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Critique Matters

red-hands-woman-creative
Hello!

Today I have been working on a novel that I had abandoned. For what reason, I don’t know. I probably got off on another creative adventure. Shocking, huh!

So, here’s what’s on my mind. I’d like to revisit this novel. I haven’t really fully edited it yet, but, I’d like to take an honest approach to getting it published. I know I have work to do and have reached out to groups for some honest critiques, but I thought I’d give my readers a chance at it first.

Let’s be honest, you would be my audience, right? Or maybe intrigued enough to read through this first page and tell me three things:

~ Does it capture your attention enough to turn the page?

~ Are the characters, this far, likable?

~ Should I trash it and try again?

Please leave comments or feel free to email me at Debbuckingham (at) yahoo (dot) com. I always enjoy hearing from my readers.

Thank you! Write On!

Deb


All Lacy Parker wanted was a little breathing room and the only place she could find it was in her bathtub. Even though the bubbles were flat and the water was getting cold, Lacy took this time to reflect on her complicated life, especially the last few months concerning Dawson’s infidelity. The four years they spent married was rocky, some would say . . .  insane.

Dawson was frantically packing for his tour to Iraq; a tour that would hopefully prove more successful on his return.

The letter sat unopened on the kitchen table.  A promise of a new tomorrow felt deep within Lacy’s heart as she heard the front door slam.

“Dawson . . .” Lacy howled louder. “Dawson.” Tears ran down her face leaving track marks through her makeup, only to realize he may not return.

Lacy sank further into her cold water, tears of anger welled up inside. A goodbye would have been nice.

“Hey . . . Lacy,” Dawson’s voice took up the silence, “You here?”

How didn’t he know where she was? Maybe he thought she went outside.

“Yea, Dawson, I’m up here.” Lacy jumped from the tub and wrapped an oversized towel around her thin frame; long blond tendrils lay wet against her shoulders. The knock on the bathroom door indicated Dawson was there.  She opened the door wide enough for him to walk in. Her towel fell to the tile floor as Dawson wrapped his strong tattooed arms around her.

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Inspiration from a quiet place

Nighttime is quiet, other than the low hum of the diffuser, which large amounts of steam escape through the pin-like hole on the top. Drops of eucalyptus oil swirl around inside.

I’m awake, too miserable to sleep. The coughs come quickly, yet profusely. I look across the room, dimly lit by the one lamp on the table. My reader sits awaiting that next page to turn. My knitting sits beside it.

It’s 3:00 am, the clock tells me. Far from time to get up. I twist my neck to the side, take in a deep breathe. Ouch. Will this night ever end? Eventually, I hope to sleep. In the meantime, it’s me, my thoughts and my iPad.

Ever have those sleepless nights where it’s your own worries, a cold, or other ailment that keeps you awake? It’s probably the best time to reflect. Take a moment to think of all the things that inspire you. Clearly, it’s the quiet house that makes your mind go crazy, your thoughts to run wild.

I rally around those thoughts, and wonder what next year wil look like for my design business. My writing. What inspiring thoughts can I have that will be effective in creating the inspiration for the (master) plan.

Do you know what I mean?

I can feel the cough subsiding, the essential oils doing their thing. My eyes are getting tired, but now my mind is moving.

2016 feels like the year to up the anti with my business. Create another facet to the ever popular Dishcloth Diva, me. Reaching into the vaults, or my computer archives and pulling out those patterns I love so much and recreating them. Repurposing them, if you will. Inspiring to be that next superstar in the fiber industry.

Oh wait! I am!

Or maybe writing that next novel, memoir, or industry type of book. Spinning tales of my yarn business, how/why it’s led me to where I am.

Sigh…it’s time to close the iPad, turn off the lamp and attempt to get some sleep. It feels like a good time to say, thanks for being my loyal fan, my reader, or however you have come to me. I appreciate you. I know we all have inspirations. For me, apparently, they come in the middle of the night.

