Monday, August 31, 2009

Monday Madness . . .

Another Grammar article -- Dealing with the Comma -- picked up by EzineArticles.com. Wahoo, for me. My written word floating around the web is always a good thing. Besides, I'm a little partial to getting the use of the comma corrected. Too many extraneous commas -- missing ones for that matter -- in basic writing today. A good grammar book should be a must for all. Not, just writers! I can think of few careers into today's job market where a certain amount of writing is not required. Yet, folks by the hordes throw words at a page and assume they'll stick in the proper, punctuated order. Not hardly. So, writing grammar tips on the comma was another of my simple attempts to save the English language.

I've been hard at work through the weekend discovering a lost manuscript. CHASING DESTINY as it stands is a contemporary romance. Decent plot, good characters, dynamite backstory and strong motivation, mediocre writing. CHASING DESTINY was only my second completed manuscript, so my writing level has increased significantly since then. It's good to know that the book is salvageable, if . . . and here's the biggie, I need a suspense plot woven into the story. As all my books now fall into the Romantic Suspense category, and this book shares one of the same characters from the Donavan series, it should all be shelved together. See how positive I am? One day, when all my books hit the NYT best-seller list, I want the readers to find them all together. The difficulty I'm encountering with the suspense element is that my heroine has suffered through a painful history. Not ancient history, but recent, so it becomes a matter of how much bad luck can any individual be expected to survive. Then there's the whole coincidence issue -- contrived coincidence is always the kiss of death for realism. I must find the balance between a suspense that naturally evolves around her, without seeming to dump on her head. I've finished my read through CHASING DESTINY and brainstormed several suspense twists. Now, I'll leave it alone for a little fermentation. Maybe, just maybe, like great wine, I'll have something wonderful to pour out of the bottle of my brain.

Also, been working hard and heavy on finishing TRICKLE OF LIES. It's way past time.

My critique partners, Sherry Davis, Mary Karlik, and LA Mitchell, have submitted like crazy over the past few months, totally shaming my lack of effort. They, collectively, have received a number of 'no's, but they're closer to a 'yes' simply by their efforts of continual submission. I have a great beta reader lined up for TRICKLE OF LIES as soon as I can type The End. All said, there's no reason not to plant my fanny in the chair and write.

I'll keep you posted from the back porch.
A spurt of lovely weather has sailed into Texas. Highs today in the upper 80s. That is lovely for us.
Happy Monday to you all, and drop by the porch again.
Until then,
~Sandra

5 comments:

Marilyn Brant said...

Good for you, getting all this plotting and planning done for Chasing Destiny, Sandra! Truly, I have to tell you how in awe I am of anyone who can just dream up a romantic suspense plotline... It would take me more than a brainstorming session or two to come up with anything remotely plausible (i.e., one that didn't involved "death by licorice twist" or something :). Good luck finishing Trickle of Lies, too!

Flowerpot said...

You've been busy as ever! I'm like you about commas too. And please can you send your good weather over here? We've had such a horrible summer!

Katie Reus said...

Commas are the bane of my existence! Thankfully my CP's don't mind correcting my comma issues. I've taken classes to no avail and I'm a stickler for grammar and spelling issues. Sadly, commas don't make much sense to me. I just put them where they sound best when I'm reading/writing ;)

Good luck saving your manuscript!

L.A. Mitchell said...

I'll admit I take more commas out in the edits than I have to put in. They are my friend :)

It all comes in waves, S. I wait until the threat of nuclear war (or story perfection) whichever comes first and open myself up to the industry firing squad. Some prefer the trickles. I'm so glad you're revved up again!!

Pamela Cayne said...

Ah, yes. Commas. Had a major comma meltdown this summer, but feel like I'm better. (Comma rehab?)

And I love your positive outlook about your books being shelved together--of course they'll be at the front of the store with other NYT bestsellers, so people will be able to find them in multiple places. :-)

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