's killing women at the same hotel - women who appear to die in their sleep?

It's just the kind of "inspirational" I aspire to - real life characters written in a straight-forward and "mass-market" style, but with the added dimension of some of the characters seeing life from a Christian worldview.

My mini-holiday was a good respite from the editing/rewriting of my WIP. I've returned with a fresh perspective, and desire to get it polished up, and out of here. The best thing is, I've got fresh ideas brewing for my next MS, and possibly the next after that one. I hope to blog about some "real" topics over the next few weeks.

Just when you feel like quitting, along comes a great book like BEFORE I WAKE. Thanks, Dee, for showing me that a new take on an old plot can be just the thing to make you realize you're doing things right after all!

I heartily endorse this book - buy it online or look in your favourite Borders or Barnes & Noble. You'll be glad Dee's back!

Monday, March 19, 2007


Unreal - I've made it to the Tenth Round! I'm so excited and I've been working hard on making my revisions to this book. If you want to read my entry, I'm #1 out of 20 this week at KARIN TABKE'S BLOG. If you go into the Comments section and scroll down, you can read it with my next sentence. :)

This contest should wrap up in two weeks or so, with the final ten going to an agent who'll place the top five entries. It's been an exciting and wild ride!

Sunday, March 18, 2007


St. Patrick's Day is my birthday (no, I'm not saying how old I am, only that I think like I'm 27 and can't believe time has blown by so fast!) I'm late blogging and wishing all fellow Irisher's a Happy St. Patrick's Day because I was too busy celebrating with my family this weekend.

When I was born in a Catholic hospital, of course, the nurses (who worked with my Mom) wanted me to be called Patricia. As my last name was PITT, I'm thankful that my parents came to their senses and named me Laurie-Jean instead. :) Not that I don't like the name, but Patty Pitt would've made me grow up as a school yard brawler, I'm sure.

Hope you all had green beer, green jelly beans, and some shamrocks show up at your door in Saturday! And may the luck of the Irish keep us all writing well this year - on to sales, agents, and brighter things. :)

Thursday, March 15, 2007


I finally called the RWA head office today to find out where my March issue has been derailed to, as friends are emailing and calling about how much they liked my article, "The Arms That Hold You Up". Regular readers may remember that I put out a research call in Sept.06 for authors to answer my questionnaire for the article.

Seems I'm the only person I know who doesn't have my article! It turns out that because I renewed my RWA dues late, the office missed putting my address label on whatever they send to the printers. So, they're kindly going to mail me a copy individually and I'll likely get it in two weeks, just in time for April's issue to show up!

If you have March's RWR I hoped you enjoyed the article, "The Arms That Hold You Up". I had great fun writing it, and only wish this Blog had more "pages" so I could add it to the archives. One of these days, I'll have to get a website up!


My good friend, Kerry Blaisdell, as challenged me to use MS WordAutoSummarize on my recent WIP to see how it picks out "themes" or "key words". I think she just wants to see what my Prologue is about, because it's entered in the First Line Contest!

If you click on her link at the right, you'll see that her examples are funny and you might want to try it with your WIP, to see if you've got too many of the same words, names, or if the WIP does indeed mirror your theme properly.

Sorry, Kerry, I won't post my ten sentences from the Prologue, because it tells too much about what the book is about, and I don't want any copycats! :) I've already made that mistake once on this Blog.

But for anyone else out there, it's a useful exercise and certainly would help in re-editing for clarity!

Monday, March 12, 2007


Whoohoo! I've made it to Round Nine in author Karin Tabke's "First Line Contest"!!! We're now down to 25 entries, with five more entries to be culled by Karin's judges per week until we're down to 10 entries. Then, the final judge - an agent, will decide who the top Five winners are from the last ten.

One contestant has had an agent "lurker" request already, just based on her first 9 lines of her MS.

If you want to take a look at the entries, visit Karin's Blog at KARIN TABKE'S website. This week, I'm #9.

It certainly makes for interesting Mondays! I've got 3 more weeks to get the middle of my WIP re-jigged the way I want it to be. Whatever happens from this contest, I hope to start querying with it to agents on my A List.

Sunday, March 11, 2007


On Friday, March 9th, I took a short seminar on finding your "True Color" for your personality. It also covered the kind of work you should be doing (turns out being a writer is "true" to my basic color of BLUE), and how to determine the Color Combinations of your spouse and children to better your relationships.

I discovered that I'm primarily BLUE - people-oriented, empathic, creative, sensitive, a communicator/speaker/writer (I've done all three), with a second band of GREEN - intellectual, loves problem-solving, researching, abstract thinking, with a third band of ORANGE - competitive, impetuous, action-oriented, risk-taker, ending with a "thin band" of GOLD - values orderliness and organization, perfectionist, loves to have BETTER HOME & GARDENS type of house (anybody who knows me knows we live clean and comfortable, but *not* in a model home!)

It was very interesting because the facilitator said that your BASIC color never changes, and yet when I took the test in my 20's I was ORANGE. That was during my life as a cop, and I can tell you that cops break into ORANGE or GOLD.

For a better explanation of what this all means; take a free True Colors test for yourself at TRUE COLORS CAREERS.

My dh is ORANGE, GREEN/GOLD (you can have ties), and BLUE at the bottom. I think they should have True Colors as part of pre-marital counselling, but we've managed to stay together for 19 yrs this month - opposites though we are! :) My dh is ORANGE in that he's always attracted to fast-paced, outdoor, "on the pointy edge" as he calls it - jobs. He loves his motorcycle, his cars, his sailboat when he had it, and flying. And when I met him I was a cop so I guess our ORANGES meshed.

That website is very interesting in how to know if you're in the right career for yourself. Maybe writing is a secondary interest, maybe you'll want to show your dh if he's job-hunting.

I certainly enjoyed seeing the validation of myself as a writer, but also in other areas I had been struggling in. I hope you enjoy taking the free personality quizz and it helps someone.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Quick, Talk to Your Agent!

It seems that YouTube can be used for more than just entertainment for teens and hobbyists. Check out this link Agent Nets 7 Figure Advance for an interesting article on how an agent used a book trailer on YouTube to attract a book auction with a 7 figure advance.

Author Lois Winston also has her new book trailer up at YouTube - Love, Lies, and a Double Shot of Deception. Apparently, YouTube has an entire section for booktrailers, and it's totally FREE promotion for your book. Have an enterprising child, friend, or husband who likes to tinker with graphics and music? Show your trailer to your agent and you might get a pleasant surprise on your next sale!

Thursday, March 01, 2007


"I've learned that one reason why people cling to anger so stubbornly is because they sense that once hate is gone, they will have to deal with the pain."

"I am responsible for my day; for how I feel and for how I do. Nobody can make me feel anything. If I have a rotten day, I am the one who allowed it to be that way. If I have a great day, I am the one who deserves the credit for being positive. It is not the responsibility of other people to change so that I may feel better. I am the only one who is in charge of my life."

"You can change the way you feel, by how you think."