Night all!

Deb

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Stalled

*sigh* You know what I’m saying, right?

You’re cruising along with your WIP, in this case, NaNoWriMo, and life sticks its foot out and trips you up. Image

Ouch!

I can sit and knit all day, think of potential scenes, but the moment that foot flies out, bam!

So, how do we get it back? Some people say, just do it! Others say, how ’bout a writing prompt? Others say, I get it, I’m watching for your followers to post their responses.

What gets you moving in a forward direction when your WIP stalls, or trips you up? I’d love to hear…

So, as I always say,

Write On!

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NaNoWriMo Day 9

Whew!

Got that done a bit more late today. Stuff happens, right? My husband came home from a business trip today, and we had dinner with our daughter. After a stop at Best Buy, we came home and I headed to my office to write.

Word Count Accomplished.

There are three rules to writing a novel,

Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.

W. Somerset Maugham

Isn’t that the truth. I’ve always been told when you know the rules, you can break them. Knowing the rules is often the hard part. In writing 50,000 words in 30 days, all rules go out the window. Though, for me, I can stick to some of them. Editing, for example is done sparingly and only when I know it doesn’t sound right, or what was my character thinking? I’m not going there, I often talk back.

I’m having a great time doing this. We are 9 days in. That’s huge! I try to NOT to look at the big picture here, but take it one day at a time. I also try to stick to the 1667 or within 100 words over, so I don’t overwhelm myself. I know some will write 3000-5000 a day.

Not me. That’s what makes us all different, right?

I also find that taking time after I write with a fun, no-brained type of activity like reading a magazine or knitting, helps to gather my thoughts and re-hash what I just wrote.

chillin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Words completed to date: 15,138 (34,862 words remaining)

Yes, I’ve verified the word count on my NaNoWriMo page. Have you?

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Music playing on my TV: Smooth Jazz

Beverage of choice: Mango juice

Place I chose to write: My office

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So, as I always say,

Write On!

Deb

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NaNoWriMo Day 6

Sigh…

Writing every day is something I’m really beginning to enjoy. Though, I’m finding that having to do book edits, fill Etsy orders, errands, etc…It’s challenging at times.

I won’t quit! I’m almost 7 days in (tomorrow). That makes it 1/5 of the word count completed.

How about you? Have you found that writing is becoming more of a habit than “Oh, my gosh, I HAVE to write yet today and it’s already 8:00 PM.”

No? Good!

That’s the one thing I was hoping to gain from this. The other thing that I’m finding kind of cool is that when you do write everyday, you remember more of the story, so having to go back and read it because you haven’t visited it in over a week…well, ‘nuf said, right?

I started out at a fantastic coffee shop, Wesley Owens, where I ate some lunch and wrote just a bit. Only a bit. My brain wasn’t engaging very well, so I packed up (after only about 300 words) and went shopping. Hobby Lobby to buy yarn, which then turned into Christmas decorations.

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Word count accomplished!

Words completed to date: 10,113 (39,887 words remaining)

Yes, I’ve verified the word count on my NaNoWriMo page. Have You?

Keep on writing! Don’t give up. I’m not!

Don’t give up.
There are too many nay-sayers out there who will try to discourage you.
Don’t listen to them.
The only one who can make you give up is yourself.
– Sidney Sheldon

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Music playing on my Ipod: Nora Jones

Beverage(s) of choice: Carmel flavored iced tea at Wesley Owens. Iced Coffee at home

Place(s) I chose to write: Wesley Owens this morning. My desk in my loft this evening.

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So (my friends), as I always say,

Write On!

Deb

 

 

 

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NaNoWriMo Day 5

Day 5!

Fantastic feeling, huh? Are you able to keep consistent with the word count of 1667?

I am!

Not that it was easy today. You see, this post is at almost 8:00 pm. That means I just finished. It truly was a horrible, no good day. It started with a sleepless night.

I couldn’t get to the coffee pot quick enough this morning. Forget the 9 oz Keurig cup! I was going for the 20 oz Starbucks cup. I made enough in my coffee maker to fill it, and with some remaining in case that didn’t do the trick.

You know, sometimes when my day starts out that way (and it doesn’t happen often, really), I do Pilates. It helps to calm me. I had so much to do today, and things I need to do.

In walks (a good) distraction: a phone call from my daughter, who’s a teacher, saying my granddaughter wasn’t having a good day herself and could use a bit of grandma love. Armed with Subway, I headed off to school to spend lunchtime with my precious Jasmine.

Back home, I open up my email to find a list of to-dos from my publisher asking me to fix this and check that for my book release later this month. Annoyed, but excited, I proceeded.

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Fast forward: Word Count Accomplished!
Words completed to date: 8361 (41,639 words remaining)

FYI…I learned a valuable lesson last night. Copy and paste your story into “check word count” on your NaNo page. I did and it calculated 6685 last night. My app calculated 6700. Just a good thing to know going forward.

Keep writing. The path is long, but it’s about the journey.  The payoff is a sense of accomplishment and a “win” for you! Let’s do this.

Are you in all the way with me? It’s not going to be easy, but it will be worth it!!

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Music playing on my Ipod: Nora Jones

Beverage of Choice: Orange Mango Juice

Place I chose to write: My dining room table

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So, as I always say,

Write On!

Deb

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NaNoWriMo Day 4

Day 4…Take 1 (and the only take needed today)

I’m so pleased with how the words are flowing. I sat down here at Panera Bread with my soup and coffee at about 12:30 pm. I ate first, then proceeded to write. It’s now 2:13 pm.

That’s 1667 words in less than 2 hours.

Fantastic, right?

I mentioned yesterday that I thought each day i wrote, the words were coming a bit quicker. Today, I believe the same thing.

How about you? How are your words flowing? Hopefully effortlessly…

Writing has been a part of my life in various aspects of my life… I wrote content for my Knitting book, I wrote the patterns in the knitting book, I write on both my blogs. So, I believe it’s time to take this novel writing to the next level. *smiling*

I know we’re told to not edit our work during NaNo, but honestly can you really do that? I don’t do it the the extent of going back to the very beginning and re-reading, then editing, but I do backspace as far as necessary (when needed) to make the story work.

I am not willing to just write junk. It has to be a sensible story, with sensible developing characters, and a consistent story theme.

Today: No distractions to report.

I’m wondering if going to (one of) my favorite coffee shops and writing is what I need to do? I think so.

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Word count accomplished!

Words completed to date: 6700 (43,300 words remaining)

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Music playing on my Ipod: None. Though, beautiful instrumental music can be heard from the speakers, as well as chatter coming from dining customers fills the room.

Beverage of Choice: Hazelnut Coffee & Water

Place I chose to write: Panera Bread

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So, as I always say,

Write On!

Deb

 

 

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NaNoWriMo Day 3

I’ve made it through Day 3…quite an accomplishment (so far).

The day started okay. With the time change it did make it somewhat hard to realize the morning was s l o w l y going by.

Knitting along, with coffee, took most of my morning, when I realized it was time to jump in the shower and head out the door.

In walks distraction: For some shopping. More Christmas Shopping.

After stopping off at my corner Dunkin Donuts (no, not a donut this time) for some iced coffee and an egg sandwich for lunch.

Back home, I set my Ipad up, got out my sandwich and proceeded to write.

The one thing I think I’m noticing is the words are coming a bit quicker each day I sit down to write. I believe it will continue. And the one thing I was hoping for. To get my mojo back…

Cool, huh?

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Word count accomplished!

Words completed to date: 5026 (44,974 words remaining)

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Music playing on my Ipod – Nora Jones

Beverage of Choice – Iced Coffee

Place I chose to write – My dining room table

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So, as I always say,

Write On!

Deb